This year we celebrate as Wright Memorial Public Library turns 80!
Opening to the public on Feb. 14, 1939, Wright Library has served Oakwood and beyond for eight decades. The library’s roots began in 1913 with a small library housed in the home of the Parrot family. In 1916, the Oakwood Board of Education passed a resolution to establish a public library for the school district and the library moved to Harman School. In 1923, the house at 45 Park Avenue became the library’s home. In 1937, a bond issue was passed to build a new library on Far Hills Avenue on the site of Katharine Wright Park.
“As early as 1916, community leaders imagined a local library, which ultimately led to the construction of this beautiful building right in the heart of Oakwood. The importance they placed on library services demonstrated a dedication to learning and education that continues to thrive in Oakwood today. We invite the community to join us this year as we both celebrate the library’s history and imagine the next 80 years,” said Library Director Kristi Hale.
Join us for not one, but two, celebrations in February:
80th Anniversary Party
Saturday Feb. 9, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Featuring a barber shop quartet, birthday cake, activities for kids, historical displays, and more! Record your memories of Wright Library at our oral history recording booth.
Thursday, Feb. 14, 6-8 p.m.
When the library opened on Feb. 14, 1939, a funny thing happened: the lights went out forcing the crowd to tour their new library by candlelight. Eighty years to the day, in the same reading rooms, hear the story of how Oakwood worked to open a full-fledged library and of the notable people and patrons who have carried on their mission for 80 years. The evening will also include hands-on activities, historical displays, and light refreshments.
Celebrate all year
Wright Library Reading Challenge
Read eight books– one of for each decade of Wright Library’s existence – by Dec. 31, 2019, and receive a Wright Library mug! Download the challenge rules and tracking sheet.
Name that Book
Using only a picture of the book’s 80th page, can you name that book? Try your hand at our display near the children’s area! On display now!
80th Open house Birthday Party Feb. 9 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
80th Anniversary Candlelight Commemoration Feb. 14 6 p.m.-8p.m.
Nursery rhymes of 1939: Hey parents- pick up a baby-friendly keyring loaded with nursery rhymes popular with families in 1939 for your stroller or diaper bag for an easy soothing activity anytime, anywhere with your little one.
Craft Like it is 1939 April 29 7-8p.m.
Join Jesy Anderson from Needle, Ink and Thread Sewing Studio for a short course on embroidery, a popular artform when Wright Library first opened its doors. Learn basic stitches and get started on your own vintage patterns. Registration required at wrightlibrary.org.
Oakwood Time Capsule: Patrons of all ages are invited to submit materials to be buried in a time capsule at the Library for the next 80 years. Submit an item by bringing it to the Youth Services Department and adding a descriptive tag (tags supplied by Library). All submitted objects must fit inside a small, carry-on suitcase. The full contents of the Time Capsule will be revealed at a Time Capsule Dedication Ceremony in December.
Teen Escape Room: Teens entering grades 7-12 form teams and attempt to solve the many puzzles of a Wright Brothers-themed escape room. Redesigned specifically for teen sleuths, this escape room will challenge your problem-solving and cooperative skills, and creative abilities. Register at wrightlibrary.org
Far Hills Music Series: A Celebration of 80 years. Performers in this year’s Far Hills Music Series will pay homage to the anniversary in their sets. Dates and times to be announced.
Commemorative Tree Planting. Join us as we plant a new tree on Wright Library’s property to honor the 80th anniversary. The event will also be the last day to submit items for the time capsule. Time and date to be announced.
80 Kinds of Thankful: Come see what Oakwood is thankful for! Teen volunteers at Wright Library canvased the community to find residents’ most special feelings of gratitude. They used this data to create a display near the Circulation desk, demonstrating Oakwood’s 80 Kinds of Thankful. The display will be up from approximately November 20 through December 31.