It was business as usual for the most part on Friday at . Patrons browsed their email or performed research on computers. Books were checked in and out.
But by 5:30 p.m., the Snow Branch of the Dearborn Public Library had taken its last late fee.
Amid months of for the city of Dearborn, it was announced that one such slashing would be to —which included the main and the , Snow and branches.
Deputy Library Administrator Julie Schaefer summed up Snow's last day: "It's bittersweet," she said on Friday afternoon. "We’ve seen the writing on the wall, but today is it."
“It’s been talked about for a long time," added Administrative Librarian Steven Smith, "but it didn’t seem real until now when it’s actually happening."
Both Schaefer and Smith got their start in Dearborn's library system at Snow in the 1980s and '90s. They reminisced about having to file card catalogues by hand, and the puppet shows and other children's activities Snow used to host.
For patrons of Snow, the mood was somber on Friday as they browsed the shelves for the last time.
"I've been coming for 14 years," said Monika Knepper, who said she had come to Snow two or three times per week to pick up new books. "I brought my kids here for story time and to do puzzles, so to have this close is very disappointing for me."
"It's sad that they're closing it," added Rich Wolski. "I wanted to pick up books today, but also to make one last trip and thank the librarians."
Wolski's double motive for visiting Snow was not uncommon.
Dave and Mary Jane Landwehr—along with their four teen- and preteen-age kids—came with a camera in hand to snap photos of the library their kids had grown up with.
"We just wanted to say goodbye," Mary Jane said.
The Dearborn Public Library reminds patrons that the Henry Ford, Bryant and Esper branches will remain open. Also, Dearborn residents may choose to use either .
For more information, and for hours of operation for each branch, visit http://dearbornlibrary.org.