FRIENDS OF THE WARDSBORO LIBRARY, Inc.
Wardsboro, Vermont 05355
The Friends of the Wardsboro Library, Inc. is an all-volunteer support organization for the public library in Wardsboro, Vermont. We are the only library Friends group in the state of Vermont that owns the town's library building. Therefore, our efforts and the generosity of many donors and sponsors are what keeps the library doors open for every resident of Wardsboro and the neighboring towns.
The Friends is a non-profit corporation dedicated to acting as advocate of the Wardsboro Public Library.
A Brief History of the Friends and the Public Library
The Friends of the Wardsboro Library was established in September 1999 with the primary purpose of providing support for the Wardsboro Public Library. At that time the library had long outgrown the two small rooms it occupied in the Town Hall, so the Friends’ focus became to assist the Library Trustees in their efforts to improve and expand library services and facilities.
Getting Started on The Library's New Home
Renovations began with volunteers and professionals working side by side. In August 2001, the Wardsboro Public Library moved into its new home at 170 Main Street. The library now occupies the first floor of The Gloria Danforth Memorial Building. The Friends provide the funds needed for maintenance, repairs, and improvements. A universal-access ramp now links the parking lot and the library’s main entrance
In 1997 Ruth MacMichael willed her historic 1840 homestead on Main Street to the Town of Wardsboro with the express wish that the adjoining acreage become a town park. At a public referendum on September 14, 1999, the Town voted to sell the residence, barn, and 1/2 acre of land, and to use the money to build and maintain a town park. Completed in 2003, the park has been named the Robert and Ruth MacMichael Memorial Park.
In addition to providing a larger facility for the library, the Friends’ mission includes sponsoring and supporting programs that serve the community. The Friends utilize the second floor of the house as their offices and meeting rooms, and as of late 2007, the large, attached barn is being renovated for future expansion of the library and community activities.
Maintaining the integrity of the 1840s building has been an important aspect of the effort to restore and modernize the interior of the building, and the Friends have consulted frequently with the Preservation Trust of Vermont. In addition to turning the first floor of the house into a library, they have transformed the upstairs, consisting of five rooms, into efficient workspace and meeting rooms. This entailed scraping wallpaper and painting walls, installing shelves and improved lighting, and securing the office equipment necessary for an organization that must devote much of its energy to fund raising. Volunteer workers and generous donors helped in this endeavor.
The Wardsboro book and the Friends most popular fund raising items - cookbooks, t-shirts, DVDs, and other gift items are available on this website - click here.