Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Partner: Brookline Public Library

The Young Men’s Library Association of Brookline was organized in 1861 as a stock company but was never incorporated. The resulting library was located in the rear of a local store, and in 1863 it boasted a total of 209 volumes.  The property of this association was surrendered to the town in 1877 on the condition that the library should be free. At the March town meeting of that year, the town voted “to appropriate one hundred dollars to establish a town library.” Out of these two actions came the Brookline Public Library.  The public library, originally housed in the rear of the E.E. Tarbell Store, moved in 1898 to the east room of the Milford Street Village School. In the spring of 1914 it was relocated to the Daniels Academy Building, where it remained for many years.  Bursting at the seams by the early 1990s, the Library again needed a new home.  The former Methodist Church, which had been serving as a youth center, was deemed an appealing option, and was extensively renovated in the fall of 1992.  Friends of the Library were instrumental in providing funds, labor and support, and in 1993 the Library took up residence in its current location – complete with a renovated church steeple and the original wooden organ pipes!  From its modest beginnings of about 200 books to its current holdings of over 32,000 items – including books, magazines, audios, videos, e-readers, online databases and more – the Brookline Public Library has served seekers of knowledge young and old for over 125 years. We look forward to the next 125.

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