Library of Things Come to Local Libraries

One of the new concepts in libraries is called the Library of Things. Where the library has space, more libraries are also circulating a variety of physical objects. While North Attleboro does not have much space, we do circulate puzzles, puppets and the Kill A Watt Power Meter.

You can go to several local libraries to borrow items using your SAILS card. Here’s a partial list of what’s available from libraries that are close by.

Plainville: Small projector, Picture/Negative/Slide Scanner, Portable Hand Scanner, Thermal Leak Detector, Kill A Watt EZ Power Meter, Metal Detector, Soil Testing Kit, Telescope, Karaoke Machine and Ukulele. For kids and teachers, Makey Makey Kit, Snap Circuits Jr kit, Meeper Bot and Sphero Mini.

Norfolk calls their collection, Stuffbrary. For cooks they have an Ice Cream Maker, Digital Thermometer, Sous Vide, Instant Pot, Electric Juicer, Magic Bullet, Cake Pans, Punch Bowl Set, Ice Cream Ball, & Ninja Air Fryer. For teachers/Kids/Families there are a Giant Yahtzee, Giant Connect, Giant Jenga, Nintendo Switch Mah Jongg Set, Cornhole Set, and Disc Golf. Electronics include iPhone Thermal Camera, Portable Projection Screen, Portable Projector, Sony DSLR Camera, Telescope, Electronic Sanitizer, Binoculars, Laminator, USB Microphone and an External DVD drive. For Do-it-Yourself-ers, there is a Stud Sensor, Endoscope Camera, Metal Detector, Digital Laser Level. For everyone there is a Ukulele.

Ames/Easton offers ZTE Falcon Wifi Hotspot, Roku, Acer Chromebook, Kindles, Nintendo Switch, littleBits Worshop Set, Sony HandyCam, Akai Bluetooth Karaoke Machine, Kill-A-Watt EZ, Ceremonial Scissors, a Orion Telescope, Bocce Ball, Digital Scale and a Canbor Virtual Reality Headset. For knitters there are knitting needles, lace blocking wires, Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder and a small wool winder.  They keeps some of their “stuff” for in-house only use at Queset House: Janome Sewing Machine, Ellison Prestige Pro Die-Cutting Machine, Acer Chromebook, Amazon Laminator, X-Box 360, Playstation 3, Wii U, Rocksmith Guitar Bundle. Their charging cables and plugs are for in-the-library use only.

Sun Chronicle List of Holiday Fairs

We make a booklet of the holiday fairs from the list that The Sun Chronicle collects. This year the list appeared in the September 26th edition. Here it is!

September 27 & 28

Saint Mark’s Church, 105 Stanley Street, Attleboro Falls. Catholic Community of North Attleboro’s Fall Festival. Friday, 5 to 8; Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm. Raffle Center, Money Raffle, Silent Auction, Red Lion Café, What-Not-Shop, Bake Shop, Crafts and more.


October 5

First United Methodist Church, 20 Hoppin Hill Ave., North Attleboro. 2nd Annual Hill Harvest, 2-5 p.m. In addition to the church’s pumpkin patch (open Sun-Fri, noon-7 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-7 p.m.) from Sept. 28-Oct. 31, First UMC and Faith Fellowship UMC hosting Hill Harvest, free community event with food, music, face painting, balloon artist, petting zoo, more.

October 5 & 6

Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, St. Barbara Philoptochos Society, 97 Walcott St., Pawtucket. Frost on the Pumpkin Bazaar, Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Greek food and pastries. Take-out available. More info: 401-725-3127.


November 1 & 2

Plainville United Methodist Church, 16 East Bacon St., Plainville. Annual Country Fair, Friday, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Antiques & collectibles, hand-knits, jewelry, books, pickles, jams & jellies and baked goods. Snack bar open during all fair hours; Friday special of clam cakes & chowder and more goodies. Silent Auction for gift baskets, gift certificates from local businesses. Bids taken during fair hours on Friday and until 1 p.m. Saturday.

Watch website for details beginning mid-October.

