• By J.White
  • Posted Thursday, February 25, 2016

Kernersville Branch Library

The Kernersville Branch Library, located in historic downtown Kernersville, serves the Town of Kernersville and surrounding areas of Forsyth County. The basement of the 10,000-square-foot building houses the Senior Enrichment Center. The town owns the building and leases it to the Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL).

The diverse suburban community served by Kernersville Library includes a booming population of Asians, Indians, and Hispanics. The area provides convenient access to Greensboro and High Point, as well as Winston-Salem, NC.

William Durham is the branch manager of this busy institution.

Branch History

As early as 1948, there was a Kernersville deposit library located in a store owned by W.E. Linville. In May 1958, FCPL opened the Kernersville Branch Library in the vacant town jail building. On November 5, 1960, the Library moved to a tiny building in Harmon Park, which originally was the office othe the late D.W. Harmon and later served as the Town Hall. When Zora Sapp Paddison died in April 1966, she bequeathed funds to the town for a library to be built as a memorial to her husband, Dr. John R. Paddison, a local physician.

The John R. Paddison Memorial Library building was dedicated on December 6, 1970, and opened to the public on January 15, 1971. At a cost of more than $400,000, a committee of townspeople supervised the construction. One of Mrs. Paddison’s specifications in her will was that a memorial room be set aside for her husband’s memory. Furnishings in the Paddison Room include the doctor’s medical equipment, as well as many items from their home.

The downstairs included a room to be rented out, a kitchen, and some offices to be used by town personnel. The bequest also specified a $10,000 trust for the upkeep of the facility.

In conjunction with the opening of the new building in 1971, Betty Turock was appointed librarian, and Marion Swaim was appointed assistant librarian.

In September 2002, the Sprint Nextel Corporation donated five computers and a year of free DSL access to the Library. Renovations to the building, including the installation of a new circulation desk, began June 10, 2006. The newly remodeled Kernersville Library opened on June 25, 2006.

Branch managers serving Kernersville and its Library through the years include: Betty Turock, Judie Austin, Duncan Smith, Laura Robbins Weigand, Lois Leggett, Lisa Elmore Kushner, and Carolyn Woods.