Library History

A Brief Library History Narrative

History and Development of the Fitchburg Public Library (1942)

Library Timeline

  • 1859 - Citizens of Fitchburg approve an article on the warrant requesting $1851 and quarters in the Town Hall for the first Fitchburg Public Library
  • 1885 - Rodney Wallace builds and furnishes the Wallace Library and Art Gallery at the corner of Main Street and Newton Place as a gift to the people of Fitchburg
  • 1899 - Library Service for children begins in one of the first Children’s Rooms in the country
  • 1950 - The new Fitchburg Youth Library is opened
  • 1953 - Purchase of a bookmobile extends service to outlying areas
  • 1962 - The Fitchburg Public Library becomes the first regional library in the Massachusetts Regional Library System
  • 1967 - The new Wallace Library is dedicated. Named for George R. Wallace, Jr. and his wife Alice G. Wallace, who gave a magnificent gift for the library building. The federal Library Services and Construction Act and money from the City of Fitchburg also funded the project
  • 1967 -The Helen E Vickery Fund provides for a new bookmobile
  • 1970 - The Henry A. Willis Fund makes art prints available
  • 1971 - Sunday Library service is initiated
  • 1972 - Sunday Performing Art series begins
  • 1980’s - Circulation and then the Card Catalog are automated
  • 1993 - New Bookmobile arrives
  • 1996 - The Internet comes to the library
  • 2000 - The Youth Library celebrates 50 years!
  • 2000 -The Library Book Club begins
  • 2002 - The Library begins loaning DVDs
  • 2007 - Wireless Internet service is added for our patrons with laptops.
  • 2012 - The Library gets even newer Circulation software: "Evergreen"
  • 2020 - The Library is closed due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.