Friends of the Granby Library
The "Friends" are a group of community members interested in working together to promote and support library services. Become a Friend of the Granby Library member! The Friends invite every Granby resident to join us in supporting the contributions we make to our library and town. Call or stop by for details. 170 plus patrons of the Granby Free Public Library support the library as "Friends." The Friends of the Library make library programs and all the extras possible. Ask about becoming a friend today!
The next Friends meeting will be held on Thursday, May 23rd at 6pm.
The meeting will be held in the lower level of the library.
- Support the new Granby Free Public Library!
- Visit our Friends of the Granby Library Facebook Page to keep up-to-date with all of our fundraising efforts!
- Download the Granby Free Public Library Donation/Pledge Form and The New Granby Free Public Library Fact Sheet
Carnegie Building Celebrates 90 Years
Ninety years ago, on November 23, 1917, Granby library patrons entered the Carnegie Library Building at One Library Lane for the very first time. However, even before there was a public library, private libraries existed in Granby - the Sunday School Library of the Congregational Church and another maintained by the Granby Social Library Association.
Finally, in 1891, under Chapter 347 of the Acts of 1890, Granby established a free public library and voted to elect a Board of Library Trustees to oversee the library’s operation. It was housed in the first floor room in the northwest corner of Kellogg Hall.
By 1915 the room in Kellogg Hall was too small to house the library’s book collection, and the trustees requested a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to build a library building. The Corporation awarded Granby a $5000 grant, and the Library was built on land donated by Dexter Taylor, a descendant of Granby’s first settlers.
The Carnegie Library Building has remained fundamentally the same since 1917. Originally the upper level housed the adult and children’s materials, with the lower level used as a meeting room for library and community events.
The only changes to the original building have occurred with the modernization of the heating plant in 1940 and the move of the Children’s Room from the upper level to the lower in 1948. Most recent changes, mandated by legislation, have included handicap accessible entrances to the upper and lower levels, and a handicap accessible bathroom on the lower level.
Carnegie, Friends and the Art of Giving
As we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Granby Free Public Library’s Carnegie Building, the Board of Trustees would like to thank those individuals who have allowed the Library to grow and foster a love of learning in the Granby community. We would like to begin by thanking the Carnegie Foundation for the grant money that helped build the existing library in 1917.
Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy, specifically his donations to create over 2,000 libraries throughout the English speaking world, had its roots in his childhood. A Scottish immigrant, Andrew Carnegie had to work full time at the age of twelve, thus limiting his formal education. Yet, thanks to the generosity of a Colonel Anderson, who opened his personal library to local youths on Saturdays, Carnegie was able to educate himself. This enabled a young Carnegie to begin his educational, social and economic advancement. Andrew Carnegie believed that, given an opportunity, anyone could move forward and become successful. Because of this philosophy he built libraries. By the time of his death, Andrew Carnegie had given away 90% of his wealth to philanthropic causes, such as universities, libraries, and public swimming pools.
Though we celebrate today the anniversary of this Carnegie Library Building, the importance of libraries and of giving started in Granby long before Andrew Carnegie’s donation. In 1880 a town resident, Dexter Taylor, left the town the site of the present Library, “for a park or library building, if the town ever saw fit to erect one.” It wasn’t until our first public library, which was situated in a room in Town Hall, became too small that the members of the 1916 Town Meeting voted to use the Dexter property for a new public library if the Carnegie fund would provide a library building.
As early as 1902 special legacies were left to the public library to help defray costs. This first legacy was left by Mrs. Rosamond Ferry. Then in 1906 another legacy was left, this time by Mary A. Kellogg. This idea of giving has continued today with other legacies, bequests, gifts, and donations given by Granby citizens and friends.
In 1981 a special nonprofit organization was founded, which consists of people who are committed to the belief that the library has an important role in our town and who want to help ensure its preservation for future generations. This organization is the Friends of the Granby Free Public Library. Their enthusiasm, volunteering, and fundraising efforts have added so much to the success of our Library’s programs, including funding to pay for many of the supplies and programs offered at the Library.
These many acts of giving, whether through volunteerism or monetary gifts, have truly made a difference in the quality of service that the Granby Free Public Library has been able to provide.
To all of you, the Trustees wish to give their thanks.