Shrewsbury Public Library

The Shrewsbury Public Library that now exists on the corner of Boylston Street (Route 140 and Main Street) dates back to 1792, when a group of town leaders established a private, subscription-based “social library” composed of 152 volumes from their personal collections.

At the June 22, 1872 town meeting, members voted to provide a room for the first “public” library, the Shrewsbury Free Public Library, at Town Hall. 152 books were donated to this new public library from the old social library. These books are currently stored in the Ward Room, the library’s rare books and local history room.

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In 1894, the town purchased the Thomas Bond house, which was situated at the library’s present-day location. It wasn’t until 1903 that an official and independent library was built. Jubal Howe, a Shrewsbury resident and a successful watchmaker who, upon his passing, left a portion of his fortune “for the purpose of establishing or maintaining a Free Public Library in said town for the benefit of the inhabitants thereof.”

In 1922, the town accepted $25,000 donated by Artemas Ward of New York City, to build an annex in memory of his ancestor, noted Shrewsbury resident and Revolutionary War General Artemas Ward.

The library underwent another renovation with an addition designed by architectural firm Anderson, Notter, and Finegold. They broke ground on December 10, 1979 and the library reopened on February 2, 1981.

The library underwent another major renovation. In June 2011, the town acquired the former Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union site, funding was approved at the town meeting in May 2013 and Lamoureux Pagano Associates | Architects, Inc. was selected for the building’s design. Groundbreaking took place in November of 2014 and the grand opening was held Wednesday, September 21, 2016.