By Josh Perry
Hometown Weekly Staff
A few years ago, the Needham Library celebrated the 125th anniversary of the library system being introduced to the town. This April, the library will celebrate another important milestone, when it hosts a 100th anniversary party honoring the date that the library moved to its current location on the corner of Highland Ave. and Rosemary St.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., will include bookstore gift certificates for all visitors, visual displays about what people were reading in 1916, and pieces created by local artists depicting Needham landmarks.
In addition, there will be “Father Goose on the Loose,” and old time magic show, and a performance by Boston’s Ensemble Aubade. There will also be a six-foot tall “100” on the lawn outside the library that will include messages from residents about the importance of the library or why they enjoy visiting.
“It’s always good to draw attention to the library,” said Assistant Director Dana Mastroianni. “All generations will benefit from coming down to see what the library has to offer.”
The library has of course undergone a number of changes and expansions from the original footprint that was created in 1916.
Thanks to contributions from the Friends of the Needham Library and the Library Foundation of Needham, the building has been modernized with wireless Internet access, state-of-the-art audiovisual systems, and new computers for patrons to use to access the many new databases the library uses.
“It demonstrates that libraries are here to stay,” said Mastroianni, who said that for the past 30 years libraries have become a “central hub” for the communities in which they are located.
She added, “For people who haven’t been to the library since seventh grade and who are now much older, [the changes are] eye-opening. It’s critical to the mission of the library to continue offering these programs.”
The 100th anniversary party is certainly a time to look back and examine where the library has come from and the changes to the building and the community that surrounds it, but Mastroianni also believes that it is a chance to recognize the library’s bright future.
She explained, “It demonstrates that we are relevant, tech-savvy, and forward-thinking.”
For more information about the 100th anniversary event, visit www.needhamma.gov/library or call 781-455-7559.
Josh Perry is an Editor at Hometown Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.