In 1902, The Town of Oxford was granted cash from former Oxford resident, Charles Larned, in hopes of building a Free Public Library in memory of his mother, Clarissa Larned. Thus, building began of the Charles Larned Memorial Library on the former Hyde lot, a piece of land voted on by the citizen’s of Oxford. Construction of the building was completed in 1903, and the Library was open to the public.
Perhaps the most notable piece of architecture in the early part of the building would be it’s stained glass window at the top of the stairs in the front foyer. The image depicts the arrival of the Pilgrim’s in Plymouth from Holland, and the caption reads “Let there be light.” In the original design of the building, there was a “stack” area beyond the former circulation desk, now the reference desk. This area is well know among Oxford citizens whom used the library prior to 2000, mostly because of it’s unique glass floor and dumbwaiter.
In 1985, our current librarian, Timothy Kelley came onto the scene. It wasn’t long afterwards when in 1995, it was proposed that the library receive a refurbishing and an addition. Thus, the expansion of the Oxford Library began. The original stack area with it’s glass floor was razed to make room for the current circulation and stack areas. The children’s room was also completely overhauled, with a bay window and brand new toys, a project headed by former Children’s librarian and current Charlton Public Library Director, Cheryl Hansen. The grand opening of the new addition to the library took place on April, 2000, and we continue to thrive today!
The library has approximately 8,274 current patrons, with about 3,000-4,000 circulations a month in the adult circulation department alone. Director, Timothy Kelley, continues to keep the library updated with the newest movies and books. Asst. Director and reference librarian, Brenna Cavanaugh, has been a major asset in the running of the library and most especially the reference department. Debbie Bilis, the children’s librarian has been working hard with her staff, Michelle Aker, Larissa Stretton, and Cathie Sullivan to keep the Children’s room clean and up to date. Meanwhile, Adult circulation staff, Trish Lareau and Fay Ferland had worked hand-in-hand to make sure the processes of the library have been running smoothly.
Stella Bullock 1882-1891
Clara A. Fuller 1891-1920
Harriet B. Kilton 1920-1956
John Tucker 1956-1962
Francis G. Howarth 1962-1976
Larry C. Spongberg 1976-1980
Gloria Edinburg-George 1980-1985
Timothy A. Kelley 1985-2016 Morgan Manzella 2016 Brittany McDougal 2017-Present
Barbara Bressler ?-1978
Elaine Wellwood 1978-1994
Cheryl Hansen 1994-2003
Catherine Livingstone 2003-2011
Amanda Thornton 2011-2012
Deborah Bilis 2012-Present
Please note, our Children’s Librarian list incomplete due to lack of records. If you know the names of any of the Children’s librarian’s prior to Ms. Bressler, please let us know!