Cannon Memorial YMCA
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Cannon YMCA

YMCA History

Charles A. Cannon Library

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Like many other institutions in Kannapolis, the library began in the YMCA. In 1932 the first librarian, Edith McLaurity Barbee, was hired. During her ten-year tenure, the library functioned as a recreational reading source for children, adolescents and adults. Helen Thayer Shinn became librarian in 1942. Mary Ella Cannon treasured the library and had a great desire to support North Carolina writers. The YMCA held an annual dinner to recognize North Carolina writers.

From 1953 to 1961, the library continued to grow and prosper under the leadership of Catherine Bost (1953), Helen Kiser (1954), Ethel Jones (1956), JoAnn Beamer (1957-60), and acting librarian B.E. Helms (Jan-June 1961). The library also became more widely used by high school students in 1957 increasing circulation significantly between 5pm and 9pm.

Louise Settlemyer, who later became librarian at the branch from 1961 to 1986, remembers the readings by Inglis Fletcher, North Carolina author. There were 553 children in the 1954 Summer Vacation Reading Club. In 1986, the Charles A. Cannon Library - Kannapolis Branch was opened and became a part of the Cabarrus County Library System. Louise Settlemyer remained with the library until her retirement in 1997.

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