Vintage Curtis postcard imageThe Brunswick Public Library Association, founded in 1883, is a 501(c)(3) organization that operates the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine. It is governed by a Board of Directors (consisting of 12-15 individuals) who may be elected to serve up to two consecutive three-year terms.

A book was written in 1976 with the history of the library by the late historian Louise Helmreich titled A History of the Public Library in Brunswick, Maine.

Though not a municipal department, the library formally serves the Towns of Brunswick (21,836) and Harpswell (5,040)*. In addition, the library serves students and families of St. John’s School and has a a partnership with Cornerstones of Science (CoS) which was founded at Curtis in 1999.

The library’s most recent strategic plan was developed in 2020.

FACILITY

In 1903, the library received a gift of land and money from William J. Curtis to build a permanent structure on Pleasant Street. The original library building was completed in 1904 and was dedicated to William’s father John Curtis, a celebrated ship’s captain who sailed from the Brunswick area to ports around the world in the second half of the 19th century.

In October 1999, the library commenced operations in an expanded and renovated 44,000 square foot facility on Pleasant Street. The $6.2 million facility was made possible by a combination of public funds ($4.0 million bond approved by a 70% vote) and private support ($2.2 million raised by the library).

TECHNOLOGY

The library provides high speed network utilizing a 1 GB fiber optic internet connection and has 15 public access computers. Free wireless access is also available 24 hours/day. The library provides access to a variety of digital services including downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, language learning courses, and streaming content. In 2021 the Morrell Meeting Room AV system was upgraded with a new projector and controls system. One of our 2 Seminar Rooms has a smartboard and a Meeting Owl for the public to use for meetings.

STAFF

The library staff of 34 (16 Full-time employees) supports a seven day per week schedule. Included on the staff are 10 employees with advanced library degrees. over 150 volunteers supplement the paid staff in delivering a wide range of library related programs and services, as well as running Twice Told Tales Bookstore, which is operatred by the Curtis Friends and benefits library programs and services.

BUDGET

The library operations budget draws from many sources in addition to municipal funding, such as annual giving, unrestricted donations, grants, endowment fund earnings and Friends of the Library support.

POLICY

Policy is established by the Board of Directors and amended from time to time so that policy accurately reflects best practice in serving our patrons. Anyone who has questions regarding policies or concern about how policy is implemented at Curtis Memorial Library is encouraged to contact the Library Director.

*U.S. Census Bureau 2021 population estimates.

BYLAWS

The library’ s bylaws were established at the library’s founding in 1883. They are reviewed and updated by the Board of Directors on a regular basis. Any changes recommended by the Board are voted on by the Library Association annual meeting which is held on the third Thursday of November.