Our Story

The Cozard Memorial Library is committed to enriching the lives of all ages through informational, educational, and recreational materials, programs, exhibits, and various media needed for the benefit and progress of our community, our patrons, and our guests, while providing a safe and welcoming learning environment to all.

1913: A Local Group has a Dream

The GFWC Travelers Club began discussing the need for a library in the community. Mrs. Susan Laughlin, one of the group’s charter members, was determined to see this become reality. The Travelers Club joined forces with other local groups and the City of Chamberlain. Their initial space was in City Hall. They accepted donations of books and raised funds to buy more by hosting a banquet and Round Robin Teas, collecting 10 cents at a time!

The courthouse where the library was on the second floor.


In February 1917, City Hall burned to the ground and the library’s books were destroyed. When City Hall was rebuilt, the library was assigned space on the second floor. Now a staple in the community, the library’s collection grew over the decades and reached 9,000 volumes by 1963!

A New Era Begins

In December 1965, Mr. and Mrs. William Cozard presented the City of Chamberlain with 100 shares of Textron Corp. stock to be converted to cash for the purpose of constructing and furnishing a city library building. Four years later, they added to their gift of stock to provide for a particular library fund. By 1972, plans for a library building had been approved, and construction was set to begin as soon as the
weather would allow. The new library was constructed with funds from the Cozards and a 60/40 match from the State Library Board. The result was a larger, more extensively equipped facility. The library sported a children’s reading room, junior reading room, adult reading room, sound room, conference
room, work room, and restrooms. The original capacity was for 15,500 books. In 2022, Cozard Memorial Library’s capacity was over 40,000 books and includes music CDs, periodicals, computer use, and more!

Mrs. Ruth Cozard
Mr William Cozard


  • Melissa Hutmacher 2011-Present
  • Carole Stricherz 1998-2011
  • Gil Johnsson 1987-1998
  • Nadine Crone 1974-1987
  • Catharine Arp 1945-1974
  • Ada Gray 1917-1945
  • Elizabeth House 1917
  • Reeda Putnam
  • Myrtle Farmer 1913