Northampton Public Libraries
Northampton has two public libraries, the Forbes Library in downtown Northampton, across from the gates of Smith College, and the Lilly Library, in the heart of downtown Florence. For library hours, special events at the libraries, to search for titles online or learn about the Friends of Forbes and Friends of Lilly volunteer groups, visit the independent websites for each library linked below.
Judge Charles Forbes made his gift of a new library building to the City of Northampton in 1894. Since then, the Forbes Library has been operating continuously and expanding its services with the times. The library has undergone accessibility renovations and has public computer terminals along with a vibrant children's and young adult department. There is a local history room available by appointment for genealogical researchers and local history buffs. The Forbes Library is also home to the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library collection.
In 1888, Alfred Lilly had the Lilly Library built in the center of the village of Florence. It served initially as a branch of the Northampton Public Library until the Forbes Library was built. Since that time, the two libraries have operated independently, while both serving the residents of Northampton, Florence and Leeds with a variety of books, newspapers, periodicals and now electronic media. Lilly Library underwent an expansion and accessibility renovation project in 2005 and 2006.