Dover Free Public Library

Dover, NJ

The Dover Free Public Library – A Community Place

The Dover Free Public Library began as a bookcase in a family bakery in 1832.  In 1932, a dedicated library building (shown above) was opened.  When that building became too small, a two story addition was put on in the 1960s.  Currently, the library has begun a major renovation, beginning with fortifying the outside.

The  plan  is  to  have  the  inside  finished  by  September  2020  which  will  feature  a  new  community  room  to  accompany  the  recently renovated children’s room (above),  more  technology,  and  more services for their community of over 18,000 residents.

Local history is very important to the people of Dover  who support the Dover Area Historical Society. (Above, from l to r is Diane and daughter, Sarah, at the  Historical  Society  Tea  Party  Fundraiser.)

When  library Director, Diane Sebastian, came on board in  2015, she looked for ways to preserve and build the  Local History Room collection.  Digitizing the local  newspaper, “The Daily Advance,” that was contained  on  microfilm  seemed  a  good  first  step  as  the  microfilm was in a state of degradation and difficult to use.  A generous donation started the  process and the Library Board of Trustees made the project part of it’s strategic plan.

Shown at Halloween 2018, left to right, are Beverly Rowan, Librarian;  Carmela Hahl, Bookkeeper; and, Diane Sebastian, Director.   In an interview, Ms. Sebastian said, “Our newspapers on microfilm have always been popular but  more patrons are accessing the digitized materials – especially now that they are easier to search,  print from, and use.  With our digitized product, it is nice to know that the newspapers in our  collection will degrade no further.  And, now that the microfilm storage space and reader are  gone, we have more space to expand in our renovation.  I must admit that, sending away our  microfilm carried a bit of anxiety with it.  But as it turned out, we worried needlessly because  American Digital Memories took great care with our property and did a wonderful job in all  respects.  In fact, the digitization process was smooth and exciting as we saw our crumbling  microfilm replaced with beautifully enhanced digitization.  ADM was willing to digitize our  microfilm in phases and at a great price, allowing us to get the work done in the shortest amount  of time.  ADM kept in constant contact with us as our property was shipped, received and  returned.  At ADM, every person that I spoke with was both supportive and professional.  Overall,  we’re so glad that we choose American Digital Memories to handle our digitization needs.”

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