The History of Hester Memorial Library

The Facility


The Second Administration Building

North Greenville's first library was located upstairs in the rear wing of the school's second, "T" shaped administration building. It was situated directly above the combination gymnasium/auditorium, the sound from which at times made studying in the library quite difficult! 



The Third Administration Building

When the school built its third administration building, the library was moved into its first floor. In 1950, Edith Sayer became the first full-time librarian. In 1958, the library officially became known as the Hester Memorial Library. In 1969, due to its increasing size, the library expanded to include the second floor.



In 1974, the library moved into the Averyt Learning Center. This was the first building dedicated exclusively to the library.





The library currently exists as Hester Memorial Library, inside the renovated and expanded Averyt-Wood Learning Center.




The Librarians 

Over the years since the foundation of the original high school, a number of individuals have served as librarian here at North Greenville. For the first few years, the position was filled by individuals who served in other roles such as professor or bookkeeper, along with their library duties. Marion Burts, a part-time professor, was the first librarian.












Elma McCommas

Librarian, 1949












Who was Hester?

Reverend Henry Clayton Hester served as the principal of North Greenville Academy from 1919 to 1928. When the fate of the school was uncertain due to a loss of state funding in 1924, Hester stated that he would personally, "accept the challenge of saving the life of an institution so needed, so loved and dedicated to the progress of the Kingdom of God in our state." From that point on, he received no pay for his work at North Greenville, and even accepted church work to  help pay teachers' salaries. Once state funding was restored, Hester felt that his job at North Greenville was completed and returned to the pastorate he had held before coming to North Greenville.

Henry Jacob Howard. From These Roots: The Story of North Greenville Junior College, 1892-1967 (Tigerville, SC: North Greenville Junior College, 1967), 53-54, 63.