Parkersburg & Wood County Public Library

Connecting Community – Broadening Horizons

In Memorium: Dorothy S. (Muse) Chittum

April 8, 2019 by Posted in: Uncategorized

In Memoriam

Dorothy S. (Muse) Chittum

Death: March 2019


Wood County Library Director, 1968-1988

“…To be a true library, it must be used.”

The following is an excerpt from an article entitled “New Parkersburg South Library Opens to The Public,” published in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel on 31 Jan 2016, following the completion of the South Parkersburg branch renovation:

“I looked up the definition of libraries,” said Chittum, who attended Saturday’s event. “Libraries are a collection of graphic materials such as books, films, magazines, manuscripts and phonograph records designed for use. The phrase ‘for use’ is important since books and other materials brought together do not necessarily constitute a library, thus copies of recent books in a publisher’s warehouse to be sold are not libraries.”

Chittum said a shelf of cookbooks and recipes in a house qualifies as a library. She said for the new branch to be a true library it must be used. The original south branch built in 1972 was what was called an “instant library” and it was the first one built in the state and in the U.S.

When Ms. Chittum took over, the library was in the Carnegie Library building – now the former Trans Allegheny Book Store – and was director when the current library was built on Emerson Avenue in 1976.  Along with the building of the Emerson Library, Dorothy was able to build a branch in South Parkersburg, a branch in Williamstown (1977), and to help get a special law passed in 1987 that finally provided dependable permanent funding to support the library in Wood County.

Thank you Dorothy for your years of service.

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