I haven’t written about my 2022 reading or blogging goals yet and here it is the last day of January. One goal I do have is to write a monthly blog post about a new-to-me library.
Last month, my friend Emily and I took drive to Kent, Connecticut. Our primary goal was to visit the House of Books, which recently re-opened after a two year renovation. It’s a fantastic bookstore and the curation is seriously amazing. It has been some time since I uttered as many “wows” in a bookstore as I did on that first visit to House of Books.
Just down the street from the bookstore is the Kent Memorial Library. Of course we headed there after the bookstore.
Approaching the library from the direction of the bookstore. In this photo you can see two additions that were added to the back of the library. The main building was completed in 1922, the first addition was added in 1958 and the second in 1994.
Another addition is now the main entrance.
Book drops come in so many shapes and sizes.
What you see when you walk through the front door. This is a book sale area. There are also books for sale sprinkled throughout the library. Notice the oval Kent Memorial Library sign in the Window. The exposed brick is the outside of the original library building. Circulation is to the left.
A slight left turn from the previous photo. You can see the circulation desk to the left. Beyond that is nonfiction. To the right is fiction and beyond that the children’s section. Walking past the chair and taking a hard right will lead you into the original library space.
But first, a photo of a former window that has been repurposed as a display case featuring chess sets.
The original library space is now the main reading room.
I love Dutch doors. Construction on the library began in 1921. It opened on March 25, 1922. The door looks like it might be the original.
This is the view that generations of library patrons saw when they walked through the original front door. The fireplace and shelving are original. The plaque over the fire place commemorates local men and women who served in World War I. It is unusual to see a commemorative war plaque from this era that includes women. Anne and Helen Hopson are two names that popped out at me. I’d like to learn more about them.
Read about the library’s history here.
This is the other side of the oval library sign that I pointed out in a previous photo. It features a couplet from one of Emily Dickinson’s most popular poems:
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –
Walking out of the original library space. To the right is fiction and straight a head is the children’s section. A hard left would lead you back to circulation and the front entrance.
Looking into the fiction room. I forgot to check out their Cather on the shelf.
A peek into the children’s section. I like their theatre that’s built into the shelves.
A view of the nonfiction section. To the right are some items for sale, crafts by local artists and vintage pieces.
Coming full circle and looking toward the new main entrance. That’s the circulation desk to the right, items for sale to the left, and nonfiction is behind me.
Back outside and on our way to look for food. Check out this solar charging station next to the bench near the library’s front entrance. What a neat idea and nice community service.
They also have a few concrete chess/checkers tables out front. I’d hang out and play a few games here.
I’m so glad we got to browse around inside this library. It’s always nice to see a historic library that has maintained its original space while also changing to meet contemporary community needs.
Kent Memorial Library
32 North Main Street