In early 1919, two Pitman women stood together after a meeting, discussing the
difficulty of obtaining books from the Camden Public Library. One of them, who had
recently moved to Pitman, suggested Pitman needed to form a library of its own.|
The State Librarian, Miss Sarah Askew, was recruited to assist in the intensive activity which resulted
in Pitman's first library being formed on June 3, 1919. It was first located in the old Fire Company No. 1
building on Simpson Avenue.
The library was moved to Borough Hall in 1922, and later took over another location in Hall
vacated by Fire Company No. 1.
It remained in Borough Hall until 1961, when financial legacies from Joseph McCowan, the
former mayor of Pitman who had died in 1952, and his three sisters, made it possible to construct
the current library building.
An addition gave the library a basement meeting room and more stack space in 1979, and 2004, the most
recent addition to the McCowan Memorial Library was completed, just in time for Pitman's
From 747 books on the second floor of a fire hall to almost 44,000 books in a modern building--Pitman's
library has come a long way!