About Us

About Us

Whittemore Library’s Mission Statement

The Howard Whittemore Memorial Library is a non-profit association library dedicated to providing the residents of Naugatuck with free and reliable access to books and other information resources, as well as educational, cultural, and entertaining programs.

A proposed “What We Do or “Offer” piece would be similar to the content we use when the library submits grant applications plus some other explanatory material

What We Offer

The Howard Whittemore Memorial Library acts as the cultural and information center for the Borough of Naugatuck, Connecticut and welcomes patrons of other communities. We offer quality library and information services through our collection of resources (the collection includes books, audio-books, DVDs, e-books, databases, and museum passes for adults, teens, and children). We belong to the Bibliomation library network of over 60 public, academic, and school libraries around the state that share resources. (link to catalog and/or account?)

As well as library materials, Whittemore also offers ongoing and special events and programs to educate, inform, and entertain local residents of all ages such as: clubs, concerts, authors, crafting, story times, gaming, career assistance, classes, and much more. (link to event calendars here?) Our Whittemore Art Gallery features local works monthly. (link to art application and or “page” showing current display?)

Library users can access wi-fi throughout the building. The Adult Services and Youth Services departments each have computers for patrons and guests with proper identification. (add internet policy link here?)A variety of professional and office services are also available: photocopiers, fax, and scanner.

Board of Trustees

As set forth in the Deed of Gift establishing the Howard Whittemore Memorial Library, John Howard Whittemore transferred the building, grounds and endowment to the Library Board of Trustees. The Trustees, then and now, include a representative from each of the five churches in existence in Naugatuck in 1894.

  • Wayne Buckmiller (St. Francis Roman Catholic Church)
  • Robert (Bob) Delagrange (Naugatuck Congregational Church)
  • Charley Marenghi, Chairman (United Methodist Church)
  • Sandy Mestek, Secretary (St. Michael’s Episcopal Church)
  • Mary Schmelke, Treasurer (Grace Lutheran Church)

Director

Jocelyn deciding what info. she would want about herself

Our Benefactor & Our Building

John Howard Whittemore and partners formed a company in Naugatuck in 1871 to produce castings from malleable iron which were then in great demand during the United States’ railroad construction boom. The partnership eventually became known as the Naugatuck Malleable Iron Company, and Mr. Whittemore served as president. He eventually acquired interests in iron foundries in other states. While the Gilded Age was known for “robber barons”’ of great wealth, Whittemore believed in public philanthropy. He desired residents to be proud of their community and inspired by creating beauty in a town that featured heavy industries, particularly rubber and chemicals. From a period of roughly 1888-1910, he hired the nation’s finest architects to design a number of grand public buildings.

Whittemore Library was designed to serve as a memorial to his son John Howard who died as a teenager. The renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White were commissioned to design our library among other projects they planned in the borough. The building is constructed of pink granite, and features terra cotta panels above the windows and a unique continuous frieze inscribed with the names of iconic writers known to the builders of that era. The library’s front (original) entrance has towering Ionic columns. Inside the front door is the restored rotunda which is decorated with carved marble from Siena, Italy and has prominent gilding and painted tiles. An inscribed Emily Dickinson poem rings the lower portion of the rotunda. Finally, the library’s insignia can be found on the rotunda floor- a red and gold terrazzo tiled medallion.