History: Cary Library Celebrates 50 Years on Friday

Cary, NC – The Cary Library is having a party and everyone’s invited!

The Cary Public Library celebrates it’s 50th birthday this Friday, October 22nd.  At 7 p.m. a special after-hours event will celebrate the past, present and future of the Cary Library. Refreshments will be served and music will be performed by Chris and Gail Anderson.

Authors in the House

Mystery authors Margaret Maron and Sarah Shaber, romance author Sabrina Jefferies, and sci-fi authors David Drake, John Kessel and Mark Van Name will be there. They’ll speak about their books and what libraries have meant to them throughout their lives.

Call the Cary Library at (919) 460-3350 to register, all are welcome.

The Cary Library – A Little History

The Cary Library was founded by the Junior Women’s Club and first opened it’s doors on October 22, 1960.  It’s first location was at an empty home on 143 W. Chatham Street.

Margaret Sherwood was the first Librarian.  She cared for the library’s needs and activities around the lending of books from 1960 to 1965.

Books were loaned Monday through Saturday and story hours for children were held every Saturday morning.

In 1961 the Town of Cary took over the funding and care of the Library.  By 1962 the library had a circulation of 14,222, boasted 1,186 patrons and had 2,299 books.

In 1964 the Library moved to 126 E. Chatham Street and again moved in 1968 to 118 S. Academy Street. In 1969 the Cary Library joined the Wake County System.

After a brief stay in Cary Town Hall, the Cary Library moved to it’s current location, 310 S. Academy Street in 1977.  The present location underwent major renovation in the 1980’s, in 1993 and again in 2000.

The Present & The Future

Today the Cary Library offers online resources, research assistance, audio books, magazines, newspapers, and programs for all ages.

A 2008 Bond issue passed to replace or renovate the Cary Library to make Cary a Regional Library location with 23,000 square feet.  Looking toward the future, this renovation hopes to happen by 2016.

The current Library Manager, Liz Bartlett has been with the Cary Library since 2000.

“Fifty years of service to the community…that’s a big milestone”, says Liz Bartlett.  “Cary citizens founded the library here in town and they are what keeps us going — as customers, as volunteers, as our reason for being.  We look forward to the next 50 years and all the changes that this will bring, including we hope, a new library building sometime in the next 5-6 years. “

Photos provided by the Cary Library

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