The Trail of Ten -- an Intro to the Library State
1. Franklin Public Library, Franklin, Massachusetts, Home of the first Free Public Library in Massachusetts, AND in the United States, established in 1790 by a gift of books from Benjamin Franklin -- Still on Display! There's also plenty of art and architecture and the Franklin Cultural District!
Location: 118 Main St., Franklin
2. Waltham Manufacturing Company (Site of Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation) – Although no longer extant, the first EVER company-provided library for employees was established here following the company's establishment in 1815. Visit and learn about the technology and social history of the site and the region.
Location: 164 Moody Street, Waltham (check website for details on how to get there and where to park).
3. First Children’s Library in Massachusetts, the United States or World, Arlington (Plaque located in Robbins Library), 1835. A local initiative produced this accomplishment,
Location: 700 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington
4. Boston Public Library, started with private support, became first large free municipal library in the United States, authorized by State, 1848, opened 1852. Books, architecture, art, historic maps, and more...
Location: 700 Boylston Street, Boston
5, Wayland Free Public Library, its establishment in 1848 as a tax-supported public library led to the passage of the State Library Act of 1851. Reverend Wayland, who contributed money for the East Sudbury Library was honored by the town being renamed!
Location:5 Concord Road, Wayland
6. New Bedford Public Library, first public library started completely by a local government, 1852. Books, famous art, statues and a location near the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.
Location:613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford
7. Sturgis Library, Barnstable, established by bequest and opened in 1867. Oldest Library building in nation (1644)
Location: 3090 Main Street, Barnstable
8. Brookline Public Library, First Children’s Room, 1890. And a major municipal library in its own right. This 1910 structure replaced a library building on the same site.
Location: 361 Washington Street, Brookline
9. First Traveling “Bird Library” established by Massachusetts Audubon. The traveling library is gone but Audubon has a book stores adjacent to their Drumlin Farm Sanctuary in Lincoln, and a "bird art" museum in Canton.
10. W.E.B. Dubois Library –tallest in Western Hemisphere (1974) . Great books, great views of the valley, and a name that honors a great Massachusetts- born scholar.
Location: 154 Hicks Way, University of Massachusetts Amherst