Library DrawingThe CONNector

JULY 2000Volume 2 Number 3

Connecticut Public Libraries - New, Expanded, or Renovated

Woodbridge Public Library

Mary Louise Jensen, Building Consultant

Main entrance of the Woodbridge Library
Main entrance of the Woodbridge Library

On April 8, 2000, the expanded and renovated Woodbridge Town Library was dedicated. Woodbridge is a suburban residential town minutes from New Haven, with a population of approximately 9,215.

Originally, the town proposed to build a new building, but the community felt strongly that the old library building should be expanded and renovated. With this addition the library space grew from 8,100 square feet to 21,450 square feet. The total cost of the project was $4,715,642, partially funded with a $350,000 State Public Library Construction Grant.

The shape of the back of the building was influenced by the presence of a very old tree. In order to preserve the tree, the addition was designed to curve around it. The main entrance is in the middle of the new addition, as shown in the picture above. The first floor to the left of the entrance houses the adult and young adult materials. Special features of this area are the curved stack area, arched doorways to the stacks, and custom-made computer tables. To the right of the entrance and down a corridor is a spacious meeting room.

An open stairwell to the second floor leads to a café and audiovisual materials. The children's room, which contains window seats built into dormers and separate story and craft areas, is on the second floor above the adult and young adult areas. The technical services area is located above the meeting room. More than a dozen dormers provide light to the second floor. Natural woods and neutral tones accented with shades of blue create a peaceful atmosphere throughout the library.

Adult bookstacks with computer tables
Adult bookstacks with computer tables

To reach the original building one passes through a space where the Friends have a used bookstore. The original building has been restored to a quiet reading area with periodicals. A display case containing the six foot table stone (tombstone) of the Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge, the founder of Woodbridge, has been placed in this room.

If you are interested in more information about this library, contact Janet Vaill Day, Director of the Woodbridge Town Library, at 203-389-3433. There will be a Libratects workshop at the Woodbridge Town Library on September 21, 2000 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. (For further information about the Libratects workshop contact Mary Louise Jensen at 1-800-253-7412.

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