Library History



Ground Breaking for the new Cliffdale Branch in March.

Cliffdale Branch (18,000 square feet) opens on March 16. Eutaw Branch closes on March 28. Computer dial-up to Library’s catalog introduced.

New Hope Mills Branch (11,200 square feet) opens on June 6. Censorship controversy over two children’s books (Daddy’s Roommate and Heather Has Two Mommies) begins in September. $11.4 million library bond referendum passes narrowly in November for five new branch libraries of 12,000 square feet each.

Proposed new Library branches on hold due to lawsuit by Citizens For Sound Government. Second generation of Library’s central automated circulation and inventory system installed in January.

NC State Court of Appeals rules than Library bond vote stands and can move ahead with branches. New bookmobile ribbon cutting on June 23, 1994. Local Area Network of CD-ROM electronic resources established at Headquarters with four computer workstations in September. Library’s Strategic Planning Committee publishes Meeting the Challenge - The Public Library In the 21st Century. "Read To Me" program approved by Smart Start.

Customer initiated holds on library materials via the OPAC begun in February. Internet Express gopher was unveiled on OPAC’s in April. "MOTHEREAD" program approved by Smart Start. First summer reading club for teenagers (“Teen Read") conducted. Separate telephone reference service was implemented at the Headquarters Library in July. New "Teen Space" created at Headquarters Library in August. Seven and half acre site for future North Regional Branch purchased in September. Sunday hours begun at Cliffdale Branch in September.

Bordeaux Branch celebrates tenth anniversary. Library’s World Wide Web Internet home page (http:/// goes up February 14. Bordeaux Branch parking expanded by 48 spaces in May. Ground breaking for new North Regional Branch held on October 23. Commissioners approve purchase of eight acre site for new East Regional Branch in August. Public access computer terminals at the Headquarters Library increased from four to twelve in August. SearchBank electronic magazine articles available in April. Year round Sunday service and Thursday night hours were approved by Trustees for Headquarters and Cliffdale Branch in October. Non Resident fee of $25 established by Trustees in October. Video collections added to all branches. Telephone reference service expanded from 15 to 40 hours a week. Library Art Directory was published.

Public access computer terminals are available at Cliffdale (four), Bordeaux (two) and Hope Mills (two). Library’s CD-ROM reference products triple to 50 titles. Library first regular cable television program stared in April. Cataloging and processing of books outsourced from Technical Services. Headquarters Computer Lab created. Central automated circulation and inventory system upgraded to handle new branches. Bids for new East Regional Branch (21,000 square feet) approved by Commissioners totaling $2,853,609 in August. Ground breaking for new East Regional Branch held on September 24. State Library decides to discontinue the NC Foreign Language Center by June 30, 1998.

In February 1998, the Library is awarded a Gates Library Foundation Opportunity Grant totaling $36,300 to add 12 additional public computer terminals (installed in Oct. 1998) at Headquarters Library. New North Regional Branch (24,000 square feet) opens February 21. In November, the Branch won the "Best Newly Constructed Facility" award from the NC Public Library Directors Association. Ground breaking for new Spring Lake Branch (12,000 square feet) on April 13. North Carolina Libraries for Virtual Education (NC-LIVE) unveiled on April 14. Commissioners approve staffing and operating costs for new East Regional and Spring Lake Branches in June for budget year 1998-99. New subscription service for deposit collections and expedited interlibrary loan of Foreign Language materials with North Carolina public libraries begun in July. Library reorganization with new Public Services and Operations Services Divisions begun in September. A coffee bar for the public was opened in October at the Headquarters Library off the lobby.

