ABOUT BUSHNELL-SAGE LIBRARY
MISSION: The Bushnell-‐Sage Library is dedicated to informing, educating, and culturally enriching the residents of Sheffield, MA. To that end the library provides a comprehensive collection of books, e-books, magazines, DVDs, audio and e-audio materials. Computers, Internet access and Wifi are available. Programming and activities are designed for all age groups. First and foremost the library aims to be responsive to the needs of the community which it serves.
GOVERNANCE: Town voters elect the three-member Board of Library Trustees, whose authority is derived from Chapter 78, Sections 10 and 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The board appoints the library director and delegates the responsibility for library management, collection development, and the provision of library services to the director. The library director is an employee of the Town of Sheffield.
Staff & Trustees
Pat Levine, chair
Frances Roth, secretary
Karen Lindquist, Director
Caitlin Hotaling, Children’s Program Coordinator
Sandy Balayan, Circulation Manager
A History of the Bushnell-Sage Library
by Martha Greene [available for sale at the Library]
According to A History of the Bushnell-Sage Library by Martha Greene, the public library in Sheffield has moved all over town. In 1876, when the town meeting voted to institute the first free town library, the library committee housed it above where Silk’s Variety is now. Three years later, the townspeople voted the library out of existence. The Sheffield Friendly Union took responsibility for the books until 1891, when interest in a tax supported public library revived and the public library shared space with the Friendly Union library in the Dewey Memorial Hall.
In 1901, the trustees of the library moved the collection to two rooms in the town hall. When a library trustee, Miss Alice B. Sage, died in 1921, she bequeathed $10,000 to the town for the building of a free public library. Two years later a library patron, Samuel Hopkins Bushnell, passed away, leaving another bequest of $25,000. With this money, the town erected a building on the corner of Main Street and what is now Berkshire School Road. When the space for 10,000 books became inadequate in 1936, an extra room was built onto the back of the building.<
The expanding collection soon crowded that building. Then, in 1993, the Americans with Disabilities Act, requiring that all public buildings be made accessible to everyone, made the building obsolete. That same year, the last students left the old Sheffield Center School for the new Undermountain Elementary School. With grant money and generous contributions from local citizens, the building was renovated and converted to serve as the new library building in 1997.
In the 130 years the Sheffield Town Library has existed, there have been very few librarians. Eugene Vosburgh acted as librarian for one dollar a week when the library opened above his store. Mary Leonard became the librarian for both the Dewey Hall Library and the public library when the collection moved to Dewey Hall. There have been only three librarians since the library moved into its own building in 1929; Willard French (1929-1973), John Campbell (1973-2000), Nancy Hahn (2001-2012), and Karen Lindquist (2013-present).
LIBRARY BUILDING AND GROUNDS: Set well back from Route 7 (Main Street), the 10,000 square foot Bushnell-Sage Public Library is a cheerful and vibrant place, full of light and bustle. Comfortable seating areas are scattered throughout the building. The circulation desk, public-use computer terminals, new fiction and non-fiction books, DVD sections, large print, periodicals, and the delightful children’s wing are all located on the main floor. The remainder of the fiction and non-fiction collection and audio book collection are on the second floor, along with the Sheffield Room Historic Collection, group study room and individual quiet study. The basement houses a large meeting room, kitchen facilities and art studio. There is ample parking space in front of the building.
The library participates in the Sheffield Tree Project, whose mission is to involve the community in planting and caring for the diverse population of trees in Sheffield. Gardens with picnic tables right next to the Marketplace Cafe add beauty and convenience. There is a patio and gardens adjoining a 3.5 acre park in back of the library for endless possibilities in programming for all ages.
FACILITIES: The Meeting Room at the library is an excellent venue for meetings and conferences. Presentations ...