In November 1829, the Kensington Library Society was organized with the purchase of 40 books. The Secretary’s book begins: “We the subscribers sensible of the benefits resulting to the community from the establishment of a public library have associated ourselves for the accomplishment of this object and adopted the following constitution.” The Kensington Congregational Church housed the library, sometimes in a cupboard under the stairs and at other times in a church pew. Among the subscribers were the Peck and Moore families. In 1874, the Kensington Library Society paid $3.50 for the use of Hart’s Hall to house the library. Three years later, in 1877, the library moved to a room in the Berlin Savings Bank. In 1890, the collection was moved back to the Kensington Congregational Church.
In 1900, Susan A. Peck was prominent and untiring among those who worked for the construction of a new library building. Through her efforts, she convinced her cousin Henry Hart Peck to donate the funds for a new building if a suitable location could be found. On May 3, 1901, the Kensington Library Society incorporated in order to receive land donated from Miss Harriet Hotchkiss and Mrs. Fannie Hotchkiss Jones. The land was tucked between the Hotchkiss and Moore family homes on Main Street. On November 5, 1902, the Peck Memorial Library building was dedicated with a building approximately 1,680 square feet and a collection of 1,120 books.
In 1963, Lyman Hall breathed new life into the library. Through his efforts, an addition was made to the library building with funding from the Marjorie Moore Charitable Foundation. Marjorie Moore had been one of the incorporators of the library in 1901 and for over 50 years she was the secretary to the Kensington Library Society. Upon her death in 1957, she left a trust fund to Kensington. Lyman Hall hired the first professional librarian as Library Director and helped transform the library into a modern facility. For the first time, story times, travelogues, and summer reading clubs were offered. The expanded building had 3,520 square feet and a collection of approximately 7,000 books.
In a short time, the library outgrew both the addition and the original building. In 1986, Blanche Johnson Delaney led the negotiations so that the Town of Berlin took over the private library. For the first time, the Town of Berlin had a truly public library. Blanche Johnson Delaney and David Borthwick oversaw the building of a new facility near the Town Hall. On October 2, 1989, the new Berlin-Peck Memorial Library was opened and dedicated. The new building has 21,655 square feet on the main floor with a full basement for expansion in the future. The library collection had 58,669 items with a circulation of 108,041.
Today, in 2014, the library is outgrowing the first floor of the building and there are plans for expansion to the basement. The library’s collection holds over 99,000 items with a circulation of over 196,000.
Library Director's Message If November makes you think of holidays and Hallmark movies, you’re in luck! This year we are partnering with Berlin Social Services to be a drop-off site for their holiday food drive. The details are listed below.…Read More »
Dino-vember is going to be Dino-mite! Visit the Children's Department Nov. 1st-19th to discover fun dinosaur crafts, books, and a SUPER scavenger hunt great for all ages! Wiggles & Giggles (Ages Birth - 23 Months) Tuesdays, November 8, 15,…Read More »
BE A MAKERSPACE MENTOR! Do you like working with children? Do you love video gaming, crafting, building, robotics, coding, and/or making in general? If you’re in grades 6-12, consider applying to be a Makerspace Mentor! Makerspace Mentors…Read More »
News & Events Drop-In Activity Games Unplugged! (Gr. 4+) October 6th & 17th November 7th & 17th 6:00-7:30 PM Come hang in the Children's Department for a drop-in Tabletop and Party Game Night! A variety of games will be…Read More »
NEW! The Library Can Help Children Bee Ready for Kindergarten Gale Presents: Miss Humblebee’s Academy is an interactive, online preschool curriculum. It fosters early literacy skills in children ages 3 to 6—setting them up for…Read More »
Hello, What do freshly sharpened pencils, library cards, and pirates have in common? They are celebrated in September! (Ok, sharpened pencils are technically only celebrated by me, but they are a universal symbol of back-to-school!) And now, so is…Read More »
News and Events September is Library Card Sign-Up Month! Complete an online registration form or visit the library today to sign-up for your library card and open a door of possibilities this school year! A Berlin-Peck Library Card will allow…Read More »
September Is Library Card Sign-Up Month! September is Library Card Sign-up Month, when libraries nationwide join the American Library Association (ALA) to remind parents, caregivers, and students that signing up for a library card is the first…Read More »
Library Director's Message Hello, Summer is in full swing and dare I say (despite the latest heat wave) this weather has been delightfully summer-y! I was inspired to put up a hammock in the backyard and it was a great idea! I spend a few…Read More »
There's still plenty of time to participate in the Read & Bead Summer Reading Challenge (for children preschool-grade 5)! How it Works 1) Visit the library to register and pick up a paper activity log or download one from our website. 2)…Read More »
