Sherman Library, Sherman Connecticut (860) 354-2455

The history of the Sherman Library Association can be traced back to 1901 when a group of Sherman women formed "The Delvers" which met occasionally to discuss books and current events. The name changed to "The Roger Sherman Club" and in 1914 solicitation was begun to raise funds for a library. More than a decade later, $8,000 was raised and on May 25, 1925 the Sherman Library Association incorporated.

In 1926 the Sherman Library became a reality in the "Town Center," much of which is an Historic District listed on both State and National Registers. The original building is a Colonial Revival Style with a Gambrel roof and Palladian end windows. With a population of less than 600 and a membership of a mere 46 families in 1926, the library survived and flourished on annual dues of $1 for adults and 50 cents for children.  Nine years later, the Sherman Library Association hired a director, Nellie Worden, for the sum of 50 cents an hour. Without heat or running water, the library was open two days a week for a total of 8 hours. Nevertheless, it offered story hours, classroom visits for children, and hosted special library nights for members of the Sherman Parent Teacher Organization. A tax grant of $400, along with an oil burner, began a period of rapid growth for the Sherman Library in the 1940's.

By the 1950's, the library’s collection totaled nearly 5,000 books. Shortly thereafter, the library became eligible to receive state grants, which were matched by local tax funds. Aware of the need for expansion, the Association purchased the barn and land adjacent to the library. A building drive raised $37,000 and in 1962 an addition was built. Among the many improvements were upgraded HVAC, toilets and a sink. Non-book materials were added including magazines, phonograph records and art exhibits. Circulation in the 1970's approached 10,000 items per year and membership exceeded 200 families. Another building campaign was undertaken in the 1980's and a children's room was added. Computers were introduced in the mid 1990’s and library usage accelerated dramatically.

Today the library houses over 28,000 books, audio books, films and other materials. A member of Bibliomation since 2000, a not for profit consortium, the Sherman Library operations are fully computerized. Open 35 hours a week, with an annual circulation of over 50,000 items, the Sherman Library now has a staff that includes one professional Librarian, four staff members and a large corps of volunteers. The Library Association hired Millie Loeb in 1997 as the 11th library director. The library hosts over 200 free programs, exhibits, story hours, book discussions, concerts and other events each year.

Additionally, as per the library mission the Sherman Library incorporates new developments in technology to ensure that resources are accurate, timely and responsive to our patrons. To that end the library provides computers and free wireless service for access to the Internet. At our website library users can remotely manage their accounts, and access the library catalog, research databases, ebooks, audio books, schedule of events and much more.

The library receives approximately 50% of its operating budget from a town grant. The balance of the budget comes from membership contributions, gifts, grants and fund raising proceeds. A private association library, the Sherman Library has always functioned as a free public library, open to all, member or not. Throughout its existence, the library has been a place where intellectual curiosity can be satisfied in a friendly, comfortable environment. It is a gathering place for local residents and a center for community programs and group activities.

Currently, the Sherman Library is planning for the library expansion to accommodate growth.