The new East Regional Branch Library (21,000 square feet) opens on February 13. The location replaces the East Fayetteville and Stedman Branches. The coffee bar at the Headquarters Library closes in May due to lack of business. The new Spring Lake Branch Library (12,000 square feet), sharing the site with the newly constructed Spring Lake Family Resource Center, opens on June 19. It replaces the Spring Lake Branch on Spring Avenue. In May, the library offers a "juvenile library card" option to parents for children birth through 15 years of age. On July 31, the AIA North Carolina awards Shuller Ferris Lindstrom + Associates a merit award for the design of the North Regional Branch Library. NC LIVE service (NC LIVE@home) is made available to the public via home computer in November. Also in November, the Library begins a Strategic Planning process which will culminate in a document to direct/lead the library into the 2nd Millennium. In December, the Library receives a $400,000 bequest from the estate of Mrs. Elizabeth Shirley. It is the largest gift the Library has ever received. The Library initiates its first E-mail-only computer terminal for the non-cardholding public in December. In early December, CCPL&IC receives two awards from the North Carolina Public Library Director's Association -- one, the "Outstanding New Facility" award for the East Regional Branch library; the other, "Outstanding Staff Development Program" for the systematic approach to meeting the staff training needs of the library system with a series of training modules.

In January 2000, Library Director Jerry A. Thrasher receives the LIBRARY JOURNAL "Librarian of the Year - 1999" award in San Antonio, Texas at the mid-winter meeting of the American Library Association. In May, the Library Board of Trustees approves the library's "Long-Range Plan for 2001-2005" with its mission: Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center provides county residents with current materials, answers to questions, opportunities to meet and interact, student support, and information skills assistance. The new slogan for the library system states we are "the very best place to start for learning and discovery."

The Library received a federal grant of $54,606 to automate public computer sign-in, as well as network printing for these computers at all library locations. Library service hours were reduced 9% on July 1 due to a 15% local budget reduction. A federal grant for $36,840 was received to purchase Spanish language materials and to publicize our services to the growing Hispanic community. The second annual library author program featured investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, author of the best-seller Fast Food Nation on November 5. A private donation of $5,000 was used to establish an e-mail overdue and hold notices to save postage, supplies and staff time.The Answer Book was last printed as a publication in 2001. The Answer Book is now available in only the online version on the library’s website.

A grant of $2,500 was used to purchase materials by and about Charles W. Chesnutt and his era. The tenth anniversary of the Hope Mills Branch Library facility was celebrated on June 6. The library’s website was redesigned and unveiled in September. Nicholas Sparks was featured at the Friends of the Library third annual author program in October.

The Cameo Theatre hosted their fifth annual “Big O Party” to benefit the Friends of the Library in March. The 43rd Medical Support Group at Pope Air Force Based donated fifty computer monitors to the library. The Library hosted Operation Home Front Care Line beginning in March to handle non emergency calls from military families who had soldiers deployed to the Middle East. Thermal receipt printers were installed in May at all library locations to provide a detailed list of all materials borrowed. By June 30 16,300 library customers had registered their e-mail accounts for electronic overdue and hold notices. In October, Doug Marlette, Pulitzer-prize winning editorial cartoonist and author of The Bridge, was the profiled speaker at the 4th Annual Friends of the Library author program

Public Services Manager Gail Terwilliger was recognized in January for a national "New York Times Librarian Award" - one of only two librarians selected from the southeastern United States. "NCknows" virtual reference online chat service began in February. The Library's 2003 printed annual report received national recognition from the Library Public Relations Council in June in Orlando, Florida. The library received three federal LSTA grants in June: $49,340 for a library marketing campaign, $17,325 for a mobile computer training lab, and $15,000 for a library five-year planning process grant. The Spring Lake Branch celebrated its fifth anniversary in June. Bookmobile services were reorganized in June to concentrate on nursing homes, rest homes, assisted living centers, senior centers and rehabilitation service facilities. In July, the library unveiled the new automation system (the Virtua system of VTLS) and online catalog named "LeoCat." The library's five-year planning process began in July and was completed in December. The Friends donated $31,420.46 to the Library Endowment Trust in July - the final allocation from the estate of Elizabeth M. Shirley. Fourteen hundred people attended the "Celebration of Hispanic Culture" in September to enjoy music, dance and displays from many Latin American countries. An online web publication, "A Century of Cumberland County Schools: 1850 - 1950" was posted in September on the library's website. Cliffdale, East and North Regional Branch libraries increased their service hours from 52 to 59 in October and November. Author Kaye Gibbons was the featured speaker at the fifth annual author event in October. The library received three of seven public relations awards at the centennial conference of the North Carolina Library Association in October. Friends of the library ended 2004 with a record 467 members.

