Swampscott Public Library
61 Burrill Street
History Of The Library :
In October of 1852, the year of Swampscott’s incorporation as a separate town from Lynn, the Board of Selectmen voted to accept a proposal brought to them by Dr. William Lawrence of Boston, to establish a “town library”. It was his gifts of one hundred and sixty-six volumes, accompanied by a monetary donation of one hundred dollars that formed the basis for the library’s book collection.
Three months later, on January 15, 1853, the library opened in a room in the Town Hall. At the time of its opening, the library was not a free public institution, but an association, whose members, of which there were twenty-nine the first month, paid dues for the privilege of withdrawing books. These dues paid to replenish the collection as time passed.
In 1867, the town began appropriating funds for the library and annual dues were no longer collected, but patrons were charged weekly fees for borrowing privileges. Finally, in 1879, the library was opened as a free public library in the Town Hall, with six hundred borrowers the first year.