North Dakota libraries provide learning opportunities throughout the state and are integral in ensuring free information is available to community members. With a large percentage of North Dakota residents spread across rural towns, it is imperative libraries can provide access to books and the internet.
The Alfred Dickey Free Public Library in Jamestown is vital to the town. Located within walking distance of schools and senior housing, the historical library provides free access to one of the most important commodities a community needs: information.
Legendary author Louis L’Amour read inside the library as a child, where he gained inspiration for the career he would spend writing western novels. The history of North Dakota is embedded in the unique architecture of the library, along with cultural references to a world L’Amour would spend his life exploring.
Eventually, the library began to show signs of aging. The building foundation needed significant repairs, but renovating this nearly 100-year-old library would be an expensive undertaking.
Without multiple partners, the citizens of Stutsman County may not have seen these renovations completed. An RD grant was combined with contributions from the library, the Jamestown Community Foundation, and Friends of the James River Valley Library System to assemble funding.
Recently, the community celebrated the completion of the library renovation project. Major renovations included waterproofing the foundation and installing drain tile to keep water away from the building. New carpet, shelving and additional furniture were added to make the library a welcoming place to read and learn.
The building is now on solid ground and ready to serve the community for another 100 years. A section of the library is dedicated to the captivating history of Louis L’Amour, hopefully inspiring the future authors of North Dakota to explore the world through reading.