Treat Memorial Library History
The Livermore Falls Library Association was formally organized on November 23, 1899 at a citizens' meeting held in the Methodist Church in Livermore Falls.
The doors opened for the first time on January 19, 1901 in the new quarters on the second floor of the Livermore Falls Trust Bank building. The first librarian was Mrs. Willis Sewall, who received $.16 (sixteen cents) per hour as her wages. At the time of the opening, there were two bookcases housing a total of 539 volumes, and the circulation of books for the year 1901 was 1,374. The hours were established as 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
On Friday, May 13, 1910, a raging fire destroyed much of the business district and the entire Sharaf Building, which included the bank and the new library. This ended the library for a time.
On May1, 1928, the Livermore Falls Library Association moved into the Ham Block, with its newly formed library.
In 1947, the library committee recognized the need for a new building, but nothing was accomplished at that time. The dream finally came true with the establishment of the George Winfield Treat Memorial Library in 1954. The library was erected and given to the town through the generosity of Mrs. Elsie Reynolds Treat, in memory of her late husband. The new brick building was dedicated on October 30, 1954.
The Treat family members were outstanding citizens of the town, both Elsie Reynolds Treat and George Windfield Treat being Livermore Falls natives. Mr. Treat, a descendant of Deacon Elijah Livermore (for whom the town was named), was born July 21, 1875 and died in 1952. He had a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was the director of the Livermore Falls Trust Company from 1914 to 1952. Many of his generous deeds were never known. He anonymously helped many young men and women attain a college education they would otherwise never have had.
The second librarian was Augusta Hawes, followed by Hattie Harris, Cora Wyman, Jeanette McKenney, Florence Mixer, Ruth Beedy, and Sheila Dorey. Mrs. Dorey became head librarian in 1976, and saw a complete renovation of the library during her term. Using money from the Treat Maintenance Fund, the interior of the library was overhauled with new paint; some bookcases and the Circulation Desk were relocated; and the Children's Section and Adult Reading Room, where the Maine Collection is housed, were created. Francena Goodine became head librarian in March 2005.
On October 26, 2000, the 100-year anniversary of the incorporation of the Livermore Falls Library Association was celebrated. In October of 2004, the library celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the Treat Memorial Library at its present site. The town can be proud of its library, and should thank the Treat family for the beautiful location it occupies.
In the 1990's, the library, with several grants, acquired computers, thus enabling patrons to access the Internet. In the late 1990's, automating the library card catalog and patron files was started. In March 2006, Treat Memorial Library added its catalog to the online database SOLAR, bringing the library into the technological age of the twenty-first century. Now patrons statewide may browse Treat's collection, along with the collections of dozens of other libraries, at the MaineCat website.
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