Leominster Public Library

I was born in Leominster, MA. It is also the birthplace of Robert Cormier, Johnny Appleseed, and the plastics industry.
 

 

The roots of the Public Library extend back to 1763 and the Leominster Social Library. The collection was kept in a pine 'secretary' in the home of Rev. Francis Gardner. The bookcase was preserved and can be seen at the library today.
 

 

The free public library was established in 1856. Despite the popularity of the facility, a permanent building was not constructed until 1910. The local paper described the completed building:

Regarding the building: It is a two-story building of brown colored Roman brick with limestone trimmings. ... The interior finish is golden oak wood and kalsomined cream colored walls and ceilings in two shades.

 

There was an emphasis on childrens books very early on. A separate collection for kids under 14 was established in 1893. There was acknowledgment starting in the 1940's of the need to focus on young adults as well. The Young Adult Center (a.k.a The Room) was established in 1978, catering to those between grades 7 and 12.
 

I mentioned Robert Cormier above. He was a very successful YA author. Several of his novels, most notably The Chocolate War, were challenged or banned by libraries in America. Cormier was very involved in the Leominster Public Library and served on its board of trustees. After his death, the Young Adult Center was renamed the Robert E. Cormier Center for Young Adults.
 

 

Keeping with the tradition above, the room is now most often referred to as "The Bob".

 

 

Sources:
A History of the Leominster Public Library, From the Report of the Librarian for 1955, Revised and Amended, The Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA 1957

Combing Through Leominster’s History, Compiled by the Leominster Historical Commission Book Committee, Gilbert P. Tremblay, editor. 2006

Article from "Leominster Daily Enterprise", April 25, 1910

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