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Library History
About the Library

We have library brochures available in the library building in both English and Spanish. These brochures contain information about library hours, loan durations, a map of the library and more.

For a digital copy of the brochure, click either of the links below.

English brochure

Foletto Español

It is with gratitude and humility that we, as community members and staff of the Milne Public Library, acknowledge that we are learning, speaking and gathering on the ancestral homelands of the Mohican people, who are the indigenous peoples of this land. 

Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all. 

Library History

The Williamstown David & Joyce Milne Public Library was established in 1874 mainly through the efforts of Joseph White, a graduate of Williams College, later a trustee and treasurer of the College and a member of the Massachusetts Board of Education. The foundation of its collection was an agricultural library of about 100 volumes. At first it occupied two rooms over a hardware store and was open nine hours a week. Because Williamstown is spread over a wide geographic area, three branch libraries were established in different sections of town, and they served local neighborhoods for many years. 


The main library moved to the Botsford House in 1940 when E. Herbert Botsford purchased the building and presented it to the town as a memorial to his daughter who had been killed in an automobile accident in 1915. The deed stipulated that the ground floor should house the public library and the second floor should serve as a space for the Williamstown House of Local History.


During the 1980s the trustees of the library continued to look at ways of expanding the library facilities. Space became more and more cramped as the collection grew and circulation expanded. During the early 1990′s a plan was formulated for the library to move to the former Pine Cobble School building as the private school moved to the High Croft School campus on Gale Road. David and Joyce Milne, owners of The High Croft School, gave the town the former Pine Cobble School as a gift in the exchange.

The David and Joyce Milne Public Library building, the former home of Pine Cobble School, was constructed in 1971 to replace the old school building which burned to the ground in January 1970. The structure was designed by Martin Lowenfisch. The design of the building’s large arching front windows reflect the architect’s desire to capture the design themes of the First Congregational Church and Thompson Memorial Chapel located on Main Street. The building was constructed for $400,000.

The building required extensive renovation to transform it from a school to a public library. A Capital Campaign was launched. The community supported the endeavor with over $250,000. After three years of construction, the new library was dedicated on November 23, 1996. Construction was finally completed in 1999.

The present site is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The library has three meeting rooms for eligible community groups to use. The parking lot contains space for 44 cars. The Sarah Tenney Osborne Garden graces the front of the library with a wide variety of flowers and plants echoing the surrounding Berkshire Hills. The building is 16,950 square feet.


Today, the library strives to be the heart of the Williamstown community and beyond. We run programming year-round, although summer is usually especially busy. The library was automated in the late 1990s and is now part of the CW MARS network, a consortium of over 160 libraries across central and western Massachusetts. Our collection has expanded from “just” books to also include movies, music, audiobooks, board games and video games, and also a number of streaming services which provide e-books, e-audiobooks, movies to stream, language learning, on-line craft classes, and other searchable databases.

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