The Electra C. Doren Branch Library has been a gem in its Old North Dayton neighborhood since 1927. It is the oldest branch in the Dayton Metro system, and was the first to undergo renovation in the Libraries for a Smarter Future project.
“The Electra C. Doren Branch is the only Dayton Metro Library named after a person, and one the first public buildings in America named after a woman,” said Branch Manager Jonathan Cline. “Electra Collins Doren was a fascinating person. She was responsible for collecting one of the largest, if not the largest, women's suffrage materials in the U.S.”
Cline has been Manager of the Electra C. Doren Branch for more than nine years.
Q. Where are you from originally?
A. I was born in Georgia, but my parents are from Ohio and I’ve been a Daytonian almost all my life.
Q. Where did you work prior to the Electra C. Doren Branch?
A. I began my career with Dayton Metro Library in 1990 in the Acquisitions Division, then worked as a reference librarian both at Clark State Community College and for 15 years in Adult Services at the Main Library.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. I enjoy working with a variety of people of all ages and backgrounds – both patrons and staff – improving service, solving problems, helping people find the best answers to their questions and seeing patrons having a very positive experience with the Dayton Metro Library.
Q. Are you involved in the Old North Dayton community?
A. I attend community meetings including the Old North Dayton Neighborhood Association, McCook Field Neighborhood Association, the Northeast Priority Board (now a neighborhood association without a name), neighborhood watch, and I participate in the community garden.
Q. Are there any special services or features about the Electra C. Doren Branch you’d like folks to know about?
A. Even before the remodeling, it was not uncommon to see patrons coming into the Library, looking at the wood beams and high ceiling and hear them remark, "Oh, I just love this building." Now, with the updating, technological enhancements, marketplace, new community room and outdoor reading terrace, patrons will continue to marvel at their Library, which was the most modern branch in Dayton when it was built in 1927.
Q. What are your personal interests or activities outside of work?
A. I'm an experienced gardener. I like to grow shrubs, trees, roses, bamboo, ground covers and other perennial flowers. I love to grow plants both common and uncommon in the area, especially plants with multi-season interest. I also like sports, reading about current events, traveling and working outdoors with my rescued dog, Sunny.
Q. If you could be a famous person for a week, who would it be and why?
A. Santa Claus! It would be fantastic to ride in a sleigh with Rudolph and all the other reindeer and bring material happiness to every child in the world.
The Electra C. Doren Branch Library is located at 701 Troy Street in Dayton. For more information call (937) 463-BOOK.