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LIBRARY HOURS: Tues 9:30am–6:00pm; Weds 1:00pm–8:00pm; Thurs 3:00pm–6:00pm; Sat 9:30am–3:00pm; CLOSED Sun, Mon, Fri

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About the Library

Guilford Free Library circa 1899

The Guilford Free Library​ is one of the oldest continuously operating public libraries in Vermont. It was founded in 1890 as the result of a bequest from Cynthia King. The money she left to the town was intended specifically for the purchase of books. One catch: the town would have to build or acquire a building to hold them in. The current home of the library was built in 1891 by G.W. Franklin on land owned by William Barney. The Guilford Free Library opened on July 2, 1892.

There is information that, prior to this, the town of Guilford maintained a small public library from approximately 1790 to 1815. This certainly makes the town of Guilford one of the earliest supporters of literature in the nation.

Each year Town Meeting appropriates money in support of the library and its building. Each year the Guilford Free Library trustees and Friends raise money to purchase new books and provide programs.

About Founder Cynthia King

Cynthia King, founder of the GFL

In 1890, the will of Cynthia A. King (the widow of Chauncey King) bequeathed to the Town of Guilford the sum of $1,000 (a substantial amount back then) for the purpose of “purchasing books for a public library, in case the town will build a suitable building for a library.” The key words there were in case and suitable. The town took up the gauntlet and in 1891 hired GW Franklin to build that suitable building, paying him $300 for the job. 

Think about that the next time you drive by the Guilford Free Library — essentially the same $300 building 130 years later (with only a small addition on the back, in 2003, to add a much-needed public bathroom with indoor plumbing). Suitable indeed.

The Guilford Free Library opened in 1892 with 576 books, purchased with $591.95 of the bequest. That first year, 146 library cards were issued, and 1,300 books were borrowed. 

 

In the many years since, the Guilford Free Library has become one of the oldest continuously operating libraries in Vermont. Thanks to  Cynthia A. King for having the vision of what could be and the determination to challenge others to make it happen.

- Bob Tucker

Meet the GFL Staff

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Amber Hunt

Library Director

Leah Gessner, Asssitant Librarian
Leah Gessner

Assistant Librarian

Trustees, Volunteers
& Friends

GFL is always looking for friends and volunteers! Contact us to learn about how you can assist the library.

Trustees

Laura Lawson Tucker, co-chair       

Judith Serkin, co-chair
Josh Nelson
Sandra Cortes
John Shaw

Nika Fotopulos

Jeannette Tokarz

Friends & Volunteers

Deb Albright

Ruth Allard

Ragan Anderson Beebe

Annette Black

Laurie Carter
Pat Haine

Emma Hallowell
Linda Hay

Amber Hunt

Lesley Malouin

Gabe Maulucci
Karen Murphy

Josh Nelson

Patrice Pennington
Candace Stoumen

Crystal Washburn

Galen Wohnus

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