The Library Turn 50

50-annNot all of us look forward to turning the big 5-0, but in the case of the Killingworth Library, which was created 50 years ago this winter, 2014 means a year-long celebration with programs, events, fundraisers and commemorative merchandise. Among the ideas in the works are historical programs, kids poster contests, an open house, and discussions about books from 1964. The library’s Facebook page will have “fun facts” from 1964, and we’d love you to post what YOU were doing that year! A new 50th anniversary logo will be used throughout the year.

When the Killingworth Library opened in 1964, it was housed in a space in the Killingworth Elementary School loaned by the Board of Education. This adult library, created by a group of about 20 residents and a $25 loan from the school library, was separate from the school library, and had its own by-laws, policies and fundraising projects.

The Library has a long history of volunteer and community support; volunteers built shelves and processed about 1,000 books donated by neighboring libraries and town residents. On opening night, April 16,1964, a hat was passed collecting about $100.

In 1965, the Library moved into two rooms and a hall on the second floor of newly purchased Town Hall building and grew its collection to 2,600 titles.

In 1968 the library was incorporated as a private, nonprofit corporation offering free library service to the town. On that basis it was formally recognized by the Town of Killingworth and the state of Connecticut. In 1972 the growing Library moved to the building at the Killingworth circle that had at one time housed the Killingworth Fire Department and had been the Central District School previous to that.

Additional volunteers were trained and a part-time librarian was hired. In the 1980s, due to the growth of the Library and the dangerous location on the busy circle, a building committee was formed to look into possibilities of relocating to larger, safer quarters.

In 1992, the town decided to buy the vacant, former CBT bank building on Rt. 81. The Killingworth Library Association contributed $35,000 towards the purchase.

Groundbreaking took place on November 1994 and construction began. The doors to the new library opened December 1, 1995 while finishing details were being completed.

Today, the Library holds 27,030 books, 3,345 DVDs, 1,904 CDs (both musical and audiobooks), 57 magazine and newspaper titles, and offers passes to 14 local museums and attractions. In 2013, the Library had 29,062 visitors, and checked out 53,803 items with a staff of three full-time and two part-time employees, assisted by a team of 29 volunteers and 18 Board members. The Library hosted more than 30 different programs for children and adults ranging from storytime to workshops for budding artists. Thirty-seven different groups ranging from political organizations, the KWO, the Killingworth Chamber of Commerce, Scout groups, sports organizations, book discussion groups, a parent support group and numerous other community organizations used the meeting room.

Killingworth Library Association is a private, non-profit organization run by volunteer board members responsible for raising nearly $94,000 of the Library’s operating budget, with the Town funding the rest. Events such as the annual Golf Tournament, Pizza Delivery Nights, and Book and Bake Sales are just some of the generously supported fundraising efforts. The volunteer spirit and community support is just as significant today as it was when our library was founded.

This year, to mark this special anniversary, a variety of events engaging all ages are planned. Please stay tuned, stop by the library and follow us on Facebook for details about the celebrations throughout the year.

Library Hours:

Doors Open for Browsing
Mon, Wed, Fri: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Tue, Thur: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sunday: Closed
Curbside pickup available 6 days week during open hours
Call to schedule: 860-663-2000

 

Contact Us

Killingworth Library Association
301 Route 81 (shipping)
P.O. Box 725 (mail)
Killingworth, CT 06419
(860) 663-2000
mail@killingworthlibrary.org

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