History

History

The Ladies Improvement Association founded the Delray Beach Public Library in 1913. In 1938 the Delray Beach Public Library Association became a not-for-profit corporation to provide a public library in Delray Beach. Since 1950, our patrons have received library service through a successful public/private partnership between the City of Delray Beach and the Library Association. The City of Delray Beach has provided a large percentage of the annual operating budget and the Library Association has raised capital funds.

Delray Beach Public Library exists to enrich the lives of the individuals of Delray Beach’s diverse communities by creating and sustaining superior public library services through responsive staff, dynamic collections, appropriate technology and access to global information.

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Library History

A Century of Vital Community Education and Service

In 1913 the Delray Beach Ladies Improvement Association founded the library to improve the educational, cultural and recreational resources of the growing community. Since then the Delray Beach Public Library has enhanced the quality of life for residents and visitors by providing excellent resources, materials, programs, and engagement opportunities for more than 100 years.

Since 1939, the Delray Beach Public Library Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, has flourished as a result of its unique partnership with the City of Delray Beach. Throughout the years, the City has provided an annual operating grant to the library while the volunteer Library Association has raised additional funds to launch and enhance programs, and provide capital improvements funding. This long-standing partnership has been fundamental to the growth, success, and revitalization of both the City of Delray Beach and the Delray Beach Public Library.

1913

The Ladies Improvement Association founded the library.

delray-beach-public-library-history-founding-ladies

1939

The Library Association incorporates and agrees to manage library operations.

Statistics reported: Library open three evenings per week; one story hour per week; best sellers rented at 25¢; children’s items free; 328 registered borrowers; 605 items with circulation of 3,972.

Library Board adopted a mission statement:

build a collection meeting national standards…

development of a library as cultural center of the community…

build a building which worthily represents the place cultural activities shall hold in the life of a modern community.

1942

City awards first operating grant for $800.

1948

SE Fourth Avenue chosen as the site for the new Library.

delray-beach-public-library-history-timeline-groundbreaking

1949

Capital campaign launched and $14,000 raised.

1950

The library opens at SE Fourth Avenue with unfinished sections.

Statistics reported: 17,369 Circulation, 15,528 Collection.

delray-beach-public-library-history-timeline-facade

1960

Statistics reported: 90,137 Circulation, 21,000 Collection.

1968

New two-story addition adding 7,500 square feet is dedicated.

1970

Statistics reported: 126,492 Circulation, 34,273 Collection.

1975

Garden Room addition completed, adding space for special collections.

1980

Statistics reported: 177,993 Circulation, 54,470 Collection.

1985

Construction completed of 3,100 square foot Auditorium.

1988

Completion of renovations for children’s room, boardroom and quiet study area.

1990

Statistics reported: 211,607 Circulation, 79,032 Collection.

1994

Library’s Volunteer Program began with 8 volunteers.

1998

Awarded an Enhanced Connectivity Grant, bringing Internet access to the library.

1999

A Design Charrette is attended by over 175 residents. 100 West Atlantic Avenue is selected as the site for the new library.

2000

Statistics reported: 236,039 Circulation, 98,788 Collection.

2003

Tripartite Agreement between City of Delray Beach, Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), and the library signed.

2004

Groundbreaking ceremony held at new location.

2006

Over 2,000 citizens celebrate the public Grand Opening of new building with symbolic Book Passing Brigade and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Statistics reported: 448,701 patron visits; 9,344 new library cards issued.

2007

Library Volunteer Program celebrates its 12-year anniversary with 90 active volunteers.

Library sponsors Community Fair with 20 participating community organizations attended by over 500 citizens.

Library expands Children’s Department; relocates collections for easy access.

DVDs and music CDs added to circulating collection.

2008

CRA awards operating grant.

2009

CRA funds CRA Sundays.

Lifelong Learning Community Institute begins.

2010

Empowerment Zone opens; Teen Advisory Board formed.

2011

The new Children’s Department computer center is funded by a private donation and opens with 12 computer workstations.

Delray Beach Public Library wins the Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award from the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.

2012

April 11, 2012 begins the 100th year of operation for the library and is celebrated with the Centennial Banner Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

E-books are added to the materials collection.

2013

Delray Beach Public Library celebrates its 100th birthday on April 11, 2013.

Delray Beach Public Library nominated again for the Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award by the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.

2014

Glass wall installed on second floor of library to delineate space for business program.

2015

Foothold on the Future campaign embarks to expand the first floor Children’s Department.

2016

Children’s Department expansion completed.

1913

The Ladies Improvement Association founded the library.

delray-beach-public-library-history-founding-ladies

1939

The Library Association incorporates and agrees to manage library operations.

Statistics reported: Library open three evenings per week; one story hour per week; best sellers rented at 25¢; children’s items free; 328 registered borrowers; 605 items with circulation of 3,972.

Library Board adopted a mission statement:

build a collection meeting national standards…

development of a library as cultural center of the community…

build a building which worthily represents the place cultural activities shall hold in the life of a modern community.

1942

City awards first operating grant for $800.

1948

SE Fourth Avenue chosen as the site for the new Library.

delray-beach-public-library-history-timeline-groundbreaking

1949

Capital campaign launched and $14,000 raised.

1950

The library opens at SE Fourth Avenue with unfinished sections.

Statistics reported: 17,369 Circulation, 15,528 Collection.

delray-beach-public-library-history-timeline-facade

1960

Statistics reported: 90,137 Circulation, 21,000 Collection.

1968

New two-story addition adding 7,500 square feet is dedicated.

1970

Statistics reported: 126,492 Circulation, 34,273 Collection.

1975

Garden Room addition completed, adding space for special collections.

1980

Statistics reported: 177,993 Circulation, 54,470 Collection.

1985

Construction completed of 3,100 square foot Auditorium.

1988

Completion of renovations for children’s room, boardroom and quiet study area.

1990

Statistics reported: 211,607 Circulation, 79,032 Collection.

1994

Library’s Volunteer Program began with 8 volunteers.

1998

Awarded an Enhanced Connectivity Grant, bringing Internet access to the library.

1999

A Design Charrette is attended by over 175 residents. 100 West Atlantic Avenue is selected as the site for the new library.

2000

Statistics reported: 236,039 Circulation, 98,788 Collection.

2003

Tripartite Agreement between City of Delray Beach, Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), and the library signed.

2004

Groundbreaking ceremony held at new location.

2006

Over 2,000 citizens celebrate the public Grand Opening of new building with symbolic Book Passing Brigade and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Statistics reported: 448,701 patron visits; 9,344 new library cards issued.

2007

Library Volunteer Program celebrates its 12-year anniversary with 90 active volunteers.

Library sponsors Community Fair with 20 participating community organizations attended by over 500 citizens.

Library expands Children’s Department; relocates collections for easy access.

DVDs and music CDs added to circulating collection.

2008

CRA awards operating grant.

2009

CRA funds CRA Sundays.

Lifelong Learning Community Institute begins.

2010

Empowerment Zone opens; Teen Advisory Board formed.

2011

The new Children’s Department computer center is funded by a private donation and opens with 12 computer workstations.

Delray Beach Public Library wins the Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award from the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.

2012

April 11, 2012 begins the 100th year of operation for the library and is celebrated with the Centennial Banner Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

E-books are added to the materials collection.

2013

Delray Beach Public Library celebrates its 100th birthday on April 11, 2013.

Delray Beach Public Library nominated again for the Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award by the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.

2014

Glass wall installed on second floor of library to delineate space for business program.

2015

Foothold on the Future campaign embarks to expand the first floor Children’s Department.

2016

Children’s Department expansion completed.