From barn to bibliothek, a library emerges from history

Most libraries aren’t found in barns, but Jackson (N.H.) Public Library happily makes its new home in one. It’s not just any barn, either. Built in 1858 as part of the town’s first inn, the barn was dismantled and stored away in 2008. At about the same time, the library was looking to open a new facility. As the recession made following through on an architect’s design fiscally impossible, the library partnered with the Jackson Historical Society, itself looking for a way to re-erect the barn.

Jackson Public Library is one of several recent libraries to adapt existing non-library buildings (including a factory, a roller rink, and a department store) as new homes. In addition to generally costing less than a new building, and the potential historic value, the practice helps rejuvenate neighborhoods. See the library in a roller rink (and more) at Reused Libraries Rejuvenate Communities []

— posted by Greg Landgraf, American Libraries


  1. Perhaps those people at that library doing that fundraiser…. you know, the one that you posted the cute video of – they want a whole lot of money…. perhaps they should reconsider the ‘building a new building’. I think this is great. Besides, I like barns…. aways wanted to turn a large barn into my painting studio…

  2. The library I grew up with in the 70s and 80s, the Vernon (MI) Public Library, was built out of a defunct gas station sometime in the 60s. Nice to know that people are still reusing old buildings.

  3. It never occurred to me that inns used to need barns, the way they now need garages or lots.

  4. My favorite library is the Montrose Library in Houston. It used to be a church. They suspended a kind of huge floating deck to make a vaulted second floor .

    A library made from a historic church. I hope that happens more often in the coming years.

  5. I’ve always felt that one of the main purposes of libraries is to preserve history. Even though they mainly preserve it in book form turning old buildings into libraries is just another way to accomplish the same thing.

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