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The Greenville Public Library

The First Hundred Years

1882-1982

by

Kay Kirlin Moore
 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

1882 - 1905

1905 - 1948

1948-1956

1956 - 1966

1966 - 1982

EPILOGUE

Incorporators, 1882

Presidents

First Vice-Presidents

Second Vice-Presidents

Third Vice-Presidents

Secretaries

Assistant Secretaries

Treasurers

Assistant Treasurers

Trustees

Trustees Emeriti

Book Committee

Chairmen Librarians

Acting Librarians

 

INTRODUCTION

The Greenville Public Library celebrates its one hundredth birthday between May and September 1982, the first date being the anniversary of organization and the second the anniversary of the opening of the library.

At the present time people know the library as the Henry F. Jenckes building at the intersection of Putnam Pike and Pleasant View Avenue. Older residents of Greenville and the town of Smithfield realize that this building has been the library's home for less than twenty-six years. It was in November 1956 that the library moved into this building, which in 1966 was expanded by the addition of the young people's wing.

Undoubtedly there are some who may remember the old library building located on what is now the parking area in front of St. Thomas parish house. For its first seventy-four years the library occupied a small store building, with gabled ends and a front porch. The large front room was furnished with shelving, and there was a storage room at the rear as well as considerable attic space under the sloping roof. Lighting originally was provided by kerosene lamps, and heating was supplied by a coal heater in the center of the room, with a long stove pipe leading, to the chimney on the east side of the building. Railings had been installed in the center of the main room, blocking off patrons' direct approach to the shelves.

In 1982 the library's modern collection of books, periodicals, records, cassettes and other audio-visual materials, the availability of interlibrary loan service, its hours of opening five days each week, its story hours for children, its various programs and other activities, all indicate the increased use by residents of Smithfield and the surrounding area and the growing, importance of library service.

However, this growth is the result of devoted service of numerous trustees, friends, and librarians, who have served Greenville for this period of one hundred years.

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1882 - 1905

A number of citizens of the village and its environs instituted proceedings to establish an association library in the early part of 1882. Among the leaders of this movement was Oscar A. Tobey, Town Clerk of the Town of Smithfield, whose name appears first in the Act of Incorporation passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly April 18th 1882.

The twenty-six incorporators were authorized to establish the Greenville Public Library "for the purpose of providing a library and reading room and promoting literary and social intercourse among its members." The act also provided for the associations list of officers.

Mr, Tobey called the first meeting in his office on May 8, 1882; a week later, on May 15, 1882, a constitution and bylaws were adopted and the following officers were elected:

 

President: Rev. W. Ingram Magill

lst Vice-President: Rev. Henry S, Latham, Jr,

2nd Vice-President: Miss Josephine E. Winsor

3rd Vice-President: Miss Orra A. Angell

Secretary: Oscar A. Tobey

Treasurer: William Winsor

Trustees:

George M, Appleby

George B. Perrin

Alonzo P. Mowry

Daniel F. Chandler

John F. Gardner

 

At a meeting on May 17th, it was voted to consult with Nicholas S. Winsor about leasing a small building facing the common. On September 18th the treasurer was authorized to execute a five-year lease from September 1, 1882, for this building, which Mr. Winsor had fitted up for library use. Shelving was installed and necessary items of furniture were purchased.

In the meantime Orra A. Angell, who had volunteered as librarian, prepared a catalog of the books, which were "classified in accordance with the directions of the Rhode Island Board of Education, in their circular issued for the guidance of libraries". Miss Angell was appointed librarian and continued in that capacity until August 13, 1883. She was paid 50 cents per evening.

The original book collection consisted of a large donation of books purchased by Wllliam Winsor from the former Lapham Institute in Scituate. These were supplemented by numerous other gifts. At the first meeting of the Board of Directors in the library building on August 25, 1882, it was voted to appropriate $30 to purchase books for the library, one-half of said sum to be expended for juvenile books. Additional volumes were obtained from a $50 grant from the state of Rhode Island in October, l882. Small annual appropriations of $100 were later added by the Town of Smithfield.

In September 1882 the library opened its doors for the use of the association members and other Smithfield residents. Members paid dues of one dollar annually, but Article 7 of the original bylaws adopted May 15, 1882, reads: "The use of the library shall be free to all residents of the town of Smithfield above the age of twelve years. Non-residents of the town may be admitted to the use of the library, upon such conditions as the Board of Directors may determine". Only one volume could be borrowed at one time. The library was open two days a week: Wednesday from 6:30-9:00 p.m, and Saturday from 4:00-9:00 p.m.

No successor to Miss Angell was appointed, but various officers fulfilled the duties of librarian; Rev. Henry S. Latham, Jr, is known to have served from 1890 to 1895, followed by Lloyd L. Mathewson, 1895 to 1905.

Members of the Board of Directors served as a book committee selecting new purchases from the limited funds, and accepting various donations of books. In 1887 President W. Ingram Magill was instructed to increase the holdings of the library to at least 2 ,000 volumes so that the library could obtain a larger state-aid grant. From time to time additional shelving was installed, providing space for the growth of the collection.

In October l887, Josephine E. Winsor, daughter and heir of Nicholas S.Winsor, sold the building and lot to the library, with a mortgage of $1,000 at 5% interest. In May 1907 the will of Mary S. Foster, an heir of Miss Winsor, provided a bequest clearing the mortgage held by the other heirs of this estate,

In this twenty-three period there were only three persons elected to the office of President of the Board:

 

l882-1891 Rev. W. Ingram Magill

I89l-l895 Daniel F. Chandler

1805-1928 Nicholas S. Winsor

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1905 - 1948

A new era began in May, 1905, when the Board of Directors appointed May B. Lamb as librarian, with Cora L. Burlingame as assistant librarian. Since many of the records of the collection were in a confused state, the Book Committee called upon Orra A. Angell to inventory the collection and to bring the accession and catalog records up-to-date. In May 1906 Miss Angell reported that there were 3,753 volumes in the lbrary, and that they were arranged on shelves in the front mom (or "neatly stacked" in the back room), that all the titles in the front room were recently recorded in an alphabetical catalog, and that the fiction titles were not only recorded in an alphabetical book catalog, but that she had started an alphabetical card catalog. She also reported that durina the year 737 volumes had been donated to the newly established North Scituate Public Library.

May Lamb continued in her position as librarian until her resignation November 19, 1917. Cora Burlingame, who had been assistant librarian from 1905-1917, was promoted to librarian on that same date, and continued in this position for almost thirty-four years, until her own resignation on November 17, 1951. As librarian Miss Burlingame was paid one dollar for each day of service. In 1918/19 she received an annual salary of $60. She received raises in 1922/23 and again in 1928/29, by which time she had a maximum annual salary of $125. When she retired in 1951 this was still her salary from the library's funds, though after 1921 she received additional money from the state-aid grant authorized for librarians whose salary was less than $400 annually.

Both Miss Lamb and Miss Burlingame spent eight to ten hours per week at the library, as the library hours for most of this time were on Wednesdays 4:00-9:00 and Saturdays 4:00-9:00. They maintained the

circulation records, accessioned and cataloged the new books and also covered janitorial duties, which included tending the fire in the stove, removing ashes, and general cleaning. In the early part of the century numerous janitors had provided this service at 50 cents per week. After 1918 these duties were assumed by the librarian at $20 per year. It was not until 1950 that a regular janitor was appointed by the Board.

During these years book selection was handled entirely by the Book Committee. This committee was composed of three to seven members of the association, usually from the Board of Directors, These people took their responsibilities very seriously, and although restricted by the limited funds available for books, they endeavored to obtain the best in literature. Mention should be made of the chairmen of this committee, many of whom continued in office for many years:

 

1906-1908 Miss Orra A. Angell

1908-1911 Rev. Orin D. Patch

1911-1915 Miss Orra A. Angell

1915-1926 Mr. Marshall W. Mowry

1926-1947 Mrs. Mattie A. Walcott

1947-1948 Mrs. Nellie G. Vaughn

 

Financial support of the library was obtained in part by membership dues of $1 annually. In 1906 there were 31 members listed as eligible voters at the annual and quarterly meetings, and by 1945 there were 69 members. Fines of 2 cents per library day for overdue books provided additional money. Annual appropriations by the Town of Smithfield varied from $150 to $200 in this period, except for two occasions during the depression years when the amount was reduced to $100. Annual state-aid grants from 1908/09 through 1927/28 were $150; in 1928/29 the annual grant was raised to $200, based on the number of volumes in the library.