November 2

Evangelical Covenant Church, 841 N. Main St., Attleboro. Bit O’ Sweden Fall Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Swedish pancake breakfast 8:30-11:30 a.m., $6. Lunch: smorgasbord plate, choice of meatball sub or quiche plate with soup or salad. Dessert and beverage with all lunch options, $10. Swedish cookies and baked goods, Swedish imports, seasonal crafts, knitted and hand sewn items, theme gift baskets, jewelry, Grandpa’s Attic, Unique Boutique, kids room, books, more. Questions: 508-226-6221 or or

Second Congregational Church, 50 Park St., Attleboro. Thanksgiving in the Parlor, Christmas in the Kitchen, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Grandma’s Attic, Grandpa’s Garage, crafts, knit goods, handmade gifts, books, plants, pet table, homemade preserves pickles & takeout food, jewelry, baked goods, silent auction, homemade breakfast and luncheon from snack bar.

All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 121 N. Main St., Attleboro. Christmas Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Raffles, bakeshop, books, Yvonne’s Attic, vendors lunch, crafts.

South Walpole United Methodist Church, 1886 Washington St., S. Walpole. Family Fun Fest Mice Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kids activities area, tea parties with a princess, treasure hunts with a pirate. Mice Cafe serves coffee and muffins early, turkey sandwiches, chowder, pizza and hotdogs, cider and soft drinks. Apple crisp, other goodies for dessert. Take-home item from Polly’s Bakery. Homemade pies, breads, jams, fudge, cheddar cheese. Uncle Bob’s attic, gift baskets, gift cards, special items.

Central Congregational Church, 115 Commonwealth Ave., Attleboro Falls. Village Green Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Handmade quilts and needlework, handmade ornaments, knit and crochet items for children and adults. Christmas and seasonal decorations. Homemade fudge, home baked goods. Boutique, contemporary, vintage jewelry. Cake walk. Snack bar featuring homemade soups and sandwiches with coffee, tea, soft drinks. Children’s Christmas Fair, 10-1, upstairs on 3rd floor. (CORI’d volunteers can escort children through fair or parents may escort their own children. No adult “shoppers” allowed.)

November 3

St. Mary’s Church Norton, 1 Power St., Norton. Annual Christmas Bazaar, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Kitchen serving breakfast and lunch. Picture with Santa in Winter Wonderland, Kids Christmas shopping room, newly designed kids crafts & game area, face painting & tattoos, children’s and family auction tables, themed gift basket raffle table, local crafters tables, home baked goods table & cookies by the pound, Christmas theme table, 50/50 raffles, Santa’s Surprise Game.

November 8 & 9

Murray Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 N. Main St., Attleboro. Holiday Fair, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Toys, books, second- hand furniture, treasures from Granma’s Attic, Grandpa’s Garage, Almost Antiques. Handcrafted gifts, including artwork, knitted and sewn items, paper crafts, holiday decorations. Cookies by the pound, pies, global fair trade products, large raffle. Lunch, dinner, snacks, carry-out available in Gourmet Room. Locally crafted products including jewelry, soap, candles, journals, handbags, woodcrafts, cosmetics. More info:

Centenary United Methodist Church, 15 Sanford St., Attleboro. A Host of Angels on the Corner, 4:30-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Themed raffle baskets, homemade bakery items, jewelry and accessories, basement treasures, gifts children can give, more. Farm fresh cheese and spreads. Wendy’s Diner — “A Taste f Old Italy” Friday, 4:30 p.m.; homemade lasagna (meat or meatless), garden salad, rolls, beverage and dessert — adults $10, children $5. Take-out available. Wendy’s Diner — Saturday, homemade soups, sandwiches, beverages, desserts beginning at 10:30 a.m. Free beverage, dessert for veterans on Saturday. Donations will go to Homes for Our Troops.

St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Church, 18 Baltic St., S. Attleboro. Holiday Fair, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday. Village “shops” offer bakery, handmade knits/crocheted goods, holiday boutique, Gramma’s Attic, Grandpa’s Tool Shed, used books & jewelry, Country Store. Games of chance include Village Duck Pond, Village Green, Christmas Chance, Instant Raffle. Raffles: Kids Penny Socials, General Store Raffle, Silent & Not So Silent Auctions, 12 Days of Christmas Baskets, Money Tree, Meat, Christmas Cash, Beverage Bonanza/Liquor Basket, 43” Flat Screen TV, Apple IPad, Handmade Quilt. Homemade French meat pie, fresh-made burgers, soups, salads, fries & desserts or light breakfast. Santa & Mrs. Claus Friday night, all day Saturday.

