Archive for the ‘Main Library’ Category


Vote for Your Book!

July 5, 2011

It was Jay O’Berski’s idea to poll the public for the 2011 Banned Books Onstage on Sept. 24 at Main Library. We loved the suggestion to get the library audience involved in selecting the books.

For the third year running, Jay O’Berski and Dana Marks will lead a troupe of professional actors in this production by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern. Jay says, “What better way to support a community’s love of reading than by bringing their favorite stories to life?” You can vote for your favorite books at this link and help spread the word by inviting your friends to vote too.

In the past, the troupe chose from a list of books that were banned from schools, libraries and bookstores. They selected seven to 10 scenes to mount a thrilling performance that celebrates our freedom to read. Most memorable for me was Michael Goolsby’s interpretation of And Tango Makes Three. This children’s book is based on a true story about two male penguins raising a chick together. Goolsby’s emotion and palpable desire for a family wrenched my heart. This banned book has been called anti-family and unsuited for young children.

Please vote and prepare to open your mind and heart on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. in the Main Library auditorium. In a 90-minute, professionally-staged performance – costumes, live music, professional lighting – you will directly experience the language, emotions, insights and perspectives of the banned works. A talk-back with the actors will follow the performance.

Anastasia Bush, Durham County Library Grant Writer


Meet the Author: Jean Bradley Anderson

May 24, 2011

Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Durham County Library, Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro Rd. (map and directions)
Contact Information: Joanne Abel 560-0268 or joanneabel@durhamcountync.govCover of Durham County by Jean Bradley Anderson

For the past twenty-one years, those of us with questions about Durham’s history have made a beeline for one book: Jean Bradley Anderson’s Durham County, first published in 1990 by our friends at the Duke University Press.

Now, Mrs. Anderson’s second edition of Durham County, released in April, tells Durham’s history up to the end of the twentieth century.

To celebrate, the Duke University Archives has joined with the Durham County Library to present an afternoon with Jean Bradley Anderson. Join us at the Durham County Library’s Main Library, where Mrs. Anderson will discuss this monumental book, as well as interesting and surprising moments in her research. She’ll also answer questions from the audience—so here’s your chance to ask the expert historian everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Durham! A book signing and refreshments will follow the discussion.

Can’t make the event? Leave us a comment and let us know what you’d like to ask Jean!


Main Library – “Main Street”

April 29, 2009

The Main Library is ready for its close up.

As you may know, the Main Library will be closed this Friday, May 1, so that the Main Street Film Company can shoot a scene from the movie here.

Of course, I never make a decision to close a library facility lightly. If budget and staff levels allowed, I would have the library open more hours on more days of the week. But every once in awhile, an opportunity comes up that warrants a second look and a change in plans. A number of County sites and facilities were pressed into service for the making of this movie, and when the request came through to use the Main Library, I had a choice to make.

After carefully weighing the benefits of having the library featured in a major motion picture against the inconvenience of closing a facility for a day, I decided that the long-term benefits were worth it. Movies help to put communities on the map, and Durham has certainly made this work to its advantage. This is the 19th movie to be shot in Durham. The state of North Carolina even has an incentive program to encourage movie production here. We’re proud that our community and your library will be seen on screens across the country.

The short-term inconvenience has a long-term payoff for Durham in another way as well: The Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the economic impact of filming a movie with Durham as the primary location at more than $4.5 million. We are happy to do our part to encourage that kind of financial boost for our community during these tough economic times.

For the use of the library, Main Street Film Company will cover all expenses incurred with the closure, and they are making a generous donation of $1,000 to the Durham Library Foundation.

I hope you will take this opportunity to visit our Stanford L. Warren Library. If you have never been before, you are missing a historic jewel and a beautiful library. And look for the Durham County Main Library coming soon to a theatre near you . . .


Main Library Planning Progresses . . .

November 3, 2008


Over the past few months, Library and County Engineering staff worked with architects and community members to craft a program plan for the renovation of the Main Library.  We are seeking additional input from the Board of Trustees, County Administration, and County Commissioners. When finalized, the program plan will form the basis of a design and construction project to complete a renaissance of regional library services that began a decade ago.


Public comments from the July 29 meeting are posted at:

In addition to verbal comments people made at the meeting, you can read what people wrote down in response to these questions:


1.  What is the best role of the Main Library in the Durham County Library system?

2.  How can the Main Library better relate to the city?

3.  What is the one thing you would change at Main Library?

4.  Other comments



Second Community Meeting on the Main Library

September 29, 2008

Last Thursday evening, SmithGroup architects Chris Brasier and Bill Ash, along with consulting library architects Ed Lazaron and Jeffrey Scherer, presented concepts for ways the Main Library could be renovated.  A good summary of that meeting was posted by Kevin Davis on his blog Bull City Rising.  See

The PowerPoint slide show is now available at  You’ll see some very interesting visual depictions of ways the Downtown Loop could be reconfigured, and we may learn other ways once a study gets under way by the City of Durham in a few months.  In addition, you’ll see concepts for replacing the two entrances with a single entrance on the Liberty Street side, some great photos of program ideas such as study rooms, casual reading areas, special graphics and creative play areas in the Children’s Library, Teen Zones, etc.  Enjoy!

A final report will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners later this year.


Communication To & From the Community

September 23, 2008

Members of the Durham community are providing lots of input for County staff, including Library and Engineering staff, and our architect consultants.  Thank you!

Our architects will share the information they have gathered at the forum this Thursday – 5:00-6:30pm, Main Library Auditorium. Chris Brasier of SmithGroup, Inc. describes the process as one of listening and refining. The architects heard what staff and the public had to say about what we would like to see in the new Main Library. They have taken that information and have begun to put together the building blocks of the program plan. On Thursday they will present what they’ve learned and will take additional feedback in order to further refine the plan.

The architects have not given us materials in advance of Thursday’s forum, however the slideshow will be available online at some point after the meeting. The slideshow from the first forum is on our website at

See you soon!


One More Community Meeting @ Main Library

September 3, 2008

Join us Thursday, Sept. 25 from 5:00 to 6:30pm at the Main Library auditorium to hear what our architects have learned from you and from their study of the Main Library.  It’s another chance to give your suggestions and ideas for what you want in the renovation.  See you in a few weeks!