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History of the Billerica Public Library

Library service in Billerica has a long heritage. A library known as the Social Library was formed in Billerica in 1772, a second one being incorporated in 1809. The high Victorian building still located on the common next to the Unitarian Church, housed Billerica’s first successful Library for one hundred years, from 1880–1980. Built specifically as a library in 1880, it was a gift of Eleanor Bennett and her daughters. When Town Meeting refused the gift, Mrs.Bennett and other citizens formed a private corporation and elected officers “to secure to the citizens of Billerica…..the establishment of a public library.” Mrs.Bennett’s vision served the Town well for 100 years.

A library building committee battled for 10 years to secure the funding for a much needed larger library facility. In 1980, the new 12,000 square foot building, now home to the Billerica Council on Aging, opened just 100 yards from the old site. Under a new Town charter, it became the Billerica Public Library. May 2000 saw the opening of the current Billerica Public Library. This wonderful 40,0000 sq. foot building was constructed at the site of the former Town Hall built in 1895. Renovating and utilizing the Old Town Hall together with construction of a large addition to the rear has preserved this historic landmark as well as secured the future of the library service in the community.

The Billerica Public Library strives to provide responsive library service to its residents, through free access to diverse materials, programs and information. The roles of the library shall be to provide current, high demand, high interest materials for the leisure reading of all age groups; to encourage and foster an interest in reading by children; to serve as a support center for both formal and informal learning pursuits and to do so in a cost- effective manner.

Learn more about the Town of Billerica’s history.

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