Valuable public resource

Valuable public resource

MAIN STREET JOURNAL – Marlborough Public Library, which has been a downtown fixture since 1871, will be undergoing major changes soon. An expansion is in the works that will offer more space and amenities.

The original Marlborough Public Library opened its doors in 1871 inside the Town Hall. Edward Bigelow, owner of the largest general store in the area, earned the title “Father of the Marlborough Public Library” for his efforts in helping the library become successful.

Over time, the library outgrew its space, and in 1901, Mayor Walter Morse and Edward Bigelow became the driving forces in a campaign to raise funds for a new building.

At the time, New York philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, was especially generous in providing funds for libraries across the country, and he donated $30K for construction. Two prominent citizens, S. H. Howe and John A. Frye, donated land, and the building was dedicated on October 20, 1904 with 3,500 people attending.

The role of the public library has certainly changed over the years. Borrowing books is still the classic trademark of a library but increasingly, many are embracing the idea of a library serving as a community center.

“People start to question your relevance,” explained Library Director Margaret Cardello. “We have added and expanded programs for all ages to take part in, including developmental programs for children.”

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