Past, Present, Future

Historic Shelburne

The Shelburne Library and Town Center have a interesting past:

  • The first library for the Town of Shelburne in 1888 was housed in the post office with approximately 100 books
  • In 1911, a more established library was housed in the Greek Revival building on the Village Green (now Jamie Two Coats),
  • A 1922 bequest by James S. Pierson made an expansion of the library possible
  • In 1927, Mrs. J. Watson Webb gave the Town of Shelburne the town hall (now the Historic Town Hall) in memory of her father, Henry Havemeyer
  • In 2001 the library relocated to its current location (the former Town offices and Police Department) as part of the Shelburne Village Center Project



Present Day Shelburne

  • 60,000 annual library visitors (2016)
  • 3562 resident library cardholders (2016)
  • Library Services include:  programs for children, downloadable audiobooks and ebooks, interlibrary loan, research help, programs for adults, and museum passes
  • Library building problems include: water infiltration, damage, and associated dampness; inadequate stack space; lacking ADA accommodations; undersized, and confined spaces.
  • Historic Town Hall has a solid structure with historic significance, but has some problems:  poor lighting and acoustics; water infiltration into basement, roof, and damage to ceiling; deferred maintenance; and lacking energy efficiency.

Shelburne in the Future 

  • On November 7th, 2017, the citizens of Shelburne voted to approve a $6.5 million dollar bond to replace the library, to renovate the historic Town Hall and to improve the municipal campus.
  • The new library, renovations to the Town Hall, and municipal campus improvements will make Shelburne a better place for generations to come.  Much hard work still lays ahead and we look forward to the entire community's continued involvement.
  • As stewards of our rich cultural heritage, we are launching a community-wide effort to realize our collective vision for Shelburne’s future and to fulfill the promise of the Shelburne Comprehensive Plan.
  • Project Goals: build a 21st century library; conserve and protect the historic Town Hall; strengthen the commercial, civic, and social center of Shelburne Village.



What People Are Saying

“We decided to give to this project because we believe strongly in the current and future mission of the library in the Shelburne community.  While all residents stand to benefit equally from the library we differ in our ability to pay for it.  We hope by providing a matching grant we can inspire others to give, too.”

                -Anonymous Donor

There are so many ways that the Pierson Library is special to our community. An important example is that the Library offers the public opportunities to interact, exploring new ideas and different ways of thinking. Organized meetings, unplanned encounters and serendipitous discoveries at the Library are a valuable part of living in Shelburne. These experiences in a shared community space are critical to building and maintaining a society that works together to define common goals and create a sustainable future.

- Ruth Hagerman

Chair, Pierson Library Board of Trustees

“For our family, the library is a place to come together as a community.  We love family game day, maker days, Minecraft club, or simply reading quietly and getting help from Katie to find that 'just right' book.  As a middle income family we don't have the resources to build a small library full of new books. We love that our tax payer dollars are being used to create a community space that benefits people from all income levels. We feel grateful that the our Shelburne community supports all of us in this way.” 

- Kelly Story

Shelburne Resident

“The Community School has a continued interest in the development of a dynamic and safe environment for our students who utilize our town's library and the town center.  Much like a state of the art school, a renovated and reimagined public  library has the potential to create a space where our students can continue to foster their love for learning and build meaningful relationships with adults and peers alike.  This project has the potential to expand the growing relationship between the Pierson Library and Shelburne Community School.”

-Scott Sivo, Co-Principal,

Shelburne Community School

“A forward-thinking library is an asset to any community. It serves the needs of residents. It attracts new residents and increases home values, as do quality schools. It offers resources to all, regardless of income or skills, and teaches new technologies. It fosters learning and affords a meeting place for all ages. “

- Sue Furry-Irish,

Former Librarian, Pierson  Library

"A community needs a library - its a gathering place for both children and adults. When I want to read, I want to hold a book, feel a book, smell a book. The library is, in essence, the heart of our community."

- Rick Bessette,

Shelburne Poet Laureate

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