Despite entering an age where information is accessed right at your fingertips, libraries have remained an integral part of communities across the globe. From movies to educational workshops, libraries are great community gathering places. And in Massachusetts, you’ll find some of the very best around. Here are our favorites.
The ways to use the Boston Public Library are practically limitless. Borrow books, CDs, movies, eBooks and more. Check out their calendar of events that are open to the community. Borrow a pair of passes to a local museum. The Boston Public Library was the first large free municipal library in the U.S.
The Thomas Crane Public Library provides a wealth of local history, in addition to a wealth of books. Whether you read electronic books or traditional hard or softcover editions, they provide everything you need. Their early literacy program for kids is awesome.
Learn about the history of the Kennedy family at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library. While you don’t check out books at this library, you walk away with the knowledge of having read several. The programs, museum exhibits, films and lectures are designed to educate the public about this family and late president, and their impact on politics nationwide.
When guests visit the Oak Bluffs Public Library, they get so much more than the books, magazines, CDs and movies on shelves. The librarian and staff provide helpful hints about local history, seasonal excitement or even where to get the best cocktail or food to eat. The island culture is both known and beloved by the library staff and they love sharing it—along with free Wi-Fi and reading materials—with everyone who stops by.
Probably the first thing visitors note about the Millicent Library is the stunning building in which it lives. Built in 1893, it is dedicated to the late Millicent G. Rogers, who died in 1890 at the age of 17. Her likeness appears in a brilliant stained glass window designed in London. Millie Rogers loved to read and her family wanted to honor her in a meaningful way. Today her namesake library serves the region in countless ways, including their bookmobile that brings books to those who might not otherwise have access to them.
Located on Main Street, the Lee Library is a great resource for books, information and more. They loan out passes for many of the main attractions in the nearby Berkshires. It’s a real small town library with a big influence on both its townspeople and out of town visitors.
The Norwell Public Library strives to encourage reading—so much that they even feature Sunday afternoon hours. That’s something not many libraries include. In addition, they deliver books to their homebound readers. Story times, a STEM playgroup, author events and more make the library a real community hub.
The third most used public library in the state of Massachusetts, the Public Library of Brookline serves the community and especially children of all ages. Combating illiteracy with countless programs over the years, it has become a safe, friendly place for students to do homework and access resources they might not otherwise have.
Another favorite for its children’s programs, Chelmsford Public Library received an award for Best Picture Books and Middle Grade Fiction for 2017. If children are inspired by a library’s collection, they will want to visit the library even more. That’s where the reading, history and community programs come into play. Programs for adults draw big crowds. Noted fiction author Kristin Hannah is set to appear there in February.
The Cambridge Public Library consists of a main library and several branches located throughout the city. Featuring programs including Girls Who Code, computers for use by students, preschool literacy, ESOL (English for speaks of other languages) education and more, the library offers something for practically everyone.