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The Needham Free Public Library opened in 1888 with 1078 volumes in a building at the corner of Chestnut Street and Great Plain Avenue, which it shared with two grocery stores and a post office. In 1914, the Library moved to its current location at Highland Avenue and Rosemary Street where it boasts nearly 175,000 volumes under its roof. Twenty-first century upgrades include WiFi access throughout the building, public access computer terminals, nearly 100 databases, collections of DVD’s, CD’s, e-books as well as the more traditional newspapers, magazines, books, and reference materials. A staff of nearly fifty works diligently to offer the best and most current materials and services to the patrons of the Library. Overseen chiefly by the board of library trustees as well as town administrators, the Library director manages the day to day operations. A map denoting the locations of the major collections, hours of operation, and directions to the library are found here for your convenience.

Mission Statement

The Needham Free Public Library provides access to materials, resources and information in its endeavor to expand minds, celebrate diversity, embrace differences, and build community.

Vision Statements

The library will provide and expand resources and information to satisfy curiosity and will provide opportunities to discover and share new ideas.

The library will be a vibrant and welcoming place for all people to gather, meet, and learn.

The library will create opportunities for programs, services and outreach by building partnerships with institutions such as schools, businesses, and organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a library card?

Individuals who work, own property, or reside in any Massachusetts city or town are eligible to hold a Minuteman Library Network card. Individuals who wish to procure a card should present positive proof of identity as well as proof of Massachusetts employment, property ownership, or residence to the staff of the Circulation Department. A complete listing of acceptable documentation can be found on the library website.

How do I find the most recent issue of the library’s newsletter?

Please click on the link provided. This will take you to the most recent copy of Library Notes where you can view or download it.

How do I set up my own online library card account?
How do I reserve a museum pass? Which passes does the Library own?

For all information on museum passes, please follow the link below:

How do I request a library item?

After searching the catalog and finding your title, look for the checkmark to request. It will then ask you for your library card number and PIN. Make sure you choose the correct library for picking up items.

If all Needham copies are out, or Needham does not own a copy, you can request it as you would any other item. Your request will go to another library in the Minuteman Library Network and be transferred here via the State delivery system. Expect it to take about a week to arrive. (exception: New DVDs and Blu-rays less than 6 months old are not available on Network Transfer. They are reserved for the owning library’s patrons for the first six months). For more information click one of the links below:

How do I sign up for the Library Newsletter?

Click on the Notify Me link below to sign up for the Library newsletter

How do I book a Study Room? What are the requirements?

Patrons are allowed to book a study room, using their Minuteman Library Card, one day ahead of time by calling the Reference Desk at 781-455-7559 x2. Bookings will not be taken more than one day ahead of time. Depending upon the room demands of any given day, the room may be reserved for up to 2 hours, 3 times a week. The occupancy limit in any room is 4 persons. Food is not allowed, but covered drinks may be brought in.