"Libraries are places in which people develop a real love of books and can access information, but they are also at the very hearts of their communities. They can be exciting places in which you can encounter music,drama,sculpture, or any kind of art, somewhere that sparks an interest that might just become a real passion".

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England 2012

The Public Libraries Act 1850 was an act of the United Kingdom Parliament which first gave local boroughs the power to establish free public libraries The Claydon Libraries are a note worthy example, Middle Claydon adopted the Act in 1893,and this was the first village public library in England Botolph and Steeple Claydon adopted the Acts in 1897 and 1901 respectively.

Their establishment and flourishing condition are almost wholly due to Sir Edmund and Lady Margaret Verney, who first of all had to persuade the villagers that they wanted a library, and then to teach them what good books really were. Their talented daughters acted as librarians.

Florence Nightingale who was a regular visitor to Claydon House (her elder sister Parthenope married Harry Verney) gave £50.00 to Steeple Claydon Library by way of a cheque from Sir H Verney. It is at present on the wall in the Library the cement surround is inscribed "I think a Public Library is good for body and soul. That God's Blessing may rest upon. This is the fervent wish of Florence Nightingale". The deeds to the Library were handed over to the Parish Council by Major R Verney. in 1955.