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110 YEARS OF SERVICE ON SOUTH PARK AVENUE: CELEBRATION AT THE DUDLEY BRANCH LIBRARY

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 MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release: October 17, 2013
For More Information: Joy Testa Cinquino, Assistant Deputy Director Development & Communications testaj@buffalolib.org, 716- 858-7182

110 YEARS OF SERVICE ON SOUTH PARK AVENUE: CELEBRATION AT THE DUDLEY BRANCH LIBRARY

A community celebration is planned this afternoon at the J.P. Dudley Branch Library, 2010 South Park Avenue in Buffalo. The popular South Buffalo library is celebrating 110 years of service in the neighborhood. Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski will be on hand to welcome library patrons and introduce the staff. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is expected to read a proclamation and performer Nels Ross of In Jest will provide entertainment.

In 1903, the Dudley Branch opened in a small rented store at 503 South Park Avenue (South Park at Richfield). At the time, the Dudley was the second library in the city and a direct result of a petition circulated by citizens in South Buffalo who claimed that they wanted library privileges even though they were far removed from the main library in downtown Buffalo. The busy branch officially opened on December 15, 1903 and was stocked with 1,755 new books. The branch was open every weekday and circulation steadily increased as people applied for and received library cards.

The library was named for Joseph Pillsbury Dudley, president of the Buffalo Public Library from 1902-1906. Dudley had been an early advocate of city libraries being free and open to the public.

In 1922, the Dudley branch moved into a larger and more comfortable building at what was then 433 South Park Avenue (the current location with an address of 2010 South Park). A few years later, the Annual Report stated that the Library never had so many people "taking out their citizenship papers." These people sought help from the Library in becoming U.S. citizens.

Technology came to the Library in 1938 with a "rapid electric charging machine" installed to replace the pencil stamping method that had been used for book borrowers. This period also saw vast growth of new children's literature in the library’s collection.

In 1953 the Dudley branch celebrated its Golden Jubilee. By 1960 it was announced that the old branch would be demolished to make way for a new structure on the same site The present building now stands at 2010 South Park. The new library was ready for use in 1963.

The Dudley Branch continues to engage South Buffalonians in the 21st century as a community resource that offers not only books and magazines, but also downloadable materials, WiFi, movies, music, computers and programs for all ages. In 2012, the branch had more than 66,000 patron visits and circulated over 107,400 items. For more information visit www.BuffaloLib.org or the Library’s Facebook page.

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