The Library’s new mobile computer training lab became operational in February. The unit includes eleven laptop computers, a printer, wireless equipment and a large metal container on wheels to house and transport the lab to our six branches for public computer training. This lab was secured through a federal Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant. Effective May 1 2005, downloadable audio books became the newest library public service. Library customers can download as many as six audio books over the internet from home or work from the library’s website to their personal computer or MP3 player. CCPL&IC sponsored the Chamber’s “Business After Hours” on May 26. In partnership with FTCC, the library shared its Spring Lake Library resources and services with students attending classes at FTCC’s Spring Lake campus, while FTCC funded a Librarian I position for the Spring Lake Branch Library. In June 2005 the library was notified it had received two Library Services & Technology (LSTA) Grants: 1) a $25,000 LSTA grant to replace the 28 aging Headquarters public services computers, and 2) a $15,000 LSTA grant to hire a library consultant firm to undertake a branch library development assessment through the year 2030. In July 2005 the Library’s new Five Year Plan, approved by the Library Board of Trustees in January, took effect. On July 2005 the pedestrian bridge was installed behind the Headquarters Library across Cross Creek to the new Linear Park. The bridge was part of Cumberland County Government participation in developing the park and linking it to the library system. Headquarters acquired new “Library” signage and a new entrance sign in September. In October, Cliffdale service hours were fully restored (from 59 to 70 hours per week). The library was the recipient of a Bill and Melinda Gates grant of $21,000 to purchase replacement computers for the Headquarters Library. In November the Library received a Bill and Melinda Gates Grant that was supplemented by the North Carolina State Library for a total of $29,259 to purchase computers and related equipment for our branch libraries. The library’s website got a new look in November that was designed by BizToolsOne. Major General Sidney Shachnow, author of Hope and Honor was the featured speaker at the 6th annual Friends of the Library author event in November. The library unveiled its wireless network (Wi-Fi) called “LeoSpot” in December 2005. LeoSpot allows library visitors to any public library facility free access to the library’s Internet connection using their personal laptop computers. Our library was awarded two 2005 programming awards for large public libraries on December 1 at the annual awards banquet of the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association in Charlotte. One award was for “North Carolina Craft Fest” (Outstanding Children’s Program Award) and the other was for “William Bartram: Philosopher, Naturalist and Poet” (Outstanding Adult Program Award).