Trinitarian Church of Norton, 2 Pine St., Norton. Holiday Fair, 5-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Spaghetti supper 5-7 Friday, with homemade sauce, pasta, salad, antipasto, garlic bread, dessert, beverages. Homemade meals to-go, baked goods, crafts and hand-knit items, hand-painted holiday decor, flea market, cookie walk, pancake breakfast Saturday morning. New features: chili cook-off 11:15-1 Saturday, hot chocolate served all day Saturday, bath bombs, fun family activities including kids holiday shoppe, crafts for kids, bounce house, Santa. Part of Christmas Tree Walk: festive basket and high-end items raffle, handmade quilt raffle. More info: 508-285-4710.

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Coyle Dr., Seekonk. Annual Fair, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Food, raffles, baskets. For all ages.

November 9

St. Mary’s Church Foxboro, 58 Carpenter St., Foxboro. Holiday Fair, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Handmade items featuring Boston sports teams, baby gifts, hard to find kitchen items, holiday decorations. Just for Kids games and gifts. Raffles, theme baskets, local sweet treats, jewelry boutique, religious items, silent auction. Café open for lunch and snacks. Free pictures in photo booth, Selfies with Santa at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Memorial Baptist Church, Central Ave., Seekonk. Holiday Faire, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Church-made apple pies, bake table, cookies, country store, hond-made quilts, wooden ware, crafts and holiday gifts, jewelry, knitted items, Santa Claus.

Park Place Congregational Church, 71 Park Place, Pawtucket. Christmas on the Hill, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Gift table, fudge, jewelry, baked goods, Mimi’s Attic, Santa visit 10-noon for pictures (bring your own camera), luncheon 11-12:30. More info: 401-726-2800.

November 15 & 16

First Baptist Church North Attleboro, 75 Park St., N. Attleboro. Christmas on the Common, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Friday night, Baptist Canteen will serve clam chowder, chili, pulled pork for eat in or take out. Saturday lunch of sandwiches and more. Desserts and beverages available both days. Silent auction/drawing items include specialty baskets, gift certificates, gift cards, etc. Special drawing for handmade quilt. Bakery, cookie corner, knitted items, novelties, antiques and collectibles, handmade crafts including Christmas wreaths, jewelry, Grandpa’s Attic.

November 15

Seekonk Rod & Gun Club, 67 Read St., Rehoboth. Clam Boil fundraiser for Seekonk Congregational Church, 7 p.m. (doors at 6). All you can eat. Bread & butter, white potatoes, red potatoes, onions, chourico, hot dogs, sausages & lots of clams. BYOB… Water and soda available for purchase. $30. Tickets: 508-336-9355,

November 16

First Congregational Church UCC of North Attleboro (Oldtown Church), 675 Old Post Rd., N. Attleboro. Holiday Fair & Not-So-Silent Auction, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Country store (with homemade baked beans, potato salad, grapenut pudding etc.), baked goods & cookies, kitchen and entertainment items, Christmas corner, crafts, jewelry, plants, book nook, knit goods, fair trade items from SERRV, Oldtown Treasures, Elsie’s French salad dressing. Kitchen serving breakfast sandwiches, coffee, muffins 9-11, lunch 11:30-1:30. Accepting bids for auction 9-1:55, winning bids announced at 2:05.

The Federated Church of Norfolk, 1 Union St., Norfolk. Holly Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Vendors and crafters from all over Mass. Cookie walk, children’s shopping, Gramma’s Attic, baked goods, silent auction, homemade meals for luncheon featuring corn chowder, homemade mac & cheese, shepherd’s pie, meatball subs. Santa from 10-noon.

Chartley United Methodist Church, 78 S. Worcester St., Norton. Christmas Craft Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Crafts, country store, breakfast with Santa from 8:30-11, luncheon menu from 11:30-1.

Anderson House, 15 Fourth St., Attleboro. Annual Fall Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Local crafters and vendors, including Thirty-One (personalized bags), Bickford Embroidery (onsite, personalized hats and more), Papparazzi Jewelry, Tastefully Simple (handmade crafts), others. Raffles for gift baskets. Grab ‘n Go bake sale. Online auction for handmade keepsake doll house. Proceeds benefit upgrades to historic Anderson House.

Friends of the North Attleboro Council on Aging, 204 Elm St., North Attleboro. Holiday Bazaar, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Raffles, Gramma’s Attic, new and gently used items, bake shop, coffee and doughnuts.

