South Berwick Public Library

Most libraries start out as a form designed for a function. In South Berwick, Maine, there is an example of function shoe-horned into a historic home.
 

Thanks to local citizen effort, the South Berwick Public Library re-opened in 1971 in a rented room in the Jewett Eastman House. In this building and in the one next door, writer Sarah Orne Jewett lived and wrote most of her works.
 

One can tell upon entering that the library is special, not only for books but as a community gathering place.
 

What was once the dining room now holds the children's collection, the built in shelves re-purposed.
 

Just imagine curling up with a picture book on this window seat (with 20 over 20 window panes!)
 

The parlor has reproduction wallpaper and very much original Delft tiles around the fireplace.
 

Unfortunately, this neat form cannot sustain the function. The floors are reinforced to manage the weight of books. Those beautiful windows with wavy glass panes are very drafty during the long winters. Again local citizens are rallying to move the library, but not to a new building. Their aim is to renovate St. Michael's Church. I hope they succeed; that would be a wonderful library to visit.

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Comments

Cool. They ways communities

Cool. They ways communities come together for libraries always fascinates me (especially since my own doesn't do that so much).

Reminds me to get back to

Reminds me to get back to another local library branch which locals not only saved but started running it as an independent library.