Cary Community Library

310 South Academy Street
Cary, NC 27511


History :

The Cary Public Library first opened its doors for service on October 22, 1960 at 143 West Chatham Street. The founding impetus of the library was the Cary Junior Women's Club, which had secured a $3,000 award from the North Carolina Library Commission. Mrs. Margaret L. Sherwood, who served as the first librarian, reported that 7,140 books were checked out that year. In July of 1961, the Town of Cary began funding the library operations.

In 1964 the Library moved to upstairs quarters at 126 E. Chatham Street. The Cary Jaycettes helped with the renovation and move. It was also in 1964 that the Cary Friends of the Library group was formed in order to provide continuing support for the library program.

Mrs. Polly Williams succeeded as librarian in 1965, and as the library collection and use continued to grow, the Library Board began to search for new facilities.

In 1968 the Library moved again, this time to a location at 118 S. Academy St., where it remained for five years. In 1969 the Cary Library joined with the Wake County Public Library system in order to better provide services for the local community. The tremendous popularity of the Library was evident when in 1972-73 the Cary Library circulated over 63,000 items.

The Library moved to its fourth "temporary" quarters in 1973, this time to the location at 145 W. Chatham Street. Mrs. Joyce Antrim was the librarian. It was at this time that a movement began among the citizens of Cary who were determined to build a "permanent" library. Through their efforts, in 1974 a $750,000 library bond issue was passed.

Because of growth, the space for books, people and programs was limited. The Cary Library was forced to move again, back to Academy Street, this time into the new Town Hall. Mrs. Carol Frushour served as librarian during this period.

In the fall of 1976 construction began for a brand-new building located at 310 S. Academy Street. On October 23, 1977 the dedication ceremony officially opened the Library to the people of Cary, almost 27 years to the day from its original beginnings.

More than 40 years later, the Library is still going strong. It has been at its present location for 23 years. Over the years, many Librarians have served at the Cary Library, including: Barbara Buescher, Dale Cousins, Mike Wasilick, Terri Luke, Janet Lockhart, and current Branch Manager, Liz Bartlett.

Now, in the year 2000, the collection tops 115, 000 books, and more than 53,000 books are checked out each month. Whatever changes have occurred throughout the past 40 years, the Library and its public have remained loyal and committed to each other. In fact, this is affirmed each day, showing that the Cary Public Library truly lives in the "Heart of Cary".

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