A Brief History of the Library

1884:  The town voted the sum of $2500 to establish and maintain a public library in rented rooms in the Davenport Block on Main St.  The former North Adams Library Association donated its collection of 4,750 volumes to the new library.

1892:  The library moved to rooms in the Richardson House at the corner of North Church and East Main Streets.

1896:  The Honorable Albert C. Houghton, 1st mayor of North Adams, purchased the former Sanford Blackinton residence and gave it to the city for a public library as a memorial to his brother Andrew Jackson Houghton.  Mr. Houghton also donated $10,000 to make the building suitable for use as a library.

1898:  The library moves in the Houghton Memorial Building.  For the first time, a card catalog of volumes owned is available to the public, and patrons are allowed to go into the stacks for their own books.

1900:  Williams Arthur Gallup gave $500 to furnish a Reading Room for Children.  At the time the room was established, girls exchanged their books on Tuesdays and Fridays, and boys visited the library on Mondays and Thursdays.

1930’s:  During the depression, the library served as a place of warmth and welcome to hundreds of residents out of work.

2000:  In 1933 the library installed a charging machine and in 2000, a mere 67 years later we said goodbye and became fully automated joining the C/W MARS, becoming “a library without walls”.

2004:  After over 100 years the library closed for the new renovation.  Moving to temporary quarters in the Willow Dell.

2005:  The North Adams Public Library opened its doors once more to the newly renovated and much larger building.  The first “Green” library in Massachusetts with both solar panels on the roof of the addition and geothermal in the basement.  The library received Leed certification and will continue to meet the needs of patrons for the next 100 years.