History of Divide County Library

The Crosby Library was founded under the leadership of Mrs. Guy Grove in 1912.  In 1913, the first building was built at the north end of Main Street, in what is now the court house square.  In 1918, due to war, volunteers were not to be found, so the books were turned over to Crosby High School for a period of one year, which stretched into 11 years.

In 1929, The Divide County Library and Museum Association was formed.  Mrs. L.R. Murray was the first Librarian.  In 1937, the library was growing and need new housing so it moved to the basement of the Community Hall.  The museum was discontinued in 1957.

In 1951, a filmstrip library was established for the use of the schools.  This grew to 1715 filmstrips and four projectors. With the inventions of videos, CD’s, DVD’s etc, the filmstrip collection was discarded in 2000.

Again, the library was outgrowing its space, so they purchased the old Moose Lodge Building in 1957.  The museum was reactivated in the basement in 1961.  Mrs. Engel Lokken was the first curator followed by Mrs. Agnes Berg. In 1967, the Library Board urged the community to establish a Historical Society to operate the museum.  Thus in 1970, they moved the museum to the Pioneer Village.

In 1961, we shared a bookmobile with Burke County.  This continued for 1 ½ years until Burke County voted it down.  The headquarters were in the Divide County Library.

1962 celebrated 50 years of library service in Crosby.

1965 started with a station at Fortuna in an old bookmobile purchased from the State Library, with books being exchanged periodically.  This was eventually moved into the school.  In 1967, the bookmobile was moved to Noonan until 1975 when they moved into a room in the school.

1970, the Library received $50,000 from the estate of the late Frank Kircholffer. ¼ of this was shared with the Historical Society.  In 1971, we had plans drawn up by an architect to enlarge the present building.  But before work began, the Crosby High School burned.  It was then decided to combine the new Public Library with the new Elementary School library in one corner of the school.  Mrs.  Ruth Ralph was the director at this time, and initiated the partnership.  The building was completed in March 1974.  So again, he Divide County Library was known throughout the state as being the first to plan, construct, and operate a Public/School Combination Library.  The old Library was sold and used to house three apartments. 

In approximately 1987, we bought a microfilm reader, and the local residents bought the newspaper from the beginning of the County up to the present on microfilm.  We have all of the papers from the area.

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Mrs. Ruth Ralph Koppang retired in May 1991, after 34 years of dedicated service.  During which time she pioneered many first for the library, making it known throughout the State.

Mrs. Dorene Wenstad succeeded her as Director in 1991.  Dorene was with the library until 2005 when she decided to step down.  Replacing her was Leslie Deering.  Mrs. Derring work as Director until 2008.  During this time Leslie was joined ODIN library. Connecting the Divide County Library will libraries across the state in a new cataloging program. 

In 2009, Traci Lund was hired to direct the Library.  Mrs. Lund is enjoying the creative structure the library has and is excited to bring new life to the library.  In 2016, the library received a facelift.  With monies donated from John Phelps the library painted, purchased new furniture, updated the kids’ corner, renovated the entire back room with new shelving, and added a few fun accents along the way.  In 2019, Mrs. Lund received a large donation from the late Olga Rite that allowed the library to digitize all microfilm, yearbooks, and history books from the Divide County area on a digital platform.   Mrs. Lund is always looking for new ways to improve the library for the Divide County and its patrons.

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Divide County Library is a cozy library that provides the pubic with a wide variety of services. Stop in and see for yourself.