Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Deansboro Library

Early on, a 500-book Library was housed in the Deansboro High School on West Hill Road, now the home of the Ruias. It was called the John C. Dean Library. The school, and the library, burned in 1931.

In 1932, the Waterville Public Library formed branch libraries in Deansboro and Stockwell. The rules, established by the State Department of Education, stated that "each community (should) form a small local committee, choosing one member to act as 'librarian' in a...private home. No payment of rent is allowed, book shelves and cases must be donated, and there is no salary." The library in Deansboro was located in Daisy Pughe's living room on Main Street.  Eleanor Dawes remembers going there to borrow books. One of the Waterville school teachers, Marion Shaver Dixon, used to bring books from the Waterville Library to the Deansboro Library.

In 1949, Eloise and Floyd Harrington (later, following the death of Mr. Harrington, Eloise Beerhalter) of the Dean Homestead offered the use of the annex of their home, which was the office of a former owner, William Hovey, who kept his records there. Eleanor Dawes was one of the first librarians, followed by Marion Pughe, Laura Eisenhut, and  Jeanette Kennard.  Lynda Harrington Williams was the first paid librarian in 1961. Ellen MacLeod took over in 1962, working summers and school vacations, with Ann MacLeod as her substitute.

In 1965, the Mid-York Library service, which was chartered in 1960, urged Waterville to join the service. Strong pressure was put on the Waterville Library Board, and it was decided to become a member. Deansboro needed to expand, however, and the Water Board offered the use of the second floor of their building (the post office was on the first floor, which used to house the Barton Hose Company). Many volunteers helped to paint, paper and get the upstairs room ready for opening. The Cub Scouts were organized to help.  An oak table from Hattie Patterson was loaned as a study table, and six chairs came from the Waterville school. Art Sanders cut off the legs of a round table to make a table for the children. Small chairs were obtained, a rocking chair was given and drapes from Maccabee Hall were donated.  Mid-York Library offered books for loan, and all was ready for a reception to celebrate the opening in July, 1965. That year also saw a 20% increase in circulation.

Ann MacLeod took over full time in 1966. In 1976 she moved to Clinton, and Joanne Bolan became librarian until she went to work full time. Ann came back in 1977 and worked until 1980.
The Library was moved when the former Deansboro Grade School (later WCS kindergarten) was sold to the Town of Marshall for $1.00 in the fall of 1975, and the building became the Town Hall. In 1980, Florence Oser from Knoxboro succeeded Ann MacLeod,  assisted by Janet Dangler. Florence retired in 1988, and was succeeded in 1989 by Fern Biederman, assisted by Chris Johnson. Fern also retired, and in 1992, Bonnie Lewis, assisted by Sharon Bennett, became the library director. Bonnie also had as an assistant Pat Shay, who succeeded her in 1997.

In 1996, the Town Hall, including the library, underwent extensive renovations, and library was closed from August to November. New shelving was put up, new windows and carpeting were installed, and an expanded children's room was implemented.  An open house was held in January, 1997.

Jacque Roys was librarian briefly in 2006; then Pat Shay took over with Anna Falin as her assistant.  When Pat moved, Margie Wilson, from the Waterville Public Library, and Anna were fixtures there. We can't forget Mary Ann Ford and Nancy Cali, who were always there: volunteers extraordinaire. There was a busy Friends of the Library group who instigated the Election Day Book Sale, with raffle baskets to benefit the library. The Book Sale and raffle go on, with a bake sale added.

In 2009, the Waterville Library Trustees held a public meeting at the Marshall Town Hall to discuss the future of the Deansboro branch and bring to the public's attention the problem that circulation in Deansboro was way down. They gave Deansboro a year to bring it up; that didn't happen, and in August, 2010, the Trustees voted to close the branch.

However, a group of dedicated volunteers, realizing that a library is an integral part of any community, resolved to keep the library going, so the library was not closed at all during that time. The Library is called the Deansboro Library and Reading Center, and is staffed entirely by volunteers. They are, from 2010 to present:
Sharon Bennett        Ann Koester                                   The library hours are:
Fern Biederman       Gloria Lollman                               Monday-6-8
Gail Blau                  Anna Rae Martin                           Tuesday-2-4
Joanne Bolan            Cassandra Martin                          Wednesday-1-3
Janet Dangler            Alice Yoxall                                 Thursday-9:30-11:30
Lori Dunn                                                                        Friday-9:30-11:30 & 2-4
Rose Evans
Anna Falin
Dave Georgius
Betty Hughes
Ann MacLeod, librarian in 1973, at the drop box of the Deansboro Library

From fifth and sixth grade classroom...
...to a library (1996)

 Every year the library holds and Book Fair at Barns and Noble, and a percentage of that day's sales goes to the Deansboro Library and Reading Center, after a certain amount is reached.  That enables the library to furnish books upon request. Many times there is a best-seller on the shelves in Deansboro that may be on hold at other libraries. Customer service is available at all libraries, but is unique in Deansboro.

No comments:

Post a Comment