A sampling Of some of the treasurers annual reports (not including the state-aid grants) provides some interesting comparisons with present day library expenditures:

Receipts Expenditures

1913/14

$405.58

$356-35

1925/26

$536.42

$442-31

1937/38

$357.88

$257.42

1947/48

$304.10

$273.38

From time to time there were special financial drives to meet costs of repairs to the building, such as exterior painting, reshingling the roof, repairing the chimney, the purchase of a new stove, and for additional shelving. Although in 1914 the President was authorized to obtain estimates for electric wiring and fixtures for the building, it was not until three years later, in 1917, that electricity was installed. In 1943 gravel was needed to alleviate the ruts and muddy condition of the street in front of the building. In 1947 the interior of the building was improved by painting the ceiling (two coats of paint at a cost of $64.80). In 1949 a porch light was installed at a cost of $15.14. So through these years there was continuing maintenance of the property.

In February 1924 the Board authorized the use of the library building, as temporary quarters for the Greenville Post office until other facilities could be obtained. Interestingly enough May Lamb, the former librarian, was postmistress at that time. The expense for fuel and lights was shared equally by the library and the post office. The secretary's minutes do not reveal how long this arrangement remained in effect.

Statistics maintained by the librarian show some interesting comparisons with more recent figures, which will be tabulated later:

 

Volumes in library

Circulation

Number of patrons

1910/11

4,818

3,292

196

1919/20

6,165

4,074

204

1929/30

7,295

4,521

230

1938/39

9,092

3,584

218

1947/48

10,1051

1,175

188

Some of the dedicated trustees were keenly interested in the library and thoughtfully made bequests in amounts ranging from $50 to $1,000. Among such testators through 1937 were Josephine F. Steere, Orra A. Angell, Marshall W. Mowry, Sarah S. Windsor and Nicholas S. Winsor.

It was in July 1938 however, that the library's finances were substantially augmented and a building fund was inaugurated. During this year with the death of Irene B. Jenckes, a long-time trustee aiici officer, and by the will of her husband, Henry F. Jenckes, who died in 1917, all real estate and money from their personal estates were bequeathed to the library. From this legacy the library received $9,162.75 in cash and title to a substantial piece of property at the corner of Putnam Pike and Pleasant View Avenue, including a house, a barn and several small outbuildings.

The money received was deposited in a savings account, and there were many discussions held on the disposal of the property. A number of offers were received for the property as a whole, but it was decided for the time being to rent the house. By May 15, 1948, the decision was made to save the Putnam Pike frontage for a new library building, the area behind the house to be subdivided into five lots. Three of these faced on Pleasant View Avenue and the other two would be approached by a 10-foot rith-ofway frorm Putnam Pike along the Jenckes line adjoining the property of Thomas Hall. The area was surveyed and platted by Nahum F. Leach in October 1948, and the plat was recorded in the Smithfield Town Hall.

Nicholas S. Winsor continued as President of the Board until his death, September 13, 1928, He was succeeded by Rev. Gideon A. Burgess, who served until his death in 1945. Charles A. Steere was elected President in 1945 and continued in this office until his term expired in 1950.

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1948-1956

In 1948 the Book Committee, under the chairmanship of Louise Walcott, undertook the reorganization of the library's book collection, instituted, primarily by Esther P, Jones, who became a member of the committee in 1947. She was aided in this project by other members of the committee, but particularly by Everett H. Fernaldo a member of the committee since 1942.

Several factors entered into consideration for this project. Many of the shelves were filled with double rows of books, the back room held a heterogeneous collection of little used volumes, and specific titles could be located only through the use of handwritten book catalogs, as the books were shelved by accession number within each of the ten categories of the original state classification scheme. Books borrowed by, patrons were also recorded in a handwritten ledger and were cancelled by hand when the volumes were returned.

Mrs. Jones became chairman of the committee in August 1949. She consulted with other libraries in the area for ideas and also called upon Miss Grace Sherwood, Rhode Island State Librarian, who suggested that Mrs. Jones should confer with David A. Jonah, Librarian of Brown University, who could advise her about weeding the book collection. By November 1950, with the consent of the Board of Directors, under Mrs Jones' leadership there was a drastic reduction in the number of volumes by weeding approximately 4,OOO duplicates and obsolete titles. A number of volumes were transferred to the Rhode Island Medical Society Library, the Rhode Island State Library, Brown University Library, and "Our Lady of Refuge". the Cistercian monastery in Glocester, Rhode Island. In addition four tons of books were sold as waste paper at a net gain of $63.32.

Mr. Jonah also suggested that Mrs. Jones contact Kay K. Moore, Head Cataloger at the Brown University Library and a resident of Greenville, for suggestions and assistance in her project. He readily agreed and upon his advice the Dewey classification scheme for the collection was approved, a new accession book was initiated, a book-card record for circulation was established, and a card catalog was started. The Book Committee had already rearranged the fiction titles alphabetically by author.

During the years 1950-1956 the fiction and juvenile collections were completely cataloged, and the non-fiction was reclassified and shelved by the Dewey system. Before the library moved into the new building in 1956, every-title except those in the fields of history, travel and biography were cataloged. Mr. Moore was aided in this project by a number of volunteers, not only from the Book Committee but others as well, who met regularly to accession, to prepare the books with book cards, pockets and date-due slips, to attach labels on the book spines, and to rearrange the books on the shelves, while other volunteers assisted in typing the catalog cards.

In 1950 a number of innovations appeared. The railings in the center of the room were removed, and "to make the library more cheerful and attractive it was voted that all lights be kept on during library hours". Heating of the library was improved by the installation of an oil-burning furnace providing hot air through a central floor register. Counter shelving was built in the front comer of the room making an alcove for the special use of children, with a memorial table given by the Jones famiily. An extra wooden stack was installed to accomodate the growing collection of books. Shades were removed from windows on the porch to provide display space, and a bulletin board was installed for additional displays. By May 17, 1952, the new book card circulation system was put into effect. Beginning in 1951 the policy of closing the library, for the librarians two-week vacation was rescinded, since Mrs. Jones as assistant librarian was anxious to keep the library open.

The Greenville library played host to the spring meeting of the Rhode Island Library Association in May 1951, with Mrs. Jones as chairman of the arrangements. The meetings were held in the original parish house of St. Thomas Church, and a luncheon was held at the Rustic Inn, in Scituate, with bus transoortation provided by the library.

After thirty-four years as librarian, preceded by twelve and a half years as assistant librarian, Cora L. Burlingame announced her retirement as of November 17, 1951. Esther Jones, as assistant librarian, carried the responsibility of keeping the library open through the end of January 1952, when Harriet Scott was named librarian, effective February 1, 1952. Mrs. Scott continued as librarian until September 30, 1957, when she resigned to work full-time in the Town Clerk's office.

During this period, 1948-1956, the library's annual income increased slightly. For 1949/50 there were 132 dues--oayinp, members of the Associ-

ation. The appropriations from the-Town of Smithfield were increased in 1950 from $200 to $300 annually, and in 1953/54 to $500. Also in 1950 the state-aid grant was raised from $200 to $232. Even so for the year ending May 16, 1956, the treasurer reported a balance of only $35.47.

A sampling of library statistics during 1948-11056 follows:

Volumes in library

Circulation

Number of patrons

1941/42

10,224

1,224

226

1952/53

(not available)

5,557

363

1955/56

(not available)

6,930

698

The Jenckes property and funds continued in the forefront of discussions at meetings of the Board of Directors. The sale of lots #l, 2, 3, and 5 in 1949 added a net sum of $5,568.40 to the building fund. In 1951 it was decided to withdraw $10,000.00 from the savings account

and invest it in stocks and mutual funds, obtaining, better returns, In 1954 an additional $8,000 were also invested. Since there were no interested parties willing to Durchase the Jenckes house and move it to lot #4, the Board agreed to have the house moved, and in 1952 the house was then sold to George Parker for $7,500, the library assuming the mortgage.