November 22 & 23

Trinity Episcopal Church, 55 East St., Wrentham. 155th Annual Christmas Fair, 4-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. White elephant sale (including jewelry), book room, baked goods, fancy pastry booth, handcrafted Christmas wreaths, greens table, other gift items. Café will serve dinner Friday evening, lunch Saturday. Homemade frozen lasagnas to take home. Raffle with about 14 prizes (value over $3,000), penny social with about 75 prizes including gift certificates to area restaurants and stores, themed gift baskets (value over $3,500). Children’s area with shopping room, children’s penny social. Santa from 9-11 Saturday, you can take your own pictures with him.

St. Martha’s Parish, 227 South St., Plainville. Holiday Fair, 2-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Country crafts, themed gift baskets to purchase, basket and cash raffles, Grandma’s attic, handmade live wreaths, baked goods, homemade lasagna, chowders and more.

St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, 358 Newport Ave., Pawtucket. Christmas Bazaar, 5-8 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Outside vendors, money raffles, silent auction, penny social, hand knitted items, jewelry, games and food such as clam cakes and chowder, sausage & peppers, meatballs, fries, hot dogs and pizza.

November 23

Original Congregational Church, 1 East St., Wrentham. Holiday Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Silent auction, brunch, local craft vendors, baked goods, plants, gifts, books, jewelry, attic treasures, children’s fair.

United Church in Walpole, 30 Common St., Walpole. Holly Berry Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Lunch, dessert, goodies in Bake Shoppe; unique, hand-crafted items in Holiday Emporium, Christmas Past and handicrafts; silent auction; Children’s Shopping Room (all items $1), Make It & Take It holiday crafts, face painting.

First Christian Congregational Church, “The Olde White Church,” 1113 GAR Hwy., Swansea. Holiday Craft Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Vendors selling wreaths, ornaments, knitted and quilted crafts and jewelry, baked sweets and pies. Kids crafts, face painting, Santa, more.

Congregational Church of Mansfield, 17 West St., Mansfield. Annual Snowflake Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Grandma’s Attic, Pappy’s Garage, Toyland, jewelry/bags, book nook. New to You area, Craft Room, Fair Trade SERRV table. Baked goods, candy, cookie walk. Raffle baskets. Chow’da and Clam Cake Luncheon (11-1). Facebook:

November 29 & 30

St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, 14 Park St., N. Attleboro. Festival of the Trees and Christmas Fair, 6-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Friday evening upstairs with display of decorated, themed Christmas trees to be auctioned. Festival continues Saturday, downstairs form 9-noon with traditional wreaths, arrangements, centerpieces, cemented baskets, hand sewn and knit items. Handmade crafts, library, raffle baskets, 50-50 raffle, wine wheel, jewelry, meat pies and baked goods, silent auction, candy and fudge, Kid’s Corner. Breakfast and lunch will be served.


December 7

Seekonk Congregational Church, 600 Fall River Ave., Seekonk. Christmas Bazaar & Gift Festival, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Handmade crafts, knitted goods, decorations, jewelry, live wreaths, boxwood centerpieces, gift baskets, more. Baked goods and luncheon with soups, sandwiches, homemade desserts, fries, doughboys, etc. Special room with Christmas items, drawing table with winners announced at end of day. Pictures with Santa. More info: 508-336-9355,

First Congregational Church UCC of North Attleboro, (Oldtown Church), 675 Old Post Rd., N. Attleboro. Oldtown Winter Craft & Vendor Fair, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Local artisans and vendors. Light luncheon of soups and sandwiches, bake table to support local Scouts, more. Raffle items from crafters and vendors. Bring new, unused toy for Toys for Tots through December Coffeehouse.

Robbins Children’s Program, 803 N. Main St., Attleboro. 16th Annual Family Holiday Fair, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Hot dogs, popcorn, bakery treats, bargain shopping, entertainment, face painting, raffles, baskets. Santa, with a book for every child he greets.

Bethany Congregational Church, 3 Rockhill St., Foxboro. Holiday Fair, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Coffee and donuts in morning, lunch starting at 11:30. Book nook, CDs and videos, silent auction, fresh decorated wreaths, handcrafts, homemade sweets, themed baskets, Gramma’s Attic, used toys, Santa at children’s fair, fun family activities. More info:

Attleboro Elks, S. Main St., Attleboro. S. Attleboro Village Lions Annual Craft Fair and Fundraiser, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Over 40 crafters, food, baked goods, raffles. Santa from noon-2. More info: Lori at 774-254-0006 or Sabrina at 774-282-0255.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 237 Pleasant St., Franklin. Holiday Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Silent auction, raffle items, gift basket themes: sports, spa, food and wine, games and toys, pet toys & items; gift cards for local restaurants and stores, Christmas greenery & hand made wreaths, hand-made scarves, mittens, hats; kids activities, food and drinks, pictures with Santa. Call 508-528-2387; Facebook: St John’s Episcopal Church.

