Dubois library celebrates 10 years

Photos by Kylie Schepers/The Herald
Ryder Weyer, 3, of St. Anthony looks for a book at the Dubois Branch Library on Thursday morning. The library is celebrating 10 years since its grand opening.


DUBOIS — The Dubois Branch Library was a welcomed addition to the community.

And now, 10 years later, the public still adores the facility. Throughout the community, people have signs in their yards stating that they love the library.

“It’s like my baby. It really is,” Dubois Branch Manager Anita Murphy said. “I feel proud to be a part of this, to be a part of bringing it here and making it work well for for this community.”

Pat Riley was the first branch manager of the library, serving from when the library opened on June 3, 2011, to October 2012.

Murphy was the librarian at Dubois Elementary School for 18 years and was a member of the Dubois County Contractual Library Board for many years.

The contractual library board started working on establishing a library in the northeast section of the county started in 2008, utilizing a feasibility study grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Board members also found that the community was enthusiastic about the effort.

Owen Harris, 10, points out a book on the computer book log to his brother, Wyatt Harris, 5, both of Dubois at the Dubois Branch Library on Thursday morning.

“We found was that they certainly would love to have a library,” Murphy said. “It really takes a lot to drive into Jasper to the library, especially for people who are working and older people.”

Construction costs were covered with a $500,000 Community Focus Fund grant, $500,000 saved in the library building fund, a $200,000 Rural Development grant and a technology grant.

The community raised $25,000 to contribute. And the late Roberta (Terwiske) Schneider donated the property on which the library sits, which is between and in walking distance of the elementary and intermediate schools.

“It really showed that the community really wanted something up here,” Murphy said. “They were happy that we’ve got all that grant money [and] we were able to build it without raising taxes. They just really were so supportive. And the school district was super super supportive.”

Along with allowing classes to raise money for the library’s construction and building a sidewalk between the elementary school and library, the district also allows the library to hold some of its larger attendance programs in the intermediate school’s cafeteria. Classes also visit the library for story time sessions, participate in activities and, of course, check out and return library materials.

“It’s been such a good collaboration for the library and for the school system,” Murphy said. “I think we’ve both benefited, each other very well.”

The library works to provide varied events as well as free music and cultural activities for children and adults.

“We’ve had people who have traveled the world performing and they were right here in our little library. That’s pretty exciting,” Murphy said. “It gives the community and the kids some place to go, because there really isn’t much in this part of the county for people to do and for kids to hang out safely.“

The Dubois Branch Library opened on June 3, 2011..

Although COVID-19 decreased library activity last year, programming and participation has been steadily increasing now. “We’re starting to build things back up,” Murphy said, “so that we have more things happening here that are our face to face.”

The library also has outdoor areas that visitors can use. “We’ve got a nice amphitheater area. A lot of times, school kids and classes would come over and sit out there to get some sun and read,” Murphy said. “And we have a covered patio and another patio area with with tables and stuff. So people come and use the outdoor spaces.”

Murphy said the library staff works hard to have creative activities for patrons. And the Friends of the Dubois Library, which started before the library opened, has been a constant support. The group runs the book sale and uses that money and money from membership costs to purchase prizes for the summer reading program. And they help with other tasks, like making snacks and taking care of the landscaping.

“They have just been fantastic,” Murphy said. “And I can’t say enough about the Friends group and how they’ve dedicated themselves to make sure things happen well around here. They are wonderful.”

The library has been holding various activities in its birth month, and has a few more left. But more activities and events are on the horizon, and will be for as long as the library exists.

“I’m really proud of the library, and I’m proud of the things that are happening here,” Murphy said. “We also get people who come from Jasper and Ferdinand and from other parts of the county to use our library. That’s a nice compliment too.”

Dubois library events

The Dubois Branch Library has had a full schedule of events for the month of June. Here are the events for the rest of this month.

Every Tuesday, 6 p.m: Family Craft; must pre-register

Every Friday, 10:30 a.m: Story Time with Miss Shae. Must pre-register

June 18, 2 p.m: Adult Craft: Americana Jean Wreath. Must pre-register.

June 24, 10:30 a.m: Dr. Dave’s Wiz Bang Science Show at Northeast Dubois Intermediate School. Masks are required at all programs held at the school.

June 26, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m: Green Screen Photo Booth. Come anytime. Bring your smartphone or camera.

June 28, 6:30 p.m: End of the Month Book Club

For more details visit jdcpl.us or contact the Dubois Branch Library at 812-678-2548.

Library hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

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