Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
July 16th marks the twentieth anniversary of the opening of the Bowman Library! The library was the culmination of years of planning and work on the part of library staff, county administrators, and dedicated volunteers.
In August 1998, the Frederick County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the new library for the sum of $4 million dollars. By October of that year, the Lakeside site on Tasker Road in Stephens City was selected for the location of the new library and design plans were underway by the architects. In April of 1999, the library board learned that costs for site preparation, a highway entrance from Rt. 37 meeting VDOT standards, and furniture for the building would unexpectedly all have to come out of the $4 million budget.
Meeting the new budget would mean reducing the building size and changing the roofing material from the planned standing seam roof to asphalt. Fortunately for the library board, and all of us, a generous gift of $500,000.00 by James and Mary Jane Bowman prevented those cost cutting changes from happening. In appreciation for this gift, the new facility was named the Mary Jane and James L. Bowman Library.
Twenty years have brought immense changes, both inside the library and out. Digital ebooks, magazines, and movies that are made available by services like Hoopla and the Blue Ridge Download Consortium have expanded the library catalog by thousands of items.
There are dozens of databases on the HRL website where patrons can do research for school or business, take courses on a wide variety of topics, increase job skills, learn a different language, and delve into their ancestry. With our wireless printing service, you don’t have to be in the library to print your documents and photos. You can print from home, business, or school, anywhere you can access the internet, and from most devices. Wi-Fi hotspots are available to borrow, as well as games for your video/gaming console.
Outside the building, there is a new walking trail circling Lakeside Lake with picnic tables for public use. On your next visit to the library, take a stroll around the lake and make sure to stop and read the story boards that the library staff produced and Frederick County Parks and Rec graciously installed. The book for this month further details the history of 20 years at Bowman.
We'll be celebrating here at Bowman in lots of way throughout the month. Next time you stop by the Bowman branch, be sure to check out the Bowman history display in the lobby and some slideshows and videos positioned throughout. On Saturday July 17th, there will be music, live animals, and all sorts of entertainment here to celebrate. Click here for more information!
We at the library are proud to have been a part of this community for the last 20 years and look forward to serving it for years to come.