May Memorial Library
Headquarters, Alamance County Public Libraries
342 South Spring Street
Burlington, NC 27215
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where are we?
A Summary of May Memorial’s History
The first public library serving Burlington was located in Broad Street High School in the early 1920s. By 1937, the public library had moved to temporary quarters in a storefront located on Main Street. In 1938, industrialist W.H. May, Sr. and his two sons donated $15,000 towards the purchase of the old U.S. Post Office for use as a public library. This building was constructed in 1918 and stands at the corner of E. Davis and S. Spring Street.
May Memorial Library opened for business on June 2, 1938. At that time, only the main floor fronting on S. Spring St. was in use. In 1945, a Seth Thomas grandfather clock was donated to the library by Col. Eugene Holt, grandson of textile magnate E.M. Holt. It quickly became a much-beloved symbol of the library within the community. In 1955, the basement floor with an entrance on E. Davis Street was remodeled and opened to the public.
By the 1960s, Alamance and Chatham counties had signed a formal cooperation agreement to become the Central N.C. Regional Library with May Memorial Library as its headquarters. In 1981 a new library wing with approximately 4,600 square feet of additional space on the main floor was opened and the basement and second floor of the library were given over to staff work areas. In the late 1990s, local textile CEO Allen Gant, Jr. of Glen Raven, Inc. offered an adjacent building, the former Sears Department Store, to the City of Burlington to expand the public library. The original 1918 building and 1981 addition were linked as one wing with the 1950s Sears building as the other wing connected by a vaulted ceiling entryway and officially opened November 17, 2000.
Graham Public Library
211 South Main Street
Graham, NC 27253
A Summary of Graham Library’s History
The opening of the Graham Public Library as an extension of the May Memorial Library was the highlight of library service in 1967 in Alamance County. Through a partnership with the City of Graham and the board of the May Memorial Library, the Graham Public Library opened in September 1967 in the Graham City Hall as a 3,000 square foot facility with more than 5,000 books. In 1969, the Stokes family was commemorated for the monetary gift made by the Stokes children in honor of Mr. and Mrs. William T. Stokes, which made the Graham Library possible.
In 1994, a two million dollar project was approved to construct, equip and furnish two new Graham facilities: the Graham Public Library and the Graham Police Department. Scheduled to be completed in 240 days, both buildings were placed south of the municipal building; the police department off of Maple Street and the library off of Main Street. The new 10,500 square foot library, which is more than three times the size of the original library, opened its doors on Monday, July 31, 1995.
Mebane Public Library
101 South First Street
Mebane, NC 27302
Monday – Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday- Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where are we?
A Summary of Mebane Library’s History
In 1935 the idea that started the Mebane Public Library began with a local literary club, the Reviewers. Through their efforts in recruiting support and funds, the small beginning of the Mebane Public Library was made possible by Mr. E. M. Yoder, Principal of the Mebane Public School in 1936. Members of the Reviewers Club served as library clerks in the small room in the school. The official Mebane Public Library opened in December 1936 in the Commerical & Farmer’s Bank Building, situated at the corner of Clay and North Fourth Streets.
In the Fall of 1941, the building owners offered to sell the building to the City of Mebane for the permanent home of the library. Through the efforts of local civic club fundraising, the building was purchased without the use of any tax payer funds. In 1975, the library moved into a 5,000 square foot space in the back of the Mebane Town Hall.
By the late 1990s, the windowless space at the Mebane City Hall had become cramped and library use had outgrown the space. In the early 2000s the idea to refurbish a vacant mill building revitalized the community. Built in 1919 as Durham Hosiery and changing hands over the years to become Dixie Yarns in the 30s and R.L. Stowe Mills until 2001, the renovated space offered three times the capacity for the new Mebane Public Library and opened its doors on November 7, 2005.
North Park Library
849 Sharpe Road
Burlington, NC 27217
Monday – Thursday: 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 12:00 -4:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Where are we?
A Summary of North Park’s History
The North Park Community Center was built by the City of Burlington in 1978 with funds from the federal Housing and Community Development Act. Initial partnering organizations operating part-time from the new facility included the Burlington Police Department’s Crime Prevention Bureau, the Alamance-Caswell Area Mental Association, the Alamance County Health Department and the N.C. Central Regional Library.
On May 15, the North Park Library opened in a small room (approximately 300 square feet) of the community center and offered ‘listening posts,’ special programs, a story hour and a small collection of books and materials.
As popularity grew, a meeting room space was added to the library’s availability, doubling the size to approximately 600 square feet. This allowed for more materials and the eventual addition of public computer space. In 2015, the City of Burlington began renovation projects in North Park. Early efforts provided new carpet and a reorganization of resources. Later efforts included a brand new entrance within the atrium of the community center.