About the Library
The first official Board of Library Trustees in Agawam was elected in 1890, although there had been small private and school libraries in town since 1822. In September 1890 books were received from the State Library Commission, and by October, libraries were opened in three areas of Town. By March 1892 the total number of books in all libraries was 700, the number of registered borrowers was 264 and total circulation was 2,013. Although each section of Town had a separate library, services at each facility were available to all residents. The Town continued to operate three public library branches until 1978, when a single building was constructed in the geographic center of the Town. After almost ninety years of service, the three small neighborhood libraries were closed, and the new library faced the task of organizing materials from the three branches into one library.
In July of 1986 the library staff converted the entire collection to electronic bibliographic records and joined the Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing System (C/W MARS). Since that time, all of the library's circulation and bibliographic functions have been online through the C/W MARS System.
With the help of a State Construction Grant from the Board of Library Commissioners, in June of 2002, the library completed a major renovation and expansion project that tripled the size of the library. Included in the expansion was a separate Children's Room that is located in what was the "old" library, a reference area with computer labs, two meeting rooms and a separate area for young adults.
Since 1892, the library's collection, circulation and borrowers have continued to grow. For fiscal year 2003, the total number of items owned by the library was 137,511, and the library circulated 324,198 items to 20,098 registered borrowers.
From its humble beginnings and 700 books in 1892, the Agawam Library today has grown to be a community center where residents come for many different reasons. Many come to borrow books, videos, DVDs, audio books on cassette and CD, music on cassettes and CDs, games, puppets, puzzles and art prints. Children and adults also come to attend educational, civic and entertaining programs and meetings, to access the Internet, to participate in Children's story time programs, or just to find a quiet place to read or study.