Camden Public Library

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Coordinates: 44°12′40″N 69°03′52″W / 44.211°N 69.0645°W / 44.211; -69.0645

Camden Public Library
Camden Public Library.jpg
Country United States
Type Public
Established 1928
Location Camden, Maine
Collection
Size 42,000
Access and use
Circulation 257,786
Population served 5,254
Other information
Budget $701,776
Director Nikki Maounis
Staff 15
Website

www.camden.lib.me.us

Official name: Camden Amphitheater and Public Library
Designated February 27, 2013
Reference no. 13000285

The Camden Public Library is the public library serving Camden, Maine.

The first library established in Camden was known as the Federal Society’s Library, and was started in 1796 with a collection of 200 books.[1] At that time, Camden was a very small town consisting of 15 houses centered on the harbor. The Federal Society’s Library operated for 34 years until the books were sold at auction.

In 1854, the Ladies’ Library Association opened on Wood Street.[2] The library later moved to the second floor of the Camden National Bank building and remained at this location until the fire of 1892 that destroyed the Camden business district.[3]

On March 23, 1896, the citizens of Camden voted to establish a free public library to be known as the Camden Public Library.[4] The townspeople of Camden raised the money to build this library through various fundraising efforts. No assistance was provided by philanthropists. Mary Louise Curtis Bok donated the land for the library in 1916.[5] Parker Morse Hooper and Boston architect Charles G. Loring offered building plans.[6] The cornerstone was laid on August 17, 1927 and the Library opened its doors on June 11, 1928 with Miss Katherine W. Harding serving as the first librarian.[7] The grounds of the library, including an amphitheater, were designed by noted landscape architect Fletcher Steele. The library and its grounds were designated a National Historic Landmark on February 27, 2013, recognized as a rare public work by Steele, and as a forerunner of modern landscape design.[8][9]

In 1996 the library underwent a great expansion under the south lawn.[10]

The library is one of the only libraries in Maine designated as a "Star Library" by Library Journal.[11]

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