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Dallas Public Library Celebrates the Central Library’s 40th Birthday with 1980s-themed Events

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DALLAS – The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library is turning 40 years old in April, and Dallas Public Library is marking the occasion with a series of events April 5-9 celebrating all things 1982, including an after-hours party.  

 Events include: 

  • Daily screenings of 1980s movie favorites at 1 p.m. and  3 p.m. 
  • Thursday, April 7, 4 to 6 p.m. 
  • Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
    • 40th Birthday Extravaganza, including an 80s craft for kids, trivia by Geeks Who Drink, a special edition podcast recording in the Story Center, modern mixtapes in the Heritage Lab, and legwarmer making in the Fiber Arts Workroom.
  • Saturday, April 9, 6 to 8 p.m. 

 All events are sponsored by the Friends of the Dallas Public Library. Jennifer Gonzales appears courtesy of the Office of Arts and Culture Community Artist Program. 

The birthday bash is also the unofficial relaunch of the Creative Spaces, 3 makerspaces opened in 2019. The Story Center on the third  floor is a studio for storytelling in all its forms – podcasting, video, audio recording, graphic design and more, including an iMac and a typewriter. The Fiber Arts Workroom is dedicated to all things fabric and thread, including sewing machines, contemporary and vintage patterns, fabric samples, yarn and more. The Heritage Lab includes digitization tools to make copies of irreplaceable photos, books, home movies, documents, slides and audio cassettes. Customers can make an appointment to use the equipment during library open hours or access the space during organized events.  

 The Central Library opened on April 14, 1982, replacing the 1950s era building on Commerce at Harwood. Designed by Fisher and Spillman Architects, Inc., the building compliments the inverted structure of City Hall directly across the street. With eight subject-specialty floors, it is one of the largest public library facilities in the nation and holds many treasures, including an original broadside of the Declaration of Independence, Shakespeare’s First Folio, and fine art pieces by Bertoia, Hepworth and Rauschenburg, to name a few. The Library was named the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in 1986 in honor of the former mayor who played a major role in its development.  

 Dallas Public Library operates the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and 29 branch locations, serving more than 9 million visitors each year. A library card is free for any Dallas resident. For information on the many free programs and services available at Dallas Public Library, visit

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