Membership Libraries

Before there were public libraries, there were membership libraries – associations of dues paying members who pooled their resources to buy books, rent space, and pay librarians to manage the collection.  While most membership libraries disappeared with the advent of the public library movement in the 19th century, a few still exist today.  We encourage our members to visit our sister institutions.

For more information, see America’s Membership Libraries, edited by Richard Wendorf and published by Oak Knoll Press. Members may borrow our circulating copy, or you can purchse your own copy below.

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