Miss Mae Hawkins was the first librarian. She resigned in October, 1941, and was replaced by Miss Mary Barksdale, who resigned a year later. Miss Josephine Du Puy, who had been raised in Lynchburg, Virginia and taken classes at Columbia University, the University of Virginia, and the College of William and Mary “to prepare her for her life’s work,” became the librarian in Radford in 1942. She had been working in Richmond for the extension services of the state library before she came to Radford.
When Miss Du Puy took over the library in 1942, it was being operated by the United States Government as a defense project for the recreation of defense workers at the “powder plant.” The Radford Recreation building was built as a WPA project in 1941, and the library occupied 1 room in the building with about 1,700 square feet. In 1943, the WPA withdrew its assistance, but the previous year, the General Assembly of Virginia had voted to provide support in the form of state aid to local public libraries.