The Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch opened as the Ocean View Branch on July 21, 1923 on the second floor of the Ocean View Branch of the Trust Company of Norfolk building on A Avenue. In 1939, it was moved into a large room in Ocean View School, the moved to its present location in 1961 and was renamed for Mary Denson Pretlow, Norfolk Public Library’s second library director.  

The Pretlow Branch closed in February 2005 and reopened on April 1 at a temporary location so that a larger, regional or "anchor," library could be built on the site. Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch opened in 2008. The $10.8 million regional facility with 90 public computers and a huge children's area featured a 110-seat public meeting room and a wing for the Ocean View Station Museum. It was the city’s first anchor branch library.

Miss Mary Denson Pretlow became the librarian of the Norfolk Public Library in 1917, when the library board still operated as a private corporation. She oversaw the reclassification of the nonfiction collection to conform to the Dewey Decimal system, assisted in collecting enough Virginiana to open the Sargeant Memorial Room (now the Sargeant Memorial Collection) in May 1927, and grew the library system from a central library with one branch to a central library with seven neighborhood branches. Miss Pretlow retired in 1947.

Learn how to reserve a meeting room at the Pretlow Anchor Branch.

AARP Home Fit Workshop

Meet, Learn & Discover Series

This workshop will provide comprehensive advice, tips, and checklists for getting your home in top form for comfort, safety and long-term livability! In an AARP survey, eight out of 10 people age 45 and older say they want to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. If you're one of them, this free workshop is for you!

For more information, please call (757) 664-7328 ext. 340. All adults are welcome to attend and registration is not required.

The Meet, Learn & Discover Series is sponsored by Norfolk Public Library, Friends of the NPL and AARP VA.

 

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