Various proposals for a new building had been discussed from time to time, but it was not until 1954 that Miss Margaret B. Stillwell, librarian emerita of the Annmary Brown Memorial, Brown University and a newcomer to Greenville, made some practical suggestions to either move and remodel the present building on the Jenckes site or to erect a new building of similar size on this same site. In May 1955 Miss Stillwell was authorized to confer with Charles H. Lockwood, a local architect, regarding a new building based on her preliminary plans. By July of that year blueprints and specifications for a new building to be built of lavacrete were prenared and bids were received by late September. Fortunately the lowest bid was within the amount of money available from the Jenckes fund, and the contract was awarded to Arthur Newton, of Greenville. Ground was broken October 18 1955 for the new Henry F. Jenckes Memorial Building.

The plans for this new building provided for a large reading room on the main floor with office space at the eastern end. On the lower floor was a meeting room with a slightly raised stage, a kitchen two coatrooms two lavatories and a furnace room. A columned porch was the feature of the main front entrance, with two other entrances located on the parking lot side and on the driveway approach on the east. All of the miscellaneous structures on the lot were removed, except the well-house which was oreserved.

Miss Stillwell as chairman of the Building Committee was assisted

in the planning and purchasing of the furnishings of shelving furniture, and equipment for the new kitchen by both Mr. and Mrs. Kay K. Moore, Many details of the building plan made by Miss Stillwell were carried out by Mr. Lockwood. By October 1956 the building was completed sufficiently so that some of the books could be removed from the old building, in order to free the shelves there which were to be, rebuilt as shelving on the lower floor. The new building was officially opened for inspection November 17, 1956, with a preview for children on the previous day.

It should be noted that there were four items transferred from the old building to the new. In addition to the rebuilt shelving on the lower floor just mentioned, the original card catalog case, the Jones' memorial table from the former children's alcove, and the most recently built double-faced wooden stack were moved -- all of which are still in use in 1982. In addition mention should be made, that the curve on the lintel above the parking lot entrance porch is in keeping with-the curved framing on the well-house.

It should be recorded that the new library opened its doors with no indebtedness. The total cost of the building, essential furnishings, the parking lot and some landscaping amounted to approximately $40,000,

The Jenckes fund provided roughly $29,000, the Rhode Island Foundation provided a grant of $4,OOO for shelving and furniture, and the balance of $7,000 was raised by a financial appeal initiated by Miss Stillwell and the board, with 128 families, individuals and local organizations contributing this amount.

In addition the library had $4,500 in a contingency fund, realized from the sale of the old library property to St. Thomas Church. This sale had been authorized in November 1955, with the proviso that the library would keep the right of occupancy until the new building was completed. The deed was signed May 18, 1956. Eventually the church sold the building, which was then torn down, providing space for the expanded parking, lot in front of the parish house.

From 1948 through 1956 the following, persons were presidents of the Board of Directors:

1948-l950 Mr. Charles A. Steere

1950-1951 Rev. Arthur B. Mercer

1951-1952 Mr. Earl R. Knight, Sr.

1952-1955 Dr. Dudley Tyng

1955-1956 Mr. Kay K. Moore

 

The chairmen of the Book Committee for this same span of years were:

1948-1950 Miss Louise Walcott

1950-1956 Mrs. Esther P. Jones

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1956 - 1966

If ever there had been a question of Justification for expanded library facilities in Greenville, the answer was soon forthcoming. In the year ending May 31, 1957, the total circulation was 8,333 volumes, an increase of 1,403 over the previous year, despite the fact that the library had been closed four weeks preparatory, for the move. The number, of card holders had increased by 125, to a total of 823, including 530 children.

The library's hours of opening at first continued as before --3-8 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but in September 1959 the hours were expanded to 2-6, 7-9 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Then again in September 1962 the hours were further expanded to a total of 24 hours a week, being, 2-6, 7-9 Mondays and Wednesdays, 7-9 Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10-6 on Saturdays,

Improvements were made in the financial picture of the library. The town appropriation for 1956/57 was still $500. With the increased costs of maintaining the new building, it was voted to request larger sums from the town, In 1957/5P the appropriation was increased to $700, and with the expanded hours of opening in 1959 and the need for more parttime staff, further increases were made annually, By 1964/65 the town's appropriation toward operating costs was $8,327.

Funds from the state also increased in this period. The state-aid grant administered by the Rhode Island State Librarian continued at $232 annually through 1963/64. in 1958159 the new agency, Public Library Services in Rural Areas, began a series of additional grants, ranging from $500 to $2,000 annually. Then in 1964/65 the new Department of State Library Services authorized $2,300 to the Town of Smithfield, based upon the town's population. This amount was distributed among the three libraries in the town: Beron Public Library in Georgiaville, the Esmond PublicLibrary in Esmond, and the Greenville Public Library, by agreement among them, as formulated by the Smthfield Library Council, which was composed of the librarians and at least one. trustee from each library. This organization recommended that by virtue of the population on each side of Wionkhiege Hill that the Greenville Public Library would be allotted 50% of this sum, and Bernon and Esmond libraries would share equally in the other 50%. This recomendation was approved by the Department of State Library Services, with Greenville receiving $1,150 annually through 1966.

As a result of these funds, which were allocated almost entirely for book purchasing, there was a need for expansion of shelf space. The reference collection was moved into the former workroom in the northeast corner of the building, shelving was installed in the upper east hallway, which became known as "Mystery Hall", and shelving was also installed in the lower hallway and in the coatroom on the lower floor.

As reported earlier, Harriet Scott resigned as librarian effective September 30, 1957, to take a full-time position in the Town Clerk's office. Doris Dexter became the next librarian on October 30, 1957. During the month of October the library was kept open by volunteers, Edith Calderara and Florence Hall, under the supervision of Miss Stillwell. The Board of Directors authorized tuition costs for Mrs. Dexter who completed a college degree and eventually the library masteres degree at the University of Rhode Island. In 1960 her salary was increased from .75 cents to $1.00 per hour, plus social security. With the increased use of the library, by 1959 it became necessary to add volunteer part-time staff to assist Mrs. Dexter, and in 1961 a part-time assistant librarian Elinore Wright was hired as well.

 

During Mrs. Dexterl's regime a separate collection was initiated for young adults, including not only required reading but also recreational material for high school students.

In carrying out the provision of the original act of incorporation of "promoting literary - and social intercourse among its members", the, library began a series of travel talks, art shows, concerts and lectures in the new building. Between February 1957 and September 1965 the library sponsored 38 events.

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1957 ACTIVITIES

This year being the 75th anniversary of the founding of the library, there were many interesting activities beginning in Februar 7 with an illustrated travel talk on "England by Everett H. Fernald. In March and April a one-man art show by a local artist and teacher, John F. Gallagher, was held. May, known as Rhode Island Hertiage, featured Clifford P. Monahon, Director of the Rhode. Island Historical Society, who gave a lecture entitled "Riode Island Heritage with appropriate piano music given by Louise W, Moore. During the summer Elmer Tolsted, a former professor at Brown University, gave a cello recital accompanied by Mrs. Moore. The fall season opened with an art show of paintings and lithographs by Stowell Sherman, member of the Providence Art Club. On November 24 Prof. Charles H. Smiley, chairman of the Astronomy Department, Brown University, spoke on "Sputnik", while Russia's first satellite was still whirling in outer space. The first of several Christmas programs, "Candlelight and Carols', was held in December, presenting flute solos by Gregory Zeitlin of Chepachet, accompanied by Mrs. Moore. This was followed by carol singing by the audience.

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1958 ACTIVITIES

National Library Week in April was celebrated by an amusing talk, 'The Seamyv Side of'Writing, given by Scott Corbett, author and teacher at Moses Brown School, Providence. Climaxing this 75th anniversary year an art show featuring "New England Iandscapes and Portraits" was given in May by Miss Isabelle R. Reynolds, of the Providence Art Club and Rockport Art Association. A Festival of Arts and Crafts in September was given by artist pupils of, John F. Gallagher and by craftsmen of Greenville and other nearby comunities, featuring paintings, ceramics, wood carving, leather work, train mdels, furniture decoration, sculpture, hooked rugs and other crafts. Celebrating Children's Book Week in Novembe, a lecture on Louisa May Alcott was given by Mrs. Marjorie Gifford, ofDuxbury, Massachusetts. Music at the annual program, Candlelight and Carols, was provided by Gregory Zeitlin, flutes and Mary, Aber, of Scituate, harp. Dorothy C. Allan, a Greenville resident, author and playwright, gave poetry readings and also read her Christmas play, "The Midnight Clear."

