More About Wollaston Branch
Branch Librarian: Amanda Pegg-Wheat
- 24/7 outdoor return for print materials located on the side of the building (on Chapman Street), near the driveway
- Public computers with Internet access and Microsoft Office
- Free WiFi
- Black & white printing and copying
- Early literacy activities (magnet word boards, play cubes, puzzles, blocks, and more) for kids
After school storytimes for children ages 4-8 are offered from October to December and from February to May. Because of limited space, registration may be required. For more information, check the events calendar, or call call 617-376-1300 x9.
The Wollaston Branch is not accessible to users with mobility impairments. If mobility impairment prevents use of any service at Wollaston Branch, users may request service at the Main Library, which is fully accessible.
The Wollaston Branch Library is located in the heart of an active business district and is within walking distance of many library users. The Wollaston Woman's Club conducted a drive that resulted in the purchase of the land on which the building was erected in 1922. Community residents, including school children, bought land by the foot until approximately 8,500 square feet were acquired. The Woman's Club continued its effort on behalf of the library by launching a book drive to fill empty shelves and by providing chairs for the recreation room. Wollaston Glee Club donated a piano.
The branch library was one of architect William Chapman's earliest Quincy commissions. He chose a Classical Revival style. The rectangular single story building has a hip roof and exterior walls of stucco. Its elegant entrance boasts many architectural details, including a book in low relief. Part of the Crane Memorial Fund was used to build the $15,000 neighborhood library.
The official opening in early 1923 was attended by Mayor George E. Adams; library trustees; and Truman Temple, librarian. Miss Catherine Saville, branch librarian, was not in attendance, having been confined to her house with a broken ankle.
The Helping Hand
Generations of Wollaston Branch visitors have enjoyed an oil reproduction of the famous painting by French artist Emile Renouf called “Un Coup de Main” or “The Helping Hand.” The original painting dates from 1881 and hung for more than 100 years in Washington, D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery, captivating visitors with its charming subject and large size (5 by 7 feet). The painting was widely reproduced in the U.S. and is one of Renouf’s most popular works.
In 1935, the heirs of recently deceased Wollaston resident Frank P. Waterhouse donated an exceptionally fine reproduction of the painting, done by A. Connolly in 1903, to the Board of Library Trustees in memory of Waterhouse. After almost 80 years hanging on the eastern wall of the Wollaston library, the painting became dull and the beautifully ornate frame was in disrepair.
On the occasion of his retirement as a library trustee in 2014, longtime Wollaston resident Harold S. Crowley donated funding to restore the well-loved painting of a weather-worn fisherman with a young girl in a rowboat. The painting was cleaned and re-varnished, and the gold leaf frame repaired and meticulously cleaned by a team of skilled artisans at the firm of Trefler & Sons in Newton, Mass.