About Us

The Friends group was formed in 2009, just as The Providence Community Library was organized to take over nine library branches from Providence Public Library. Since its founding, the Friends group has supported a wide variety of projects for the library:

  • Friends organized and ran a Booksale for a decade, generating funds used mostly for the library’s immediate material needs or to purchase new books for the shelves. As this Booksale has ended,
  • Friends have been distributing the collection of used books as well as looking for buyers for its collection of vintage books.
  • Friends and volunteers beautified and tended library grounds.
  • For six summers members of Friends sponsored and ran Summer It Up! This program provided five weeks of summer activities in math and writing mostly for usually 25-30 students of the library’s neighbor, Gilbert Stuart Middle School.

As the process of preserving the architectural brilliance of Knight Memorial’s 19th-century building has at last begun, the Friends stand ready to help fundraise and implement library plans for its new spaces and programs serving a twenty-first-century community.

Coming Soon!
A new kiosk in the library with a selection of used books at our old Booksale prices.
A community-based oral history project of Knight Memorial Library

Read more

History of the Library

From the Elmwood Public Library Association of Volunteers to the Magnificent Knight Memorial Library

Knight Memorial Library, which opened in 1924, memorializes Robert Knight and his wife Josephine. Robert and his brother had made their fortune in the flourishing nineteenth-century Rhode Island textile industry. Their four children gifted land, the building, and an endowment to help maintain an architecturally distinguished library. 

It was built to house the Elmwood Library Association, founded by Mrs. Emma Shaw, who along with the women of the neighborhood, had earlier secured room in the Greenwich Fire Station to provide the community with its first library.  The city paid for renovations and covered the rent. On July 10, 1915, the library opened three afternoons a week, and Saturday until 9 P.M. 

Read more

Join us!

We are looking for people to join our Friends group or team of volunteers to help with our projects. Join us today and give back to your community.

See volunteer positions