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1959 ACTIVITIES

Many new and varied programs were introduced this year, such as the regional meeting of the Children's Concert Committee of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in February, The subject was the relationship of music and art, with Mrs. Elizabeth Woodhouse from the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, as guest speaker. During National Library Week in April, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Wells gave a talk with pictures on Russia. An exhibition of painters featuring works by six noted artists in the surrounding area was held in May. Entries were submitted by Wilfred I. Daphiney, Johnston; John F. Gallagher, Greenville; C. Gordon Harris, Lincoln; James A. King, Scituate; and Margaret B. Stillwell, Greenville --all members of many art clubs in New England. In November a two-day Junior Arts and Crafts Festival took place. The show consisted of articles made during the Smithfield Recreation Program, representing such crafts as photography jewelry, handweaving and painting by junior artists. The annual December Candlelight and Carols program featured poetry readings by Prof. Sharon Brown of Brown University and seasonal music by the "P.D.Q's" of Pembroke College. This was followed by carols by the audience led by Mr. Joseph Lopez.

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1960 Activies

In honor of the addition of Alaska as the 49th state, an illustrated talk was given in March by Miss Alice M. Comstock and Miss Helen E. True. An all-day conference of extension librarians from New England, New York, and Washington, D.C, was held in April. The day's activities included group discussions, and a catered lunch was served. For the second time the Greenville Libraxy was host for the annual meting of the Rhode Island Library Association in May, with meetings held at the Greenville Baptist Church, followed by lunch served by the ladies of St. Thomas Church. At the end of the day tea was served at the library, giving Rhode Island librarians the opportunity to visit the new building. Twenty-four industries in Smithfield participated in a two-day show called "Industrial Smithfield on Exibition" on October 22-23. This was made possible through the cooperation of the Smithfield Industrial Development Commission, the Smithfield Planning Board and the Rhode Island Development Council. The annual Candlelight and Carols program featured the Grace Church Bell Choir consisting of thirty-two English handbells, under the leadership of Mr. Fred Cronhimer. As was the custom, carol singing by the audience was led by Mr. Joseph Lopez.

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1961 Activities

In the spring a musical program was presented by Thomas Casey Greene, Jr, piano, Janice Nairn, lyric soprano, and Louise W. Moore, accompanist. There was not even standing room for the special event for children, featuring "Miss Bonnie of WRPO-TV as speaker in April. In the fall of that year the main activity was "Fire Apparatus and Survival Equipment" as a special tribute to the local volunteer fire companies. Greenville, Georgiaville and Wionkhiege companies displayed their apparatus in the library's parking lot, together with the rescue boat, rescue truck and the new ambulance. Inside the library there were exhibits showing photographs of local fires, fire companies of the past, and old prints of fire apparatus in Providence were also on view. Equioment and supplies, loaned by local merchants, were shown to demonstrate safety in driving, fire prevention, use of oxygen apparatus and the equipping of fall-out shelters. The year closed with the annual Candlelight and Carols program, again featuring the Grace Church Bell Choir, with Prof. Neil Schroeder of Clark University, who read "A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas.

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1962 ACTIVITIES

In March Prof. Marion Wright of'.Ibode Island College gave an illustrated talk on Africa. Also this same month as preliminary to a state-wide meeting of the Rhode Island library trustees to be held in Providence, the library invited the trustees of the libraries of northwestern Rhode Island to an evening meeting and showing of a film on the activities of New England libraries, in which the Greenville library was well represented. As a special feature of the library's 80th anniversary year a spring art show was given by Miss Hope Smith of the Providence Art Club. The oil paintings consisted mainly of familiar Providence scenes. In celebration of Children's Book Week in November it deemed appropriate to call together the school principals and teachers to study ways in which the library could work more closely with the schools in Smithfield. F. William Summers associate librarian of the Providence Public Li brary, served as panel moderator, with a large delegation from the town's schools and libraries. The year ended with the traditional Candlelight and Carols propram, with singing provided by the "Lambrequins" or Lincoln School, Providence, T. James Hallan, conductor, who also led the community singing. Seasonal readings were given by Prof. James 0. Barnhill, of Brown University.

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1963 ACTIVITIES

In recognition of National Library Week in April, Mrs. Herbert N. Couch of Providence showed pictures and gave an account of her trip to the South Sea islands, New Zealand and Australia. "Health Services on Display" was opened in September. This was an exhibit showing services performed by the Smithfield Public Health League, founded 50 years before by civic-minded men and women. The show not only traced the history of the League's service to the town but also showed the kind of service presently available to the community. Candlelight and Carols this year was subtitled "Christmas Around the World". Appearing on this program were Julie Searing, soprano, and Joyce Carlson, harpist, with Louise Moore as narrator.

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1964 ACTIVITIES

A regional meeting of public library trustees, one of eight rallies in the state, was held at the library in March, with Dean Charles B. Willard, Rhode Island College, as chairman. This event was to stimulate support of the forthcoming legislation for the improvement of statewide library service. "Art in Leisure Moments" was the title of the spring art show by John J. McLaughry, football coach at Brown University. "Candle Days in Smithfield" was the subject of an exibition held in the fall. Photogranhs of 35 houses built before 1800 were on display, and also early household ap appliances were exhibited. The Year ended with "Christmas in Story, and Art", an exhibit of paintings loaned by the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and also featured art books for children and adults.

At these events Sponsored by the library there was always an opening tea, or refreshments were served following a special program. The trustees and their friends, as well as the library's staff, generously gave time and effort to make each occasion a rewarding celebration. Silver tea service was readily loaned by friends, and the well-equipped kitchen p)rovided the necessary service for such occasions.

A number of varied exhibits were set up in the north hallway leading to the parking lot, and these attracted a great deal of attention. Exhibits were also provided for stores and banks in the area during National Library Week each April. Additional exhibits were also arranged from time to time in nearby schools. Classes from William Winsor school across the street were regularly scheduled for library orientation and story hours. Local organizations, such as the Cranford Club, the Apple Blossom Garden Club, and 4-H groups took advantage of the meeting room on the lower floor. Local piano teachers also scheduled puril recitals on many Sunday afternoons. One year Dr Dudley was the leader of a group discussion on "Great Books".

In 1965/66 there were 115 dues paying members of the Association. In November l960 the 10,000th book had been accessioned since the revised accession record was started in 1950.

A sampling of library statistics for this period are given below:

Circulation

Number of patrons

1956/57

8,333

823

1957/58

12,129

1,058

1958/59

17,421

1,400

1961/62

21,527

2,211

1965/66

26,153

2,3O4

It soon became evident that the library needed an addition. There were many occasions when school students working on science projects were forced to sit on the floor, even though extra card tables had been brought in, and the shelves were so full that little used material was relegated to storage areas. In December 1062 Miss Stillwell as chairman of the Building Committee, was authorized to prenare preliminary Plans for a new wing, and Mr. Richard Illingworth was appointed chairman of a fund raising committee.

When the Jenckes building was erected in 1956, its size was governed by the amount of money that was available for its construction. However since Miss Stillwell foresaw that eventually an addition would be necessary, a steel beam had been inserted in the north wall of the reading room, so that a wide archway could be opened into a new wing at some future time,

In October 1963 the firm of Johnson and Haynes, of Pawtucket, was authorized to draw up plans and specifications for the "Young People's Wing". By October 1964 the Rhode Island Department of State Library Services indicated that it might grant $44,300, or 50% of the proposed cost. At this same time a drive was initiated under Mr. Iningworth's direction to raise the remaining $44,300 from local organizations, commercial establishments, citizens, foundations, and the town. The Town of Smithfield promised $20,OOO to be spread over four fiscal years, and arrangements were made with the Greenville office of the Citizens Savings Bank to borrow money in advance of payment of pledges.

By May 1965 the approval of the plans was forthcoming from the federal DeDartment of Health, Education and Welfare, as well as from the Rhode Island Department of State Library Services. The Rhode Island Foundation pledged a grant of $5,000. As a result, a contract was awarded to the H. M. Soule Company, of Pawtucket, July 23, 1965, and excavation was started on August 9, 1965.

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1965 ACTIVITIES

"Creativity and Techniques of Modern Art" was the theme of an art show by John E. DeMelim, Jr, Assistant Professor, at Rhode Island College, in May. The only fall activity was an all day meeting of librarians and trustees of the Northern Region, who met at the library with Miss Elizabeth G. Myer, Director of the Department of State Library Services, presiding. The rapidly growing addition to the library was of much interest, as those present examined the model and plans of the addition.

