Many years ago a group of women met to consider the need for a library. In 1916 this group organized and began a small library set in a cubbyhole room in the ‘old’ local hotel. Through donations for books from friends to the East and their own book off their shelves, they were able to start this library. The library was housed in a parlor room in the Bower’s Hotel. The Hotel charged them ten dollars per month. The women of this club took turns acting as librarian.
In 1917 Armoral moved to New Plymouth with her father and mother from Prosser, Washington. Armoral’s passion was reading and soon joined the group of women at the Library. In 1921, Armoral married Raymond G. Tuttle and became the New Plymouth Librarian.
Soon after Armoral received a tax notice saying she was accountable for the taxes on the library. She appealed to the City to relieve her of this burden. It was then the City accepted the responsibility of maintaining a large portion of the library’s expenses. In those days the Library was open two days per week. There was no charge for borrowing books but you had to obtain a library card for the cost of twenty-five cents per adult and ten cents per child. The overdue fee was a penny per day. Around that time, the minimum electricity bill was eighty-five cents a month. Armoral decided to conserve energy by closing the library in the evenings, and with the money saved she could purchase twelve new books per year. That’s what you call conservation.
One morning, when Armoral was mailed her monthly paycheck of four dollars and fifteen cents, the City Treasurer was heard to remark, “I feel so ashamed every time we send her this pittance”. It was decided to increase her pay and so for the next twenty years, she received ten dollars a month.
Armoral labored in love for over sixty years and was recognized for her contribution to New Plymouth Library. In 1982, The town recognized her honor and renamed the library the Armoral Tuttle Public Library.
The library has been located in various places since its organization: several years in the little gray schoolhouse, the Pioneer Hall, and the old City Hall. The Women’s Civic Club and auxiliary of the Men’s Commercial Club sponsored the library. They put on a carnival and raised enough money to buy the little building located near the First Baptist Church and the library occupied this building for seven or eight years. Then in January 1950, the city gave the library a room in the new City Hall. The city gave one hundred dollars a year for the books to the New Plymouth Public Library. The International Mind Alcove of the Carnegie Peace Foundation gave approximately one hundred books to the library. This foundation sent five or six books every three month for a period of about five years. These were travel books, essay books about other countries, and children’s books describing the ways of living of children in foreign lands. Mrs. Mary Trayer was the one who wrote and found out about this peace Foundation. Mrs. Clara Pierson of Grand Rapids, Michigan, gave a desk to the library in memory of Mrs. Mary Trayer who was one of the founders. That desk is in storage waiting a place of honor when space allows.
- In 1980 there were 2300 books in the New Plymouth Public Library
- In 2006 there are 11,096 books
- In 2006 there is no charge for a library card if you are a New Plymouth city resident
- In 2006 the charge for an account for non-residents was fifteen dollars per year
- In 2006 the late fee charge was ten cents per day
- In 2006 the library occupies nine hundred square feet in the New Plymouth City Hall
- In 2006 the library is open four days per week for a total of thirty-two hours
- In 2006 the budget is thirty-two thousand three hundred and sixty-five dollars
- In 2006 the utility bill is fifty dollars per month
- In 2006 the librarian earns one thousand two hundred and sixteen dollars per month
- In 2013 there are 12,504 titles books, movies, audio-books
- In 2013 there is no charge for a library card if you are a New Plymouth city resident
- In 2013 the charge for an account for non-residents is twenty-five dollars per year
- In 2013 the library is open four days a week for a total of twenty-two hours