Library Closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27, 2020

About Us

Southbury Public Library exterior shot

 

Currently located on Poverty Road in Southbury, Connecticut, we have been proudly serving the Southbury community since at least 1776. Today, our collection totals more than 96,000 books, movies, and other items; if we don’t own what you’re looking for, we’ll try our best to get it for you through Interlibrary Loan.

Our 32,000 square foot building constructed in 2006 is open 2,970 hours a year to readers and learners of all ages and interests and we’ve got a variety of spots to read, work, or study throughout the first and second floors. With about 20 staff members, we are a department of the Town of Southbury.

We invite you to come and visit any time during our open hours. Anyone regardless of town of residency is welcome to our library or in our programs. If you’re not a Southbury resident but would like to borrow books or other materials, you can use your valid hometown Connecticut library card.

Our Mission Statement

The Southbury Public Library: Transforming lives through EDUCATING, INSPIRING, and CONNECTING

Our Vision Statement: “The Heart of the Community”

As the heart of the community, we are dedicated to serving as a source of information and knowledge for Southbury and work to be a gateway to life-long learning, enrichment, and entertainment. We’re always striving to provide a welcoming, accessible, comfortable and safe environment for all. As time and our community’s needs change, we’re excited to be flexible and adaptable to changing library services and technology.

History

The earliest reference of a library in Southbury is a diary entry by David Hicock on November 26, 1776, providing evidence that South Britain had a library in the 18th century. However, other reports indicate the library was in private homes and the books moved periodically from house to house.

By the late 1800s, the library books had been moved to Munson’s Hall, a social hall behind what was the South Britain Post Office until the late 20th century.

In 1891, a diary entry said that Abbie Mitchell earned 50 cents for her two-hour stint as librarian. In 1904, Axel Wilson built the 475-square-foot South Britain Library for $746 on land donated by the Mitchell family. Located at the intersection of South Britain Road and what is now Library Road, you can find out more about this chapter of our history and how to visit this building here.

Until 1969, the library was a private association, not a town function. That year, the town built a 7,100-square-foot library on Main Street South. With the construction of Heritage Village, Southbury grew quickly over the next decade. Twelve years after the library opened, its size was more than doubled to approximately 16,000 square feet. Twenty-four years after that addition, the size of the library was doubled again because the population of Southbury had increased 31% and library use increased 95% since 1981.

Our current library’s planning began in March 1998. April 2002 saw the selection of architectural firm Tuthill & Wells and approval by the Selectmen and Board of Finance. In a June 2002 referendum, Southbury voters approved spending more than $7 million on the new library by a two-to-one margin. That same year, the town bought the six-acre Polman property on the northeast corner of Poverty and Old Field Roads.

Additional funding for our new library came from the state of Connecticut, room naming donors, the support of the Friends of the Southbury Public Library and Junior Friends of the Library, and a robust fund-raising campaign including commemorative bricks for the front walkway and our beloved 2004 Club.

The groundbreaking was March 2004. A few months later, construction of the building began and was completed in 2006. By May 1st of that year the library was open for business at its current location at 100 Poverty Road.

In 2017, the Friends of the Southbury Public Library with approval and a supporting allocation from the Library Board and approval from the Town, gave a major gift to the library that became known as the Friends Memorial Courtyards and Gardens. 

The Friends were able to undertake this project due to their very successful Book and Antiques Collectible sales. Their  project goals were to improve the appearance of the main entrance area, to reduce the maintenance required to keep the area attractive, to provide protection and preservation of the Memorial bricks, and to improve public safety. A working group was formed to oversee the project which was completed in  Spring, 2019.   At the May 22nd 2019, Library Board of Directors Benefactors’ reception,  the Friends of the Southbury Public Library and local business sponsors were recognized for their work.