The new young people's wing provided a large children's room, a story hour alcove, a workroom, an exhibit storage room and an expanded lobby on the main floor. On the lower floor a reading and reference room, an expanded stairway lobby, an additional furnace room, and several storage areas were provided. During June 1966 the library began to move into the new space, but the official opening was deferred until the fall, with a children's preview on October 15 and an informal open house and tea for the general public the next day. The total cost of approximately $100,000 was met by the state and town grants, the Rhode Island Foundation grant, and contributions by 205 individuals and local organizations.

In this period 1956-1966 the Book Committee continued to be responsible for the selection of books to be purchased. In 1956/57 the librarian was named a member of this committee, and in 1958/59 Mrs. Dexter was named chairman of the committee and assumed the responsibility of book selection through the balance of this period.

From May 1956 through May 1966, Kay K. Moore was President, of the Board.

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1966 - 1982

With the opening of the young people's wing in October 1966, a new era began for the Greenville Public Library. exanded facilities spread over two floors required additional staff, and the larger building added to maintenance costs for heating, lighting, insurance, and janitorial service. Federal and state regulations regarding minimum wages also compounded the problem. A further complication arose in November 1968 when Mrs. Dexter resigned as librarian, to take a position in the Pawtucket Public Library. Regulations promulgated by the Department of State Library Services required that the library now should be headed by a professional librarian with a library school degree. Since there were insufficient funds for such a salary, the Department waived this regulation temorarily, and the Board engaged Mrs. Shirley K. Steere as Acting Librarian, effective December 1968.

Fortunately the Town Council was generally sympathetic to the Board's appeals for larger appropriations, but it was not until 1972/73 that there was sufficient money to appoint a professional librarian.

Several factors were responsible for this development. First of all, the Department had indicated that the waiver regarding a professional librarian could not be continued indefinitely. Secondly, the Department was recommending that library service in any single town should be unified in some way. The Board of the East Smithfield Public Library, which was a merger of the former Bernon Library in Georgiaville and the Esmond Library voted in August 1971 to join with the Greenville Public Library in a search for a Coordinator of Smithfield libraries, East Smithfield agreeing to assume part of the salary cost.

In May 1972 Mrs. Caroline Simmns, who soon would be graduating from the URI library school in June, was appointed librarian of the

Greenville Public Library and Coordinator of Smithfield libraries. She continued in this position until March 1973, when Mrs. Caroline Simmons Boudreau resigned to move to Worcester, where she would assist her new husband in his business. As Coordinator she initiated a project that is still being carried on -- the monthly "Libraries of Smithfield" containing, announcements of activities in both libraries and mailed to association members of each library.

Mrs. Boudreau was succeeded as Librarian-Coordinator by Mrs. Ellen P. Spilka April 23, 1973. She previously had been director of the Northern Interrelated Library Services, Pawtucket, was enthusiastic about the proarams and activities of the Greenville library and was anxious to obtain experience in administering a small public library. She resigned her position, however November 14, 197h, to take the library directorship in Andover, Massachusetts.

Mrs. Shirley A. Steere, who had been Acting Librarian from 1968 to May 1972, was named Assistant Librarian and Childrents Librarian in May 1972. When Mrs. Spilka resigned in 1974, she was again named Acting Librarian until the appointment of Matthew J. Higgins as Librarian-Coordinator in February 1975. Upon his resignation in October 1978 to take a position in the Department of State Library services Mrs. Steere was again named Acting Librarian, which position she held until April 1979, when Mrs. Janet A. Levesque began her appointment as Librarian-Coordinator. On November 30, 1981, Mrs. Levesque resigned to become the Director of libraries in Cumberland. She was succeeded by Christopher LaRoux on December 1, 1981 .9 who now is the twelfth librarian of the Greenville Public Library and the fifth Librarian-Coordinator.

In the earlier years Miss Cora L. Burlingame personified the library. From 1968 to 1981 Mrs. Shirley Steere was recognized as the

library figure. As Acting Librarian, assistant librarian, children's librarian, cataloger, story-teller, patient guide, and instructor to all new library staff members, and an active participant in many programs and other library events, she was a truly dedicated community figure. Her unexpected death November 9, 1981, was a shock not only to the library staff but also to library patrons and friends. It is fitting that the Board has thoughtfully dedicated the children's room as a memorial to her, and that many friends have contributed to a book fund in her name.

An important factor in the growth of library service in Greenville was occasioned by the total reorganization of library service in the state. The new Department of State Library Services, established in 1964, initiated a wide variety of statewide library programs, particularly in the setting up of regional centers to augment local service. Greenville became an active participant in the Northern Region, whose office is located in the Pawtucket Public Library. As part of the vital interlibrary loan service Greenville has both furnished material to, and borrowed from libraries in the state. The regional office provides answers to difficult reference questions, and funds became available for the augmenting of book collections within specific fields. Greenville is responsible for the purchase of books in the field of arts and crafts, which are then available on interlibrary loan, not only to other libraries in the Northern Region, but to all libraries in the state. The Department originally also provided collections of books in various categories that could be borrowed by a library for a long period of time. (Unfortunately in 1981 this collection suffered from the budget cuts at the state level.)

With increased monies available, the library widened its field of holdings. Not only books and magazines were added, but also phonograph records, cassettes, microfilms, jig-saw puzzles, and pre-primary kits for mothers' use at home were purchased.

Many programs were set up for various groups. A regular monthly feature for many years was first called "Mothers' Forum", with a pre-primary children's story hour at the same time. Nursery schools, such as "Head Start" and a number of other schools have taken advantage of special storyhours. The variety of Sunday afternoon programs was continued, particularly art shows and travel talks. An annual series of programs by the art and music departments of the junior high school has attracted many people. Local piano teachers have continued to use the meeting room for pupils' recitals.

The library has cooperated with other libraries in the area for special projects, including East Smithfield, North Providence, and Johnston. Many of these projects were funded by special grants from the Department of State Library Servicies. Library service has been extended to nursing homes in Smithfield, as well as direct service to the Greenville Manor. The library belongs to the Rhode Island Film Cooperative and thus has been able to provide films for the use of nursing homes and other organizations.

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1967 ACTIVITIES

The first event since the building of the new addition was an art show by Cor Sandifort, in November. In December, a revival of Candlelight and Carols, Music for the Advent Season, was given by artists playing, baroque instruments, under the direction of Alison Fowle, of Providence. The usual community singing followed the program.

 

1968 ACTIVITIES

Celebrating Children's Book week in November was a ballet demonstration by Herci and Myles Marsden and members of the Rhode Island State Ballet. The main reading room was transformed into a theatre giving space for performers as well as the large audience. "Christmas Story in Art on loan from the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Desig nreplaced the Candlelight and Carols program in December of 1968.

 

1969 ACTIVITIES

May of this year featured an art show by the four art teachers in the Smithfield School Department. Exibitors were Carol Griffin, Marjorie Jaswell, Mary, LaVerdiere, and Sheila McLean. A sucessfulul two-day "Country Crafts Sale" was held October 3-4. Handicrafts, baked goods, candy, paintings, herbs and flowers, honey, apples, hand-dipped candles and other items were on sale.

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1970 ACTIVITIES

"New England Buttery Shelf", the title of a new cook book by Mrs. Mary Mason Campbell, was the topic of a talk given by the author during, National Library week in April, and was sponsored by both Smithfield libraries. May 3 was the opening of a two-man art show shared by Solace M. G. Loven and Cor Sandifort. May being Rhode Island Heritage Month, James Hain, a URI professor, presented an illustrated lecture on "Oceanography", on May 17. "Art to the People", sponsored by Rhode Island Council on the Arts was held during Seotember this year. "Christmas in Music" was given by the Music Department of the Smithfield High School on December 6. with Robert Cleasby, choral director, and, Allen Tinkham, band director, in charge. Also in December the second of "Art to the People" collection included romantic and realistic paintings of the 19th century.

 

1971 ACTIVITIES

The third of the series "Art to the People" represented works by American black artists during, February. A series of travel talks named "Sunday Afternoon Travels" began in 1971 with three shows: "Italy -- its Art and History", by Louise and &Kay Moore; "National Parks -- a Tour of the West, by Cecelia and Joseph Katz; and "Williamsburg -- a Colonial Capitol", by Shirley and Russell Steere. Two other Smithfield artists were featured in a show sponsored by both libraries in May, John P. Gallagher and Thurber Hoyt. "Art to the People" continued in July, with "Portraits" furnished by the National Gallery of Art -In Washington. This was followed by "Ten Landscapes", the fifth exhibit in the series. December brought another exhibit in this series, "Masters of Religious Art".

