How we are fundedKennebunk Free Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Each year, we need to raise 20-30% (about $200,000) to supplement funding from the Town of Kennebunk.
To inspire and enable our communities to discover, learn, and connect.
Kennebunk Free Library will be central to our communities, responsive to them, and deeply valued by them.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees, 2018
Kennebunk Free Library Time LineOctober 2014 Upon Carol Whitten's retirement, KFL started loaning jigsaw puzzles in her honor. Since then, we have started loaning knitting needles, board games, a cornhole game, binoculars and a telescope.
- March 1881-February 1882 - Reading Room in Cobby's Store (96 Main Street area), is started by Rev. Edmund Worth and Ladies Circle.
- 1881 - Women's Christian Temperance Union organized meetings to proceed with establishing the library, following State requirements.
- April 19, 1882-October 1888 - Free Library Association of Kennebunk is established on second floor of Sargent/Ross building.
- 1888-1907 - Library was housed at Walker Hall, a gift of Andrew Walker, willed $10,000 to the library.
- 1892 - Town appropriates funds from dog tax for library use, $176.
- 1898 - Town appropriates annual funding to the library, $200.
- 1906 - The cornerstone for new library, gift of George Parsons, was laid. George Parsons' portrait hangs in the Reading Room.
- 1907 - Dedication of new library at Main and Fletcher Streets. "I went into the library today…It is so satisfactory, so appropriate and adequate in every way, it makes you want to shout. It couldn't be better, it is perfect.” (Henry Andrews to Henry Parsons)
- 1916 - The Library collection reaches 10,000, and circulation at 20,000
- 1919 - First story-telling hour is hosted for children.
- 1955 - The Incorporation of the Kennebunk Free Library is ratified and confirmed from 1882.
- 1957 - The Board of Trustees votes on the first woman trustee president – Mrs. Helen MacDonald.
- 1958 - Space renovated to create the first Children's Room. Ruth Nickerson is hired as the first Children's Librarian.
- 1974 - The Library is entered in National Register of Historical Place.
- 1978 - The Friends of the Library group is first formed.
- 1984 - The Library purchases its first computer (Commodore 64) for patron use.
- 1985 - Plans for library expansion began
- 1986 - Marier land was purchased for future KFL expansion.
- 1987 - Webhannet Woman's Club votes to donate land for KFL expansion.
- October 1987- In error, KFL is not listed in the phone book
- April 1989 – VHS tapes available to borrow on loan from the Maine State Library.
- Spring 1989 – Implementation of first catalog and circulation software
- August 1989 – KFL joined the Chamber of Commerce.
- 1993 - $1,000,000 Capital Campaign for expansion begins and the Town of Kennebunk approves $900,000 bond.
- October 1994-October 1995 - The Library moves to their temporary home on Water Street during building expansion.
- November 1994 - Ground breaking for expansion
- October 15, 1995 - Dedication ceremonies for new expansion
- June 30, 1996 – First volunteer appreciation picnic
- Winter 1996 – Addition of suggestion boxes
- Summer 1998 – Creation of the Faerie Garden by the Seacoast Garden Club
- October 10, 1998 – First Edition 5K Run/Walk Race
- Winter 1999 – Entrance automatic door openers purchased with funds from the First Edition Road Race and other donors
- Winter 1999 – Creation of KFL webpage (single page with a unique URL)
- Winter 2000 – Creation of KFL website
- January 2001 – First Art Exhibit held
- December 2007 – Centennial Celebration
- April 2009 – Destiny Catalog & Circulation system implemented
- September 2009 – Color copies available
- January 2010 – Clynk bottle return fundraiser began
- April 2011 – Dedication of the Speers Gallery for Mike Speers
- November 2011 -Kindle and Nook E-reader lending begins
- June 2014 – KFL joined the Minerva consortium
- October 2014 - Upon Carol Whitten's retirement, KFL started loaning jigsaw puzzles in her honor. Since then, we have started loaning knitting needles, board games, a cornhole game, binoculars and a telescope.
- February 16, 2016 - A steam valve in the children’s room failed causing severe damage and necessitating new paint, carpet, ceiling tiles, and many book replacements.
- March 14, 2020 – KFL and everything else closed for COVID-19 pandemic
- June 2020 – May 2021 – As Covid restrictions eased, KFL developed curb side pick up providing limited services throughout the shut down
- June 1, 2021 – KFL resumes pre-Covid hours of operation and most services
- Summer 2021 - KFL's front door is restored and the entrance doors are replaced with the help of a generous donor.