Dundee ceremony set for Friday

Apr 26, 2023 at 09:23 pm by Observer-Review

DUNDEE--The Dundee Public Library will recognize its founders and their vision at a ceremony Friday, April 28 at 1 p.m.  During the event, a New York State Historic Marker will be placed. Refreshments will be offered in the Tripp Community Room following the ceremony. The event is open to the public with complimentary admission.
“The marker honors the women who started the library,” said Library Director Linda Nichols. “As a woman that’s important to me. The opportunities for the community to have a library like this are huge. We are a community center.”
Today’s library found its roots when a group of women in the early 1900s decided to study civic government. They combined personal literary collections and purchased new materials using membership dues. The library originally opened above the community’s former bank, but was moved to its present location when in 1917 when Delia Cooper died and bequeathed her house and lot on Water Street to be used for a library and educational purposes.
“The gift came with the stipulation that a new building be erected,” said Nichols. “The Cooper house was moved and a library was built. It was a really different world for women at that time. They were certainly a determined group.”
The library was run by a group of women until 2000 when a governing board was formed, but the mission of the library has remained constant.
“We have reading materials for pleasure and learning,” said Nichols. “The original group of women studied more than just civics. Their interests were broad. The collection included materials on philanthropy and Mormonism, for example. We’ve maintained that commitment to a broad range of subjects.”
Since its founding, though, the library has grown. Two major renovations – in 1979 and 2020 – have increased the library’s capacity to serve patrons with new technologies and other amenities. During the most recent transformation, a meeting/community room was constructed.
“We completed the most recent renovation during COVID,” said Nichols. “We couldn’t be open and much of the construction was done outside. We have accommodated more than 300 reservations in the Tripp Community Room since opening it in 2021.”
Today’s library serves about 6,000 people and approximately one-third are card-carrying members.
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