261 Barbour Street
Hartford, CT 06120
Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 6 pm
Friday, Noon to 5 pm
The Barbour Branch library is located in the Northeast section of the City of Hartford. The branch opened in October 1927 at 572 Windsor Street and remained there until 1939. During this time, it was called the Windsor Street Branch.
In April 1939, the branch moved to rented quarters on Barbour Street and was renamed the Barbour Branch. In July 1974, the Barbour Branch moved to its current location, 261 Barbour Street, in Unity Plaza, which is also a rented facility.
A new and larger separate facility for the Barbour Branch has been a wish and a request from the patrons and Northeast neighborhood residents for several years. Such a facility would support the more than three thousand patrons who actively visit the Barbour Branch each month for books, videos, programs, and computer usage. Barbour Branch staff have participated in or have been key contributors to school programs such as PTO meetings, Simpson-Waverly School’s Winter Chorus Concert, Clark School’s Library Card Drive, and Clark School’s Second Cup of Coffee. Staff members are proud to partner with Waverly Early Learning Centers’ School Readiness Program by providing teachers with books and story hours. Staff members attend meetings of organizations that serve the Northeast neighborhood area. These meetings include, but are not limited to: Northeast Revitalization Association (N.E.R.A) NRZ. And Wish School Governance Council.
Barbour Branch Library has three strategic and noteworthy partnerships: TERC, a local group of parents and professionals who help strengthen mathematics skills at the elementary level by volunteering for a monthly program called “Mix In Math;” the Urban League of Greater Hartford’s Read and Rise program; and the Abundant Family Center.
Customers of Barbour Branch are predominantly Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino. Visits by children significantly outnumber adult visitors and make up the bulk of program attendees.
Barbour Branch is open 33 hours per week. Youth are encouraged to participate in the 20 monthly programs offered at the library as well as participate in the homework assistance program offered daily. The assistant youth librarian visits each daycare center monthly to provide story time and books to the preschoolers. Story times are also provided in the library and many preschool teachers come to the branch to check out picture books for their classes. Barbour Branch participates in the free Summer Lunch Program, which served over 8,000 lunches throughout the Hartford Public Library system in 2009. Adult circulation of library materials remains consistent each month because the branch attracts regulars who are big fiction readers. Adults come to the library to check out the branch’s holdings by African American authors and borrow from the large collection of DVDs. The library participates in voter registration and actively encourages adult library card applicants to register.