December 22

Congregation Agudas Achim, 901 N. Main St., Attleboro. Chanukah Party, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

What are Your Recycling Questions?

On Saturday, September 28, at 1 pm, we have invited Michele Bernier of the North Attleboro Solid Waste Department to the Friends Book Sale to talk about recycling in North Attleboro. The sale is at the former Allen Avenue School near the Mall.

Why is recycling so hard? When I talk to friends and co-workers, we struggle with what seems like the inconsistency of the rules. Why can you recycle something in one state and not in the other? What happened to those numbers on plastic? Why can’t you recycle small pieces of paper — and did you know you shouldn’t?

The Town does have a new improved list of what can go in to the mixed recycle bins:

However, we still have questions. Here are some of ours. If you have a question about recycling, please email me — — or call the library so we can be sure to get the answers from Michele.

1) We aren’t supposed to recycle tissue boxes, but we can recycle envelopes with plastic windows. What if we ripped off the plastic?

2) Speaking of boxes, how small are we supposed to make the pieces we put in the recycling?

3) What happens to the recycling in North Attleboro?

4) What are people living in apartments or housing buildings supposed to do?

5) What can we do with shredded paper?

6) What should we do with styrofoam or the styrofoam “popcorn”?

7) What can we do with bubble wrap?

Results from our Quasquicentennial Challenge

We had 3 staff members, 2 children and 3 adult patrons participate. I realized after I started that I had forgotten to mention some basic rules: no words forming plurals by adding s, no proper names, no words that needed punctuation (a-sea, for example), no foreign words and no words that weren’t really words. The biggest problem people had was not adding extra letters (there is only one 1 that you can use, and no r or d.) What was surprising was how may new words showed up on each list that was submitted. I did accept cities (since you couldn’t make city) and its (since it isn’t a plural.)

Everyone who participated (and isn’t a staff member) will get a certificate to redeem at the book sale for either free books (the kids) or free raffle tickets to submit to the raffles.

Thank you — Maggie. I’m attaching the pdf of the entire list of 325 words we came up with.

Quasquicentennial Challenge Results

Electronic Resources? Why? What Are They?

At a recent book discussion meeting we somehow started talking about shows we liked from Acorn-TV and courses we’ve taken from The Great Courses. Only a few of the people knew that the library offered 7-day passes for several streaming services including Acorn-TV and The Great Courses. The others asked if I could do a program that showed how to access the wide range of electronic resources we offer. This made a lot of sense to me since we are adding Hoopla to our collection in July. The program will be held twice — once on Wednesday, August 21, at 2 pm and again on Thursday, August 22, at 6:30 pm.

Why do we have electronic resources?

One great reason is that it allows us to increase our collection without taking up any physical space at the library! Yay, less weeding for me!

Another is that we realize that people now are getting used to reading, listening, and watching on their televisions, tablets, computers and phones. Rather than buying books from Amazon, buying audio books from Audible, or subscribing to a streaming service, we can save you money by providing you with choices through the library. We’ve always been about FREE FOR EVERYONE!

Convenience is another reason. If you have a smartphone and bluetooth in your car, you can download an audiobook to listen on your commute. There is such a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction available through OverDrive/Libby that you can find the perfect book for your mood. Also if you are on vacation, or you finished your book on your way to work, or the book didn’t really fit your mood, you can find another one without actually going to the library. All you need is a connection to the internet with wifi or your data plan. Many people stock up on books to read when they go abroad so that they don’t have to carry the books themselves. My husband and I watched the Law School for Everyone course while on vacation because I could hook my laptop up to the hotel television. (Not on our 2nd trip, though. The television input links weren’t accessible.)

What does the library offer?

Our oldest offering is through OverDrive. There is an Overdrive app for Kindle and the newest version, Libby, for most every other device. You can use the app to download ebooks, eAudiobooks, and even magazines. This is offered by the SAILS consortium, but also has access to almost all of the other library groups in the state including Boston, Minuteman and more. This is available to all SAILS library card holders.

Another resource that is available to everyone is the databases that are accessible through Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. There is no special app for this and works best on regular computers. You can read full text magazines articles and newspapers from 36, 399 sources.

