Manchester Community Library – 138 Cemetery Avenue / Route 7A Manchester Center, VT 05255. After taking a right onto Route 7/Main St. heading north toward Dorset from the main Manchester roundabout, the Manchester Community Library is on the corner of Cemetery Ave. on the right with plenty of public parking.
What to Expect
Imagine taking all of the coolest amenities you’ve seen at other libraries (aside from massive granite pillars & lion statues out front) and put them all under one roof – that’s what the Manchester Community Library has accomplished.
The building was finished in Fall 2014, so it is completely ADA-compliant, WiFi-friendly, and has a great open-space flow, making accessibility a non-issue. Make sure to stop in the library’s Commons area upon arriving – note the cathedral ceilings and massive 4-pane windows while you flip through a magazine, take a phone call, or enjoy a cup of coffee at the Café (Mon-Fri). Restrooms and access to the downstairs study rooms via elevator or stairs are also found in the Commons. If you’d like to rent out a study room, visit the Help Desk for access to the Lower Level.
The library is home to over 20,000 books, audiobooks, DVDs and more in its Main Corridor, which houses the Help Desk and access to kids-specific reading spaces. The Young Adult Loft contains several computer workstations, stylish furniture, and a laundry list of board games in a unique space specifically designed with teens in mind. For younger kiddos, the Children’s Barn is a fantastic space to foster creative development – volumes of dedicated children’s books, bean bag chairs, and the Kids’ Craft Room, which hosts weekly programming such as PreSchool Story Time. In the Main Corridor, browse tens of thousands of items from Arts & Literature to Nature to Gardening, Health, and Food. Don’t forget to post up near the fireplace at the east end of the Main Corridor in the Mark Skinner Reading Room. Or, try the Adirondack chairs on the outdoor patios & take in some gorgeous VT views. Two entrances to the Hunter Community Room can also be found in the Main Corridor and the Commons. This space is ideal for local gatherings and events, and is one of several rooms available to rent.
This state-of-the-art facility also offers free online classes, technology and computer trainings, local history & genealogy collections, and free summer reading programs for kids. For the kids, make sure to check out the Summer Reading Program, running July 9 thru August 13. Sessions cover music, movement, mad science, and one week with live turtles!
If you’re not library member, no worries! You can still reference materials in-house, hop onto free WiFi, and relax in a uniquely welcoming & cozy environment. To borrow library materials, however, requires membership. If you’re a Manchester resident, your library card is free! For non-residents (or those simply summering or spending the ski season close by), there are individual & household memberships with annual and 6-month options. Visit one of the friendly librarians to learn more.
What to Pack
Don’t forget to bring a few extra dollars – the “Liberry” muffins are a must-try & are a super filling treat for just a $2 donation. For something lighter, coffee and granola bars run $1. If you’re using the printer or copier (color prints available as well), there’s a small fee. For an afternoon of reading and relaxing, $5 should do the trick.
Suggested Age Range
The Manchester Community Library is ideal for all ages! It’s not uncommon for kids as young as two accompanied by their grandparents to enjoy some game-time in the Children’s Barn together – a place that truly offers something for everyone.
What We Learned
Fun knowing such a “hidden gem” exists right down the road from Stratton Village. Make sure to check out all that the Manchester Community Library has to offer on your day trip to the ‘city’ – it’s worth the drive. Biggest takeaway? Some much needed peace and quiet & some light reading next to the over-sized fireplace in the Reading Room – doesn’t get any better! If you get the chance, don’t miss out on the Summer Wednesday Series. Taking place the first Wednesday of each month from June 3rd – September 2nd, the Series offers unique programs like “Hometown Storytellers” & “Reading and Writing Memoir”, free & open to the public.
About the Author:
Steve Croucher | Steve’s true passion outside of work is training for off-road triathlon … coaching Masters Swimming, grinding up local MTB singletrack, & trail running nearby Equinox and Bromley peaks. Originally from York, PA, Steve spent three years in Vail, CO before moving back to the East Coast to coordinate activities, programs, & events with Stratton Mountain. Steve also enjoys cooking, catching The Walking Dead, NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” on Saturday mornings, family BBQ’s, and a strong Moscow Mule on Friday nights.