Westport Library

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The Westport Library
Westport-Public-Library-Entrance.jpg
The front entrance of Westport library
Country United States
Established 1908 (1908)
Location 20 Jesup Road, Westport, CT 06880
Access and use
Population served 26,508
Other information
Director Maxine Bleiweis
Staff 90
Website Official website
The Westport Library as seen from the opposite side of the Saugatuck River in Westport, Connecticut

The Westport Library is a public library in the town of Westport, Connecticut that was originally established on February 4, 1886 by members of the Westport Reading-Room and Library Association.[1]

Morris Ketchum Jesup, born in 1830 to a country doctor,[2] amassed a fortune in the railroad business and became the benefactor of the library, donating the land and $5,000 for the building.[3] In April of 1908, the Westport Public Library was completed at a cost of $75,000[4] and dedicated to the custody of the Westport Library Association by Jesup’s wife, following the wishes of her husband who died four months earlier.[5]

In June 1984, plans were announced to build a new library on a site adjacent to Jesup Green on the Saugatuck River.[6] Considerable discussion took place about how to raise the money for the new library and the proposed site, a former landfill. After a referendum was approved, the new library was built for $4.6 million and opened on Labor Day of 1986.[7]

As popularity of the library increased, another renovation and expansion was completed in 1996.[8]The improvements included an innovative project called the “River of Names,” a wall of small handmade tiles, paid for individually by donors, depicting local history. [9]

By the year 2000, the library was the second busiest in the state in terms of circulation per capita, averaging 1,200 visitors a day.[10]

Embracing a trend in expanding the role of libraries, the library opened a makerspace in 2012, a structure with 3D printers and other tools for people to create inventions and learn about new technology.[11] The name of the library was changed to the Westport Library.[12]

In 2013, the library received a $246,545 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the enhancement of the makerspace.[13]

Coordinates: 41°08′27″N 73°21′42″W / 41.1408°N 73.3616°W / 41.1408; -73.3616

References[edit]

  1. ^ Klein, Woody. The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  2. ^ Klein, Woody (2000). The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 73. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  3. ^ Klein, Woody (2000). The Story of a New Enlgand Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  4. ^ "Bridgeport Telegram". April 9, 1908. 
  5. ^ Klein, Woody (2000). The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  6. ^ Klein, Woody (2000). The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 308. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  7. ^ Klein, Woody (2000). The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  8. ^ Klein, Woody (2000). The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 324. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  9. ^ Klein, Woody (2000). The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 324. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  10. ^ Klein, Woody (2000). The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-313-31126-9. 
  11. ^ "Westport Library Unveils New MakerSpace". Library Journal. 
  12. ^ "Library Drops 'Public' From its Name". westportnow.com. 
  13. ^ "National Leadership Grant for Libraries". Institute of Museum and Library Services. Institute of Museum and Library Services.