Most people in Westerly know that the historic Westerly Library and Wilcox Park is one of the greatest assets in our town and many turned out to support the Library during its first Caddy Stacks fundraising event.
Watch the video ☝
The staff at the Westerly Library came up with the idea to try and get more people back to the library. After a bit of research they found a company that specialized in turning libraries into miniature golf courses with literary themed holes. This idea should be given the Nobel Prize for funraising, that’s right, it’s fun fundraising. Enough with the play on words, this event at the Westerly Library was an absolutely funtastic event.
Westerly Library and Wilcox Park is a private non-profit owned and operated by the Memorial and Library Association of Westerly. The Association was established in 1892 to commemorate the volunteer soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War. Designed by Longstaff & Hurd, architects from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Westerly Library opened its doors in 1894 through the initiative of local industrialist-inventor, Stephen Wilcox. Mr. Wilcox donated the land on which the library is situated as well as $25,000 to be matched by citizens of the community.
Originally the library included a bowling alley, gymnasium, art gallery, museum, and meeting space for the Grand Army of the Republic. On opening day, August 15, 1894, Westerly Library had a collection of 5,000 volumes and the building was open 24 hours each week. Additions were constructed in 1902, 1928, and 1992. The final addition, which won the 1994 Historic Preservation Award from the Rhode Island Preservation Commission, nearly doubled the size of the building.
Today the library is open 60 hours each week and the collection includes books, audiobooks, magazines, CDs and DVDs, and more, totaling over 287,000 items. There are computers for public use throughout the building. The library, a participant in a statewide-automated network, offers access to online databases, e-books, and over four million items from library collections across the state of Rhode Island. All of these important community services cost money, hence Caddy Stacks. Check out the video to see how much fun everyone had.
The Westerly Library and Wilcox Park is a vital part of our community. I would encourage everyone to check out all the programs on the Westerly Library website at westerlylibrary.org.
For more local Westerly info check out the new Westerly+