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About Us

Staff | Location | Mission Statement | How We Operate | Patron Services | Events | History | Tour

Piano recital by Shepaug senior Melanie Carreira. Photo by Charles Heyman.


Library & Museum:
Library: Museum:


The Gunn Memorial Library and Museum are located at the corner of Route 47 and Wykeham Road, just off Washington Green. See map and directions.

Mission Statement

The Gunn Memorial Library, Inc. is a non-profit corporation providing free public library services to Washington, Connecticut and the surrounding communities. It is dedicated to the promotion of literacy, education, and preservation of the Town's history and culture, via the Gunn Historical Museum.

How We Operate

The GML&M is run by a paid staff, with help from loyal volunteers. Its operations, fundraising and budget are overseen by a volunteer board of trustees. Operating income comes from individual donations, fundraising events, endowment interest income, and a town contribution. As with any non-profit organization, it seems we never have enough money to do everything we'd like: buy more books and tapes; buy more computers, software and CDs; pay the overworked staff better; clean the carpets, replace the roof or buy more chairs for our ever-increasing patrons.

Patron Services

2015-2016 Library User Statistics:


The library hosts a number of annual events, many of which are key fund-raisers. In addition, book discussions, special lectures, weekly storytimes and arts and crafts workshops are held throughout the year. Check out What's Up for information.

Our History at a Glance

1852Washington Library Association is formed by 22 men; books are circulated via auction.
1855Frederick W. Gunn elected president of the association.
1881Gunn dies.
1887Evolves into the Washington Reading Room & Circulating Library Association.
1891Reading Room opens to the public.
1899The Judea Historical Room is opened by the local DAR chapter in a nearby house.
1902E.H. Van Ingen pledges land and money toward building a permanent library.
1907DAR votes to turn over collection to library, to be housed in the basement of the new library building.
1908Gunn Memorial Library is opened and dedicated.
1965June S. Willis bequeaths her house (built in 1781) to the library; museum collections move next door.
1967Dorothy Richards sees to it that a Junior Library is opened in the vacated basement space of the library.
1990Overcrowding becomes critical; Capital Campaign starts, geared to raise $2.5 million to greatly expand the library, renovate the museum, and increase the endowment.
1994New 7,500 square foot addition to the library and museum renovation complete.
1998Library becomes fully automated, with the addition of networked computers, membership in Bibliomation and computerized collection entries available online.
1999Museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of its collection by the Judea Chapter of the DAR.
2001 The Library is awarded the Excellence in Public Library Service Award by the Connecticut Library Association and the Connecticut State Library, for the category of public libraries serving towns with a population of less than 25,000.
2002 Centennial of the incorporation of the Library.
2008 GML celebrates centennial of the opening of the Ehrick Rossiter-designed library.

Library Tour

We have a lovely building, originally built in 1908 and expanded in 1994.

Upper Level (see upper floor diagram)

Main Level: Adult Library (see main floor diagram)

Circulation Desk

Lower Level: Junior Library (see lower floor diagram)

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