Address: Route 12; PO Box 204, Barnard, Vermont 05031-0204
Library details: Charles B. Danforth Library is a Public library. This library is affiliated with the library system that serves Barnard, VT. The collection of the library contains 5100 volumes. The library circulates 728 items per year. The library serves a population of 947 residents.
Barnard’s public library, the Charles B. Danforth Library, was once the driving force behind the reading portion of the Barnard school curriculum. Curriculum requirements have changed over the years and Barnard Academy has amassed its own library collection and technology, but children continue to use the Charles B. Danforth library for summer reading and occasional programs. Recent renovations to the library have transformed the library into a popular venue for meetings, classes, and events.
Before the building existed, the library began as a subscription library for private families who paid to have access to the collection. The original library collection was held at an Inn at the center of town, with auxiliary branches in East Barnard, Mount Hunger, and on the Bethel line.
As the collection grew, contributing families yearned for a more cohesive collection at the town’s center. In answer to their need, Charles B. Danforth, owner of the Three Century Farm on Barnard’s North Road, seeded the library with $500 in 1905. The first librarian, Reverend Louis Holway, spearheaded the fundraising effort, and in 1916 they purchased the land where the future library would stand. An architectural firm from New Jersey was contracted to design the building and, when they realized they needed just a little more to get the job done, Laura Billings kicked in the necessary funds. After twenty years of planning and financing, the original building went up in 1926 for a grand total of $5,600.
The library has recently undergone significant renovations. In 2010, Vermont Arts Council Cultural Facilities Grant money defrayed the cost of renovations to the basement room, named the Holway Room after the original Reverend librarian. Renovations included a handicapped-access bathroom, insulation, finished flooring, new lighting and electrical outlets and switches, replacement of the main support beam, upstairs foyer reconstruction to accommodate a broader staircase leading to the lower level, the addition of a transom window and replacement of doors and windows. The basement room was wired for a flat-screen television and speakers as well as for the ECFibernet which now connects patrons to the internet.
In 2012, another set of renovations to the upper level of the library replaced the old forced hot air heaters with two propane-fired Rennai heaters, enclosed the room with 3/8 inch drywall, replaced wood around the windows, the fluorescent lighting, and the carpeting.
Melissa Strayton is the co-librarian, treasurer, and trustee
Margaret Edwards is the co-librarian and trustee board chair
Jenny Silva and Jennifer Firestone are trustees