Resident Albert Fearing built the Town's first public library in 1869. Destroyed by fire in 1879, the original building was replaced in 1880 by a wooden structure in Hingham Center which served the Town until the current building opened in 1966. The new facility, erected in Fearing's memory, greatly enhanced the services the Library could provide. This building was renovated and expanded in 2002. The Library now holds more than 165,977 books, magazines, videotapes, compact discs, and other materials. The Library also houses extensive print and electronic reference resources. The Library is a member of the Old Colony Library Network, an automated resource-sharing network serving towns south of Boston. The Library also is a member of the Massachusetts Library System. The Hingham Public Library serves a community of 20,052 people.
In 2012 the Hingham Public Library celebrated the 140th anniversary of its incorporation in 1872. Board President David J. Mehegan provided these remarks to commemorate the occasion.
The Trustees of the Hingham Public Library dedicated a sculpture created by internationally recognized sculptor Susan Luery. The dedication ceremony took place at the main entrance of the Library on Sunday, January 13, 2008. Hingham Town Moderator Thomas L. P. O'Donnell was the event's keynote speaker. Shown below are sculptor Susan Luery [seated left] and the models who sat for the sculpture. Photos courtesy of Library Trustee Edward Boylan.
The sculpture is a gift to the Library from Hingham residents Pat and Jim MacAllen. The MacAllen family has a four-generation association with Hingham and its public library. The sculpture is dedicated to the memory of “Thelma and William MacAllen and their love of Hingham”. The MacAllens selected the Hingham Public Library for their gift because they believe “the Library fosters a celebration and love of reading that can be shared by parents and their children throughout their lives”.
The Trustees of the Library commissioned Hingham resident Susan Luery to create a life-sized bronze sculpture depicting a young mother and her daughter enjoying a “story-time” while seated on a two-tiered base formed from Deer Isle, Maine granite. The sculpture is located adjacent to the Library's main entrance.
Susan Luery was born in Baltimore and attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her gift for sculpting was refined in Carrara, Italy, where she worked with Alberto Sparapani, Maestro sculptor of Italy's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Luery's best known sculptural works may be Babe's Dream”, the 16-foot monument to Babe Ruth located in front of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore and the Cal Ripken, Jr. monument that welcomes fans to his museum in Aberdeen, Maryland. Her works also can be found in private, public and museum collections throughout the world.
©Copyright to the Library’s sculpture is held by the Hingham Library Board of Trustees.