Other resources can only be used by Richards Memorial Library card holders. Your card has to say Richards Memorial Library on it.

  • (which is owned by Linkedin) has large series of video courses on most business applications, help for business owners and managers, music and photography resources and more. You take the courses at your own pace.  
  • RB Digital offers 7-day passes when you choose on of the seven offerings: Acorn-TV, Great Courses, Learn it Live, Method Test Prep, Stingray Qello (music concerts), IndieFlix and Pongalo Novelaclub (Spanish movies and tv.)
  • Hoopla can be accessed from the SAILS/Enterprise catalog or through the Hoopla app. Create an account with your library card. Learn about our limitations on our website.
  • Through Biblioboard you can find local Massachusetts documents, local histories, books, videos and more as well as a way to self-publish your own material.

Before This Library Existed

We recently ran across the “Catalogue of the Books belonging to the North Attleboro Library Association 1873″ which was in a collection of items donated owned by Mrs. Otis Stanley. Here’s what Elizabeth Mansfield wrote in the History of the Richards Memorial Library  about the town library before the Richards Memorial:

The plan for a library dates back to October 24, 1870, when a group, of interested citizens met to consider the feasibility of establishing a library. This was to be a subscription library with the membership fee being one dollar. The subscribers elected Rev. J. P. Pierce, President; S. S. Ginnodo, Vice President; F. G. Whitney, Treasurer; and O. C. Turner, Secretary.
This library was first housed in the private home owned by Willard Hall. The site was found to be inadequate as a need was seen for a reading room. The collection was moved to the Kendall Block, later to the Odd Fellows Hall, and then back to the Kendall Block. The next move was to the Boyle Block as the collection and patronage kept growing throughout the early 1870’s.
With $600 raised during the first year, the officers selected five hundred volumes of works on science and history. Mrs. Charles E. Smith thought this selection of reading material was not broad enough for the subscribers, especially the ladies. With $100 that she raised herself, she purchased a hundred volumes encompassing books on art, travel, memoirs, poetry, essays, and fiction. She was reaching out to the interests of the reading public. This was a policy that would govern the library throughout out the coming years.
What were these books that they bought? The Catalogue is listed by title or author with something called the accession number to indicate where is is on the shelf. The accession number gives the order the books were acquired. The very first book was the Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mining by Andrew Ure in 3 volumes. We don’t know which edition, but you can read it online. Books 4 through 10 were a set of Modern British essayists including Macaulay, Allison, Mackintosh, Wilson, Talfourd, Jeffrey and Thomas Carlyle (who is the only one I’ve heard of.) The last book in the catalogue is Mother’s Recompense by Grace Aguilar.
The early fiction authors include Sir Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper. Fiction mostly appears in the later numbers:
Wilkie Collins’ Woman in White is #716
Washington Irving’s Salmagundi is #495
George Elliot’s Middlemarch is #710.
Some of the titles we still own, but not in the edition that was in the library:
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables
Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Most of Charles Dicken’s works
Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
I haven’t found any nonfiction books that we still own.  I suspect that our copy of The Portable Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson may have some of the essays that were collected by the original library.
The library at the time was not a free or public library. It costs one dollar to join each year or you could borrow a book for ten cents a week. You could only check out 2 books at a time and they had to be returned in 2 weeks. The hours were Monday evenings, six to eight and Saturdays, three to nine from October to April and two to eight, April to October.  I’m glad I wasn’t on duty then!

What Would You Have Read in the 1900s?

This is the 125th year that Richards Memorial Library has been serving the people of North Attleboro. Throughout the year we will be looking at activities and books that happened during the 12 decades that have gone by.

We have the Accession Book from August 1900 to 1902 which lists the books that were added to the collection during that time. Many of the books are new copies when the old ones wear out. We will be making a display each month of books that were popular during the decade assigned to the month (January is 1895 to 1904, February is 1905 to 1914, etc. with December representing 2005 to 2019.)

Here’s what one page of the Accession Book looks like:  You can see Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre was being read, and lots of biographies. K.D. Wiggins (Kate Douglas Wiggins) was a popular children’s author whose most famous book was probably Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Going over the book I found there were a lot of poetry collections. We have on display in the Downstairs Gallery snippets of some of the poetry that was popular then. If you are of a certain age, you will recognize many of the poets from school textbooks. We will also feature some of the children’s books that were popular then.

We hope you join us in the activities we are planning to celebrate READING throughout the years.