Brief History of the Saline County Library
The Saline County Library had its beginnings in March of
1931. The Benton Junior Fortnightly Club, a women’s civic club, took
on the project of establishing a library for the city of Benton, Arkansas
and the citizens of Saline County. The library was established on
the second floor of the Walton building on Market Street in downtown Benton.
On April 3, 1936 the Benton library moved to its second location in a building
next to city hall on west South Street. In 1946, the library moved
into the former office building of Dr. Dewell Gann on Market Street.
This location was soon too small for the library and a new site was needed.
On Jan. 23, 1967, the Saline County Library moved for the fourth time into
the old Palace theater at 224 West South Street. For the next thirty
years the library continued to grow. In February 1969, a Bryant branch
of the Saline County Library was opened on Mills Park Road. On August
24, 1998, Saline County voters approved a .7 percent millage increase and
a quarter-cent countywide sales tax which was extended in August of 2000.
On Feb. 21, 2001 construction began on the new Bryant Library, which
was dedicated on February 10, 2002. On Oct. 30, 2001 construction
began for the new Benton Library, which was dedicated on August 10,
2003. The Saline County Library has come a long way from two small
rooms in a downtown Benton building in 1931.
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