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Windsor Locks Public Library

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~ History of the Windsor Locks Public Library ~

~ The Windsor Locks Public Library ~

The Memorial Hall Association formed on June 27, 1905 to provide a "lecture and entertainment course" for the citizens of Windsor Locks. A Library Committee was formed on November 15, 1905 after the Association adopted a constitution and bylaws, which set forth the purpose of the Association as "intellectual and social improvement of the community." On June 29, 1907 the Association voted to authorize the Library Committtee to proceed with locating space for a free library and reading room to serve the town of Windsor Locks. Windsor Locks's first library opened its doors on October 7, 1907. Located then in the Converse Block on the corner of Main and Spring Streets, the library's collection consisted of 1,250 volumes, 450 of which were donated by the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Windsor Locks. Seventy one books were checked out by borrowers on its first day. The town's first permanent librarian, Miss Lula Stockwell, served from 1907 until April, 1918, when she was suceeded by Alice Coffin.

By 1920 the library was open 6 days a week, for a total of 19 hours and in 1924 the library relocated to rooms in the Windsor Locks Bank Building. In May, 1928 the name was changed from the Memorial Hall Association to Windsor Locks Public Library, Inc. By this time there were 6,158 books on our shelves and annual circulation was 10, 336. 1,200 people used the library on a regular basis. In August, 1940 the library received a bequest of $5,000 from the late Mr. J.J. Burke and land from Mrs. Conant for the purpose of building a library. It is on this land that the library presently stands.

Mae Egan was appointed librarian in May, 1941, replacing Alice Coffin. Miss Egan had previously served on the library's Board of Directors as chairman of the book committee and secretary. Discussions about erecting a library building went on for several years, and in 1947 it wasa decided that building would be delayed for at least 2 years. In 1954 the library was offered the Swindell home, which had to be moved due to construction of the town's new high school. This offer was accepted, the building was moved and remodeled, and on February 1, 1955 the beautiful new library was opened. A new wing was added in 1962 and professional librarians were added to the staff in 1963.

Linda Most was named head librarian in September, 1969. Ronald Hubbs was hired to lead the library's staff in 1979, and in June, 1990 the current building was dedicated under his able direction. Ronald Hubbs served as head librarian until his retirement in 1998. Terry Crescimanno served as Director from 1999 until April 2001 and David Brown managed the library from August, 2001 until September, 2003. Gloria Malec has been serving as Director of the Windsor Locks Public Library since January 2004.

Today the Windsor Locks Public Library's collection includes about 58,000 items, including books, subscriptions to 70 magazines, audio books (on tape, CD, playaway, and MP3), music CDs, and DVDs, including popular movies, documentaries, and TV series. Special collections include ESOL, Career, several fiction genre collections, and a local history collection. We are in the process of digitizing Jack Redmond's Cabbages & Kings column, which ran in the Windsor Locks Journal from 1975-1999. Mr Redmond donated his original collection of clippings and related memorabilia, which featured profiles of local individuals and familes, to the library, where it can be enjoyed by all. The print reference collection has been pared down while additional informational and educational databases have been added. On March 1, 2006 the library, along with 22 other consortium members, began offering Overdrive downloadable audio books for our users. Our library has since aquired Freading, which offers additional downloadable eBooks to our borrowers.

In addition to the director, our staff includes an Adult Services Librarian (Eileen Pearce), Children's Librarian (Kristin Raiche), Head of Technical Services (Beth Morrill), 6 part-time library assistants, a page, several fill-in clerks, and numerous dedicated volunteers. During 2007 the staff and community of Windsor Locks celebrated the library's 100th anniversay with several special events, including an Open House. In 2011 the library was awarded a Hartford Foundation technology grant that was used for upgrading public PCs and the library's computer area.

Information on this page was compiled from various local sources, including "The Story of Windsor Locks: 1663-1976",
published by the Windsor Locks Bicentennial Commission in 1976.

Updated 11-18-2013