Library Visit: Hagaman Memorial Library

We’re back in Connecticut for this month’s library post, visiting The Hagaman Memorial Library in East Haven, CT. As I wrote last month, one of the big impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on my reading and working life is not being able to go to the library, any library, for going on four months now. This year I’m committed to posting at least one library visit a month and since I can’t currently visit new-to-me libraries, I’m digging into my photo archives where I’ve been happy to find that I have a plethora of pictures of library visits from years past that I’ve never posted.

The Hagaman Memorial Library was built in 1928.
View of the front entrance, with picnic bench.
When you walk into the library, circulation is straight ahead, but it was a busy day so to respect patron’s privacy, I didn’t take a photo. This is the view to the right when you stand in the foyer, which is a rotunda.
Looking back toward the front door, which is flanked by exhibit cases.
Some of the books on display. In Loving Memory of Eleanor Gillen Connelly, 1917-2006
Old school books donated by William E. Gillis
This is the room to the left of the foyer.
I worked for a while at this table in the room to the right of the front door. I’m looking forward to a return visit to explore that mural.
The librarian I spoke with didn’t know what the original use was of this safe. Is there a history of town libraries having safes?
The view from the parking lot. You can see part of the addition that was added in 1975.

I look forward to a return visit to explore The Hagaman Memorial Library in more detail. It’s just a few towns away from where I live. The day I visited, work was my focus and these are some quick photos I snapped. After browsing around on the library’s website, I see they have a Historical Room — I’m definitely going back to explore that . . . just as soon as this pandemic is over.

The Hagaman Memorial Library
227 Main Street
East Haven, CT

For an index of all my library visit posts, click here.


  1. How wonderful, thank you for the guided tour, I love libraries!

    On the subject of library safes, it seemed to be a 19th/20th century thing, at least in Australia, where public works (city council) documents were stored. There is one at Hamilton Library in Brisbane which once held documents sealed with wax. It now has a security alarm inside (and someone must wait outside while it is checked) because the door and walls are incredibly thick. Makes sense when I think about it because all documents were originals, no photocopying or scanning in those days.

    • This is great to know, Gretchen, thanks! It’s not uncommon for libraries here in the US to have started as a room in their town hall. I wonder if when the library was built, town hall decided to add the safe or had the opportunity for a larger safe to be installed. I just googled the Hamilton Library and found a few photos of it — nice stained glass and love the high ceilings. I look forward to visiting Australia one of these days.

  2. You will visit one day, I am sure 🙂 Yes, you are right about the building and installation, I guess our city was growing and needs became greater. So glad you googled Hamilton Library, it is small but thankfully preserved because a lot of our history was bulldozed in the 1970s.

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