The Lynn Haven Public Library was Bay County's first library, beginning in 1911 when fourteen Lynn Haven women donated one book and three magazines and met in various homes and buildings as the Lynn Haven Literary Club. Their collection grew to 500 volumes by 1915, and in 1922 the McMullin family donated the site at 9th Street and Ohio Avenue. This donation included a building and $1000.00 for improvements and furnishings, and it became known as the McMullin Library.
The Literary Club inaugurated a story-telling hour for children under the age of twelve each Saturday afternoon. They began a program in 1923 to make books and magazines available to prisoners in our county jail with the desire to read. They promoted the City of Lynn Haven through the printing of brochures and pamphlets that were then distributed to northern cities. Many social organizations benefitted from their efforts.
The Literary Club continued to sponsor the McMullin Library after it joined the Federation of Women's Clubs in 1925. The Lynn Haven Woman's Club provided for the building's maintenance and expense, as well as making many improvements and purchasing many more books. Supporters of the library attended the annual "Book Day", where they would enjoy iced tea and collect donations of books and money.
The McMullin Library became a part of the Northwest Regional Library System in 1961. The community continued to grow and the building was eventually moved to 9th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, where it would serve as meeting place for clubs and organizations. The North Bay Branch Library was dedicated on November 1, 1970; a building over 3,000 square feet that would better meet the needs of a growing community of readers.
The library underwent a major expansion in the mid-1980's to house over 11,000 volumes and provide better service. A successful fund drive and matching grant from the State of Florida resulted in over 5,000 square feet of additional space. The grand opening took place December 14, 1988. Our library is now over 8,200 square feet.
The Northwest Regional Library System experienced a shortage of funds in 1990, and the City of Lynn Haven assumed total financial responsibility for the library. The name was changed to the Lynn Haven Public Library, to honor the City of Lynn Haven's commitment.
Today the collection consists of over 18,000 materials. We emphasize current interest and popular titles for adults, as well as children's books to promote the love of reading from an early age. Books for children of preschool age through young adulthood are available; with a collection of fiction and non-fiction for pleasure reading and school support. A growing variety of large print books and audio books are also popular with patrons.