NO. R-42.  House concurrent resolution celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Kimball Public Library in RandolpH.

(H.C.R.21)

Offered by:  Representatives French of Randolph and Webster of Randolph, and Senator MacDonald of Orange County.

Whereas, in recognition of the literary enrichment and personal pleasure which a library offers a municipality, Randolph’s voters, at the March 1896 town meeting, approved the establishment of a public library, and

Whereas, on November 14, 1896, the Randolph Public Library opened its doors in space above Morton’s Drug Store in the DuBois and Gay block, with Maud Blanchard serving as the first librarian, and

Whereas, during the next several years, individuals and organizations donated both books and funds which enabled the Randolph Public Library to expand the collection and offer a wider range of titles, and

Whereas, Colonel Robert J. Kimball, a Randolph native who became a successful financier in New York City, became Randolph’s own Andrew Carnegie when he generously donated $10,000.00 to the Randolph Public Library, approximately one-half the ultimate cost, for the construction of an edifice worthy of the library’s noble purpose, and

Whereas, the grateful citizens of Randolph approved the gift at a special town meeting and purchased a sight which included the colonel’s boyhood home, and

Whereas, following the architectural design of H.M. Francis and Sons of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the contractors Wiley and Foss, also from the same town, began construction of the new structure in the early spring of 1902, and

Whereas, on February 24, 1903, 500 readers joyously gathered at the Bethany Church in Randolph, with 100 more standing outside, to dedicate the magnificent new Robert J. Kimball Public Library, and

Whereas, over the ensuing decades, the library’s collection has qualitatively and quantitatively increased, and the circulation of 9,700 in 1903 has risen to more than 40,000 annual borrowings in more recent years, and

Whereas, children’s services, including a story hour, and an invaluable reference department have become cornerstones of the library’s offerings, and

Whereas, the schoolchildren of Randolph have recorded the library’s, school system’s, town’s and state’s historical highlights in a series of picturesque bookmarks which have been published in celebration of the Kimball’s 100th anniversary, and

Whereas, when the reading public gathers to commemorate the Kimball’s centennial, they will see the many improvements implemented as the result of the Vermont Public Library Foundation’s recent grant of $51,726.00, a most welcome birthday gift, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the Kimball Public Library on the occasion of its centennial birthday and extends best wishes as the library embarks on its second century, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Kimball Public Library in Randolph.