Item Returns and Curbside Pickups: As of Tuesday, May 26 Westford residents wearing masks and gloves, may return library materials in the rear drive-through Book Drop. As of Monday June 1, patrons may order materials via our website form for contact-free CURBSIDE PICKUP Monday through Friday. Please check back for updates on our pop-up Fresh Air Library, Summer Reading Programs, virtual offerings and collections.

History and Awards

Awards

1987 The John Cotton Dana Library Relations Award, CITATION, given for “a well-planned, low-budget Public Relations Program which enlisted wide community involvement for the approval of a bond issue to expand a 90-Year-old-Library facility” Sponsored by the H. W. Wilson Company & the American Library Association Library Administration & Management Association Public Relations Section.
1991 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award: First Place; Summer Reading Program; The Children’s Department.
1991 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award: Merit Award; Media Presentation; The J. V. Fletcher Library & The Westford Academy Cheerleaders.
1992 1992 Baker & Taylor Books’ “FOLUSA VALENTINE’S DAY CONTEST” First Place Winner for “Romantic Rendezvous,” a romantic Tale written by Westford Patrons.
1993 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award: First Place; Category: OTHER; Murder in the Library.
1993 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award: PR for Pennies; Murder in the Library.
1993 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award: First Place; Summer Reading Program.
1993 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award: First Place; Coordinated Campaign.
1995 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Second Place; Bookmark. Special Recognition: Darrell Eifert, Head of Circulation.
1995 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Second Place; Summer Reading Program. Special Recognition: Heidi Zeibig, Children’s Librarian; the Staff; the Friends of the J. V. Fletcher Library, Inc and Volunteers.
1995 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Honorable Mention; Library Annual Report. Special Recognition: Ellen D. Rainville, Director; Darrell Eifert, Head of Circulation.
1997 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; First Place; PR for Pennies; Special Recognition: Suzette Jefferson, Darell Eifert.
1997 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; First Place; Summer Reading Program. Special Recognition: Heidi Zeibig & the Youth Services Department.
1997 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Second Place; Web Site. Special Recognition: Darrell Eifert, Webmaster.
1997 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Third Place; Brochure. Special Recognition: Darrell Eifert; Suzette Jefferson.
1997 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Honorable Mention; Library Annual Report. Special Recognition: Ellen Rainville, Director; Darrell Eifert, Graphic Designer.
2001 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Second Place; Web Site.
2001 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Fourth Place; Flyer.
2001 Town of Westford’s “First Annual Winter Solstice Door Competition” Honorable Mention. 
2003 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; First Place; Library Annual Report.
2003 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Third Place; Summer Reading Program.
2003 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Honorable Mention; Flyer.
2006 Ellen Rainville, Library Director is chosen as Westford’s Unsung Heroine of 2006 by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.
2007 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Second Place; Brochure. Special Recognition: Kira McGann, Young Adult Librarian.
2009 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Second Place; Media Presentation. Special Recognition: Kira McGann, Young Adult Librarian & The Young Adult Advisory Board & Cliff McGann.
2009 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; Honorable Mention; Logo.
2010 For their Wizard of OZ themed entry in Westford’s 42nd Annual Apple Blossom Festival, sponsored by the Westford Kiwanis, the Library won the “Coveted Roudenbowl.”
2011 For their “It’s a Small World After All” themed entry in the 43rd Apple Blossom Festival, sponsored by the Westford Kiwanis, the Library won the “Coveted Roudenbowl” for the second year in a row!
2012 For their “Dream Big…Read” entry in Westford’s 44th Annual Apple Blossom Festival, sponsored by the Westford Kiwanis, the library won the “Coveted Roudenbowl” for an unprecedented 3rd YEAR IN A ROW!
2013 For their “Book” tree entry in”Westford Festival of Trees Celebration 2013,” First Place, People’s Choice Award.
2013 Westford Festival of Trees Celebration 2013, Second Place, Division: Business/Town Department.
2015 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Public Relations Award; 1st Prize for a Community Reads Program “Westford Reads the Civil War.”
2015 For their “Every Hero has a Story” themed entry in the 47th Annual Apple Blossom Festival, sponsored by the Westford Kiwanis, the Library won the “Coveted Roudenbowl.”
2015 For their “Harry Potter Forbiddden Forest” entry in the Westford Festival of Trees Celebration 2015, First Place, Division: Business/Town Department.
2016 For their “Dr.Seuss” entry in the Westford Festival of Trees Celebration 2016, First Place, Division: Business/Town Department.
2016 Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Hall of Fame Award: To Director Ellen Rainville.
2017 For their “Reading is Awesome”Lego entry in the Westford Festival of Trees Celebration 2017, First Place, Division: Business/Town Department.
2018 For their “Readers Rock” themed entry in the 50th Annual Apple Blossom Festival, sponsored by the Westford Kiwanis, the Library won the “Coveted Roudenbowl.” 
2018For their “Star Wars ” duo tree entry in the Westford Festival of Trees Celebration 2018, First Place, Division: Business/Town Department.
2019 For their “A Universe of Stories” Star Wars-themed entry in the 51st Annual Apple Blossom Festival, sponsored by the Westford Kiwanis, the Library won the “Coveted Roudenbowl.” 
2019For their “Alice in Wonderland” entry in the Westford Festival of Trees Celebration 2019, First Place tie, Division: Business/Town Department.

