The earliest public efforts in Tullahoma to establish library service were conducted by volunteers. The most notable being the members of the Business and Professional Women’s Club. The present library can trace its beginnings to 1947 when Camp Forest offered its book collection to any civic group that would volunteer to form a city library. The American Legion Post and The Veterans of foreign Wars agreed to participate. The county Court appropriated $621.00 for the operational budget and accepted the services of the regional system.
The following year a library board was formed and the library became the Coffee County Library. In the early 1950’s the region began servicing Manchester as a bookmobile station and by 1955 a library was established in Manchester, as a branch of the Coffee County Library. Several temporary quarters were used to house the local library and in 1962 a successful fund drive for a new building was conducted by the Civic and Service Council. A large contribution was received from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Parish and the library was named for Mrs. Parish’s father George Sharp Lannom, Jr. The county contributed $15,000 and the city gave the building lot.
In February 1980 an addition to the building doubled its size adding the present entrance. Children’s area and circulation desk area. This was again funded through the combined efforts of the county, the city, private contributions as well as LSCIA funds. A second addition was completed in 1989 which once more doubled the floor space, bringing the size of the library to 12,000 sq.ft.
The library is located in southern rural Tennessee about 75 miles southeast of Nashville. Using 1990 United States Census figures the Tennessee State Library and Archives has determined the official service area population to be 21,864. The city of Tullahoma (1990 population 16,671), supplies the majority of the library patrons, however the library also serves portions of Franklin, Moore, Bedford, and Coffee counties. The area’s largest employer is Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) which provides aeronautical test and research facilities. The remainder of the economy is divided among small manufacturing, service, retail and farming industries as small tech industries and large retirement population. Nearby educational institutions are the University of Tennessee Space Institute and Motlow State Community College. Both maintain their own libraries.
The last decade has seen small but steady population growth with no outstanding variables. Due to the high number of persons at AEDC with its local support facilities, the level of education and income is above average for a midsize Tennessee town.