Anne W. Harper founded the library as a private not-for-profit agency in 1903. In 1963 a new library of about 5,000 square feet was built on Belleview Ave. The board of the Orange County Library Association elected to join the county as a county agency in 1992. Using grant funding the library purchased its first automation system, a Brodart Le Pac CD-ROM based system, in 1992. In April 1995 the Wilderness Branch Library, a 7,500 square foot facility, was opened in Locust Grove to serve the northeastern part of the county. A new automation system was installed as part of the construction. In summer 1995 the main library relocated its headquarters to the Sedwick Building and began using the new Dynix/Ameritech computer system. The move doubled the amount of space to 10,000 square feet. In March 1998 a small branch, 980 square feet, with limited hours (20 hours per week) was opened in the former Gordonsville Town Hall. In June 1998, the Library System hired its first professional cataloger, Teresa Knapp. This position uses the specialized skills learned during the Masters in Library Science degree program to create detailed records for the library’s computerized catalog. In November 1998, Dynix informed us that winter that they would be discontinuing maintenance on our system effective the end of June 1999 because the system was not Y2K compliant and could not be made to be compliant. Also in November 1998 our Library Director, Esther Blythe, who had been with the library for 10 years, retired The Library Board of Trustees approached the Board of Supervisors in February 1999 about our automation problem. They responded to our needs and after a procurement process involving competitive bidding, The Library Corporation was selected to be the vendor for the new automation system. The system was purchased on a three-year lease purchase through Suntrust Bank. In March 1999, Katie Hill was hired as the new Library Director. In July 1999 the Ameritech/Dynix system experienced a total system failure. The library operated manually until the installation of our TLC system in October 1999. In 2000, the hours at our Gordonsville Branch were expanded to 40 hours per week. In February 2001, the library installed a dedicated high-speed Internet access circuit to serve the public and staff at all three facilities. The library also launched its website at http://tlc.library.net/orange. In Summer 2001, the Library received 4 new computers for public Internet access from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the main library and 2 computers each for the Wilderness Branch and Gordonsville Branch through the Library of Virginia’s Infopowering the Commonwealth program. In August 2002, the Library System welcomed its first professional Youth Services Librarian. This position is dedicated to providing collections, programs and services for children and youth. In September 2002, Billie Crites our Library Assistant at the Gordonsville Branch was promoted from a part-time employee to a full-time employee to help handle the increased traffic at the branch. In August 2003, the Library System celebrated its centennial with record numbers and its first ever month with 30,000+ checkouts. In FY2006 the Library circulated over 300,000 items for the first time in its history. In September 2006, the Library System welcomed its first Youth Services Librarian for Young Adult Services.
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