The Maynard Public Library is an important component of the town of of Maynard. It was first opened on April 4,1881, by Joseph Reed and his wife Mary. They were able to get an appropriation of $1,000 from the town to purchase a supply of books. The library was located in a room in the Acton Street School, about where Jarmo's is now located. The Reeds cared for the library until 1884. Then in 1885 it was moved to the Riverside Cooperative building (now the home of the Knights of Columbus). Sarah Nyman was appointed Librarian and held that position for 41 years.
In July of 1918 the library was moved to the second floor of the Naylor building (on Nason Street), and in 1929 Mary Moynihan replaced Mrs. Nyman and continued in the position until 1942. In that year Olive Morgan took the job of librarian, assisted by Inez Lester. In 1953 the sudden death of Ms. Morgan left the Board of Trustees a difficult vacancy to fill. Edith H. Carbone resigned from the Board in order to place her name on a list of applicants, and was subsequently pleased to learn she had gotten the position. In 1960 a committee was established to plan the construction of a town municipal building; and in the same year at a Special Town Meeting, $329,000 was appropriated to construct a combined Town Building and Library.
To move the books, staff members used lots of liquor cartons. High school students carried them out of the old library to a station wagon, which brought them to the new building where more volunteers placed them on shelves. Over 10,000 books were moved that way.
On July 25, 1962, the Library was dedicated along with the Town Building. It continued to have many things to offer townspeople: Story Hour for children, publicized Memorial Gift Books, special evening programs, films for children, assistance by library pages, a photocopy machine, opportunities for visits by local school classes, and as many new activities as staff, money, and time permitted. Pearl Sprigg, appointed Librarian in 1973, was the architect of an expansion of the library. However, ill health forced her to resign about five years later. Kay Weiner became the town Librarian, but ill health caused her also to resign soon thereafter. Elizabeth Drake was then appointed Librarian and served for more than a decade. As the saying goes, "We've come a long way."
--Based upon a historical retrospective of the Maynard Public Library by Edith H. Carbone
Maynard's new library at 77 Nason Street opened on July 17, 2006.
The total estimated $5.7 million project cost of converting the Roosevelt School on Nason Street into the Library's new home was raised from a combination of state, local, and private funds. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners awarded the Board of Trustees of the Maynard Public Library a state library construction grant of $2.1 million and in May 2003, Maynard voters approved a debt-exclusion measure to allow borrowing of up to the remaining $3.6 million. The Friends conducted an ambitious capital campaign to help defray the cost to taxpayers. Over $500,000 in pledges and contributions were collected.