mission mml



On a daily basis, the Mathews Memorial Library strives to build community and help transform the lives of those in the community.  This mission is of long standing and harkens back to the slow, but steady, goal of establishing a public library for the citizens of Mathews County. 

In 2017, the library has a unique opportunity to share the rich tale of how a community made momentous strides in establishing one of the first public libraries in Virginia. To honor this heritage, members of the community will have an opportunity to celebrate the unique heritage that is shared by all who reside in Mathews.  Its origins and history are closely linked to the tumultuous times in which the library was first imagined and ultimately established, beginning shortly after the turn of the Twentieth Century and reaching fruition in the midst of the great depression. 

The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, the European struggle intended to end all wars.  Mathews, like communities across America, saw its men depart to serve on the battlefields and at sea, many of whom did not return.  With the completion of the construction and the opening of the library in the 1930’s, the decision was made to honor those who had lost their lives by dedicating the library to their memory.  Thus, on November 11, 1937, a ceremony was held, officially establishing it as the Mathews Memorial Library. 

In 2017, we plan to share this story in programs and pictures, highlighting the events that led from a log cabin in Cardinal to the establishment of the public library in Mathews that, today, serves nearly 12,000 patrons.  We will also present opportunities to look back at the events surrounding World War I and the post-war period, emphasizing the tremendous impact it had on those who experienced it.


Bette Dillehay, Library Director                



This website was created by Advanced Web Design students at Mathews High School.
Team members include Anna Hudgins, Ashley Payne, Maggie Harbick, Lauren Perreault, and Kelly Adams.