Patten Free Library  – 33 Summer Street     Website

When did you begin the enterprise? (and where if not Bath)

George and John Patten founded the Patten Library Association in 1847, housing the collections in various rented rooms and at one point a donated house. Galen Moses gave $10,000 towards a new building on Summer Street – the Library’s current location – and construction began in 1889, with an Open House January 1, 1891.


The Patten Library Association was a subscription only library, charging patrons for use. The new building would be a free library for all, creating more accessibility to the collections.

What do you offer?

A varied collection of materials (books, periodicals, DVDs, Audiobooks, etc.) and a myriad of library services, including Book-A-Librarian, Computers and Internet Access, Printing & Faxing, Interlibrary Loans, and special collections. We have a dedicated Children’s Room, Young Adult Librarians, and the Sagadahoc History & Genealogy Room.

Why do you love Bath?

We love Bath because it’s been a great supportive community to belong to for more than 125 years. We also happily serve Arrowsic, Georgetown, West Bath and Woolwich, too.

What might surprise someone about you or your business?

The Patten Free Library is not a city library. We are an independent nonprofit organization that raises 2/3 of the annual budget through fundraising campaigns and endowment gifts.

What are you excited about in the coming year?

The Library is in the midst of fundraising to renovate our Reference area and to relocate our young adult collection into a state-of-the-art Teen Space. Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2018 with completion by the end of the year.

What favorite local non-profits do you support?

The Library has some great nonprofit business partners – Bath Elks Club, Bath Area Food Bank, Bath Garden Club, Bath Rotary Club, Bath Youth Meetinghouse & Skatepark, Bath Area YMCA, Midcoast Senior College, and Studio Theatre of Bath.

For more information, visit or follow Main Street Bath on Facebook as additional spotlights on product and staff or volunteers will appear each month. If your Bath business or organization is interested in being featured, email Tamara at

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