The next library in the Then and Now category is the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock, Vermont. I had the pleasure of visiting this library in person last summer. Not only were the staff really friendly (at least the one woman I spoke to), but it was beautiful inside.
As I mentioned in the first post for this new series, I am collecting vintage postcards of libraries in towns where I have some sort of family connection, partly due to my love of genealogy. Woodstock, Vermont is a great little town of about 3,000 people that is a very popular ski area. The branch of my family tree that I know the least about ended up in Woodstock around 1850.
Then – in 1907
And now – in 2013
I adore how there is a puzzle that anyone can work on and a honor system coffee bar in the reading room. A public library could never do this where I live.
The postcard was sent to Miss E.B. Harris in Cambridge, MA on January 17, 1907 and says (I think) “This is certainly a slick little place here and I bet it is an ideal spot in summer. Shall be in Randolph tonight, Montpelier Sunday at the Pavilion and Monday St. Johnsbury at the Avenue. Mrs H.” Someone was going on a grand winter tour of Vermont!
According to its website, the library was built in 1883-1884 and is made of pink sandstone. In 1999-2000, the library underwent a renovation, which added a mezzanine and tripled the space to 15,000 square feet. Its collection is around 70,000 items and the library has one of the highest circulation rates per capita in Vermont. Special services include free or reduced admissions to several area museums and state parks and other sites, a continuing education program, plus a Vermont History Room with genealogy info. (I quickly flipped through a card catalog filled with vital records information. If only I had had more time!) Their card catalog is online and they offer wi-fi.
All images are my own. It was a cloudy, rainy day, so please forgive the photo quality!
Now reading: Just finished Burial Rites this afternoon, and will soon start Inferno by Dan Brown.