As the 1920's began the Library continued to grow in popularity. Books on religion soared in popularity as circulation of these items increased 200 percent. Circulation of children's and science books continued to grow as well.
In August 1920, assistant librarian Joseph Maloney, Sr. resigned from the Library. The Board suggested that an effort be made to secure the services of an older gentleman for the position. The Ministerial Association was contacted for their assistance.
The auditorium was still in great demand for use by local organizations. In an attempt to raise funds, the Board considered the idea of selling "reserved" seats. Although it was a good idea, the cost of printing the tickets was extreme therefore ticket prices would be out of reach for many citizens.
Groups using the auditorium included: Epworth League, Friends of Irish Freedom, La Salette Academy, Kenton County Equal Rights and the Woman's Suffrage League. In 1928, the auditorium was the site of an appearance and speech by Kentucky Governor Flem Sampson.
At this time, Ms. Anna Spears was the head librarian, Miss Carrie Norvell was her first assistant, Miss Emma Stahel was second assistant and Mr. Cyril Schramm was a staff member. Former third assistant Joseph Maloney described his co-workers in a paper he wrote in 1967. The following are excerpts from that paper:
Anna Spears: She was always at ease with the men and women of all stations in the community and with the young patrons of the Library of all ages. She had tact when dealing with employees, keeping all working in harmony without friction. Her method of management was by suggestion, rather than ordering. While every employee felt free to voice opinions and suggestions, and none were hesitant about doing so, Mrs. Spears calm good judgement and management ideas prevailed. She never raised her voice, but her soft voice could get action when necessary.
Miss Carrie Norvell: A native of the Carolinas, Miss Norvell moved to the Covington area with her family before the turn of the century. She could be very stern in face and voice when talking to a person she did not approve of, or when talking on an unpleasant subject. But she rarely held the stern look for long, invariably her natural cheerfulness broke through and her face changed to a jovial smile.
She was fond of the teenagers and took special interest in them and their school activities. She enjoyed the friendly bantering with them, which she instigated at the slightest provocation.
Mr. Cyril Schramm: One of the most popular staff members at the Library, Mr. Schramm's enthusiasm exuded throughout the entire city of Covington. He would walk down the street greeting everyone by name and bowing to the ladies passing by. Mr. Schramm brought all his energy and intellect to his work at the Library. His interests varied from athletics to the sciences which made him an excellent reference librarian.
Although Mr. Schramm loved everything about the library, he knew he could not stay because his salary could not afford him to take care of a family. He had fallen in love with the Children's Librarian, Emma Stahel. He left the library to work for an automobile agency in Cincinnati. Years later he opened the Latonia Motor Car Company, a repair shop.
Miss Emma Stahel: A very attractive young woman, Miss Stahel loved working with the children and their books. She was always ready with a suggestion when a child was looking for something good to read. When the tidy librarian noticed a boy with dirty hands touching the books, she would tell him to wash his hands before picking up his books.
Miss Stahel met the charming Cyril Schramm while they were both working at the Library. Shortly after he entered the business world, the two were married.
These Library staff members helped the Library to grow and find its niche in the community. The Library staff made the most of little funding and provided good services for the city.
Throughout the 1920s, circulation increased and thoughts of expanding the service area were discussed. A request for more funding from the city was made (nothing noted as to whether it was granted). Also in 1920, the year women were given the right to vote, the Covington Library was first used as a voting place.
The custodian, Mr. Voller, qualified as a private policeman and was allowed to wear a police badge while on duty at the Library. The Board thought that this would help keep older boys in line. In 1921, cost of reserving a book was set at five cents due to excessive demands of students reserving books.
The Library was the scene of another robbery. In April of 1926, the Kentucky Post reported that two rugs and three draperies were stolen. It was thought that the burglar entered the Library during business hours and hid on the second floor until closing. A side door only accessible from the inside was found open the following day.
In 1927, Library officials determined it was necessary to take action against those who chose not to return library items. A large list of names of boys and girls not returning books was given to the Kenton County Probation Officer. Adults were also urged to return books at once. That same year, residents outside of Covington were granted Library privileges for $2 a year.
According to the Covington city officials, the auditorium was "a disgrace to the city" due to it's appearance. The city gave the Library $200 to repair and redecorate the auditorium.
In March 1928, the county agreed to pay $1,500 a year towards the support and maintenance of the Library. As a result, all residents of Kenton County were granted permission to use the Library.
The Library's longtime head librarian, Mrs. Anne Spears, retired from the Library in the latter part of the decade. She served the community with commitment and enthusiasm for more than 27 years. Finding her successor proved to be quite a challenge.
In 1911, the Erlanger Woman's Club asked to create a station of the Covington Public Library. In July of 1928 the Club turned over its collection of donated books to the Covington Library and the Board, in turn, agreed to add more books and magazines to the collection.
In July of 1928 the Club turned over its collection to the Covington Library and the Board, in turn, agreed to add more books and magazines to the collection. The new branch library was opened formally on September 8, 1928 in the Erlanger News Building on Dixie Highway with about 1500 volumes. The librarian of the branch was paid $15 per month. This was the first step in creating a combined city-county library system.
In 1929 the children's room in Covington was closed because of a flu epidemic. Later that year, the Erlanger Library was briefly closed due to a scarlet fever outbreak.
To purchase more of the popular books, new head librarian Alma L'Hommedieu created a system in which patrons could "rent" one of the copies of the more popular books for 3 cents a day. This small fee would give the Library funds to purchase more of the most popular books.
At the end of the decade, the Library was formally promoted on a new radio station, WCKY. One Saturday each month, the Librarian would be on the radio for "literary hour."