INC NEWS - Grand Reopening of Stanford L. Warren Library
randy at 27beverly.com
Thu Aug 31 16:46:03 EDT 2006
PR from DCL and FODL.
Event: Grand Reopening of Stanford L. Warren Branch
Commemoration of 90th Anniversary of Durham
Date/Time: Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006, at 9 a.m.
Location: 1201 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC
Cost: Free and open to the public
Library to Celebrate Reopening of Stanford L. Warren
and Commemorate 90th Anniversary of Durham Colored Library
DURHAMDurham County Library will reopen Stanford L. Warren Branch Library
and commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Durham Colored Library with a
celebration at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at 1201 Fayetteville St. The
facility is reopening after an expansion and transformation that was
described as restoration, renovation, renewal. The entire community is
invited to the free celebration, which will mark the rebirth of the
facility and venerate the founders of the Durham Colored Library and all
who ensured library services for blacksbenefactors, volunteers and
staffthroughout the 1900s.
The renovation and expansion of the library included a reconfiguration of
the space that moved all of the collections and services to the upper
floor and brought the Selena Warren Wheeler Collection into the public
area from closed stacks. The Wheeler Collection is an extensive
compilation of black literature, culture and history that is recognized as
one of the best collections in the South.
The updated layout and the addition of almost 1,500 square feet
incorporate a number of design elements to continue and build on the
librarys reputation as a center of community life. Accessibility and
mobility have been improved with the new entrance on Simmons Street and
the installation of anelevator. The high traffic areas are now inside the
new lobby, so that patrons who are reading or conducting research will not
be disturbed. Having all collections and services on the main floor
improves staff efficiency, security and patron accessibility. The
lower-level meeting room has been upgraded to better serve groups of all
sizes, both during and after library hours. A partition in the meeting
room allows for smaller meetings to be conducted simultaneously, and a
separate access means that meetings can continue or be held outside of
regular library hours. The renovated branch also includes two new study
rooms and a larger tutoring room on the lower level.
The design team for the Stanford L. Warren renovation and expansion
project included Durham County Library staff, Durham County Engineering
Department and Little Diversified Architectural Consulting. The general
contractor was D.W. Ward Construction Co. Inc.
Stanford L. Warren Library, which is on the National Register of Historic
Places, opened Jan. 17, 1940. The board of the Durham Colored Library
Association, which operated the Durham Colored Librarythe second black
library in North Carolinavoted to name the new building for its
benefactor, Dr. Warren, who gave $4,000 to purchase the land on which the
The Durham Colored Library sprang from a library organized by Dr. Aaron
McDuffie Moore in a borrowed room at the original location of the White
Rock Baptist Church in 1913. In 1916, it moved to a building owned by
John Merrick, a friend and business partner of Moores, on the corner of
Fayetteville and Pettigrew streets. Soon after, the Library erected a
small building and hired Hattie B. Wooten as its first library director.
The Durham Colored Library opened Aug. 14, 1916. In March 1939, the board
resolved to borrow $25,000 from North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co.
to build a new Library. Warrens gift secured the site. The annex to the
building was built in 1949-1950. Stanford L. Warren Library merged with
the Durham County Library system in 1966. In 1968, the facility was
renovated, with the construction of a new entrance. Another renovation
occurred in 1984.
Throughout the years, the directors of the Durham Colored Library/Stanford
L. Warren Public Library, including Wooten, Selena Warren Wheeler and Ray
Nichols Onnie Moore, created a vibrant library and were instrumental in
raising expectations for quality library services that would reach every
citizen in Durham County. After the merger, Mrs. Moore became assistant
director of the Durham City-County Public Library and served in that role
until her death in 1975.
Brenda Watson, manager of Stanford L. Warren Branch, would like for
patrons to document their memories of the library for the Book of
Remembrances that is part of Warrens permanent collection. Pages for
the book will be available at the ceremony.
As part of the celebration, everyone is invited to contribute to Durhams
historical record. Photographs or other memorabilia related to life in
Durham or its history and culture, especially that of Hayti and other
traditionally black neighborhoods, can be shared with staff and volunteers
from the Durham County Librarys North Carolina Collection in the meeting
room at Warren between 10 a.m. and noon the day of the celebration and the
following Thursday, Sept. 14, between 5 and 8 p.m. A selection of the
photographs collected will be included in the Durham Historic Photographic
Archives, which is part of the Durham County Library Web site:
Photographs will be copied and returned to the owners on the spot.
According to Lynn Richardson, local history librarian, contributors will
receive a free scan of each photo. In addition, she encourages donations
of historical papersthe stuff that accumulates in peoples basements and
attics. The local history collection welcomes donations of neighborhood
newsletters, church bulletins, graduation programs, political campaign
literature, personal letters, scrapbooks, minutes of meetings of local
clubs and associations and other items of local interest. These materials
will become a permanent part of the North Carolina Collection, which is
used not only by Durhamites, but also by people from all over the state
and the country.
Durham Colored Library Inc., the organization that in 1918 received a
charter from the state of North Carolina to operate the black library,
remains active to this day. The organization continues to publish the
Merrick/Washington Braille Magazine and still supports the Stanford L.
Warren Branch Library. Its board includes James A. Welch, president; C.
Eileen Watts Welch, vice president/treasurer (great-granddaughter of
library organizer Dr. Moore); Nathan Garrett Sr., secretary; Melva
Washington Toomer, chair of the organizations Merrick/Washington Braille
Magazine Project; and Ida Daniel Dark, member-at-large. Toomers father,
John Carter Washington, and Lyda Moore Merrick (daughter of Dr. Moore),
longtime Stanford L. Warren Library Board president, co-founded the
magazinethen known as the Negro Braille Magazinein 1951 as an outgrowth
of the Librarys Corner for the Blind, where Mrs. Merrick volunteered to
read to blind citizens for many years.
Stanford L. Warren Branch Library has its own Friends group, which was
organized in 1984. Andre Vann is president of the Friends of Stanford L.
Warren Branch Library.
Durham County Library strives to provide the entire community with books,
services and other resources that inform, inspire learning, cultivate
understanding and excite the imagination.
# # #
Additional historical information and photographs can be obtained from:
Lynn Richardson, North Carolina Collection librarian, 560-0171 or
lrichard at co.durham.nc.us
Stanford L. Warren Branch Library, 77 Years of Public Service: A Phoenix
in the Durham Community, by Beverly Washington Jones; six circulating
copies are available at Durham County Library and two copies are part of
the North Carolina Collection at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St. in
The History of Public Library Service in Durham, North Carolina: 1897 to
1997, by Jessica Harland-Jacobs; eight circulating copies are available
at Durham County Library and two copies are part of the North Carolina
Collection at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St. in downtown Durham.
Durhams Hayti, part of the Black America Series, by Andre Vann and Dr.
Beverly Washington Jones; five circulating copies are available at Durham
County Library and two copies are part of the North Carolina Collection at
the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St. in downtown Durham.
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