The Dartmouth Public Libraries lost one of their three branches when the Library Trustees voted to close Russells Mills Library permanently as a cost-cutting measure. This branch located in the National Historic District of Russells Mills Village used to be open 13 hours per week and offered the charm of a small browsing collection in a rustic and historic location next door to Alderbrook Farm, complete with peacocks, donkeys, pigs and goats in the environs.
On September 11, 2007, the Board of Library Trustees voted to close the library and return the building to the Town Select Board. Trustee Chair Kathleen Horan-McLean stated, “The Library Board has been wrestling with a budget cut of 26 percent for FY 2008. This has necessitated difficult and abhorrent action for a community which has long prided itself on its quality of life.”
Russells Mills Library began in 1895 as the Dartmouth Free Public Library, sharing space in the Village School in Russells Mills. In 1904, the Library moved to a small building once used as a tailor shop. Upon the construction of a new schoolhouse in 1914, the old school was deserted. The Russells Mills Library returned to its current location at the old Village School in 1920. The building is on the Historic Register – part of the Russells Mills Village National Historic District. The Libraries hope that this building can take on a new role of service to the town in the future.
Related Links: Curt Brown’s Sept. 20, 2007 Standard Times Article about the library closing