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Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont

Fletcher Free Library

Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, Vermont

While visiting cousins in Vermont I made a stop at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont. As a retired librarian  I always stop in to visit libraries along the way. The Fletcher Free Library was founded in 1873 by Mrs. Mary L. Fletcher and her daughter, beginning with $20,000. Half was to be spent on books and half for an endowment. What a wise woman Mrs. Fletcher was to know that a library would need that ongoing support. Originally the library was housed in the City Hall. By 1901 it was outgrowing it space, but that year Andrew Carnegie gave $50,000 and a new library was built and opened in 1904.

Fletcher Free Library

Fletcher Free Library

Of course time does not stand still for any building. The Carnegie building needed work – and saving by the community. In 1974 it was added to the register of Historic Places, and necessary restoration work was made to the foundation and building. But time continues to march on. A new addition was dedicated in 1981.

Fletcher Free Library

Fletcher Free Library

The new addition is very beautiful with three stories full of books, CDs DVDs, magazines, audio books, museum passes, and garden tools! All can be checked out. Or you can work on the computers in  this serene space.

Fletcher Free Library, Children's Room

Fletcher Free Library, Children’s Room

The original Carnegie building now houses the Children’s Room. In addition there is a Local History room and collection. I like the mermaid flying over the circulation desk. I think it is an apt symbol for the invitation to come and swim in the worlds of story, history, philosophy and with instruction how to do almost anything.

Fletcher Free Library book van

Fletcher Free Library book van

The library even has a cool van to bring books and programs to children where they are.

I enjoyed visiting the Fletcher Free Library very much, and could have settled down with a good book for the afternoon, but time marches on. Cousins were waiting.  Besides, I knew I could visit my own Heath Free Public Library when I got home. In fact, I knew Interlibrary Loan books were waiting for me.

2 comments to Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont

  • That looks like a lovely library. I really like the mermaid hanging from the ceiling too! Wouldn’t it be fun if her tail was made of book pages or something similar.

  • Alyssa

    Hi Pat, I’m so glad you liked the library, and the mermaid. I grew up in Burlington and created her out of cardboard and tissue paper for a Burlington High School project back in the late 1990s. She was originally blue and purple! Our wonderful art teacher Maggie Conant arranged to have all our sea creatures displayed in the children’s area. Of the original cardboard creatures, only three lasted over the years. Now new renovations mean the mermaid is being retired, but what a pleasure to see your photo!

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