Wednesday, June 5, 2013

174. Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, Vermont

There are two parts to the library, the old and the new. The new part houses the adult materials, deployed around a central area at least two stories high, with a wall of windows and a spacious reading area. There are media, periodicals, a microfilm reader, study tables, a local history room, and best of all: newspapers on sticks! One of my favorite jobs in my high school days as a library page was putting newspapers on sticks. Now, it's hard to explain what I'm talking about to anyone who hasn't seen these. Two floors of stacks are along one wall, fiction on the second level, non-fiction on the third.

The children's area is in the older building. It is as different as can be from the new building, but every bit as handsome in its way, with a very high ceiling, elaborate woodwork, and a fireplace. As I entered this area, I was intrigued to see a picture, obviously created by a child, captioned "Edmunds students are passing the books from the Fletcher to Memorial auditorium." I discovered that this referred to the time when the new building was built and books were moved to temporary storage by a "bucket brigade" method. Yankee ingenuity at work.

I like a sign on the librarian's desk "This is a No-Arguments Zone."

Two unique lending programs here are garden tools of all sorts, arrayed in a rack cleverly made of white picket fence sections, and tennis rackets! The tennis rackets are donated, repaired, and made available for those who wish to learn tennis without a big initial investment.

There is a courtesy phone in the lobby for local calls, courtesy of the library and the local phone company. Despite the ubiquity of cell phones, I think this is a great idea.

I could have spent much more time here, except for the one thing that is lacking: parking. I was at a meter a few blocks away, and so my time was limited.

For more information, go to

I may add to this post later, because I left some information out in the car and I'm out of steam!

6/5/2013, car

The new building can be seen in the background on the left.

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to mention that the older building here is a Carnegie Library from 1904. While there, I bought a small booklet about the Carnegie libraries in Vermont. Three others are still in use, and I plan to visit each of them during my 2014 summer trip.


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