The Fall River Public Library seeks to be an integral part of the community by providing all residents with a wide variety of popular and reference materials, resources, technology, and services that facilitate their daily lives and extend their personal and intellectual development.
The staff of the Fall River Public Library works to create an environment that welcomes and satisfies the needs of patrons of all ages, abilities, and cultural backgrounds.
The Fall River Public Library was founded in 1861, as the direct descendant of the Fall River Athenaeum, a private subscription library which had been in operation since 1835. The library was housed in the Fall River City Hall until 1886, when a fire destroyed part of the collection and forced relocation to rented premises on North Main Street. The new location, while more spacious, was not considered suitable as permanent housing for a public library, and in 1895 the City authorized construction of a library building. The present library building on North Main Street was opened in 1899. Beginning in 2001, the library underwent a complete restoration. The original building has retained its beauty and historic appeal, but with facilities designed for the 21st century library user.
With more computers, wireless access, and book
stacks open to the public, the new building, opened in 2003, continues to amaze
visitors with its vaulted ceilings, marble accents and graceful design. We are
still a source for books, but we now offer you access to electronic information
as well. While technology changes rapidly, our mission is still to create an
environment that welcomes patrons of all ages,
interests, abilities, and cultural backgrounds.
A rich variety of paintings, many by local artists from the Fall River School of still life painting, are on display throughout the main library. The library's art collection includes many outstanding paintings from the 19th and early 20th century, including the work pictured here, Still Life With Peaches by Robert Spear Dunning (1829-1905). Dunning, a leader of the Fall River School, also painted the large portrait of George Washington that hangs in the Fell Room. It is modeled after the original Washington portrait by Gilbert Stuart.
Other Fall River artists, including Bryant Chapin (1859-1927), Franklin Harrison Miller (1843-1911) and Mary Lizzie Macomber (1861-1916), are also represented in the library's art collection. While many of the paintings date from the 19th century, the library recently added a large canvas by a contemporary Fall River artist, Tiago Finato, entitled "Human Emotion at a Moment in Time," to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001.
In addition to paintings, the library's art collection includes a stunning series of murals in the entrance rotunda by Italian artist Ludovico Cremonini and several notable works of sculpture, including a marble bust of poet Robert Burns by sculptor Fidardo Landi, donated to the library by the Fall River Caledonian Society.
A listing of major pieces found in the library's art collection is available at the library. Please ask at the reference desk. This listing cannot be checked out, but it can be photocopied.
Main library mailing address: 104 North Main Street, Fall River, MA 02720
Main Phone: 508-324-2700
Extensions: Adult Circulation, 2; Reference, 3; Children's, 4; Administration, 7
For general questions about the library, including scheduling programs and meeting space:
Library Administrator: Laurel Clark or Assistant Library Administrator: Liane Verville
For questions regarding library materials, fines, policies, or programs for adults:
Adult Services and Circulation: Kimberly Silva
For questions regarding library materials, policies or programs for children:
Children's Services: David Mello
For reference questions, genealogy, research assistance and interlibrary loan:
Reference Services: Kathryn Kulpa
Technical Services: Position currently vacant
East End Branch Supervisor: Conor Murray
East Branch mailing address: 1386 Pleasant Street, Fall River, MA 02723 Phone: 508-324-2709
South Branch Supervisor: Elizabeth Washburn
South Branch mailing address: 1310 South Main Street, Fall River, MA 02724 Phone: 508-324-2708
Web site maintained by Kathryn Kulpa