The Lydia Drake Library is a volunteer driven library in Pembroke, Massachusetts. While the building itself is historic, the books are far from it – we have many current bestsellers that other libraries run out of. Check out some of our monthly favorites on the Books to Consider page in the menu above.
In addition to the books, we have a beautiful room available for rent by request. For more information, please visit The Pine Room page in the menu above.
The Lydia Drake Library is housed in the former house of the late Lydia Drake, a schoolteacher in Pembroke. She willed the house to the Town of Pembroke to become a library upon her passing in 1937.
Nothing was done with the building until June of 1944, when a group of volunteers calling themselves the Lydia Drake Library Association began taking on the responsibility of refurbishing the building and setting up the library.
It wasn’t until a minimal amount of money was appropriated from the town in 1961 that The Pine Room was repaired and made useful once again. The Pine Room was Lydia Drake’s father’s cobbler shop at one time, and his shoetrees and form are on display in the Pine Room today. A subsequent authentic and painstaking restoration of the room was completed over several months by Mr. A. Benjamin Conant Sr, donating not only his time and skill, but also materials and the pine boards which he used to furnish the interior of the room.
Throughout the next 25 years, more minor building restorations and improvements took place. The Lydia Drake Library was made the subject of Wal-Mart’s “Make a Difference Day”, which donated funds and helped repaint and improve the appearance of the building.
When the new public library opened in 1999, declining circulation led to the town scheduling a closing date for the Lydia Drake Library in early July 1999. A group of small volunteers led the push to keep the library open, securing continued funding at the 2000 Annual Town Meeting. The library trustees decided to transfer responsibilities and funds relating to the Lydia Drake Library to the Board of Selectmen. The volunteers were given the green light to reopen the library by the Board of Selectmen, and the doors were back open in September.
Today, the library remains a historic symbol of Pembroke. Many patrons and volunteers visited the library as children, and can reminisce in the simplicity and serenity of the card catalogs, old wood floors, and book shelves along every wall. The Lydia Drake Library is lucky to have a passionate staff of volunteers who have kept the library operational since its establishment with limited funding. Several civic organizations meet in the Pine Room, and the building is still a resource 80 years after Ms. Drake’s passing.