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Willett Free Library Receives $200,000 Grant from The Champlin Foundations
Saunderstown, Rhode Island - The Willett Free Library (WFL) received a $200,000 grant from The Champlin
Foundations for renovation and expansion of its historic Saunderstown building. The Library was designed
in 1903 by renowned architect Christopher Grant LaFarge, as a favor to his mother, a resident of
Saunderstown and has not been renovated since 1947.
The Willett Free Library has over 6,000 visitors a year, a 12,000 volume collection and is the oldest public
library in North Kingstown. It has an extensive collection of local historical materials, including taped
interviews with several residents and boasts a strong public program series including over-subscribed
offerings for children. WFL, the smallest library in RI, is a net lender of materials to other libraries in the
state - reflecting its lively, well-managed collection.
Renovations are expected to approach $450,000 and will address the building’s shortcomings by bringing
electrical, plumbing, security/fire and HVAC systems up to code, replacing the roof and exterior clapboards,
restoring the windows, chimney and original stone foundation, and making the entire facility handicap
accessible. A modest addition will provide much needed gathering space for the library’s expanding program
schedule, and enlarge the main reading room.
WFL is grateful to The Champlin Foundations for its leadership support of this strong community institution
that contributes greatly as a small town anchor and offers meeting space, public programs and promotes
literacy and education among its patrons. The generosity of The Champlin Foundations reinforces 10 years
of fundraising from Willett Library friends and patrons. The Willett has been providing public library services
continuously for 108 years.
Further information and details about the Library visit www.willettfree.org.