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.

Annual Light Night

Bring your lantern, family, friends & neighbors and take a stroll thru town to the Historical Society's Open House Saturday, November 29th @ 5:30 *Lantern Making* Come to the library anytime during the month of November (including Saturday 11/29 before 2pm) to make your own lantern for LIGHT NIGHT
The Polar Express

The Polar Express- The Movie. Friday night family event with hot chocolate, cookies and a special treat for all! Friday, November 21st 6:30pm
Atwater & Donnelly

Back by request this fabulous duo will once again be here to entertain everyone with a night of MUSIC! Family, neighbors & friends.. Come One Come All! Sunday, November 23rd 6:30pm
Fairy House Workshop

Make your one of a kind fairy habitat using twigs, moss, stones, leaves, acorns, driftwood, shells, and other natural materials. We will be gathering materials the day of the workshop but feel free to collect your own unique supplies. Saturday, October 25th @ 11:00am For more information call ...
Come and Meet Bear Bear & Maurice!

DOG STARS Bear Bear & Maurice will be at the Island Free Library to meet and greet readers of all ages! Bear Bear & Maurice love to hear a good story and will be eager to have kids read to them. There will be TREATS and TRICKS and everyone will have loads of fun! Show times are Friday, October ...