The Bordeaux Branch library celebrated its 20th anniversary in its current facility on January 28. During February eighteen Resource Terminals (OPACs) were replaced with newer computers with funds from a Gates Foundation grant. Phase One of the Cross Creek Linear Park was unveiled behind the Headquarters Library with a ribbon cutting on March 24. Nationally renowned Broadway producer Philip Rose, producer of “A Raisin in the Sun,” “The Owls and the Pussycat,” and other plays, was the featured speaker at the Headquarters Library on April 4 to talk about his career and read from his book, You Can’t Do That on Broadway. The Library Branch Development Study to assess current and future branch library needs was approved by the Library Trustees in May and presented to the Board of County Commissioners and county management staff in September. The study recommends the development of three Area Branches of 18,000 square feet each during the coming years. The Headquarters Library celebrated its 20th anniversary with an anniversary reception on June 1 (the actual anniversary) and a “birthday bash” on June 3. The library’s new Mobile Outreach van began service in June with a new 2006 F250 Ford Cargo Van that was purchased with state funds. The “Joy Ride,” as the vehicle was named in a public contest, replaces the aging and expensive-to-operate and maintain bookmobile. Replacement customer counters were installed at the entrance of all library locations in May and June to give a more accurate count of persons entering and using library facilities. The Library Public Relations Council (LPRC), a national organization, announced in June that two promotional pieces developed by the Community Relations Department were selected to be distributed to the LPRC’s entire national membership as part of its “Share the Wealth” competition. The library’s January 2006 Calendar of Events and a sign promoting a program by Dr. Elliot Engel were selected. The library’s Teen Summer Reading Club brochure was the winner in the “Best of Show” competition in the Young Adult Reading Club Materials category, sponsored by the Library Administrators and Management Association Public Relations Swap and Shop event, during the American Library Association national conference in New Orleans in June. Also, the library received a second place honorable mention for Children’s Reading Club materials. The library received two Gates grants (one in March and one in June), totaling $50,259. These funds were used to purchase 40 public computers and two Cisco Systems 48-port switches. The computers were used to replace old computers at the Headquarters, Bordeaux, and Hope Mills Branch Libraries. In July the “New Books” area at the Headquarters Library was rearranged into nineteen popular subject areas, similar to a book store. The rearrangement and new topic areas generated more interest in new books in a variety of topic areas and increased borrowing. A soft drink machine was added in July to the main floor of the Headquarters Library next to the photocopier machines in another move to address customers’ needs. In July internet connectivity for the Library was switched from a T1 line to Managed Fast Ethernet, which is approximately ten times faster than the former T1 line. In September the library unveiled “NextReads,” a new service that provides 18 different genres of electronic newsletters about new books that are also available in the library’s collection. In September, Megan Smith, Headquarters Youth Services Manager, was selected to serve on the national 2008 Caldecott Award Committee, which is part of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. In October, the library received an $11,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to sponsor “The Big Read,” a community-wide reading program set to run in March and April, 2007. The Library chose the book Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston for its “Big Read” selection. Automatic doors were installed at the Bordeaux Branch Library in October. In October there were three hundred people in attendance at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre for the seventh annual author event featuring author Dr. Tim Tyson, who wrote Blood Done Sign My Name. The event, organized by the Friends of the Library, raised $7,700 for the Library Endowment Trust under the Cumberland Community Foundation. Brainstorm, the library staff’s listserv, was launched in October as a means for staff to communicate suggestions for improving library operations and customer service. Former Friends of the Library President Willie Wright was presented the 2006 Nonprofit Leadership Award by the Cumberland Community Foundation during its grant award ceremony in November. The award recognizes a board member “for exemplary leadership and for being a role model board member.” The Bordeaux, Cliffdale Regional and North Regional Branch Libraries served as voting precincts on November 7. The three branch’s Activity Rooms were used for voting from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. Regular library hours began at 9:00 am. The formation meeting of the Literacy Connection of Cumberland County was held in November. The mission of the organization is to dramatically improve literacy for all Cumberland County children, teens, and adults through a coordinated effort by community organizations. Library Director Jerry Thrasher was elected chair of the group for 2007. The Cliffdale Regional Branch Library was closed for two weeks in November for the installation of much-needed new carpet. At the annual meeting of the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA) in December, the library won the FY2006 “Outstanding Young Adult Program” award in the large library category for East Regional’s “Fear Factor–The Halloween Edition” program. In addition, the library’s Community Relations department won the “Outstanding Newsletter” award in the large library category for Among Friends, the Friends of the Library’s quarterly newsletter. The library received $7,200 from numerous donor-advised funds of Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc. for “The Big Read.” The $7,200 donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a grant from the Kellogg Foundation. The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County awarded a $1,500 project support grant to help fund the visit of award-winning Hurston biographer Valerie Boyd for a program in April 2007.


Fire at Anderson Street Library in January destroys children’s collection. Library reopens in July. Eutaw Branch Library opens in October.

Hay Street Library renamed Frances Brooks Stein Memorial Library.

Library Director Dorothy Shue retires after 24 years of service. C. David Warren appointed Library Director in October.

East Fayetteville Branch opens.

Bordeaux Branch opens. Law Library placed under Public Library.

New Hope Mills Branch opens in part of the Town Hall. Stedman Branch relocated to restored railroad depot.

North Carolina Foreign Language Center established at Gillespie Street Branch.

New bookmobile purchased. Library creates automated bibliographic database for microfilm catalog.

