We are the overall service for libraries in Natchez, Adams County, and Wilkinson County.
To contact individual staff members, see Staff.
220 South Commerce Street
Natchez MS 39120
9 am - 5 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
9 am - 7 pm Thursday
9 am - 1 pm Saturday
We have some old newspaper clippings from 1883 telling about the formation of the Natchez Library Association, which set up a subscription library open to the public. These clippings make for very interesting reading. We’re working on making these articles available on our web site.
Subscription libraries were started in America by Benjamin Franklin in 1732. A subscription library enrolled members for an annual fee of about $2.50 and used that fee to buy books. In January 1883, a group of local gentlemen got together to form a reading room, and by April, they had the grand opening of the Natchez Library in the basement of the Institute building. A major motivation was to provide a place for young men who “might otherwise find amusement in objectionable places” and who “have no place in which they can innocently and profitably spend their leisure moments”. There was a controversy over whether to allow women to belong to the Association, but they did decide to include them. In 1891 the name was changed to Alvarez Fisk Memorial Library and Museum.
In 1900 only three public libraries existed in the entire State of Mississippi. These were located in Natchez, Holly Springs and Biloxi. During the 1930’s a WPA (Works Progress Administration) county library was established in Natchez, but was closed in 1943 when its collection and equipment were combined to form the Fisk Memorial Library, which was located in Memorial Hall. The Fisk Library closed its doors in 1965 after the construction of a new public library building was completed, the Judge George W. Armstrong Library. If anyone knows more about library history in Natchez between the 1880’s and the 1940’s, please let us know.
Kevin P Van Cleave Memorial Library
141 West Park Street North
P O Box 517
Centreville MS 39631
Regular Hours (see note)
9 am - 5 pm Monday - Thursday
9 am - 1 pm 1st and 3rd Saturday
The Centerville Public Library opened on August 9, 1959 in a small white building on the northeast end of Main Street. For a short time, the library was staffed by volunteers, and then a director was hired. In 1962, the Wilkinson County Library System was formed with a director supervising the libraries in Centreville and Woodville.
In 1970, Nancy and Kent Van Cleave built a 2000 square foot red brick building across from Railroad Park and donated it to the town of Centreville to be used as a library. The new library was to be named the Kevin Poole Van Cleave Memorial Library in memory of their son, who was killed on Christmas eve 1967. The library was dedicated and opened on May 16, 1970.
In 1978, the library became part of the Homochitto Library Service, now called the Natchez Adams Wilkinson Library Service.
A 1500 square foot addition was added to the library in 1989, paid for by a federal grant with matching funds provided by the Van Cleave family.
Patricia Nall staffed the library from 1982 until 2007. At that time, Kathy Gallent, who has a MLIS degree, was hired to staff the Library and serve as the Branches Director.Back to the Top
Woodville Public Library
489 Main Street
P O Box 397
Woodville MS 39669
Regular Hours (see note)
9 am - 5 pm Tuesday - Friday
9 am - 1 pm 2nd and 4th Saturday
The Woodville Public Library was opened in 1978 and the first librarian was Myrl Calvert, who worked there until she retired on her 90th birthday in 2005 after 30 years of service. Click to see pictures of the birthday/retirement party we gave her.
Claudia Reed came to work in the library in 1991 and retired in 2008. Click to see pictures of her retirement party.
Frances Wisner, who had been working in Centreville since 1996, took Claudia's place and is still there.
In 2008, the Library was closed in May for renovations and was officially reopened with a dedication ceremony on October 2.Back to the Top
All Libraries are closed the first Monday of March, June, and December for staff training, so we can continue to provide better services to you.
All Libraries are closed on the following holidays:
- New Year's Day
- Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday & Robert E. Lee's Birthday
- President's Day
- Confederate Memorial Day
- National Memorial Day & Jefferson Davis' Birthday
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veteran's Day
- Thanksgiving, including Friday and Saturday
- Christmas Eve Day & Christmas Day