The South Hadley Public Library is a vital community resource where residents become enriched, informed, and connected to ideas and information. A dedicated library staff provides current collections, services, and technology for patrons of all ages to find support in developing lifelong skills for personal and professional improvement. The library is a unifying force in the community, bringing together differing ages, backgrounds, and points of view in a vibrant, comfortable, and welcoming environment.
South Hadley has a long history with libraries. In 1802, "Ye Social Library of So. Hadley" was establish (the records of the Social Library are now kept in our Local History Room). In 1897 the Town established a free public library with depositories located at the Center Village and South Hadley Falls.
In 1902, the Gaylord Memorial Library Association established an independent public library at "the Center Village" and that library operated as a charitable nonprofit organization separate from the town. The two libraries operated together as the South Hadley Library System from 1968 to 1995 before separating again.
In 1906, Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 to construct a town-owned public library in "the Falls". That municipal library was expanded in 1974. In 2011, the Town of South Hadley received a $4,841,312 grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to construct a new municipal library. Additional funding was provided by generous grants, donations, and public funding from the Town of South Hadley. An abandoned site in South Hadley Falls was redeveloped into a new community cornerstone, and opened in 2014, showcasing modern library services alongside the historic South Hadley Canal.
In 2017, the Selectboard, Boards of Library Trustees for both South Hadley Public and Gaylord, and Town Meeting voted to integrate library services under the direction of the Town of South Hadley's publicly elected Library Trustees. Today, the South Hadley Public Library operates as the main library of a two-library system, with Gaylord Memorial Library operating as a branch library.