The library will be closed Wednesday, February 21st

For necessary maintenance

New Book Club!

Conant Puiblic Library and Richmond Public Library present "Coffee with the Classics"

We are pleased to announce a new book club!  The Conant Public Library and the Richmond Public Library are working together to present “Coffee with the Classics,” a new book club focusing on classical literature.  Barry Deitz, Director of the Conant Library, has over 20 years of experience leading book discussions and is looking forward to facilitating our first meeting on Wednesday, April 3 at 6:00 p.m. in Winchester.  Wendy O’Brien, Librarian at the Richmond Public Library, will provide home baked goodies to go with the coffee.  We have selected “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald as our inaugural choice, with multiple copies available at both the Conant and Richmond Libraries.  We hope you will join us in this new opportunity for those who love both good literature and coffee.

Check Out Our February Book Displays!

Celebrating Black History Month

Join us as we celebrate Black History Month with biographies, histories, essays, and more! Stop by the library to check out the full display.

Some of our favorites:

Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston: Boyd, Valerie:  9780743253291: BooksWrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Valerie Boyd

A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib: 9781984801203 | BooksA Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib

More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic,  1829-1889: Kantrowitz, Stephen: 9780143123446: BooksMore Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889 by Stephen Kantrowitz

Novellas: And Other Short Fiction for the Busy Reader

Novellas and short fiction are oft-overlooked members of the literary family that deserve some extra recognition. Whether you're looking for contemporary works by emerging authors or classics from the literary cannon, there's a novella for you. Enjoy the accomplishment of finishing a book, even at your busiest! Stop by the library to check out the full display.

Some of our favorites:

What Moves the Dead (Sworn Soldier, 1): Kingfisher, T.: 9781250830753: BooksWhat Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Three Sea Stories: Typhoon, Falk, and the Shadow-Line (Wordsworth  Classics): Joseph Conrad: 9781853267437: BooksTyphoon, Falk & The Shadow-Line by Joseph Conrad

Burns Night 2024

Thank you to all who attended Burns Night! This year's celebration was an even bigger event than our inagural Burns Night last year, and we are proud to say that the event sold out. A big thank you to all of the amazing musicians, cooks, and performers that made the night so special. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

On Display:

The Art of Melanie Phillips

Melanie Phillips is a New England native and resident of Northfield, Massachusetts. Her work focuses on the shifting light and color of outdoor spaces. She captures this movement through layering color, creating multifaceted, dynamic images of the natural world.

Her work is currently on display at the library. Thank you to all who attended the "Meet the Artist" event held on January 10th.

The Carole Silver Children's Collection Spotlight

The Works of Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire were authors and illustrators of numerous children's books. Active from 1931 to 1976, their work was influential in shaping the Golden Age of Children's Literature (ca. 1950-1999). Their work received the Caldecott medal, the Catholic Library Association Regina Medal, and the Boy's Club award, and was nominated for the National Book Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. While many of their joint works remain in print, they are best-known for d'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths (1962) which remains the most well-respected and definitive children's collection of Ancient Greek Mythology. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths was selected as part of the New York Public Library's 100 Great Children's Books and NPR's 100 Must-Reads for Kids 9-14. This first edition volume retains its original dust jacket and contains original stone lithography illustrations in color and black-and-white. Volumes of D'Aulaire's Norse Gods and Giants (1st ed., 1967) and D'Aulaire's Trolls (3rd ed., 1972) are also part of the Carole Silver Children's Collection. Stop by the library to view all three of these unique volumes.

Historical Collection Events

Winchester in Wartime

Our special exhibit Winchester in Wartime features items from the Library’s historical collection. Artifacts on display date from the War of 1812 to World War II and offer a window into Winchester’s role in the conflicts that have defined our nation.

In addition to the materials on exhibit, a selection of local history books from our catalog are available to check out. The exhibit opened at the Winchester Pickle Festival on September 23, 2023, and will remain on display during the library’s regular hours. Stop by and learn about town history!

Historical Collection Spotlight

Grand Army of the Republic Ribbons ca. 1890

Left: Grand Army of the Republic “In Memoriam” Ribbon
Right: Grand Army of the Republic Ribbon

Founded in 1866, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization whose members were Civil War veterans of the Union Army, Navy, and Marine forces. The GAR was composed of hundreds of local branches, referred to as “posts.” It was one of the first racially integrated fraternal organizations in the United States, and at its height in 1890, the GAR had an estimated 410,000 members and was among the first organized political advocacy groups in the United States. Considered the most powerful single-issue political lobby of the time, the GAR is credited with contributing to the election of five Republican presidents. Its platform promoted voting rights for Black veterans, education, and pensions for veterans. Through the efforts of the GAR, the first national observance of Memorial Day–known as “Decoration Day” until 1971–took place on May 30, 1868. The GAR was dissolved in 1956, with the death of its last member.

Founded in 1883, the Woman’s Relief Corps (WRC) was the official women’s auxiliary to the GAR. Until the WRC’s founding, women were not permitted to participate in the activities of the GAR. Their primary goal was to unite the philanthropic groups advocating for and providing aid to Union veterans and their families in the wake of the Civil War. The first chapter of the WRC in New Hampshire was formed in 1890. The WRC had both segregated and desegregated chapters, as well as chapters in both northern and southern states. While the GAR declined in power and was eventually dissolved, the WRC exists to this day. The organization’s modern mission is the preservation of historical documents and artifacts related to the GAR and WRC.

These ribbons are from Post No. 63, founded by the veteran communities of Cornish and Plainfield, NH on June 21, 1887, and named for Sergeant Major William H. Bryant (18 April 1843–31 January 1883) of the 14th Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers. According to History of the Town of Cornish, New Hampshire by William Henry Child, the primary activities of the 63rd post included the burial of deceased veterans and the observance of Memorial Day. The ribbon featuring a star-shaped, cannon bronze medallion was in use by members of the GAR from 1869 onward. The shape of the medallion is reminiscent of the Medal of the Honor and it features an image of the goddess of liberty at its center. The “In Memoriam” ribbon was worn by members of the 63rd post when attending the funerals of fellow Union veterans. Similar ribbons were worn by the members of the GAR’s other posts.

Post no. 19 of the GAR was located here in Winchester and its members, along with the members of the affiliated WRC chapter, erected the memorial at the corner of Main Street and Richmond Road to honor Winchester residents who served in the Civil War in 1908.