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EDITORIAL: At 50, DeWitt's library is just getting started

When the DeWitt Community Library turns 50 on April 8, in no way will it be “over the hill.”

What started in 1962 as a library of 600 books has become so much more — a community center of sorts, offering story times for kids, family friendly movie nights, info sessions on topics ranging from local food fare to health care options and space for groups such as the CNY Scrabble Club to meet.

DeWitt Community Library continues to get better with age by embracing new technologies. Not only is the library on the cutting edge of trends such as eReader loaning, its staff is encouraging its patrons to get on board by offering courses on the device. The library has reached out to the older crowd with a new educational column called “Technically Speaking,” which runs bi-weekly in the Eagle Bulletin.

As the library approaches year 50, with plans to move out of ShoppingTown Mall, now seems as good a time as ever to reflect on some of its most pivotal moments:

1962: DeWitt Community Library opens in the ShoppingTown plaza with just 600 books.

1973: The library moves to the lower level of ShoppingTown Mall.

1978-1979: The staff keeps busy putting barcode labels on library items to prepare for its first automated system.

1982: The library acquires one Apple II computer — its first public access computer — with a donation from Omnifax and DeWitt Rotary.

1986: Voters in the Jamesville-DeWitt School District are able to vote on the library budget for the first time.

1995: The library undergoes an extensive renovation, adding space for the teen area and remodeling the Children’s Room.

2000: The Friends of the DCL is founded.

2001: The library’s first web site and computer network is launched.

2004: The library adds a second meeting room facility.

2008: Due to the mall’s expansion plans, the library is moved to its current location as a temporary home while trustees search for a permanent facility.

2010: The DCL Board of Trustees initiates an extensive strategic planning process to develop a road map for the future of the library. More than 600 people offer feedback.

2011: The DCL becomes the first library in the county system to offer Nook eReaders with pre-loaded content.

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Claire 2 years, 8 months ago

You can see some photos of the DeWitt Community Library on their New York Heritage collection page. The collection includes an original library card from the 1960s, shots of their original interior, and images from their 10th anniversary celebration in 1972.

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