When was the last time you visited your library? Anna Byrne, Assistant Director of the Hingham Public Library, invites you to come back and take another look. “A lot of people don’t know that we offer so much more than just books. We have museum passes to rent, as well as video equipment, artwork and STEM materials we loan out. If you haven’t been in a while, go again! Have a fresh look!”
The Hingham Public Library has something for everyone. “We like to say that we cater to ages zero and up,” says Byrne. Take a look around and you see it’s absolutely true. In the winter months, the Children’s Room storytimes average 70 guests per week. “The winter storytimes are overflowing with guests. Parents and children come in droves,” says Byrne.
For the older age bracket, Byrne notices how well-utilized the Teen Room has become. “We redesigned the Teen Room to quadruple the seating. Even with all the extra space, kids are still having trouble finding a place to work. Middle and high school students visit the library after school to collaborate on group projects, and I think for them it’s a neutral, easy-to-meet space to get work done.”
The work space that the Hingham Public Library offers is just as much a resource as the physical books themselves. “For young people, it’s more about space,” says Byrne. “We offer a study space that’s flexible to them and fits their needs. It’s especially helpful for the older grades, where collaboration in group projects is an important part of their curriculum. I love how our library is rapidly evolving into a community space instead of a repository one.”
In addition to the teen room, Hingham Public Library hosts two art galleries, a cafe and a courtyard with landscape maintained by the Hingham Garden Club. They also host an annual Book Sale, which will be held on Thursday, March 28 and Saturday, March 30 from 10:00am – 4:00pm in the library’s Whiton Room. Easily one of the most popular events the library hosts, the book sale brings in both local and out-of-state buyers, book dealers and patrons alike. “We have a lot of generous involvement in the book sale,” says Byrne. “We receive most of our donations from people who are moving out, so you can find a lot of treasures.” Byrne’s advice for this year’s book sale? “Get here early!”