DEL NORTE- After almost three months with their doors shut like other businesses and organizations in Del Norte, the Del Norte Public Library (DNPL) will be reopening to the public while practicing social distancing, increased cleaning schedules and abiding by other COVID-19 restrictions.
According to DNPL Director Susan Williams, the library opened Monday, June 1, at regular business hours which are as follows, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from noon until 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. “We will be limiting patrons to no more than five inside at a time and a limit of two on computers,” wrote Williams.
The library is actually celebrating its 105 birthday this year and is eager to get their doors reopened to the public. The original building was constructed in 1915 after the land where the library currently located, was donated by Mr. August Weiss in 1914. The building was completed in November 1915 and welcomed the first librarian Flora Haffy. The library association raised funding through bazaars, bake sales, plays and dinners, using the funds to purchase books and materials for the residents of the area.
Before the building being built in 1915, the Del Norte Library was located in the private residence of Mrs. S.A. Thomas. Thomas opened her home to patrons one day a week and allowed them to barrow books that had been generously donated from other residents. According to the history, the library became too large for the small room in the Thomas residence and had to be moved several times before Weiss offered to donate land for a building.
The building still has the original windows, fireplace and masonry that were built in 1915. It wasn’t until 1983 that the 1,225 square foot addition was constructed on the north end of the original building. It was later in 2002 that the original owners of the establishment, the King’s Daughters requested a feasibility study to be completed on the library in hopes of expanding the structure to the west.
Not long after the feasibility study was completed the last of the King’s Daughters passed away, leaving the entire endowment to the Del Norte Public Library to ensure its survival and continued support of the community. The study stated that the original structure is in serviceable condition having lasted over 100 years with minimal change or damage but was in need of additional space.
The community of Del Norte has relied on the library for several services throughout the years and with the help of the library board, employees and Williams, they will hopefully get back to what is deemed the new normal soon. “We will resume courier services as soon as the courier gets back up and running. Once the courier starts, we can turn on holds for inter-library loans again,” explained Williams. They will also still work with patrons and offer curbside assistance if needed. For more information or to reserve a book, please contact the library at 719-657-2633.