History

DATECHRONOLOGY

1797
The Westford Library originated in this year as a subscription “Social Library,” an institution founded by 25 citizens “willing to promote literature and useful knowledge among ourselves and our families.” The Library was contracted on February 14, 1797. Subscription shares in the Library cost $2.00 each.
1816First printed catalogue of 102 titles was produced.
1851The Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a law allowing Towns to appropriate monies for a public library. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78, Section 7).
1859The Proprietors of the Social Library donated their collection of 1300 volumes to the Town, under the following conditions:Said inhabitants shall annually expend in the purchase of books for said Library a sum of money not less than $30.00.Said inhabitants shall furnish and keep in good order a suitable room in the middle of said Westford where said Library shall be kept under the charge of a suitable Librarian.Said inhabitants shall make suitable and proper regulations respecting the preserving, keeping in repair and loaning the books in said library.Whenever said inhabitants shall refuse to make the appropriation before mentioned, said Library shall revert back to said Proprietors or their heirs.
1859-1871With no public housing, books were kept in the homes of the librarians during this period: Charles L. Fletcher (1859-1863); Eliza I. Herrick (1863-1869); and Amanda M. Hale (1869-1871).
1871With the construction of the Town Hall this year, the Library moved into a public building. The room to the immediate right of the main entrance to the Town Hall was set aside for the Library. Clara M. Wiley (1881-1887) presided over the Library in its years in the Town Hall. The Library had a collection of 3,192 volumes.
1895When this “commodious” room in Town Hall became crowded, the Trustees began to suggest the suitability of a larger room or preferably a building, and “hoped that some generous son of Westford might find it in his heart to give such a building.” This was realized when Westford native Jonathan Varnum Fletcher, then residing in Belmont, contributed $14,000 towards a library building; this gift was matched by $5,000 from the Town.
1896The new library was dedicated on June 4, 1896 and was named in honor of its benefactor J. V. Fletcher. At the time of the dedication of this building, Carrie E. Read was the librarian; library holdings had tripled to 9,000 volumes, with a circulation of 14,041 items.
 With the term of Mary P. Bunce, the library literally and metaphorically entered the 20th century. The collection was classified according to the “new” Dewey Decimal system and a card catalog was created.
1908The Trustees decided to establish a Children’s Room/department “in order to encourage the children to make more use of the library and to render it as attractive as possible.”
1910Magazines were first allowed to circulate. For many years, books were sent weekly to Forge Village, Graniteville, Parkerville and Brookside. Baskets were left at a store or private home for use by these Town residents.
1915Electricity replaced the gaslights.
1918May E. Day began her 42-year stay as Westford librarian. She initiated book deposit stations, opened the stack room to adults, and added musical recordings to the collection.
1960Alice V. Day became librarian and served in that capacity until 1971. Story Hours began, a Children’s Reading Program took root, and the J. V. Fletcher Library began its affiliation with the Eastern Massachusetts Regional Library System.
1963Ms. Marian Winnek, great-granddaughter of J. V. Fletcher, donated funds for a Children’s Room. Existing basement space was converted and renovated for this purpose.
1968-1969Extensive renovations were made to the library – main floor rooms were altered, a stack mezzanine was added, the basement was finished and a small addition to the basement area was designed to house an expanded Children’s Department. This renovation was funded by a $27,000.00 LSCA (Library Services and Construction Act), Title II federal construction grant.
1971-1977Robert R. Simmons administered the library, expanding library hours to six- then seven-day service. The Friends of the J. V. Fletcher Library organized in 1972 and began their annual Used Book Sale. In 1974, the Story Hour Room was redecorated and renamed in honor of the late Judy Proia. The library operated a “Free University” of continuing education and high interest programs.
1977-1984Francesca L. Denton’s stay as Director was marked by a grant-funded Bookmobile that was the “M.O.S.T.” – Mobile Outreach Service Team (funded under L. S. C. A. Title I monies. Thanks to a $35,000.00 C.E.T.A. technical grant, the library began a recataloguing and retrospective conversion project preparatory to automating the circulation system and joining a resource-sharing automated network. In 1984, Town Meeting appropriated $12,000.00 for an initial feasibility study for a modern library addition.
1984Ellen Downey Rainville was promoted from Assistant Director to Director.
1985Town Meeting approves $169,000.00 for Working Architectural drawings.
1985In June, the library automates its circulation and technical processing departments, as a new member of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC).
1986Town Meeting approves land purchase to the rear of the Library and appropriates a $2.28 million bond issue for addition/renovation.
1987On April 5, the community participates in a soggy Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new building project. The Library wins the John Cotton Dana Public Relations Award for the slide-tape show “J. V. Fletcher Library…Still Making History.” Additional land is purchased to the rear of the library lot.
1988The Trustees create the Ellen Downey Rainville Continuing Education Fund to award monies to staff members seeking to further their library education and skills.
1988 Service is suspended from July until mid-October as the dirty and dangerous stages of construction are entered. On October 17, the library re-opens to the public.
1989The J. V. Fletcher Library is named a grant finalist for a $200,000.00 Public Library Construction Grant award. The new library is dedicated the evening of May 20, with a Family Open House on May 21. Select areas of the former facility are renamed and rededicated.
1990The library staff undergoes reclassification and upgrade; the library divides into specialized divisions to provide quality service to the community.

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