From our humble beginnings in February 1954, to our present day establishment … come take a stroll with us through our historic timeline.
February 14, 1954
Corolyn Cox, Library Chairman of the Cave Creek Improvement Association (local civic authority), signed a contract with Maricopa County to operate the new Cave Creek Branch Library. Dorothy E. Smith, Librarian, was named as its first Director (pictured here). First year circulation was only 1,302 materials, given mostly out of the trunk of Smith’s car.
1957 – 1960
The Library found its first long-term home in Nelson Hall, the parish hall of the Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church.
The first used book sale is held.
The library is renamed the Dorothy E. Smith Branch of the Maricopa County Free Library.
The Cave Creek School gave notice the Library had to move! There was not enough room anymore and an anonymous couple stepped forward to pledge $30,000 to a free standing library; The Desert Foothills Library Association was formed, incorporated, and a Board of Directors appointed to see this crisis through.
February 14, 1977
The Board chose the current location of the library on top of Saguaro Hill for the proximity to the school and the beautiful views. The grand opening was exactly twenty-three years after the first signed contract with Maricopa County. The Library was 2,000 square-feet. The Library is renamed the Desert Foothills Library.
Over 43,200 materials circulated that year!
Growing again! A new 1,000 square-foot children’s wing was built to incorporate the growing needs of the community.
Arizona House Bill no. 2372 was passed by the Arizona Legislature enabling the counties to form ‘library districts’ with taxing authority and requiring towns to either join or withdraw. On June 10, 1987 the Desert Foothills Library Association unanimously voted to leave the Maricopa County Library System to become an independent public library.
Since the Desert Foothills Library’s independence from Maricopa county Library System it has remained unique in that it is the only public library in the county that is privately funded. Unlike the county’s other twenty-five libraries, the DFL does not have its own tax district.
The Library’s specialized Southwest Collection was born to offer a separate reference and reading room.
Time for another remodel! The space for DFL would be doubled. This remodel would add a larger children’s area, move shelving space, a modest multi-purpose room, computerized card catalog, three Macintosh computers, and access to the Internet.
True to fashion, the library was due for another expansion! The Library was open seven days a week, even in the mess of the remodel. With this new space the Friends of the Library were able to move into their own book sales room. Other new features included: increased shelving space, a storytime room in the children’s section, study rooms, state-of-the-art conference room, enhanced adult programs, WI-FI throughout the building, passport processing office and photo services, patios for quiet reading, and a botanical garden.
Added parking is created by building a large parking garage south of the Library building, hosting more than a hundred parking spaces!
The most adventurous remodel yet! The Library is expanded to include a new community room which can be split into two different rooms if needed. The back patio is removed to add more study space and comfortable chairs to enjoy the beautiful view. Chapter 2 Bookstore gains more room to house its ever growing sales. Club 1117 is added to create a welcoming atmosphere for teens in the area, and updated technology in every programming room. Almost every inch of the Library is fixed or added to accommodate the growing needs of the Foothills community. Circulation is over 900,000 materials each year!