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1972 ACTIVITIES

"Art to the People" presented art up to modem times with "Backgrounds of Modern Painting" in February. Sunday Afternoon Travels 1972 brought Lt. Col. Thomas R. Kellett (Ret.) who spoke on "Eastern Europe -- a Look Behind the Curtain; "London and Ireland - Passport for Two", by Mrs. Sarah W. D. Henderson; and "Twenty Years with Streets of the City" by Mrs. Florence P. Simister observing the 90th year of the library, the spring art show was given in May by Alexis W. Krupka, Smithfield, and Mary Jane Spardello, Johnston. As part of the "Historic Days in Smithfield" held at the, hign school, both Smithfield libraries were featured in an exhibit demonstrating the varied services available in the town libraries, The library was host to a meeting of the librarians and trustees within the Northern Interrelated Library System in September, with emphasis on revision and updating of standards for Rhode Island libraries.

 

1973 ACTIVITIES

With Bryant College the library co-sponsored an art film series, the first in Feb . on early 20th century painting. The "Sunday Afternoon Travels" series included "A Look at the Canadian Maritimes" by Shirley and Russell Steere, "A Visit to Spain and Majorica" by the Carousel Travel Agency, and Africa by Miss Ina Stene. In May Mrs. Janet E. Judge of Greenville presented her paintings in a one-man art show. In November Hedley Smith, the Yankee Yorkshire - now of Scituate, gave a talk on "My Own People".

1974 ACTIVITIES

"Sunday Afternoon Travels" began with "England -- Countrysides Castles and Cathedrals" given jointly by Mr. and Mrs. Steere and Mr. and Mrs. Moore. The second one was "Fantastic Morocco by Mildred and Ralph Carlson and the third was "Greece -- Land of Antiquity by Prof. John R. Workman of Brown University. The art show in relay featured works by the Smithfield High School students. The second series of art films co-sponsored at Bryant Gollege was "Civilization", The November art show brought two artists together. The exhibitors were Florence Greene of Smithfield, with oils, and Dr. Ellis Rosenthal of Cranston, with water colors.

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1975 ACTIVITIES

The title of "Mothers' Form was changed to "Library Forum" reflecting a change in emphasis for larger attendance; the pre-primary children's story hour continued to be restricted to pre-registration, since it was difficult to handle more than 15 pre-schoolers at one time. "Sunday Afternoon Travels", in tne spring opened with "Rome -- the Eternal City" by Prof. John R. Workman. "Playing Around the Matterhorn was the subject of Mr. Willard Van Houten's talk. Mr. Jack Dawson entertained with, "Southeast Asia and New Zealand". In May David Macaulay author and illustrator, spoke on his latest book, "City, a Story of -Roman Planning". The library sponsored an August summer art show with pen and ink drawings by Dean A. Kent, of Chepachet.

 

1976 ACTIVITIES

The spring series of "Sunday Afternoon Travels" began with "Iberia -- the Spanish Peninsula" by George Potier, of Providence. This was followed by "Banff and Lake Louise" by L. Dexter Aldrich and then by "Russia -- Iand of Mystery" by Jack Dawson. In May Mario Paolini presented a slide show with commentary, entitled "Mile-stones in the Development of Painting". During the summer two exhibits of photographs were given by Gordon E. Rowley, of Johnston and by Wilfred Anderton, of Chenachet. Two slide shows were pesented in the fall: "Southern England" by Shirley and Russsell Steere, and "Peru" by Jack Dawson. It was during this year that the Greenville Grange presented the old Greenville school bell to the library for safe-keeping.

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1977 ACTIVITIES

This was a very full year for activities, "Sunday Afternoons at the Library" spring series included "The Middle East" by George Potier, of Providence; "Jugoslavia" by Mildred and Ralph Carlson; and "Development of American Art" by Mario Paolini. In January there was a photograph exhibit by David R. Muerdter, and in February Mrs. Jeanne Martin Chimani provided an exhibit of her art work. Also in February a study-discussion group was initiated on "Great Decisions". In April the East Smithfield Public Library was co-sponsor with Greenville of an illustrated lecture "Down by the Old Mill Stream -- What to Look for in Industrial Architecture" presented by Michael Zuckerman of the Rhode Island Historical Society. This event waa held at East Smithfield Recreation Hall. An art show was held in May exhibiting the paintings of Mrs. Arlene Birtwell, of North Scituate. During the summer art work by Miss Margaret Fogarty of Glocester was on display. The fall series included two slide shows, "Buon Giorno, Bella Napoli" by Robert Burford, Iibrarian of the Marion Mohr Library, in Johnston, and "The Patchwork of the Baltic" by Prof. John R. Workman. "Christmas in Words and Music" was sponsored jointly with the East Smithfield Public Library, with Calvin Tillotson giving poetry, readings and Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales", and the Lincoln Lambrequins, T. James Hallan, director, providing the music.

 

1978 ACTIVITES

In April Mrs. Anne Allen presented a slide show on "Africa." A week later the Smithfield Journor High School presented an "Arts and Music Festival"' under the leadership pf Rory F. Marcaccio, Art Department, amd Dennis St. Germain, band director, with art exhibits in side the library and a band concert in the parking lot. On April 30, the Smithfoeld High School Savoyards, Jane Calderara, director, presented "Bits and Pieces of Gilbert and Sullivan" to an appreciative audience. In May art work of Ruth A. Joslin, of North Scituate, was on display in the library.

 

1979 ACTIVITIES

"Sunday Afternoon at the Library" opened in Februray with a film narrated by Orson Wells, entitled "Tut, the Boy King." "Festiva; of Ruthenberg" was presented by Norris G. Abbott, Jr., of Providence, in March. In April Mr. and Mrs. Moore showed slides to illustrate "British Stately Homes and Castles." The second annual Smithfielf Junior High School Arts Festival was held on April 29, with Miss Marcaccio and Mr. St. Germain in charge.

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1980 ACTIVITIES

The spring series of "Sunday Afternoons at the Library" included "Alaska: the Inner Passage" by Mildred and Ralph Carlson, "The Pacific States" by Shirley and Russell Steere, and "Be It Ever So Humble - Pleasures and Palaces" by Prof. John R. Workman. In May the third annual Arts and Music Festival by the Smithfield Junior High School was held. This was followed by the first "Art in the Elementary Schools, Smithfield" exhibited in every available spacein the library. in connection with the 250th anniversary of the Town of Smithfield the library presented Walter Nebeker, of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, at the Smithfield High School, whose illustrated talk was entitled "Historic Smithfield." The fall servies of "Sunday Afternoons at the Library" began with "Australia - the Land Down Under" by George E. Levesque and was followed in November by "Pathways of the Pilgrims" presented by Alden C. Saunders, of North Scituate.

 

1981 ACTIVITIES

Wilfred Anderton, of Chepachet, a collector of Norman Rockwell memorabilia, exhibited some of his collection in the library in February. In March Mildred and Ralph Carlson showed pictures of Egypt. The fourth annual Smithfield Junior High School Arts and Music Festival featured art exhibits and a band concert by its music students. Late in May a reception for Miss Fay Zipkowitz, newly appointed director of the Department of State Library Services, was held in the library.

In addition to these major activities listed above and in the previous chapter, one should not ignore the many other events that have been sponsored by the library. For the children there have been many attractions, including not only the regular story hours, but also performances by the Looking Glass Theatre, puppet shows, special children's films and summer reading programs with appropriate prizes. The exhibit case in the north hallway has had a variety of displays, changed monthly; some have been allied to special programs, some of a seasonal nature, and some reflecting collecting interests of library patrons. Numerous individuals have cooperated to share their interests. The bubble display case in the childrenis room has been a source of inspiration and excited attention, particularly when a friend's special collection has been exhibited. The bulletin board in the children's room has been the focus of interest during the summer reading programs.

 

A sampling of library statistics for this period are given below:

Year

Circulation

Number of patrons

Holdings

1972/73

50,721

4,146

20,539

1976/77

64,468

5,791

27,479

1979/80

72,348

6,607

31,304

1980/81

67,390

6,978

32,371

The circulation for 1980/81 dropped below the previous year for the first time in this period, due largely to a reduction in library hours of service. This had been occasioned by a cut by the Town Council in the amount requested for fiscal 1980/81. It had therefore become necessary to eliminate Thursday evening, hours and also Saturday afternoon hours during July and August.

