WHEELWRIGHT – The City of Wheelwright, according to Sam Little, Wheelwright Historical Society Director and founder and curator of the Wheelwright Public Library, is one of those intriguing little secrets you often stumble on in the very deep pages of a history book. It is one of those places that echoes the past and cries out for a future while the present remains so unclear. In the beginning of the coal boom Wheelwright became the Mecca of coal camp towns. Its streets where lined with various shops and attractions. Several club houses, movie theaters and the state’s first recognized Olympic sized swimming pool all served to remind residents here of just how good they had it.” Today city officials work to make the community they love, thrive once again. Wheelwright Historical Society and Public Library work to bring excitement for the future back into the community one book and one activity at a time.
The Library recently moved from its former location at the Wheelwright Swimming Pool to the building next to the Wheelwright Senior Center. Director and Curator Sam Little or Little Sam Little as locals call him has always had a love for reading. Little is a 2000 graduate of South Floyd High School. After graduation he went to work for the Floyd County Times Printing Division. Working night shift, he would get off work at 6 a.m. and walk to the Floyd County Public Library.
“Ruthie Daniels, the librarian at the time would always be at work early and let me in to look at books. I would often help her shelve books. It was so obvious how she respected the printed word and considered it something of value. She wanted to share reading and books with the community. She inspired me to start the Ruthie Daniels Projects. We take donations of books and families can fill out a form and tell us what type of books they like. When we get donations, if any books fit their criteria we deliver them to the family,” said Little.
The library also does outreach work. Individuals that can’t get to the library can call and if the book is in stock, a library volunteer will deliver the book to the individual.
The library offers activities such as storytime where volunteers read a book, and children create a craft and eat a snack. Twice a month the Library host YuGiOh tournaments. The next tournament is
The Wheelwright Historical Society and Public Library like the Senior Center is a social hub for the community. The library started over seven years ago with a few hundred books stacked in cardboard boxes. Today the library is home to over 33,000 books at last count, a computer lab, recording studio, green screen studio, and is a home away from home for many of the community’s residents.
The Library is always accepting donations. If would like to make a monetary donation or have books you would like to donate contact Little Sam Little, Library Director at (606) 452-1211.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at 606-794-0290.