Cake for everyone to celebrate 100 years at the Dover Free Library. (Chris Mays/Reformer)
Cake for everyone to celebrate 100 years at the Dover Free Library. (Chris Mays/Reformer)
Tuesday March 12, 2013

DOVER -- By the time the cake was brough out, last week, 65 had showed up to the Dover Free Library's 100 year celebration.

The 100th person would receive a free gift, the library director John Flores said.

"We started off slow," said Flores. "But people were still at work."

From 2 until 8 p.m., the community could come and celebrate the library's birthday.

The library has been around since March 1913. In the Common Room, pieces of history sat on a table that was organized by librarians, trustees and Flores himself.

A handwritten book of minutes taken by the library board back in 1913 was the oldest thing they could find.

There were town reports from the 1991, 1973, 1969 and more. A list had been printed that contained all the names of every trustee that the library had over the years.

An article from the Reformer about librarian Patty Klinck, who used to work at the Dover Free Library and now works at the Brooks Library in Brattleboro, was on display.

Those who organized the event had even found plans for making a Common Room before this one had been constructed. In the room, all things Vermont are located.

"We supposedly have the largest Vermont collection in the state," said Flores. "Everything here is related to Vermont."

There is information about the state, books about people who grew up in Vermont and stories that take place there, too.

The Common Room is also where events are held. The Lego Challenge had taken place there as well as the Poetry and Pie event, which has been taking place for about ten years now.

Dover School Principal Bill Anton was at the event. He told the Reformer that students from the school come to the Dover Free Library two times a week. They get on a bus and travel up the hill.

"The library is very supportive of the community," said Anton. "All the kids participate in the summer programs here."

Librarian Tamara Hamm cut the cake, after Flores thanked all the library trustees, volunteers, students, kids and parents for their support and being there on the library's birthday. Everyone then sang "Happy Birthday."

Flores pointed out that the library has gone digital. It would now be offering free streaming independent films online as well as e-books and e-magazines, which library card holders could take advantage of without having to actually go to the library.

"The e-books are going to take awhile (to catch on)," said Flores. "Like DVDs and the Internet for senior citizens. But e-books are good for trips, to bring them along. We're really excited about that."

Flores said that there had been a man from New Jersey who would come up and spend hours going through the stacks. He was intrigued by the types of material he could find.

"We've got a lot of interesting books," said Flores. "A very unusual collection. The staff is very friendly, too. We welcome everyone. The community is very supportive of the library."

He also mentioned the Friends of the Dover Free Library, which helps support the library by fundraising and creating programs.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.