Library History

Social Library
The origins of the Shrewsbury Public Library go back to the late 18th century. A social library was established in 1792 by a group of town fathers. At a town meeting on June 22, 1872, the meeting voted to provide a room for a public library in the Town House. The proprietors of the social library generously donated 152 volumes, all that remained in the older social library, to the new library - they are presently found in the Ward Room, our rare books and local history room.
Current Library Building
1903 Library Building
In the fall of 1903, a new library building was opened thanks to the generosity of Jubal Howe, a Shrewsbury native and successful watchmaker and jeweler.

In December 1922, town meeting voted to accept the $25,000 generously donated by Mr. Artemas Ward for the purpose of building an annex. The Artemas Ward annex was given in the memory of his ancestor General Artemas Ward of Revolutionary War fame, and originally housed a library of eastern Massachusetts Biography and History.
Vehicles
In 1959, Anthony and Olive Borgatti (of Spag's) purchased our first bookmobile. Bookmobile service continued until June of 2000, when it was replaced by our current Outreach Services van.
Library Outreach Service Van
Addition/Renovation
In 1978, town meeting voted a major addition/renovation project for the library. An addition was added and both the Artemas Ward Annex and the original 1903 were remodeled.
Building Project
A space study conducted in 2000 is the precursor to another much needed building project, to be completed within 10 years.

Learn more about the proposed library construction project.
Sketch of new interior with people sitting at computers and receptionist at desk