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Millis/Medway - Local Town Pages

On Oct. 14, Millis Public Library Friends celebrate 40 years, ‘new’ building celebrates 10 years

By Theresa Knapp

On Oct. 14, the Friends of the Millis Public Library will celebrate its 40th anniversary, and will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the “new” library building at 961 Main Street. 

Festivities will take place at the Millis Public Library, 961 Main St., between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and will include: 

10 a.m. Welcome Reception and Kickoff

11 a.m. Children’s Music Performance by Rob Zammarchi 

12 p.m. Proclamations and Special Guests 

Friends celebrate 40 years 

When the Friends group started in 1983, they had 15 charter members; two are still active today including Art Payne and Mary Beth Bell. 

Payne says, “The impetus for the founding of the Friends was a 1982 comparative library study sponsored by Millis civic organization, The Oak Tree League. Mary Alessi was in contact with area Friends groups during the study and was inspired to found a Friends group for Millis.” 

Alessi then asked Payne, a professional reference librarian at the Concord Free Public Library for 46 years, to join the group. 

Payne recalls two well-attended organizational meetings in the fall of 1983 before the Friends of the Millis Public Library was formally organized in early 1984. Among its first programs was adopting the Rent-A-Book program (a book program started by the Oak Tree League), a used book sale in May 1984, and sponsoring a lecture about the history of Millis (including a coloring book) honoring our town centennial in 1985.

Today, Payne says, “The Friends are important to me and the community because we augment and enhance library services for patrons of all age groups and sponsor special events and services. Examples include museum passes, a memory cafe for those with cognitive issues, the royal wedding tea, author events and many others. This is so important during these challenging financial times. We also promote literacy and reading through an annual scholarship and the Millis Reads program.”

Library building celebrates 10 years

The Oct. 14 event will also celebrate the “new” library building’s current location. 

Events will include a scavenger hunt highlighting the many services of the library, a quiz on 40 years of bestselling books prepared by June Kevorkian, a children’s concert by Rob Zammarchi, a display of Friends memorabilia, and proclamations from local and state officials. All are welcome. 

Says Payne, “Come and celebrate with us and discover the treasures of the Millis Public Library. As I said many years ago in an op ed piece, ‘todays library is more than just books.’”

For more information, visit or contact [email protected]The Friends of the Millis Public Library is always looking for new members whose energy and new ideas help to keep the organization vital. 

If you love the library, then you are a friend and the group welcomes your ideas and participation.

To learn more, visit or attend their monthly meeting (typically the fourth Wednesday of each month).