1879-1880 Brookline Public Library Card No. 3373 issued to Miss Anna White
Brookline Public Library
The Brookline Public Library was born out of an inconvenience to Benjamin F. Baker, one of the first trustees of the Board of Trustees of Brookline. Baker contemplated and investigated the idea of a public library as early as 1847. Although any formal action to establish a public library wasn’t until 1856 upon a failed attempt to consult an unowned reference book.
After gathering support for his public library proposal from prominent Brookline citizens, Baker succeeded in having Articles 7 and 8 inserted into the “warrant” (agenda of items) for the annual town meeting held on March 16, 1857:
The articles were accepted at the following town meeting held on March 30, 1857, and on December 2, 1857, Brookline’s public library was opened to the public.
The first home of the Brookline Public Library was a 36 1/2 x 29 foot room in the Brookline Town Hall. The modest space was fitted with shelves on two walls, and equipped with a desk for delivery of borrowed books. The first librarian, John E. Hoar, served 17 years, resigning on September 19, 1871, when his duties as school principal became too demanding.
New Library Building
Although additional rooms were provided for the Town Hall library, by 1861, the library inventory had increased to 11,000 volumes, necessitating the need for an even larger space. In 1867, the town trustees approved the building of a new library, and on October 9, 1869, the new library building opened to the public.
In 1888, at a cost of $16,500, an additional wing was added to the library building, as well as a reading-room in 1891. This additional provided space for 75,000 volumes.
Another New Building
A growing community necessitated yet another library expansion. In 1907, the library Trustees In June 1909, R. Clipston Sturgis Cornerstone was laid November 1, 1909
Brookline Public Library In the News
Miss Anna White
Anna Catherine White, born October 27, 1864, was the daughter of the co-founding namesake of the R. H. White & Co. department store in Boston, Massachusetts, Ralph Huntington White (1841-1917).
Died January 7, 1895 in Aiken, South Caroline. She is buried next to her father’s museleum at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
R. H. White & Co.
 1893 Annual Report of the Trustees of the Public Library of the Town of Brookline, pp. 7-12