A Short History of the Southborough Children's Room
"Although the building for the Southborough Library was opened in 1911, a separate Children’s Room was not established until 1963. The library owned children’s books prior to then, but they were housed with the books for adults. Thanks to a gift from Charlotte Robinson, who passed away in the 1960s, the Robinson Memorial Children’s Room was opened in the lower level of the library building during the week of April 21, 1963.
Initially this space was staffed by three librarians: Mrs. Albert Woodward, Mrs. Joseph Pelusso, and Miss Laura Davis, each of whom worked in the Children’s Room on specified days. In 1964, Mrs. Jeannette Curtin (Jay) was hired as the Children’s Librarian, a position she held until her retirement in 1998. During her time as Children’s Librarian, Mrs. Curtin not only knew every child in town, but she also knew every book in the Children’s Room, along with its’ exact location on the shelf. After Mrs. Curtin retired in June of 1998, Kim Ivers, already employed by the library as Staff Librarian, took over as Children’s Librarian.
In 1964, the first full year that the Children’s Room was open, the library owned 2,257 children’s books. Today this number has grown in 30,578. In the years prior to the library addition, completed in 1989, space in the Children’s Room was becoming increasingly tight. When the new section of the library was opened, it included a new Children’s Room, allowing for much more space and expansion of the collection.
The summer of 2009 brought much upheaval to the lower level of the library, including the Children’s Room. On July 7, 2009, a severe rainstorm caused flooding, with six to eight inches of water throughout the entire Children’s Room. Although only 61 books were damaged, much of the furniture, flooring, and lower sections of the walls needed to be replaced. Part of the children’s collection was moved upstairs as a temporary measure, while the rest was put in storage. After two months of repairs and renovations, the Children’s Room opened just after Labor Day weekend of 2009, sporting a new look and layout. Today this room is busy and active, with story times, book groups, and special events for children age birth through eleven." ~Kim Ivers, Children's Librarian