Almost 60 years have passed since the Dallas Public Library opened its Lakewood Branch. The invitation to the opening of the Lakewood Branch is dated January 3, 1938. The fabled Marion Underwood served as the chief librarian from its opening in 1938 until her retirement in 1961.

In addition to being a librarian, Underwood also was a nurse. She often conducted first aid and home nursing classes at the back of the library, and she kept “boiled needles” to administer medicine to some library patrons. Underwood also was known to drive through the neighborhood in her 1935 Ford collecting book fines.

Underwood felt the need to be near her work, so she rented a house at the corner of Ridgeway and Tremont for $25 a month. Two years later, her landlord raised the rent to $45 a month. She lived in that house until 1970. In 1970, the library moved to its present location at Junius and Abrams. The old library stands to this day in the Lakewood Shopping Center, and is currently home to a variety of professionals, including Dr. P. Todd Calvin’s dentist office.

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