The Mangum Public Library was established in 1922 by a group of club women, however there were no records kept until 1924 when the City of Mangum assumed the library. The library and Civic Center was constructed under President Roosevelt’s Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Work was started on the building on September 17, 1935 and completed on July 15, 1936. On August 06, 1936 the library was opened to the public.
The building plans, designed by Oklahoma City architect E. Paul Prins, called for a rustic Craftsman-style, two-story building with a basement. The building was to contain quarters for the library, a pioneer’s museum, club rooms for various civic organizations, an auditorium, kitchen, public lavatories, a nursery, and an apartment for the building caretaker. It was planned carefully to serve several definite community needs. It was to provide convenient quarters for the Public Library, for Boy Scouts, for the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary, for other civic and social organizations, and a spacious auditorium for public meetings.
The first story is occupied by the Public Library. The second story houses the community center, which is used for weddings, social events, meetings, family reunions, and many other gatherings. This room will seat 100 people comfortably. A smaller meeting room is directly across the hall from the community center. Smaller groups hold many meetings here. The basement was originally the living quarters for the librarian. The main basement area has been painted with bright and cheery primary colors and designs for the enjoyment of the children.
The building, with outside dimensions of 50 by 72 feet, was constructed of native Greer county limestone, a portion of which was obtained south of Mangum, and the major part 23 miles northwest of the city. The limestone was cut by hand, with most of the work being done by men without previous experience as stonecutters. Many of the workers became skilled masons while working on the building. On February 26, 1936, a WPA crew of 30 men cut and laid the floor and walls. Employees received $21.00 for eight hours of work for seventeen days a month. In June 1936, a fire broke out due to spontaneous combustion, causing $15,000 in damages. The crew had the building repaired in three weeks. The library opened August 6, 1936, at a total cost of $39,428.
In 1988, Friends of the Library was formed as a tax-exempt group to encourage full use of facilities and cultural events for all ages. Meetings are held quarterly in the library. The Board of Directors meets quarterly to provide local guidance. State support is furnished by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. The library is city owned and operated. Old Greer County Genealogical & Historical Society started on September 21, 1989. It meets monthly in the library. Greer County newspaper, census records, marriage and divorce records, probates, civil and criminal dockets, school enumerations, and Indian microfilm are available. Those wishing to join should contact the library. Nominal annual membership dues are assessed.
In the Summer of 1995, the name of the library was changed from The Mangum Public Library to The Margaret Carder Library. Every year, the library has The Summer reading program in July.
Today we are paving the way to the future with our public use computers, public use wi-fi, high speed internet access and more things to come.