New Bedford Free Public Libraries

I don’t know about you, but I found going to library brings much happiness than going to mall, especially here, in New Bedford. Don’t imagine a library with old book collections in an old building with dim lights – err, the second description is quite true actually, kkk. What I’m trying to say is: A library, here in United States, is different from library in Indonesia (yeah, for sure!!) and probably different from any other countries in Southeast Asia or Asia continent, or even some parts of Europe. The books mainly are new collections, there are a fast speed Internet access with relatively nice computers (with LCDs), DVDs and CDs collections for both movie and music, audio-books (cassettes or CDs), references, encyclopedias, magazines, comics, children books, etc and they are all being lent for FREE.  That’s why at the first place the name is “Free Public Library”.

Friends of mine here, the international students, most of them never really been to any library in New Bedford, though they like to read books and magz and watch movies. I don’t know why, but one thing I always realize whenever I recommend them about going to library is a puzzle face, indicate that “Whaaattt? Library? Hell, no. Not cool idea, Ceniza!”


Here in New Bedford, a relatively very small city with only 100k people, there are five free public libraries in which located in every directions; South End, West End, Downtown, and North End. All the buses pass these libraries, so no worries about the distance walking if you happen to have no private car.

The libraries belong to SAILS, Inc. which runs and supports the iBistro Online Catalog and Circulation systems for 73 libraries and branches throughout 40 communities in Southeastern Massachusetts. So if you can’t find the books (or movies or any collections) that you’re looking in free public libraries in New Bedford, don’t panic! Just search through SAILS, if its available in any participated library, you can put it on hold, and then they will work to bring the book to the nearest library in New Bedford (mostly to the main library in downtown).

To become a member of the library is very simple, you just need to bring your main ID (usually Mass ID or student card or passport) and two documents that indicate your residence in New Bedford. That’s it. And after that feel free to borrow up to 35 books (non fiction, fictions) in two weeks (you can renew it 2 times in a row) and for DVDs, the limit it only 2 DVDs per card and for 1 week. If you happens to be a bookworm like me, you can go to several libraries and borrow 35 books for EACH library ( I currently borrowed 50 books from 3 different libraries. haa!). Every libraries have different collections and worth to visit. I have visited them all, and I love every each of them.

The Whaleman Statue - NB Main Public Library

Other benefits to be a member in library is a museum pass access. This museum pass from New Bedford Free Public Library is enable you to visit some main attractions in New Bedford for free: Buttonwood Zoo, Whaling Museum, Ocean Explorium, etc. And for some attractions outside New Bedford, there are good discounts to visit some places in Boston: Children Museum, Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, JFK Museum, New England Aquarium, etc. A VERY good WAY to save money and having some fun and learning experiences of course!

Besides that, usually on summer, many activities are being held in libraries; for toddler; storytelling and art & crafts, for teens; making tye-dye shirts, origami, sushi, manga, etc.

Wilks Branch - Collections

While in there, make sure you grab informative and useful brochures about events and government subsidized programs in New Bedford. Most of the time I found these brochures really helpful to get many opportunities that widely open and free for most of the people. You’d be surprised – in a pleasant way.

Lawler Branch Main Entrance

So? What are you waiting for? Come to the nearest library and be a member! Oh, don’t forget to bring your reusable bag(s), you will need that to bring the books to home with you (or if you don’t bring, I encourage you to buy the “Friends of Library” blue bag in the library, it’s only $2 and for a good cause).

Here are the information of free public libraries in New Bedford :

Main Library
613 Pleasant Street
New Bedford, MA 02740

Monday through Thursday
9:00am – 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday : 9:00am – 5:00pm
Closed Sunday & Holidays

Casa Da Saudade
58 Crapo Street
New Bedford, MA 02740

Wilks Branch
1911 Acushnet Avenue
New Bedford, MA 02746

Casa & Wilks Hours
Monday and Wednesday
10:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday and Thursday
12:00pm – 8:00pm
9:00am – 5:00pm
Closed Friday Sunday & Holidays

Lawler Branch
745 Rockdale Avenue
New Bedford, MA 02740

Howland-Green Branch
3 Rodney French Blvd
New Bedford, MA 02744

Lawler & Howland Hours
Monday and Friday
10:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday and Thursday
12:00pm – 8:00pm
9:00am – 5:00pm
Closed Wednesday, Sunday & Holidays

2 thoughts on “New Bedford Free Public Libraries

  1. Salam kenal Ceniza. Saya Ona. Wah, menyenangkan sekali perpustakaan di AS, mengingat di Indonesia khususnya di Jakarta sangat sulit menemukan perpustakaan dgn koleksi buku yang selalu diperbarui. Saya sendiri gemar membaca buku dan bergabung dg beberapa perpustakaan baik yg gratis (milik pemerintah) maupun berbayar (milik swasta/kampus). Ketika saya memberitahukan atau mengajak teman untuk bersama2 ke perpustakaan, mereka heran apa yg bs dilakukan di perpustakaan. Memang tdk byk org tertarik mengunjungi perpustakaan. Padahal banyak hal menarik yg bs kita gali sekalipun itu dari buku2 lama. Terimakasih utk ceritanya, Ceniza. Seandainya perpustakaan di AS buka cabang (franchise) di Jkt, hahahaha

    1. Hi Ona,

      Salam kenal! Wah itu kue2nya nampak menggiurkan 🙂 Sy baru bisa bikin chocochips cookies dan sebangsanya aja nih, hehe.

      Iya, sy berharap banget di Jkt/ Bdg bisa ada perpustakaan gratis yang lengkap seperti di sini. Ini aja kota kecil tapi cabangnya ada 5 dan koleksinya banyak, apalagi yg di kota besar spt NYC, Boston, SF dll? Jauhhh lebih gede….Keren banget ya. Pemerintah AS sgt mengencarkan kampanye membaca sedari dini (di Indo juga harusnya ya, cmn sayang masih banyak masy yg tdk bs baca tulis ).

      InsyaAllah ada niatan supaya bisa memperjuangkan “free public library” yg accessible buat semua kalayak di Bdg. Semoga ada dananya tanpa dipotong korupsi sana-sini sama pemerintah, heee.

      Semangat! *lah*

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