History

In 1907 a small group of concerned citizens of Bakersfield secured an article in the town report warning, asking for a town library. It was decided through discussion that that it was a progressive step to establish a town library and would bring great benefits that would more than offset any expenses it might create. The town voted to establish a library with $25.00 from the general fund to pay for books, the librarian, and the housing of the books. There were 5 library trustees elected. The first 126 books were donated. In 1910 there were 225 books and they were mostly worn out with small print as they were donated old books. The first salary was paid in 1910 and was $15.00. (That was for a year)

By 1915 there were over 400 books including some really good children’s books. In 1948 the budget was raised to $75.00. Improvement in library services was due to real effort on the part of the trustees, librarians, and interested people. From 1907 until 1951 the library was housed in many different homes, sometimes in a small side room or parlor.

In 1951 the town received the Mary Brigham Weeks Fund. During the summer of 1951 the H.F. Brigham Memorial Library, named for her brother, was built. Before 1918 the town had the use of Traveling Libraries. These were sent out from a Department of the Vermont Free Public Library Commission which had been instituted before 1905. It’s early work was around Montpelier, but the Alice Coolidge Bookwagon, given in 1922 by the Vermont Federation of Women’s Clubs, expanded the area served.

Taken from Bakersfield Vermont The way it was the way it is by Elsie C. Wells

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