|Access and use|
Bangor Public Library
|Location||Harlow, Center, Park, State, York, and Central Streets|
|Architect||Peabody and Stearns|
|Architectural style||Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements, Renaissance|
|Part of||Great Fire of 1911 Historic District|
|NRHP reference No.||84001479|
|Added to NRHP||June 14, 1984|
The library's roots date to 1830, when the Bangor Mechanic Association assembled a private collection of books. In 1873, it absorbed several other associations' libraries and became the Bangor Mechanic Association Public Library.
In 1883, former U.S. Congressman and lumber baron Samuel F. Hersey left the City of Bangor a $100,000 bequest, which the city used to form a municipally owned public library. The Mechanic Association's 20,000 books formed the core collection. In 1905, the small membership fee was abolished and the library became truly open to all.
By 1911, the library's collection had grown to 70,000 books. Then came the Great Fire of 1911, which destroyed the library along with most of the Bangor Business District. The library reopened that May with the 29 books pulled from the ashes and 1,300 others that had been on loan. (Today, the library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Great Fire of 1911 Historic District.)
In 1997, the library was renovated and a new wing added (designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects), thanks to a donation from Stephen and Tabitha King. King's story The Library Policeman was inspired by his 10-year-old son's expressed fear of returning overdue books to the Bangor Public Library because of "the library police".