Berlin Peck Memorial Libraries Children Department Present - Booking Around Berlin The Berlin-Peck Memorial Library Children’s Department is excited to announce that the Booking Around Berlin Community Scavenger Hunt has returned! It runs…Read More »
How Does It Work? Check out any library materials (book, movies, games, etc.), attend a library program, or volunteer and get an instant-win scratch ticket. If you win a prize, you win instantly! Not an instant winner? That’s OK! Fill out…Read More »
Booking Around Berlin: Superhero Summer! Friday, July 1 - Saturday, July 30 All Ages The Booking Around Berlin Scavenger Hunt is back! Get your log at the library starting July 1st and find 15 of the 20 participating local businesses and…Read More »
Read & Bead: Superhero Summer! June 15 - August 12 The Read & Bead Summer Reading Challenge (for children preschool-grade 5) is back and better than ever (with a superhero twist). Sign up beginning June 15, choose your first Brag…Read More »
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library • June 2022 Newsletter Library Director's Message Hello! It’s June and my favorite time of the year (for books!) is upon us. It’s Summer Reading time! During June, July, and August many new books…Read More »
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library Teen Services • Summer 2022 News & Events Teen Scratch Ticket Challenge June 15th- August 12th Check out library materials, volunteer or attend a library program in order to earn scratch tickets! Each…Read More »
Library Director's Message Hello! As you can imagine I work with a wonderful, talented staff here at Berlin-Peck Memorial Library. They brought you the wildly popular coffee kits, spice kits, and take and makes, the Lucky Day collection, Mother…Read More »
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library Children's Department • May 2022 Project Peep! Chicken Hatching May 4 - June 7 Jeepers peepers! We're so egg-cited! The library is hatching baby chickens this month! The eggs will be arriving on May 4, and…Read More »
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library April 2022 Newsletter Library Director's Message Hello! This April feels like a fresh start! Spring is officially here, we no longer require a mask in the library, and we are welcoming back in-person programming! Three…Read More »
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library Teen Services • April 2022 News & Events Books & Bites Thursday, April 14th @ 2 PM Grades 4-8 Join us for snacks and board games as we kick off a new year of Nutmeg Book Clubs! Help us choose our…Read More »
Story Times Wiggles & Giggles (Ages Birth - 23 Months) Tuesdays, April 19 & 26 Time : 10:30 AM Wiggles & Giggles is an in-person storytime for children ages birth - 23 months that focuses on developing pre-literacy skills with…Read More »
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library Children's Department • March 2022 READ THE RAINBOW! We're thinking colorful Spring thoughts here in the Children's Department this month! We're so excited about all the wonderful things that Spring brings,…Read More »
Library Director's Message Hello! People who ask me if I read books on an e-reader are sometimes surprised to hear that I do! (I think as a librarian they expect my answer to be a resounding, "NO!” Like many others, I appreciate being able…Read More »
Yellowstone: Season Four From PARAMOUNT. Amid shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect, Dutton family patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is determined to protect his ranch and his family’s legacy by…Read More »
Ain't Burned All the Bright By Jason Reynolds. Prepare yourself for something unlike anything: A smash-up of art and text for teens that viscerally captures what it is to be Black. In America. Right Now. Written by #1 New York Times…Read More »
This Week's Top Choices Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas More Info Borrow By Jennifer Raff. From Twelve. From celebrated anthropologist Jennifer Raff comes the untold story—and fascinating mystery—of how humans…Read More »
This Week's Top Choices Previous Week - More New Items by Category Encanto From Walt Disney Video. The Madrigals live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto.…Read More »
First Line Literary Contest Starting Tuesday, February 1 -Online- Entry deadline: Thursday, February 24 Berlin-Peck invites you to compose your best opening line to an imaginary novel. You can write on any topic or genre, as long as your…Read More »
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library Children's Department • February 2022 LOVE THE LIBRARY! February is filled with LOVE! Help us celebrate Valentine's Day and Library Lovers' Month with drop-in and Grab & Go activities.Participate in Take Your…Read More »
This Week's Top Choices Previous Week - More New Items by Category Ghostbusters: Afterlife More Info Borrow From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their…Read More »
This Week's Top Choices Jesus Listens: Daily Devotional Prayers of Peace, Joy, and Hope More Info Borrow By Sarah Young. From Thomas Nelson. Many of us want to pray more, but we feel unsure of what to say. In this inspiring 365-day devotional…Read More »
Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy In this searing memoir, Congressman Jamie Raskin tells the story of the forty-five days at the start of 2021 that permanently changed his life—and his family’s—as he…Read More »