Eutaw Branch relocated to rear of Eutaw Shopping Center.

Library Director C. David Warren resigns. Spring Lake Branch relocated from the second floor to the first floor of renovated old Town Hall.

Jerry Thrasher appointed Library Director. ACCESS Information Line begins at Anderson Street Library. Book theft system installed at Anderson Street Library.

First Answer Book published. Library logo adopted. East Fayetteville Branch relocated to larger quarters. Dial-A-Story service begun.

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Cumberland County Public Library celebrated. First Quiz Bowl conducted. Commissioners approve site for proposed Headquarters Library. Video tapes offered for borrowing. $4.5 million Library bond referendum for Headquarters Library defeated.

$700,000 private fund raiser for new Headquarters Library is successful, along with federal, state, county and city funding for a total of $4,735,000 for project. Two public access computers (Apple IIe) available at the Stein Library beginning June 20, 1983. Publication of The People and Their Public Library released on library planning process specifying mission, goals and objectives. Trustees approve re-naming Library to "Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center.

Site for the new Headquarters Library purchased in March. Commissioners approve site for the future Bordeaux Branch adjacent to the Mary McArthur Elementary School. Bids for new Headquarters Library opened and approved for $3,284,985 ($41 a square foot). Total Headquarters Library project budget approved at $4,667,725. Ground breaking ceremony for new Headquarters Library in September. Output measures survey conducted for the first time in October.

Commissioners award contracts totaling $645,398 for the new Bordeaux Branch (10,000 square feet) on Village Drive. Ground breaking ceremony for Bordeaux Branch held in February. New Bordeaux Branch opens December 16, 1985. Overdue fines increased from five cents to ten cents a day. Automation system for the circulation and inventory of library materials to be included with new Headquarters Library with help of $75,000 in State Library funding. Library receives NACo Award for the "Foreign Language Center."

New Bordeaux Branch dedicated on January 5, 1986. Commissioners award library’s automation bid to C. L. Systems, Inc for $379,119. New Headquarters Library opens on June 1, 1986. Library receives NACo Award for the "ACCESS Community Information Line."

Adult New Readers Collection established at Headquarters Library in May 1987. Library receives NACo Award for "Funding for New Headquarters Library Building." Library receives first fax machine from the State Library in October 1987. Site for new Cliffdale Branch purchased

Library automation system used to loan books on March 16, 1988 at all locations. Library’s Bestseller Express program for circulating new books was begun on April 1, 1988 for a seven day loan.

Automatic doors added to the Headquarters Library. Quiet Area created at the Headquarters Library. Treasure House sculpture by Jim Gallucci unveiled at Headquarters in December.


Free public library was extended to all residents of Cumberland County on December 18.

First library bookmobile begun under WPA.

"Negro Branch" of the library organized as the James Walker Hood Library with WPA funding.

County wide library tax passed for a minimum of three cents and a maximum of five cents on a $100 evaluation. Library renamed Cumberland County Public Library.

Ground breaking for Anderson Street Library.

Library moves out of Market House and Anderson Street Library opens in March.

James Walker Hood Branch relocated to its new quarters in November as the Gillespie Street Branch Library.

First full sized walk-in bookmobile begins service.

Stedman Branch opens with federal Library Services Act funding.

Spring Lake Branch opens with federal Library Services Act funding.

Hope Mills Branch opens with federal Library Services Act funding.

Old post office at 301 Hay Street donated for public library use. Bookmobile and business reference collection relocated.

Library bond referendum for $1.05 million to build new library defeated.


Anniversary meeting of the Fayetteville Library Society on July 23 in the State House in Fayetteville.

Fayetteville Library Society incorporated by the North Carolina General Assembly. Appears to be the first incorporated library society in North Carolina.

Establishment of the Fayetteville Library Company by the General Assembly of North Carolina on December 24.

Fayetteville Library Institute chartered.

Woman’s Civic Association organized and sponsored a subscription library.

Subscription library placed in the upstairs of the Market House.

Free public library established January 18 for Fayetteville citizens.