In September 1981 Thursday evening hours were restored, for a total of 43 hours per week, but in January 1982 the days of opening were shifted to eliminate Mondays but adding Fridays, due to the energy situation. Presently the library is still open 41 hours per week --Tuesdays - Thursdays 10-5, 7-9, Fridays 10-7, and Saturdays 10-5.

In August 1975 the library received word that by the will of the late Dr. Sarah Sweet Winsor it was one of several residuary, heirs. Dr. Windsor, a well-known practicing physician, had lived in Greenville for many years and had been lst Vice-president of the library board 1932-1937. In March 1976 the sum of $49,876.24 was added to the treasury. This money has been invested so that its dividends are utilized as an income source for the operation of the library.

In recounting the history of the library, one should not omit mentioning the importance of the supporting staff, who preside at the several public desks and perform the numerous housekeeping chores professional and clerical. This survey has mentioned generally only the librarians in charge, and it is impractical in this brief history to list all the persons who have served the library clientele since 1956 when the new building was erected. Currently the library staff consists of two full-time professional librarians, one full-time semi-professional staff member, seven part-time people, two library aides and four volunteers. Grateful acknowledgment should be made to a number of volunteers, trustees and others, who have served many hours in augmenting the work of the full-time and part-time staff. There have been many, but special mention should be made of Elizabeth Baker (who has faithfully filed cards in the catalogs for over twenty years), of Jean (Betty) Lockwood (who has assisted at many of the Library Forums"), of Louise W. Moore (who planned and organized many of the special programs sponsored by the library), and of Leona Wilson (who has assisted in so many ways, but especially aiding Mrs. Steere in connection with the pre-primary story hours.

In recognition of present-day library service, the writer feels that the following statistics are noteworthy. These are for the year 1980/8l, the latest tabulation available:

103 films were borrowed from the Rhode Island Film Cooperative for the benefit of local churches, nursing homes, clubs, and other groups, without any cost to these groups.

1,206 requests for interlibrary loans were made and the Northern Interrelated Library System filled 993 of them, as well as providing answers to 175 reference questions.

 64 story hours for school-age children and 38 for pre-school children were held, with a total attendance of 1,813 children. In addition there were a number of special events for children, including a summer reading program in which 445 children participated.

 13 programs for adults were held during, the year -- Tuesday Library - Forums and Sunday afternoon programs.

A Junior High School Arts Festival attracted more than 300 people.

The library has been fortunate that the Town Council and the citizens of Smithfield have been sympathetic, and appeciative, and responsive to library service in the town. Town appropriations for library service have continued to increase, to meet the rising, costs of books and other materials for staff and for building maintenance -- and not only for Greenville but also for the East Smithfield Public Library. Some town appropriations for the Greenville Library are as follows:

1966/67 $13,690.00

1968/69 $23,500.00

1973/71 $37,269.00

1977/78 $51,293.00

1980/81 $63,367.00

1981/82 $71,367.00

 

John P. Gallagher, who was President for 1966/67, was succeeded by the following:

1967-1970 Mrs. Louise W. Moore

1970-1973 Dr. Joseph Katz

1973-1976 Mr. Kingsley Whipple

1976-1978 Mr. Kay K. Moore

1978-1982 Mr. Kingsley Whipple

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EPILOGUE

The Greenville Public Library provides a vital service to the community as an ever-expanding source of information and recreation to a growing number of patrons. It is a living memorial to the loyal efforts of many devoted citizens who have believed that a library was an essential part of everyday life.

In the course of one hundred years there have been 132 individuals who have served the. community either as incorporators 'board members, or as librarians in charge. Fourteen of these have had official connections of more than thirty years each, and sixteen more have served between twelve and twenty-nine years. In the thirty-year category are Orra A. Angell, Cora L. Burlingame, Richard W. Clemence, Irene B. Jenckes, May B. Lamb, Kay K. Moore, Louise W. Moore, Alonzo P. Mowry, Marshall W. Mowry, Oscar A. Tobey, Nellie C. Vaughn, Andrew B. Winsor, Nicholas S. Winsor, and Thomas K. Winsor. Andrew B. Winsor served as treasurer for 35 years, including the years of the erection of and addition to the Henry F. Jenckes memorial building. Although Miss Stillwell was on the board for only twelve years, it is due to her insight, artistic sense and indefatigable energy that as Building Chairman the new building and its wing were competed between 1954 and 1966.

Books on shelves can be a monument of knowledge -- but it is the patrons who make a library rwre than a monument to the past. The eager young children who pore over the picture books and easy readers or listen spell-bound to stories and films the school children who are searching for information needed for education as well as for the fun of reading, the adults who require details on "how-to-do-it". who read for pleasure, or thrill over mystery stories, or who travel vicariously in many parts of the world, or renew or extend their knowledge of art, history and biography --all make the library a living experience.

As the Greenville Public Library enters upon its second century of growth it looks forward to the continued interest and support of the Greenville and Smithfiel citizens to maintain this increasingly valuable community asset.

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First Vice-Presidents

l882-l895* Rev. Henry S. Latham, Jr.

l895-1904* Mr. Lloyd L, Mathewson

1905-1907* Rev. James W. Colwell

1907-1915* Mr. Alonzo P. Mowry

1915-1920* Rev. John H. Roberts

1920-1929* Rev. Gideon A. Burgess

1929-1932* Mr. Henry B. Turner

1932-1937* Dr. Sarah S. Windsor

1937-1944* Mr.William B. Pearse

1945-1948* Dr. Dudley Tyng

194P-1950* Rev. Arthur B. Mercer

1950-1951* Mr. Farl R. Knight, Sr.

1951-1952* Dr. Dudley Tyng

1952-1954 Mrs. Florence Hall

1954-1955 Mr. Kay K. Moore

1955-1964* Mr. Everett H. Fernald

1964-1966 Mr. Richard Illinguorth

1966-1969 Mr.Robert E. Straight

1969-1970 Mrs. Jean H. Lockwood

1970-1971 Mr. Earl Brindle

1971-1973 Mrs. Jean R. Lockwood

1973-1975 Mrs. Louise W. Moore

1975-1976 Mr. John Hannon

1976-1977 Mr. Jack Dawson

1977-1980 Mrs. Jean H. Lockwood

1980-1982 Mr. Thomas J. Howell

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Second Vice-Presidents

1882-1892 * Miss Josephine E. Winsor

l892-l895 (not recorded)

1895-1905 * Mrs. Huldah M. Winsor

1905-1907 * Rev. G. B. Cutler

1907-1917 * Mr. Oscar A. Tobey

1917-1930 * Mr. Henry S. Turner

1930-1937 * Mr. William B. Pearse

1937-1939 * Mrs. Irene B. Jenkes

1939-1945 * Mr. Charles A. Steere

1945-1950 * Mr.Earl R. Knight, Sr.

1950-1952 Miss Louise Walcott

1952-1955 * Mr. Everett H. Fernald

1955-1956 Mr. Edward McCaffery

1956-1962 * Mr. Charles A. Scott, Jr.

1962-1964 Mr. Richard Illingworth

1964-1968 * Mr. Everett H. Fernald

1968-1969 Miss Kathleen Corinor

1969-1970 Dr. Joseph Katz

1970-1973 Mrs. Louise W. Moore

1974-1975 Mrs. Jean H. Lockwood

1975-1976 Mr. Kay K. Moore

1976-1977 Mr. John Hannon

1977-1979 Dr. Joseph Katz

1979-1982 Mr. Angelo Iannitelli

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THIRD VICE-PRESIDENTS

1882-1892 * Miss Orra A. Angell

1892-1895 (not recorded)

1895-1905 * Mrs. Ida A, Steere

1905-1926 * Miss Orra A. Angell

1926-1929 * Mr. William B. Pearse

1929-1937 * Mrs. Irene B. Jenckes

1937-1950 Miss Louise Idalcott

1950-1951 * Dr. Dudly Tyng

1951-1952 * Mr. Everett H. Fernald

1952-1054 Mrs. Edith Calderara

1954-1965 (office not filled)

1965-1966 Mr. Robert E. Straight

1966-1968 Miss Kathleen Gormor

1968-1970 Mr. Robert S. Smith

1970-l971 Mr. Norman Dulude

1971-1982 (office not filled)

