Library celebrates 70 years

By Amanda Dodson -

Danbury Public Library has been a staple in Stokes County and recently celebrated its 70th year serving the community.

“Seventy years is a long time,” said current librarian Lisa Lawless. “Seventy years ago World War II was still going on. I don’t think people realize how long we’ve been here and we’re proud of that.”

The library commemorated the milestone on June 14 with a slideshow providing a glimpse into its history when it was awarded $45.00 to set up a collection of books in an old bank vault staffed with eager volunteers. The event also paid tribute to its three former librarians, Elizabeth Smith (1946-1977), Geneva Harris (1978-1999) and Nora Lankford (1978-2015).

In 1947, the library launched the Bookmobile and sent it through the bending roads of Stokes. The converted bread truck delivered books to shut-ins, young people and those unable to drive. That deep-rooted tradition still remains today.

“It’s based at this location and our driver is all over the county,” Lawless said. “She goes to daycares and rest homes. She makes visits to individuals if someone can’t get out or it they can’t see good enough to drive. If anyone would like a stop all you have to do is call and she’ll get you on the schedule.”

Over the years the Bookmobile has expanded its route along with its collection of large print books for seniors.

“Ebooks are also great because you can change the text size and it can be gotten directly off our website at no charge. You can just key it into your device.”

Lawless shares a love of literature with many of the patrons who visit throughout the week.

“When I was growing up I lived in the library,” she said. “When I turned 16 and got my driver’s license, the first place I drove was to the library.”

Today, as a librarian Lawless watches children share that same enthusiasm she felt at a young age.

“Children are so exposed to technology so to have something tangible they can hold is a completely different experience,” she said. “Books are revered for a reason. They’re special. You can pick it up and jump into a different time period. You can be in a different world and there’s no batteries required.”

Lawless believes Danbury’s library will still have much to offer in years to come.

“I hope we keep expanding. I want every person to have a book in their hand. In 70 years there’s only been four librarians and I’m honored to have been chosen for this position. I just hope to carry the torch as long as I can.”

Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson. photos photos

By Amanda Dodson

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