Library Fun Facts

August 2, 1884 –  The library opened in the Selectmen’s Room of the Old Town Hall (that used to be located on the corner of Union & West Streets, but burned down in 1970).  

    • The library opened with 1,319 books, and charged 2 cents a day for overdue fees.

    • Library users had to select a book title from the catalog that was maintained by the librarian, because the public was restricted from the shelf area of books.

    • The rules regarding borrowing were quite strict.  Readers had to be over 15 years old and known to the officers of the library as ‘proper persons.’ Only one book could be taken at a time for no more than 14 days and reserves were not permitted.

June 17, 1901 – The library moved to Soldiers’ Memorial Building that had been built at the corner of Union Street & Park Row in order to honor the men of Mansfield who had fought in the Civil War (this building currently houses the School Administration Building right next to the Town Hall) — The library had 3,500 items and circulated 12,000 books.

May 15, 1989 –  The library moved to its current location on Hope Street, to the building that had been built specifically for the Library and the Council on Aging (the Grand Opening and Dedication took place on September 16, 1989).

1990 –  The library had its first overdue fine increase in 106 years, to just 5 cents a day, still a bargain!!

2019 – We celebrated our 135th birthday, and the 30th anniversary of this building!

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