The formal opening of the Fairfield Memorial Library, the forerunner of the public library, was held on December 27, 1876 at the library quarters in the Fairfield Academy building. The library by-laws prescribed an annual fee of one dollar, permitting a borrower to take one book at a time during library hours: Wednesday and Saturday evenings from 7 to 9. The library owned 677 volumes.
On June 4, 1903, a new library building, situated on the corner of the Post Road and Old Post Road, was dedicated. This two-story colonial with three floors for stacks, was designed so that it could be added to gracefully, in future years. In 1950 the Library’s operation was taken over by the town and the name was changed to Fairfield Public Library. Additions to the building were completed in 1930, 1959 and 1981.
Fairfield Woods Branch Library
In the 1930’s, townspeople began to express a desire for library services in the Stratfield area. In 1936, the Stratfield School PTA opened a library in the school with a collection of one thousand donated children’s books. In the early 1950’s, the adult collection was housed in the Stratfield Firehouse, and residents used a small room there to pick up their reading materials. In 1956, the Fairfield Public Library opened a branch at one end of the Andrew Warde High School library. This arrangement continued for twelve years until the opening of Fairfield Woods Branch Library in 1969.
Books for children have been included in the library since its opening in 1903. Story hours began in the 1920’s. In 1953, the Children’s section was relocated to the first floor of an office building which had been constructed in 1930 on land adjacent to the library. This building was a gift to the library; all rents received were to be a source of library income. The office building was joined to the main library during the 1981 renovation and expansion.