31. The Library's Reputation Quickly Established
George Bradford Bartlett's Concord Guide Book - the first full-scale guidebook to the town - was initially published in 1880. Over the decades following, this popular work went through multiple editions and printings, under more than one title. Bartlett's guide included an entire chapter on the Concord Free Public Library, which was only seven years old when the book first appeared. The chapter "Free Public Library" drew heavily on information provided to Bartlett by Alfred Munroe, brother of library founder William Munroe.
Bartlett opened his chapter on the library: "In its Free Public Library Concord feels a just pride. To the visitor it is one of the first and most attractive points of interest. The Library building, ... quite picturesque in appearance, is ... a combination of the old and modern styles. From every point of view, it strikes the eye most pleasantly, and is a decided ornament to the town." Bartlett continued on for eight and a half pages describing the library's treasures and attractions.
Clearly, by the time Bartlett wrote about William Munroe's gift to Concord, the library had become a necessary stop on the Concord pilgrimage.