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Pickle Me This

June 27, 2011

Wild Libraries I Have Known: Brewster Ladies Library

Hamilton writer (and fellow member of the Barbara Pym Society!) Judy Pollard Smith writes about the Brewster Ladies Library in Brewster, Massachusetts:

I have a Golden Rule about Libraries. They have to carry Barbara Pym, May Sarton and Edith Wharton. If they carry all three I know they’ll have everything else that good libraries should have. And last week at the Brewster Ladies Libary, I counted several of each writer’s novels, neatly shelved and waiting for patrons to tuck them into their wicker baskets.

In 1852, when Brewster was a flourishing Cape village, Misses Sarah Augusta Mayo and Mary Louise Cobb, along with friends, raised enough money to place a shelf of lending books in the home of Captain Mayo on Main Street. Over the years the library has added a garden dripping with rich vegetation, and a fabulous addition. The original house still serves as a hushed reading room with stained glass windows and the original fireplace. If you listen you can hear the rustle of the Misses skirts as they pass by.

There is a cheerful children’s room with aquarium, story times, toys and books. There are author chats, book discussions, holiday family programs (works out well if it rains on your vacation!) and local artist’s displays.

There are 200 Senior Volunteers, four of whom were sitting gluing the pages back into books when I was there. There are cosy wing chairs, free internet and a general feeling of amicability. Denise at the Reference Desk redefines the words “pleasant, helpful, lovely.” And summer visitors can get a card for no charge.

I say, “Up with those two Misses who started their lending shelf in 1852!” They had no idea what shining threads they were weaving into the posterity of this tiny village.

One thought on “Wild Libraries I Have Known: Brewster Ladies Library”

  1. Beth-Anne says:

    We spent a week in Brewster last summer and it is such a picturesque place. Enjoy!!!

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