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Bangor Public Library
BangorPublicLibraryLogo.png
BangorPublicLibraryMainEntrance.jpg
Established 1913
Location Bangor, Maine
Collection
Size 520,000
Access and use
Population served 35,473
Other information
Budget $2,388,577
Director Ben Treat
Staff 35
Website http://www.bpl.lib.me.us/
Bangor Public Library
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
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Location Harlow, Center, Park, State, York, and Central Streets
Bangor, Maine
Built 1911
Architect Peabody and Stearns
Architectural style Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements, Renaissance
Part of Great Fire of 1911 Historic District
NRHP reference No. 84001479
Added to NRHP June 14, 1984

The Bangor Public Library is the public library of Bangor, Maine. It shares the URSUS online cataloging system with the University of Maine and other Maine libraries.

The library's roots date to 1830, when the Bangor Mechanic Association assembled a private collection of books. In 1873, it absorbed several other associations' libraries and became the Bangor Mechanic Association Public Library.

In 1883, former U.S. Congressman and lumber baron Samuel F. Hersey left the City of Bangor a $100,000 bequest, which the city used to form a municipally owned public library. The Mechanic Association's 20,000 books formed the core collection. In 1905, the small membership fee was abolished and the library became truly open to all.

By 1911, the library's collection had grown to 70,000 books. Then came the Great Fire of 1911, which destroyed the library along with most of the Bangor Business District. The library reopened that May with the 29 books pulled from the ashes and 1,300 others that had been on loan. (Today, the library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Great Fire of 1911 Historic District.)

In 1913, the library's new building, designed by the Boston architectural firm Peabody and Stearns, opened its doors near the high school.

In 1997, the library was renovated and a new wing added (designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects), thanks to a donation from Stephen and Tabitha King. King's story The Library Policeman was inspired by his 10-year-old son's expressed fear of returning overdue books to the Bangor Public Library because of "the library police".

In 2014, the library was renovated again; plans included a new glass atrium designed by Scott Simons Architects.

On an interesting note, the library contains the couch that former VP Hannibal Hamlin drew his last breath upon while playing cards too hard.

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