The Public Library Of Brookline

361 Washington Street
Brookline, MA 02445


About Us :
The Brookline Library Foundation was incorporated in January of 1999 as a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to raise private funds for the restoration and renewal of the main branch of the Public Library of Brookline. Since this project was completed in 2003, the Foundation has carried on with fundraising to support Brookline's libraries.

Mission :
The mission of the Public Library of Brookline is to provide access to recorded knowledge and information to all the people of Brookline. The Library will seek to instill in children a love of reading and an appreciation of the library's resources. It will also build and maintain collections of print and non-print materials and provide electronic access to information in order to meet the intellectual and recreational needs of all populations of the community in the most cost-effective manner.

History :
The Brookline Public Library plays a distinctive role in the Town and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, thereby qualifying it for nomination in Heart of the Community: the Libraries We Love, for its architectural, historical, and social significance. Located in Brookline Village, the handsome red brick Georgian Revival structure was designed in 1910 by renowned Boston architect R. Clipston Sturgis. The Library is associated with significant people, events, and landmarks, notably the establishment of one of the first reading rooms for children in the country.

The present library, dedicated on November 17, 1910, is the second on the site, replacing an 1869 mansard roofed building. Built with brick and Indiana limestone trim, it sits atop a knoll with a circular drive. One of its most impressive features is the oak-paneled reference room with ceiling-high windows and sterling silver chandeliers. The interior of the building was altered and an addition erected in 1970. A further renovation, completed in 2003, creatively added more than 18,000 square feet of public space by eliminating the closed stacks and moving staff offices to newly-created third floor locations, all within the original footprint of the building. The renovation restored the original double entrances, uncovered the grand-columned entrance hall, opened up access to the wings, which had been restricted in 1970, and doubled the floor space of the childrenís room. It also allowed the Library to display a large portion of its art collection. Handicapped accessibility was enhanced by adding ramps that continue the design of the original balustraded terrace. This restoration renewed the facility for the 21st century while restoring and preserving almost all of the original architectural elegance. The Brookline Preservation Commission presented the Library with a Preservation Award in 2003.

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