Library history

The library in Raymond began early in the 1900’s when books were placed “in the parlors of Mrs. Atwood Tukey, Mrs. Lulu Burdge and Mrs. Andrew Leavitt, in Mrs. John Hayden’s stable, Albert Plummer’s front hall, and in one of the entries of the Village Church,” according to the late Eleanor Plummer, one of the founding members of the Raymond Woman’s Club.

Later, the contents of the library were moved to a building on Mill Hill, and then in 1954 the Raymond Woman’s Club became interested in starting a children’s library and organized the women, the contents, and the gifting to have the children’s library housed in a building next door to the Village Church. In 1956 the Boy Scouts gave an old unused building to the library, and it was annexed to the children’s library. This was refinished and heated, and later the collection was expanded to serve all ages.

The library as we know it today on Route 121 was built in 1969 and financed entirely by a successful fund-raising by the Woman’s Club along with help from friends, and year round and summer residents. In 1979 a Children’s Room was added, and this was dedicated to Eleanor Plummer for “her many years of love and service to the children of this town.”

As the chief aim of the Raymond Woman’s Club was to be the support and staffing of the Library, in 1984 it was decided to change the name to Raymond Woman’s Library Club. In 1995 this was further changed to reflect the interest and assistance from the men of the community, and became the Raymond Library Club.

The “under construction” picture on the right is from 1996. This addition nearly doubled the library’s space and was funded primarily by a capital campaign. We added patron computer access and hired our first paid staff member, the Library Director, under whose guidance we continued to improve the collections and increase the circulation of materials. In 2001, the Club voted again to change the organization’s name, this time to the Raymond Village Library Club. Also in 2001, due to the remarkable success of the children’s programs, we hired a second staff member, the Youth Services Coordinator.

The Raymond Village Library entered a new phase in October 2003, when the Library Club voted to change the library’s operational structure to an incorporated non-profit organization. The library is now overseen by a board of trustees, plus one selectperson from the Town of Raymond who serves as an ex-officio member. The board sets policy for the library and is responsible for maintaining funding for operations.