ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
After over two years of renovations, the Holbrook Library held its grand reopening July 26, 2018.
The event was attended by base leadership and the family of Leon J. Holbrook, a former Chief Master Sergeant on Ellsworth.
“Everyone was extremely pleased and very moved by the event,” said Chris Holbrook, a Rapid City Police Department officer. “The notice was really short so everyone had to make quick arrangements, but they weren’t going to miss it.”
Ellsworth Air Force Base has had a library since 1946, but didn’t become the Holbrook Library until 1980 when it was rededicated in honor of Chief Master Sergeant Leon J. Holbrook. Holbrook served for 20 years in the Air Force before retiring and continuing to work as a civilian on base until his death in April 1980. The Holbrook family attended the rededication this past Thursday. Holbrook is survived by his five daughters and four sons, and all but one were able to attend.
“The family was very pleased with the renovation, they were remembering the first installation of the plaque honoring their father” Susan Heffelfinger, a Holbrook Library librarian said. “This time they had three generations present, the youngest being three weeks old.”
The library was selected as one of eight Air Force libraries to receive $274k in order to remodel and update. The library installed new carpeting, interior lighting, ceiling tiles as well as updating the book cataloging system, added patio furniture and awnings and even a makerspace which houses two 3-D printers which are free to use for airmen and their families.
Librarian Wanda Greene provided some insight into what it took to revamp the library
“It was a lot of work, from removing all the books off there to make room for these new shelving units, and then putting them back on, setting this furniture up, picking up all the pieces and making sure there’s a nice presentable atmosphere for people,” Greene said.
The Holbrook Library provides a quiet place for Airmen to study, children to learn and families to spend time together. For hours of operation and to learn more, visit their web page at www.ellsworthfss.com/funandfood/holbrook-library, or call (605) 385-1688.