The Mission of the Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library is to provide members of our diverse community with equal access to traditional and electronic media, programs, and exhibits that will encourage life-long learning, expand cultural horizons, facilitate research, and inspire curiosity.
The library was instituted in Dudley In 1896, and the facility opened in 1897 in a first-floor room within the Chaseville School on Schofield Avenue with $300 worth of books.
In 1901, it moved into a new home at One Village Street – where it existed with one expansion in 1971 – until the move to the new building on Schofield Avenue, at the site of the former town hall, in June, 2010. (The lot and cement slab for the Village Street library were donated by Stevens Linen.)
In 1901, Dudley's population was just over 3600, and the Dudley Free Public Library – later renamed the Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library – held 791 books. There were 287 library cardholders, and the circulation – that is the number of items checked out of the library in Fiscal Year 1901 – was 3,410.
Compare this to the new library where there are now over 30,000 items on our shelves, over 5600 cardholders and in Fiscal Year 2011, the library circulated 82,150 items.
This new library was the culmination of more than a decade of cooperation and teamwork that involved many members of our community and beyond.
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners awarded the Crawford Library a Library Construction Grant for $2.3 million; Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Crawford made a private donation of $2 million; the Dudley voters' provided their support at town meeting and at the ballot box through their vote for a $1.4 million debt exclusion; and our Capital Campaign committee worked diligently at fundraising donations and pledges that have totaling over $1 million.
The diligence of the Library Building Committee in overseeing the project resulted in surplus funds that are now part of the Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library Endowment Fund that was established in 2011 through the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. These funds will help to maintain our library throughout the coming years.
Tuesday, Dec 7, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Wednesday, Dec 8, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Thursday, Dec 9, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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