Southborough Library celebrating 100 years on Main Street

The Southborough Public Library was founded in 1852, but it wasn’t until 1911 that it moved into its current home on Main Street. The Library is celebrating 100 years in its lovely brick building with a number of festivities this year. First up is a youth writing and art contest. Read on for more details.

In 1911 The Southborough Library, at 25 Main Street, moved its books and artifacts from the library’s location in the Town Hall at 17 Common Street, down the hill to a new and beautiful building on land donated by the Burnett family. That was 100 years ago.

Join the Library Trustees, Friends and staff of the Library in celebrating this centennial. Events planned are: a writing & art contest, a time capsule, historical displays at the Library and at the Historical Society, and will culminate with an Open House at the Library on Saturday, September 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Library.

The Friends of the Library are sponsoring the Writing and Art Contest for Southborough citizens, age 4-18. Four through seven-year-olds can color a picture that Children’s Librarian Kim Ivers has selected. Eight through thirteen-year-olds can write an essay, or take a photo that describes, “What the Library Means to Me.” Fourteen through eighteen-year-olds may take a photo, write an essay or create a video about “Why The Library is Important to the Community.” The contest begins on June 1 and submissions are due by July 15 (entry form). Winners will be announced in the Fall.

Library Director Jane Cain and volunteers from the Friends of the Library are gathering stories and photos to record the century that the Library has called 25 Main Street home. For more information, or to get involved in coordinating activities, call the Library at 508.485.5031.

For the fascinating story of how the Southborough Library came to be, read this post.

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mike
11 years ago

Beware of “pornography” and “XXX” material allowed on the computers in the library. As well as many movies with complete nudity on the shelves of the library. There are no filters for this illegal material being shown on the library computers. All our children’s homes and the schools have filters to block this rot but the management and board at our libaray refuse to place them on the libraries computers so porn and nudity is right there for the kids to see (and unfortunately adults as well). Upon further research the US Association of Libararies recommends not having filters as well. This very liberal, left organization, supports pornagraphy for all in our public libraries (under the guise of freedom). Well public or not, it is my tax money, my town and our libarary not theris to make that decision. I will make a motion, on several committes, to defund the library for this reason next season. The library personnel and board also need to remove the nudity off the shelves with the movies that are available to children unknowingly. Please help the library staff and the board (whom I have discussed with both) to remove nudity in the movies on the shelf, and put the filters on the computers. Thank you. PS And please folks, dont reply with any rights that are being violated bull. If you want that garbage it is readily available (unfortunately) all over the internet and movies for creepy folks to use.

Al Hamilton
11 years ago
Reply to  mike

Mike

I agree with you that there is material that is not appropriate for children and a small subset that is just plan not appropriate for anyone. The challenge for the library is who makes that decision. I suspect that I would draw the line in a place different from where you would draw it and there in lies the rub.

For example, when my children were young we had a children’s book on the human body that described the functions of the various organs and plumbing in a factual, scientific way but it did have pictures of people without clothing. I see nothing wrong with this any more than a picture of Michelangelo’s David or Venus de Milo but others might feel differently.

Libraries have been fighting the battle of who censors the books for as long as there have been libraries. I remember attempts to remove “Huck Finn” and “Tom Sawyer” because of Twain’s use of the “N” word. There are lots of other examples of works that folks have attempted to ban from libraries. Others include “Catcher in the Rye”, “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Ulysses”, “Lolita”, “The Sun Also Rises”, “Native Son”, “Slaughterhouse Five”, “For Whom the Bells Toll”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Satanic Verses”, and “The Naked and the Dead” to name just a few.

It appears that Library culture reflexively opposes all attempts at censorship and given the history that is probably a good thing. I don’t think I am qualified to make the exquisite judgement of what should and should not appear on the shelves and I for one would rather err on the side of freedom of expression. Perhaps you would not.

If you think that the Library is a den of filth then you should say so loudly and in p public and keep your children out of there. But, once you pay your taxes you have as much say as anyone in town on how they are used, one vote.

Resident
11 years ago

Mike, you should switch to decaf.

Bill
11 years ago
Reply to  Resident

I have to agree. There are a lot of places that have things we don’t want to see. Tell your children that they may not use the library computers and to stay away from the movie shelves unless a parent us with them.

mike
11 years ago

Al,

I agree with all you said and you sound like a very balanced person. My point is only that there should not be public access and viewing in the open of nudity and more importantly pornography in the library. A quick look at the ip addresses will show that it is happening. Who is doing it, probably a small .05% of the population, but it is. As far as the movies go on the shelf, well I think just as a good best practices the libarary should make a policy for maybe PG-13 so that the not so great F words and nudity get into what I call the unsuspecting hands of the innocents. I am a die hard supporter of free speech and expression but any, and here is the key word, balanced person, would agree I think. I like the library, I like movies, I like books, but I think to just er on the side of safety. Thanks for your positive support and I have read all the books you mentioned and all have redeeming qualities and good learning tools to teach our children about – the good and bad in society and history. Thanks so much.

Al Hamilton
11 years ago
Reply to  mike

Bill

I don’t think you should interpret my comments as support. Indeed I think I would draw the line much closer to Mr. Kaszynski position than yours.

But, if you really want to preserver then the right answer is for you to run for the Board of Library Trustees. They are the elected executive that is responsible for Library Policy including, I assume, the issue you care about.

Bill
11 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

Al, I have no idea what you are talking about. My agreement was with Resident, before you ever stated your position. I do stand by the fact however , that it is the parents’ jib to monitor their children. Not the library staff.

Al Hamilton
11 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Bill

Sorry I meant to address this to Mike. My bad.

Bill
11 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

Hey Al, no problem.

Deb Moore
11 years ago
Reply to  mike

What is available on the shelves of the library does not define what is available in my home. As a parent, I can tell my children “no”, whether we’re in the mall, on the playground, or in the library.

You will find the F-word in PG-13 movies, one instance per film, quite often. You will find unacceptable (to me) sexual situations in PG-13 movies. You will find R-rated movies with neither of those. You can also find movie-review sites that will help you decide which movies are appropriate for your family. While MPAA ratings are a useful general guideline, if you trust them for your moral compass, you can easily go astray.

Steven V. Kaszynski
11 years ago

People do a lot of things in public libraries. Sometimes they view naked people online and in magazines. They read about gender issues and sexuality. A little nudity isn’t going to corrupt the average mind or make degenerates of our kids. On the contrary, some sexual materials should be available to kids for exploratory reasons, particularly in cases of emergent homosexual kids who might otherwise have no comfortable means of exploring the sexual part of their identities. We should be able to expect that users will abide by library policies for behavior, yet we understand that isn’t always the case. Another thing people sometimes do in libraries is stray from the basic rules of behavior. Whether viewing pornographic materials inappropriately, cutting pages out of an ornithology encyclopedia, or sliding down the third-floor banister, user behavior should certainly be monitored. Are filters the answer? That’s probably a cold trail. Location of materials and computers? Getting warmer.

Steven V. Kaszynski
11 years ago

By the way, HUGE congrats to the Southborough Library on your centennial. Keep on keepin’ on. Cheers.

Mark Ford
11 years ago

I worked in a library when I was in High School, and we had (or hid?) the “adult” materials behind the desk (…let’s see, among others–Myra Breckenridge, Story of O, Tropic of Cancer, and a particularly risque copy of “Oh Calcutta!” –not that I ever snuck a peek at them…

It would take some chutzpah to dial up porn on the library computers, owing to their location…

Congrats to the library!

Cost of a free society. I’m ok with it.

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