Cary Memorial Library

The Cary Memorial Library in 2010

The Cary Memorial Library (est.1869) is the main branch of the public library in Lexington, Massachusetts.[1][2] It is located at 1874 Massachusetts Avenue in the town center.


"In 1868 Mrs. Maria Hastings Cary proposed to give $1000 to Lexington to establish a free public library, on condition that a similar sum should be raised in money or in books for the same object. ... The proposition was gratefully accepted and the conditions complied with, by the donation of the other libraries to this object and an appropriation of money by the town. Such was the origin of Cary Library, so named in honor of the original donor."[3] "In 1871, Mrs. Cary being pleased with the public appreciation and usefulness of the library, gave $5000 towards a permanent endowment."[4]

By 1890, the library held "between 12,000 and 13,000 volumes. It is highly prized by the people and extensively used; more than 25,000 volumes have been drawn from it during the last year. From 500 to 800 new books are added annually. ... A branch library is maintained in the east village."[5]

In fiscal year 2008, the town of Lexington spent 1.81% ($1,926,194) of its budget on the library -- some $63 per person.[6]

Image galleryEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Retrieved 2010-08-04
  2. ^ Archived 2010-06-15 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2010-08-04
  3. ^ Duane Hamilton Hurd. History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts: with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men, Volume 1. J. W. Lewis & co., 1890; p.622-623
  4. ^ Hurd. 1890; p.623
  5. ^ Hurd. 1890; p.623
  6. ^ July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What’s Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports Archived 2012-01-23 at the Wayback Machine

Further readingEdit

  • Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. 1899. Google books
  • Charles Hudson and Lexington Historical Society. History of the Town of Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Houghton Mifflin, 1913; p.405+ Google books
  • Paula D. Watson. Carnegie Ladies, Lady Carnegies: Women and the Building of Libraries. Libraries & Culture, Vol. 31, No. 1, Reading & Libraries I (Winter, 1996)

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 42°26′53.8″N 71°13′46.8″W / 42.448278°N 71.229667°W / 42.448278; -71.229667