"Versailles and Ripley County folk were greatly pleased this week when they learned that "Uncle Jim" Tyson is making arrangements to erect and equip a library which he will bestow as a gift to the town of Versailles," Versailles Republican, September 19, 1940.
Fully funded by the Tyson Trust, established by James H. Tyson, construction on the Tyson Library began in 1941 and the Library was officially opened on April 30, 1942.
The original structure included an adult reading room, children's room, offices and lobby on the main floor. The lower level included a community room and offices for the county agriculture agent and county home economics agent. The exterior was designed with white glazed brick and copper roof to harmonize with the architecture of the Tyson Temple located across the street.
Mrs. Alexander H. Thomson, owner of the Old Timbers Lodge in the Jefferson Proving Grounds area, donated heavy solid oak tables, chairs, couches and desks to the library. This furniture which had been in the large room of the lodge was made at Beria College, Berea, Kentucky, and is still in use at the library, today.
Miss Mae Konkle a teacher, with Library Science credits, in the Versailles High School accepted the job as first librarian of the Tyson Library.
In 2002 a building project was commenced to nearly double the size of the existing building by adding a new addition on the west side of the original library. The addition blended the exterior with a matching brick and roof line. Inside the addition allowed for added space in the fiction and non-fiction areas, a dedicated computer area, expanded reference and video area, access for those with physical disabilities and the children's area was able to be relocated to the main floor. The lower level was then allocated to public meeting space. An official dedication ceremony for the new addition was held, May 3, 2003. Building addition project details.
The mission of the Tyson Library continues today, as established by the will of James Tyson... to provide contemporary and traditional library resources and services necessary to meet the evolving educational, recreational, and informational needs of the public, thus enhancing the individual and the community.