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Mission and History of the Stafford Library

Mission and History of the Stafford Library

Mission Statement

The mission of the Stafford Library is to provide current resources to meet the informational, educational, cultural, recreational, personal, and professional needs of the residents of Stafford with special emphasis on encouraging children and teens to develop a love of reading and learning.

History of the Library

The beginnings of the Stafford Library start in 1873, when a reading club was formed by a group of young people. This group grew, becoming the Stafford Library and Reading Room Association in 1875.

In 1877 the first known location of the Library was a room adjoining the offices of Attorney Joel H. Reed on Main Street. The Library contained 300 books. A Girl’s Library Club, (later renamed the Women’s’ Library Club) was established to help run the Library. The Library collection was moved several times to various offices in the following years.

Interest in establishing a permanent public library in Stafford grew in the 1890’s. Substantial donations for this purpose were made by Mrs. Arba Hyde, Mrs. L.W. Crane, and other citizens during this time period. The Stafford Library Association was officially made the governing body of the Library in 1891. Mrs. H.F. Spelman presented the first recorded Librarian’s Report in 1893.

In 1894 Library use was made free to the public, eliminating the annual fee for use.

In 1896 Julia C. Johnson (widow of Cyril Johnson) deeded the Converse Building, located on Spring Street, to the Stafford Library Association, for one dollar. This building became the official location of the Stafford Public Library and remained so for the next 95 years.

Throughout its history, the Library has had several directors, including Mabel Meyers and Carol Johnson, who both had long tenures as Library Director. The Library grew throughout the 20th century, expanding its collection, adding a Children’s Room, and even a bookmobile in 1971.

The need for a new Library building was identified as early as 1972, and in 1998 a building committee was formed to plan for a new location for the Library. In October 2001 the current Library building was opened on the school campus on Levinthal Run.

The Library currently offers a wide range of services to the public, including lending books and other materials, holding programs for children, teens, and adults, providing computers and internet access, (including indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi access), eBook collections, online databases, and more.