Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Historic Durham library reopens this week after two-year renovation

Posted March 8, 2020 5:02 p.m. EDT

Durham mom's mini library tailored to black children

— Bragtown Branch Library closed more than two years ago in January 2018 after pipes burst during a significant snowstorm. And it reopens this week with a special day of activities and celebration.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 11, the library at 3200 Dearborn Dr., Durham, will offer some special treats, storytimes and lots of upgrades.

Here's what's planned for Wednesday:

  • 10:30 a.m. to noon: Enjoy cookies and cocoa and explore the Bookmobile
  • 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Children’s Storytime
  • 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Bilingual Storytime in English and Spanish
  • Noon to 2 p.m.: Opening Ceremony
  • 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.: Children’s activities with the MakerLab and LEGO Robotics with the Museum of Life and Science
  • 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Teen activities including button making, bag decorating, spa day, and Nintendo Switch

The updated library also will be open for 15 extra hours each week — 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays. In addition to expanded hours, Bragtown Branch Library’s main entrance from the parking lot on Ruth Street is now wheelchair accessible, according to a press release. The library also has new flooring, LED lights, drop ceiling and heating/cooling units to enhance the space and improve energy efficiency, a renovated ADA compliant restroom, a new floor plan with a designated children’s area, and new modern furniture and shelving.

“We are excited about the reopening of this valuable resource to the community!” says Bragtown Branch Library Manager Kathleen Hayes in the release.

According to the release, the original Bragtown Branch Library was founded in the early 1960s as a branch of the African American Stanford L. Warren Library to serve Northeast Durham thanks to the hard work of Bragtown community leaders and the Stanford L. Warren Library Board. On July 21, 1961, the land at Ruth Street and Dearborn Drive was deeded to the Durham Colored Library. It opened and was dedicated on March 11, 1962. In April of 1966, the Durham Colored Library merged with the Durham City-County Public Library, and Bragtown became part of the new Durham County Library system. Preservation Durham has recently identified Bragtown Library as a site of historic significance in Durham’s African American history.