Broad Brook Library – #ThursdayDoors

Broad Brook Library

When I was detoured into the center of Broad Brook a few weeks ago, I drove by a nondescript little building that had a sign that said “Broadbrook Library.” My first thought was that the building wasn’t big enough to be a library. Door-high hopes had me instantly thinking that this was the original library which has been carefully maintained by a town interested in preserving its history. Of course, I decided to get a few pictures to share for Thursday Doors.

Thursday Doors is a weekly blogfest, organized by Norm Frampton and staged from around the globe by door enthusiasts, every one of which understands what it means to pull off the side of the road to snag a few pictures. If you want to join us, or just see the doors we’re sharing, visit Norm’s site. If you have doors to share, Norm will have instructions.

I managed to get my pictures, but when I did my research, I was surprised to find that this little library is still in operation. It’s not well-funded, but it seems to have a healthy budget of heart and friendly support. The article I found from 2013 mentioned a minimal budget. The latest information I found said that in 2016, the town cut that budget to $0. The library continues with the help from volunteers. The library services have been provided free since 1919. The town funds a modern library in another village, but this little library keeps going.


77 comments

    1. It does make me feel good that they manage to continue even after the town cut funding. The latest from the group of Scrooges running that town is that they cut funding the high school graduation in a facility that could let kids have 8-10 tickets and forced it into the gym where kids will only get 2-3 tickets. All to save $2,300. The kids are trying to raise the money to rent the other venue.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Dan, a one hundred year old library with no funding and still open two days per week. Now, that’s a story. I wonder who pays the electricity and keeps the lawn mowed. Do they have children’s programs?Who are the volunteers? Did the statue have real life models? Now that you are retired, you can do better, dig deeper please! :-) Nice doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They do have a children’s section, and they do manage to supply current titles. They say that Fiction has replaced non-Fiction as the leading category being requested. Local residents and businesses contribute money and time. They pay their part-time librarian and they keep the lights on and the building heated. The woman who was the librarian for 20 years has some health problems, but they hired a woman to fill in for her.

      The place seems to operate like any library in any town, just without any funding from the town.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s amazing. We have those tiny libraries in villages around us but I’m sure they all have funding. I grew up with a tiny, cozy library down south that has been replaced by a massive modern library building. I’ve only been in it once.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a “feel good” story Dan. 100 years old and still supplying the residents with current publications despite no funding from the town. Volunteerism at its best. A community that actually comes together and takes care of itself.

    Great post! I can’t even imagine a town not having and supporting a local free library. It seems as vital to any community as a police station or firehouse or grocery store.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked this Ginger.

      This town is strange. Their latest twist was to cut the $2,000 needed to rent a venue for graduation that’s large enough to give the kids 8-10 tickets. They will now hold graduation in the gym, where each kid can have 2-3 tickets (sorry Grandma). That was in retaliation for the town not approving the Board of Ed’s initial budget request. The kids are trying to raise the money on their own.

      About 20 years ago, this town wanted to merge its school system with ours. We voted that idea into the trash bin.

      Like

  4. What an uplifting story, Pete. We have a privately funded library in our town, existing by paid memberships. The services are free to residents and the speakers and programs they host are always wonderful. The door suits it, I think. And I, too, love the statue.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. God bless the little library and the people who keep it going. It makes my heart clench whenever I see libraries being shut down, or older, more quaint ones being moved into tiny little modern buildings (they’re currently trying to do that here in my town, and it will be an absolute travesty if they succeed).

    A few months ago, some friends that have young children were at my house. The little boy (8) asked if he could watch The Twilight Zone, and so we all watched “The Obsolete Man”. As it’s playing, the little girl (11) said that at her school (a French Catholic elementary) they’ve already abolished the school library and converted it into a computer room. She said they threw away all of the English books, and there were only a few French ones scattered around the school now. But no library.

    And you know… hearing that gave me the same feeling that I assume viewers first had when they watched Obsolete Man for the very first time. Because even though I “live” in 2019, my heart and mind are anywhere BUT. I don’t accept that more and more people don’t use libraries. I don’t accept that children don’t need to read books — and paper books at that. I just am not having any of that garbage. So I feel like my mindset is still very much in tune with the spirit of the 1950s and early ’60s. And just the thought of a librarian or libraries being declared obsolete is still shocking to me.

    It was a real eye-opener….. having an episode of the Twilight Zone basically come to life right in front of me, and in MY time. Scared me a little, tbh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is so scary. E-reading is not growing as expected, despite efforts to force it on us. Libraries have adapted to the modern age and often provide a rude range of services. I think that school is making a huge mistake.

      Like

      1. Completely agree! The biggest issue I have these days is not with technological changes, it’s with the pressing idea that if we bring in something new, we must get rid of what came before. And that’s just nonsense. There’s plenty of room in the world for BOTH the old and the new, and we don’t always have to be replacing things. We can simply add to them, and then instead of limiting potential, we’re helping it grow even more. And I think that this is supremely important in schools most of all.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure if I’m more sad that the town defunded their library or happy that people care enough to keep it going all the same….
    Gonna stay positive today and say thank goodness for people who understand the importance of libraries. Thanks for sharing this Dan :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When I was in college, a random walk in the campus neighborhood took me past a LIBRARY that looked like a private home. I got a friend, and we went it. It WAS a private home. A woman and her late husband had collected so many books over their decades together, the woman had library shelving built and opened the collection to the public. I also went to a trailer in a tiny town in Tennessee that had been turned into a free-lance public library. Don’t you just love people who love books that much?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Often those little libraries in small towns are like reading rooms. Quiet places not necessarily to check out books but to read in peace and quiet. Many of the houses in these small towns are old, creaky and not soundproof!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t surprised to see that the town stopped funding the library, that’s in keeping with the way that town works. I was glad to see that residents and businesses stepped in and are keeping it going.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Go library supporters! This reminds me of our Mounted Patrol. Zero town funding except for the officers’ salaries. The community donates the horses, feeds the horses, houses the horses, and takes care of the horses. When community spirit gets wound up, it can do wonderful things. Great story, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What an inspiring little story! I have always loved libraries as they provided my sole access to books growing up. Libraries gave me so much and I hat to think our towns no longer see their value. How wonderful to find a place where people support them even if their city doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this. For the longest time, we didn’t have a library in our town, but my mother would take us to the place where the Bookmobile stopped. When they finally built a library, I thought it was wonderful to have one we could go to whenever we wanted.

      Like

  11. It’s one of those places that makes me think “Only in New England.” So charming. So quaint.
    We were supposed to get a new library over on the fort (a bit closer than the current one) but that was years ago and I haven’t heard boo about it since. Just brought it up to The Mister last I went, he’s not heard boo either. shrugs Our library used to be open from 9am-10pm when we were young. Now it has odd hours, and barely any in comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, so after having written that last week, this week I learned that our library is closing for an unspecified amount of time so it can be … improved. In the meantime, we’re encouraged to use other library branches. Which made me laugh, as though we’d just give up free books for an unspecified amount of time, maybe forget to read at all – Hah.

        Liked by 1 person

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