The Block Island Times

Island Free Library
PO Box 1830
Block Island , RI 02807
Phone: 401-466-3233
Hours: Sundays 11am-2pm Mondays Closed Tuesdays 11am-7pm Wednesdays 10am-5pm Thursdays 10am-5pm Fridays 10am-5pm Saturdays 10am-3pm

The Island Free Library has a collection of over 20,000 items.

Lending items include books, ebooks, ereaders, magazines, large print books, CDs, DVDs, audio books, games, puzzles, walkman, mini campcorder, slide projector, digital cameras, CD-MP3 players, DVD players, tape recorder, overhead projector and digital projectors.

Library services include children story hours, interlibrary loan, reference, newspapers, color & b/w photocopying, scanner, computers, interenet access, WiFi, notary and meeting rooms.

We have a staff of four full-time employees and a full-time director. The Island Free Library is one department within the Town of New Shoreham and is governed by the Island Free Library Board of Trustees.

The Island Free Library is a member of the Rhode Island library coalition, Ocean State Libraries.


The Island Free library was established on March 6, 1875 under the name "The Island Library Association." The members were "interested in obtaining better advantages for intellectual improvement than were then enjoyed on Block Island" (Livermore, 1873). Members paid an annual fee: $1 for men, and 50 cents for woman. By the spring of the next year, 1876, the library had been established with Arthur W. Brown as librarian. By now the library had 250 volumes that fit in one bookcase at the town hall, which was located at the bottom of Center Road.

In early 1877, after a year's operation, the number of books had reached 500, most of them donated. On Halloween night in 1923 the library was completely destroyed when the town hall burned. After starting over again, the library was located for many years in the back of Star Department store. In 1958, the library moved to Chapel Street with Bea Dodge as Librarian, into the smallest of the three shops facing the street (now part of the Hagopian marketplace).

The library has twice needed to expand: with a small rear extension in 1992, and with the massive finished renovation that has doubled the interior space completed in 2002.

Author Event

Island Bound Bookstore and the Island Free Library present SWIM THAT ROCK author, Jay Primiano on Thursday, August 7th at 7pm. This event is at the Island Free Library. Bring the family, enjoy the food and have some fun! Waders and clam rakes optional!
 MAD SCIENCE visits the Island Free Library!

Mad Science is on a mission to spark the imagination and curiosity of children and to show them that science is all around them. Join us for exciting hands-on/ minds-on experiments. Thursday, July 17th 11:00AM @ The Island Free Library All programs are free and everyone is welcome!

Need a book for the beach? The Island Free Library has a great bargain for you! We suggest you don't take Library books to the beach. Remember beach bags carry sand and sand ruins bindings. Instead.... Come to the Island Free Library and check out our two day book sale. Friday, July 11, 2014, ...
Take Your Shorts Offshore

Drama 911 and the Island Free Library present… Take Your Shorts Offshore International Short Film Festival Oceanwest Theater~Champlins Marina Saturday . June 14th . 7pm Come see Block Island stars on the BIG SCREEN and meet directors, producers, actors and more from Award Winning, Regional and ...
Native American speaker at the Island Free Library

Tuesday, June 10th at 7pm. The Island Free Library is pleased to welcome Sheryl Robinson. Robinson has been researching her family history since she was a young girl. Her family ancestry claims at lest ten founders of Windsor, CT and meanders back to Northeast Native Americans, the Barkhamsted ...