In 2021 the Ashaway Free Library will celebrate 150 years of service to the community. The first permanent space was a one-room schoolhouse moved to the site in 1908, followed by an addition in the 1960s. With only 2200 square feet of space and a sizeable collection, there was little room for programming. The generous support of The Champlin Foundation inspired community support, and we now have a 700 square foot addition and a beautiful new accessible entrance. Space availability has unleashed programming creativity; our Spring 2019 Newsletter featured ten upcoming events!
Planning this addition was a considerable challenge. How to connect two older sections built more than half a century apart to a third? How to marry three different roof lines? How to respect the ambiance of the residential neighborhood? Upon completion of the project, the biggest and most frequent compliment is, “it looks like it’s always been there.” And visitors are eager to use the space and offer suggestions for activities.
The Champlin Foundation understands how important small libraries are to our society. Thanks to their support over the years, the Ashaway Free Library continues to evolve and nurture our community.