History of Dumbarton Area Library, Part 7: Farewell

Through its 39 years of service, Dumbarton Area Library has been an active, beloved hub of its region. We improved it whenever we could, whether with fresh paint, an upgrade to the electricity to support computers, or with the furniture donated in memory of library board member M. O. “Moe” Roache, Jr., in 2003. Mr. Roache was instrumental in the establishment of Dumbarton Library. Contemporary needs demand a contemporary building, so as they had in 1973, in 2005 Henrico County citizens showed their enthusiastic support of their public library system by passing a bond referendum to raise money for public library improvements. A new area library to replace Dumbarton was part of this long-term plan.

Library Board member M.O. Roache
Library Board member M.O. Roache, 1975

As it had been in the 1970s, choosing a site was a challenging process, but the offer to be part of the Libbie Mill development off Staples Mill and Bethlehem Roads was too good to pass up. Gumenick Properties, the project developer, donated a 3-acre site as part of an agreement with Henrico County. BCWH Architects of Richmond and Tappé Architects of Boston designed the new Libbie Mill Library building. County officials will seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification status for it. The LEED program, operated by the U.S. Green Building Council, recognizes facilities that are environmentally friendly.

Libbie Mill Library has many features citizens clamor for: collaborative work spaces, places to plug in their laptops and other devices, study rooms, and spacious, dedicated rooms for teen and children’s materials. We also know people will enjoy the variety of quiet places to sit and read — especially the chairs with views of the Libbie Mill Lake! Join us on October 29th at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate the grand opening of Libbie Mill Library, the latest in the chain of libraries to serve the people of north Henrico.


This series anticipates the opening of north Henrico’s new Libbie Mill Area Library.

Full bibliography for this series, here

3 thoughts on “History of Dumbarton Area Library, Part 7: Farewell

  1. Though I no longer live in Henrico, I am sad to see the Dumbarton Library era end. I’ve enjoyed this wonderful series of posts on the history of my favorite library.

    I practically grew up at Dumbarton, and I have so many fond memories there: Signing my name just well enough to obtain my first library card, the seemingly endless supply of book suggestions from the ever-helpful and patient Joy in the children’s room, the thrill of borrowing the Return of the Jedi soundtrack on cassette tape back in 1983 after enduring the waiting list, and, through it all, so many wonderful books that I could never otherwise have accessed.

    Thank you to the Dumbarton staff, past and present. May the next generation of readers create their own fond memories at Libbie Mill.

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