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460 New Britain Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 695-7480

Mon, Wed, Thu 12:30 to 5:30 pm
Tues 12:30 to 7:30 pm
Fri - Sat 12:30 to 5:00 pm

History

The Southwest Branch was established in 1929 at 448 New Britain Avenue and was the predecessor to the Goodwin Memorial Branch. It closed during the Depression, but a bequest from George R. Goodwin and his sister Mary Goodwin Bingham made possible the construction of the present building at 460 New Britain Avenue in 1941. 

The interior of the building was renovated in the early 1980’s.  A major renovation was completed in 2006.

Community Relationships/Services

The elementary schools located in Goodwin’s neighborhood are Batchelder, Hooker, Kennelly, McDonough and Moylan. Teachers are encouraged to bring classes to the Branch. As of 2009, Hooker is closed for renovations.  The Branch staff also visits neighborhood elementary school classrooms and has participated in school open houses. Teachers frequently borrow books for use in their classrooms.

Secondary schools in the area include A.I. Prince Technical High School and Job Corps, a residential job training school. Trinity College is adjacent to the Behind the Rocks neighborhood.

Local preschool groups, including Southside Family Center Pre-K, Kennelly Pre-K, Moylan Pre-K, McDonough Pre-K, Batchelder Pre-K, Casa del Puerto Rico After-School,. St. James Head Start, Warburton Community Day Care Center, Hyland Early Learning Center, and area home daycare providers visit the Branch for story hours and to borrow books. Library staff visits Job Corps and CRT for book discussions and story times.

Behind the Rocks/South West Neighborhood Team members have participated in meetings and/or events of the Family and Friends of Forster Heights Park/ Southwest Community group which often meet at the branch. Hartford Areas Rally Together (HART), Southside Family House, Southwest Senior Center and Bulkeley High’s 21st Century Learning Center. We have collaborated on programs and shared information.

Noted Trends

The Goodwin Memorial Branch is located on the dividing line between Hartford’s Behind the Rocks and South West neighborhoods. The South West neighborhood is a low-density residential neighborhood. The Behind the Rocks neighborhood contains a mixture of multi-unit housing complexes and one- and two-family housing units. In recent years, the area has been undergoing a major reconfiguration of its once densely populated Charter Oak Terrace and Rice Heights public housing projects into new, low-density housing. Trinity College and SINA have plans for neighborhood revitalization that include the Zion Street area. A neighborhood committee is working to develop the area along the South Branch of the Park River into open, green space with recreational uses.

Branch Initiatives

The Goodwin Memorial Branch collection and services reflect the needs and interests of a changing neighborhood population.  The branch is open 31 hours a week, including Tuesday evenings until 7:30 P.M and Saturdays.  The Assistant Youth Services Librarian has developed programming and collections to serve the teens in the neighborhood.  A teen poetry wall displays both photographs and poems created by teens.  College materials have been shelved with the Young Adult collection, resulting in positive feedback from aspiring college students and colleagues.  Programs related to gaming have been well received by both teens and adults.  The branch also showcases younger children’s artwork and participated in the free Summer Lunch Program.  The Community Librarian facilitates book clubs both at the branch and offsite at facilities such as Avery Heights.  She has delivered small grants to enhance adult learner programming at the Goodwin Branch Library and at other Hartford Public Library sites.  Fiction readers from surrounding towns and from the Southwest, Behind The Rocks, and South End neighborhoods continue to visit the Goodwin Memorial Branch Library in search of books by popular authors and best sellers.  Collection development has focused on increasing Spanish language and multimedia materials.  The library participates in voter registration and actively encourages adult library card applicants to register.

Goodwin Library Solar Panel Data

Click here to access Goodwin Library Solar Panel Data.