In 1905 Eber W. Cobleigh donated $15,000 to erect a public library building in Lyndonville. The site of the Silsbury Livery Stable at Main and Depot Street was authorized for purchase at the annual town meeting in March and the library building was completed in late 1906. Plans for the building were drawn by William J Sayward, a member of the well known firm that had designed the Boston Public Library. The library was dedicated and opened to the public in January, 1907.
A dedicated group of individuals, clubs and organizations continued to support the library through donations, grants and tax support. The basement was renovated in 1976 to create a children’s room. In 1995, with a combination of grants (state, federal) and local fundraising, the building was expanded with the renovation of the attic, a new adult learning center/computer lab, and an elevator for handicap accessibility. The library’s history of community support continues into the 21st century.
In 2002, a new larger bookmobile, improvements to the building and furnishings, an automated catalog and world wide web presence has been made possible through a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, the Gates Foundation and the Vermont Department of Libraries administered Mobile Library Literacy Grant (funded through and Institute of Museum and Library Services federal Grant).
Pat Hazlehurst was Library Director at the Cobleigh Public Library in 1986. She transformed the Cobleigh Library for the next 16 years. Pat passed away Sunday, February 21, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Mary Pat O’Hagan, a dedicated library volunteer for over ten years died tragically October 3, 2010. Pat, loved by the Cobleigh staff, learned every job given to her and performed her work with dedication, accuracy and a smile. In the summer of 2010 Pat was hired as a substitute librarian. From being monopoly banker to using the automation system, Pat was great to have around because she took delight from it all.
Nancy Berge was awarded the Community National Bank’s Community Service Award. Nancy was instrumental in forming the Friends of the Cobleigh Library. Nancy is a long-time volunteer at the library. Nancy was nominated by the Friend’s President, Edith Bell-Brown. Nancy generously donated the $500 charitable gift from Community National Bank to the bookmobile.
A New Bookmobile, Thanks to the Manton Foundation
The Cobleigh Library has received the most wonderful news and is delighted to share it with everyone in our community. The Manton Foundation has offered the library a grant of $150,000 for the purchase of a new bookmobile. Thanks to them, dreams do come true! How did this happen? Perhaps you remember the wonderful story that Charlotte Albright did for Vermont Public Radio (VPR) about the Cobleigh bookmobile program and how our old Books on Wheels II is no longer fit for the road. It’s had the radish, as the saying goes. However, after meeting with the Child Care Network, the library Trustees committed themselves to raise $60,000 to purchase a new vehicle we could turn into a bookmobile. Well guess what! National Public Radio (NPR) picked up the story and aired it also, and the Trustees of the Manton Foundation were listening. The Manton Foundation was established by Sir Edwin and Lady Manton to support philanthropic efforts of interest to the family. The Foundation has made significant contributions in the fields of art and culture, education, equine care, health care and biomedical research, historic preservation, and land conservation.
The estimated cost of a new bookmobile is $130,000 and the Trustees of the Manton Foundation have approved that the remaining balance be used for future ongoing maintenance of the vehicle. Books on Wheels III will again be in Lyndonville and the surrounding towns of Burke, East Haven, Newark, Sheffield and Sutton and Wheelock bringing books and stories to young and old in the future!
Many thanks to the groups and individuals who offered help with fundraising including the Child Care Network, the Rotary, and the Ladies Auxiliary, the Friends of the Cobleigh, the Vermont Community Foundation, the East Burke Congregational Church, and others. We live in a wonderful community where adults listen to children! Please keep in mind the operating of the bookmobile will still need your support and help, but let us celebrate the good fortune that has come to our communities now!