Library, Going Strong, Turns 130

Paul Bass Photo For a 130 year-old, New Haven’s public library is going strong, with a seemingly bright future ahead.

City Librarian Martha Brogan marked the occasion at the downtown main Ives branch by serving cake Tuesday at around 1 p.m. to library supporters and patrons, timed to coincide with the hour when founders first opened a rented space a block away to circulate newspapers and magazines.

Before cutting the cake, Brogan read a proclamation from Mayor Toni Harp, which ended with an exhortation to “keep reading.”

Library Board President Michael Morand noted that the library system has grown to four branches and a 24-hour electronic service, plus a bookmobile. In this digital age it remains New Haven’s “single-most visited cultural institution,” with 600,000 annual visits, he said. A new home for Dixwell’s Stetson branch is planned as part of the Q house project.

In addition to those original periodicals, the library nowadays circulates books, recordings, e-books, movies ... and, at least for one day, dessert.

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posted by: wendy1 on February 21, 2017  9:48pm

I love the library, too, but remember many of those visits are NH people trying to warm up, rest, or desperately trying to find jobs online BECAUSE our city lacks other services.

posted by: Glenn on February 22, 2017  10:28am

The library serves many purposes, I check out several books there a couple of times a month usually. I am glad the Free Public Library is there for me and others to use, it is definitely a handy New Haven resource. 130 years! That is a lot of service to the public!