Kimball, VT public library

I’ve been a bad blogger lately.  I’m writing so many blog posts for my two classes that I’m neglecting this.  So, it’s time for another Then and Now installment!  You may know that I like collecting postcards, so I started to collect vintage library postcards, with a focus on places related to my family.  Today’s library is the Kimball Public Library in Randolph, Vermont.  I actually have no ties to Randolph, although I do have family history in many nearby towns.  I just thought the library was pretty and I found two postcards, both with messages, which I like.

Randolph is a town of about 4,800 residents, located in the White River Valley region.  The downtown is a National Historic District.  It’s the largest town in the area and was originally settled in the late 1770s.

Then, in 1906

randolph vt 1

And, in 1907

randolph vt 2

And now, in 2013

The 1906 postcard was mailed on August 21, 1906 to Lira E. Morse, Springfield Mass, 17 Princeton Street (that’s the order written on the card).  The message reads Sunday so warm.  Jessie and I didn’t go to church.  All well, Sarah.

The 1907 card was mailed October 15, 1907 to Miss Sarah Haven (?), 102 Congress St, Milford, Mass.  It reads Dear Friend, I was glad to hear a word from you.  Shall always hold you with Dear Abbie as dear friends.  Have just sent 18 views of Randolph to a friend in Peoria, Ill.  Sun ? friend.  She sent for {illegible rest of sentence} – 12 cts for 15.  -Mary Holbrook.

As you can see, the cute awnings over the windows are gone and there’s handrails down the stairs, but otherwise it looks the same.

Randolph’s original library was created in 1894 over a drug store with 134 books sent by the state, and other donations of books over the years created a sizable collection.  The Kimball Library was built in 1903 and named after Colonel Robert J. Kimball, a New York financier who donated $10,000 to build a proper library.

Today, the library is open daily and serves the towns of Randolph and Braintree.  They have computer and internet access, on an unspecific number of computers.  I think it’s cute that they have a “conscience box” instead of charging fees for overdue items.  One interesting aspect of their website is they have a Donate Now button.

They have five staff, which sounds like it may be pretty good for a small town, and I just realized that one of them is Jessamyn West, of librarian.net.  How funny.  I’ve followed her blog for a while and knew she was in rural Vermont, but didn’t know she worked in Randolph.  They also have five trustees.

Library services include access to electronic databases, an online course program, wi-fi, passes to local museums, and a subscription to a genealogy database.  Programs include book discussions, a book-to-film series, and a knitting group.  They also offer children’s programs like scavenger hunts, a Magic gaming group, and storytime.

All in all, a nice little library!

Currently reading: The Hard Way by Lee Child

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