The mission of the Louttit Library in West Greenwich is to provide library materials and services that enrich, enlighten and inform primarily West Greenwich residents. It upholds the principles of intellectual freedom as stated in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the public’s right to a free and open information society by providing all patrons with access and guidance to its information and collections regardless of age, sex, educational ability, economic status, religion or ethnic background.
The Louttit Library encourages all West Greenwich residents to use its resources, services, and facilities and to attend its events and programs. As a member of the Ocean State Libraries (OSL) consortium, Louttit’s holdings are available to anyone with a valid OSL library card in good standing.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Director: Annette Feldman
Children’s Librarian: Stephanie Barta
Circulation Head: Anna-Therese Kelly
Interlibrary Loans: Marietta Anderson
Web/Social Media: Abigail Clarkin
Circulation Staff: Sharon Smith, Rachel Velardo, & Mickenzie Lamb
Board of Trustees
President: Robert Bollengier
Vice President: Sherri Arnold
Treasurer: Donni Champagne
Secretary: Lisa Boothe
Members at Large: Danielle Andrews, Susan Aiken, Rachael Champaigne-Brynn
The Louttit Library Board of Trustees meets the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm, ten months of the year. No meetings are held during July and August. Meetings take place in either the library proper or the Community Center. Please contact the library for further information or consult the Secretary of State Open Meetings Website:
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LIBRARY
The General Assembly established the West Greenwich Library in1804, acting on a petition of the residents . However, no funds or building site were appropriated at the time and no further action was taken. In 1951, the former William E. Louttit School was reopened by a group of residents and incorporated as the West Greenwich Library Association. The William E. Louttit School had been built by the Louttit family to replace the Sharpe Street School, which was destroyed by fire in 1936. It was the newest of the town’s four one-room schoolhouses, and the only one with electricity. When the Mildred E. Lineham School opened in 1951, it consolidated the town’s four one-room schoolhouses. A group of residents suggested using the empty schoolhouse for a library. The library, stocked with donated books, was open two hours on Wednesday night and two hours on Saturday. The first librarian Marie Rathbun, earned a salary of $25 every six months.
The library was originally located ½ mile south of its present location on Victory Highway/Route 102, on the opposite side of the road. In 1978, the Louttit family paid to move the library to its present location. Doris Carpenter Louttit, William Easton Louttit Jr.’s widow, thought it would be more convenient for the residents if it were centrally located near Town Hall, the West Greenwich Community Church and the Veteran’s monument.
Next, the Champlin Foundation championed the library’s growth and expansion by funding three additions in 1988, 1992, and 1998; creating a children’s room, adult reading room and a central circulation area. The Elsie Palmgren Oltedale Community Center was then added to the library in 2011, also funded by the Champlin Foundation and with additional donations from West Greenwich residents.
Harpin, Mathias. In the Shadow of the Trees. West Warwick, RI: Pawtuxet Valley Preservation and Historical Society, 2003. pp. 56-58.
The Louttit Library serves its primary patron base, the people of West Greenwich, without regard for age, sex, religious or ethnic background, political affiliation, educational ability, or economic status. The Library also extends full access to its materials and services at no charge to the people of the state of Rhode Island, through its membership in the Ocean State Libraries Consortium, (OSL). Louttit Library offers Local Use Only cards to residents of other states and reserves the right to charge an annual fee. The Louttit Library’s resources are chosen for people of all ages and reading/learning abilities and include books, periodicals, audiobooks, DVDs, Blu-rays, museum passes, digital materials, and online databases. The Library’s services include reader’s advisory, reference, homework and referral assistance, and interlibrary loan, either in-house, by telephone, or e-mail. Faxing, scanning, and photocopying services are available during library open hours. The library supports public access computing including; word processing, spreadsheet applications, online database searching, and general online applications within an open wireless network. The library webpage provides access to the OSL online catalog, selected online databases, a schedule of library program offerings, and numerous links to recommended resources. In addition, the Library offers events for general audiences and programming geared especially for children, young adults, adults, and senior citizens. Louttit Library maintains meeting rooms for use by the West Greenwich and/or nonprofit communities. Preference is given to West Greenwich residents in cases of library program registration and scheduling of meeting spaces.