30 Campfield Avenue
Hartford, CT 06114
Mon - Wed 12:30 to 5:30 pm
Thurs 12:30 to 7:30 pm
Fri - Sat 12:30 to 5:00 pm
Originally established in 1916 as the Alfred E. Burr Branch, the Camp Field Branch was located in a room in the Burr School. In 1929, the branch moved to Maple Avenue, where the former Hearth Stone Restaurant was located, and was named the Camp Field Branch. In 1937, the present building at the corner of Barker Street and Campfield Avenue was opened.
The building was made possible through the gift of Mrs. James T. Goodwin, designed by J. Sage Goodwin, and was the first property owned by the Hartford Public Library. On September 13, 2001, the branch reopened after extensive renovations with added space for parking, public bathrooms and a staff work area, and much needed mechanical and technological improvements.
The Camp Field Branch figures prominently, together with St. Augustine Church and Barry Square Station Post Office, in the neighborhood strategic plan as one of the three pillars for revitalization. Students from the neighborhood schools, including Burr, Dwight, M. D. Fox, Naylor, St. Augustine Catholic School, and Bulkeley High School, use the branch as resource for schoolwork, after school enrichment and recreational reading. The Assistant Youth Services Librarian shares Library information at parent meetings and school events and provides story times and books for classroom use at the CRT Day Care Center located on Douglas Street. Library staff assists students participating in the Summer Reading Program collaboration with the Hartford Public Schools.
Branch staff continuously engage in community outreach in the Barry Square/South End neighborhoods. A staff member serves on the Board of MARG Revitalization Group and shares Library information at the monthly meetings of the MARG and Southend NRZ Committee. Staff members also participate in the Annual neighborhood Spring Clean-ups.
There is a large and growing Eastern European, most notably Bosnian, population settled in the area. Real estate activities are picking up in the South End. To provide affordable housing for needy families, FDIC retrofitted an apartment building on Webster Street into 40 two or three bedroom units. The carefully selected tenants will put in sweat equity for the upkeep of the property. There are a lot less blighted and abandoned properties primarily due to the hard work of Maple Avenue NRZ and Barry Square Problem Solving Committee. Quite a few businesses took advantage of the low interest loan from South Hartford Initiatives (SHI) to make façade improvements. Quality of life issues and crime are at the center of community’s concerns.
Camp Field Branch offers an average of thirty-two monthly programs and workshops to support family literacy and cultural enrichment. The Branch’s collection is augmented accordingly to support all the initiatives that foster learning, sharing and building lifelong curiosity. With 31 hours per week of public service hours, including Thursday evenings until 7:30 P.M. and Saturdays, the Camp Field Branch Library is a hub in the neighborhood. Popular fiction readers from the neighborhood and surrounding towns visit the branch to peruse and borrow books and other materials. Camp Field Branch maintains a high volume of computer users per month who take advantage of the ten public access computers. The branch serves as a polling place, and actively encourages adult library card applicants to register to vote. The Assistant Youth Services Librarian offers a family story time in the mornings, which the Community Renewal Team (CRT) on Douglas Street and students from M.D. Fox and the Dwight School frequently attend. The large number of elementary school students who daily visit the Camp Field Branch are often joined by students from St. Augustine School and Bulkeley High School. In addition to participating in library programs, the students receive help with their homework and are encouraged to pursue leisure reading activities. Camp Field Branch participates in the free Summer Lunch Program, which served over 8,000 lunches throughout the Hartford Public Library system in 2009.