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SECRETARIES

1882-1905 * Mr. Oscar A. Tobey

1905-1929 * Mrs. Irene B. Jenckes

1929-1936 * Mrs. Mattie A. Wallcott

1936-1951 * Miss May B. Lamb

1951-1955 Mrs. Louise W. Moore

1955-1963 Miss Margaret B. Stillwell

1963-1971 Mrs. Elinore Wright

1971-1973 Mrs. Marjorie Jaswell

1973-1974 Mrs. Edith Calderara

1974-i975 Mrs. Rose Marie Whipple

1975-1977 Mrs. Edith Calderara

1977-1979 Mr. F. Monroe Allen

1979-1980 Mr. Thomas J. Howell

1980-1981 Mrs. Elinore Wright

1981-1982 Mrs. Carla Gardner

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ASSISTANT SECRETARIES

1963-1965 * Mrs. Eleanor Tyng

1965-1970 Mrs. Barbara B. Cronhimer

1970-1971 Mrs. Marjorie Jaawell

1971-1973 Mrs. Edith Calderara

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TREASURERS

1882-1904 * Mr. William Winsor

1904-1934 * Mr. Marshall W. Mowry

1934-1935 * Mr. Chentor E. Walcott

1935-1941 * Mr. williara i. Sprague

1941-1942 * Miss Cora L. Burlingame

1942-1977 Mr. Andrew B. Winsor

1977-1981 Mrs. Priscilla W. Holt

1981-1982 Mr. John Hamon

 

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ASSISTANT TREASURERS

1960-1963 * Mr. Charles A. Scott, Jr.

1963-1964 Mr. Hersey Howard

1964-1965 * Mr. Charles A, Scott, Jr.

1965-1974 Mr. Robert E. Straight

197L-1976 (office not filled)

1976-1977 Mrs. Priscilla W. Holt

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TRUSTEES

Mrs. Deborah M. Aceto, 1981-1982

Mr. L. Dexter Aldrich, 1976-1982

Mr. P. Monroe Allen, 1971-1977, 1979-1982

*Miss Orra A. Angell, 1904-1905

*Mr. George M. Appleby 1882-1892

Mrs. Elizabeth Baker, 1959-1971

Mrs. Muriel Barber, 1966-1969

Mr. J. Joseph Baxter, 1965-1966, 1967-1969

*Miss Dorothy Beauchesne, 1966-1968

Mr. Earl Brindle, 1966-1970, 1971-1982

*Mrs. Sarah J. Brown, 1905-1913

Mrs. Emmy Lou Burgess, 1979-1980

Mr. David Burghoff, 1952-1954

Mrs. Edith Calderara, 1956-1959, 1967-1970, 1974-1975, 1977-1981

*Mr. Daniel F. Chandler, 1882-1891

* Mr Richard W. Clemence, 1905-1938

*Miss Alice Y. Comstock, 1963-1964

Miss Kathleen Connor 9 1965-1966

Mrs. Doris Cook, 1952-1954

Mrs. Barbara B. Cronhimer, 1964-1965, 1971-197

Mrs. Flora Curry, 1979-19t32

Mr. Jack Dawson, 1975-1976

*Mr. John F. Gallagher, 1964-1966, 1967-1970

Mrs. Carla Gardner, 1980-1981

*Mr. John F. Gardner, 1882-1885

*Mrs. Ella L. Gavitt, 1695-1924

*Mr. Thomas Hall, 1952-1956

Mr. John Hannon, 1973-1975, 1977-1982

Mr. Hersey Howard, 1961-1963

* Mr. Andrew J.Hubbard, 1883-1888

Mr. Angelo Iannitelli, 1977-1979

Mr. Richard Illingworth, 1961-1962

Mrs. Marjorie Jaswell, 1969-1970

*Mm. Irene B. Jenckes 1905-1915

*Mrs. Esther P. Jones, 1954-1961

 Dr. Joseph Katz, 1968-1969, 1973-1977

Mrs. Elizabeth A. Kilmartin, 1977-1979

Miss May B. Lamb 1934-1940

Rev. Armand LaVallee, 1970-1971

Mrs. Jean H. Lockwood, 1954-1969, 1970-1971, 1975-1978

Mrs. Ellen McBride, 1977-1981

Mr. Edward McCaffery, 1954-1955

Mrs. Maureen Mannion, 1972-1973

Mr. Thomas A. Mannion, Jr, 1970-1972

Mrs. Jean Marz, 1977-1979

*Mrs Clarence H, Mathewson, 1891-1892

*Mr. Walker A. Medbury, 1884-1896

*Rev. Arthur B. Mercer, 1948-1950

Mr. Kay K. Moore, 1951-1954, 1966-1975, 1978-1979

Mrs. Louise W. Moore, 1960-1967, 1975-1977

*Mr. Alonzo P. Mowry, 1884-1896

*Mr, Marshall I. Mowry, 1884-1892

Mr. Charles J. Oldakovski, 1979-1980

*Mr. George B. Perrin, 1882-1895

Mr. Harlan Phillips, 1969-1970

Mr. Albert J. Rigney, 1,065-1966

Mr. James J. Ritter, 1973-1980

Mr. Laurence J. Sasso, Jr, 1972-1974

*Mr. Charles A. Scott Jr, 1954-1956, 1963-1964

* Louise M. Scott 1980-1981

Miss Ruth Sharp, 1969-1971

*Mr. Charles A. Steere, 1950-1952

*Mrs. Josephine F. Steers, 1895-1904

Mr. George L. Sutcliffe, 1964-1965

*Mr. Ethan C. Thornton, 1891-1892

Mr. Edward F. Toppi, 1973-1974

*Dr. Dudley Tyng 1955-1963

*Mrs. Nellie C. Vaughan, 1924-1954

Mr. Chester E. Walcott, 1913-1934

Miss Louise Walcott, 1935-1950

Mr. Kingsley Whipple, 1971-19739 1976-1978

*Mr. Lucius A. Whipple, 1940-1951

Mrs. Leon Wilson, 1960-1962, 1963-1964, 1969-1978

Mrs. Joan Winfield, 1981-1982

*Miss Abbie M. Winsor, 1915-1934

Mr. W. B. Winsor, 1939-1952 *

Mrs. Ethelyn S. 'Winsor, 1956-1977 *

Mrs. Huldah M. Winsor, 1895-1896

*Mrs Thomas K. Winsor, 1905-1948

Mrs. Elinore Wright, 1962-1963, 1978-1980, 1981-1982

Mrs. Carol Zelano, 1979-1982

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TRUSTEES EMERITI

Mr. Kay K. Moore, 1979

Mrs. Louise W. Moore, 1979

Mr. Andrew B. Winsor, 1977

Mrs. Ethelyn S. Winsor, 1977*

 

BOOK COMMITTEE

1883-1884 * Rev.W. Ingram Magill

1884-1895 (not recorded)

1895-1896 * Mrs Huldah M. Winsor

1896-1905 (not recorded)

1905-1906 * Rev. James W. Colwell

1906-1908 * Miss Orra A. Angell

1908-1911 * Rev. Orin D. Patch

1911-1915 * Miss Orra A. Angell

1915-1926 * Mr. Marshall W. Mowry

1926-1947 * Mrs. Mattie A. Walcott

1947-1948 * Mm. Nellie Co Vaughn

1948-1950 Miss Louise Walcott

1950-1956 * Mrs. Esther P. Jones

1956-1958 Mrs. Louise W. Moore

1958-1982 (Librarian)

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LIBRARIANS

1882-1883* Miss Orra A. Angell

1883-1890 (no official appointment; board members served)

1890-1895 * Rev. Henry S. Latham, Jr.

1895-1904* Mr. Lloyd L. Mathewson

1905-1917 * Miss May B. Lamb

1917-1951 * Miss Cora L. Burlingame

1952-1957 Mrs. Harriet Scott

1957-1968 Doris Dexter

1972-1973 Mrs. Caroline Simmons Boudreau

1973-1974 Ellen P. Spilka

1975-1978 Mr. Matthew J. Higgins

1979-1981 Mrs. Janet A. Levesque

1981- Mr. Christopher LaRoux

 

ACTING LIBRARIANS

1951-1952* Mrs. Esther P. Jones

1957 Miss Margaret B. Stillwell, supervising volunteers

1968-1972* Mrs. Shirley A. Steere

1973* Mrs. Shirley A. Steere

1978-1979* Mrs. Shirley A. Steere

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