The Brentwood Library started from humble beginnings. It was opened during the Summer of 1968 as a “library station” at the Brentwood Cleaners building on Franklin Road, and now it is a 55,000- square-foot center for the community offering the latest technology.
The library station was served by a book mobile from the Blue Grass Regional Library System. The system is affiliated with the Tennessee State Library and Archives. It provides services to many Middle Tennessee counties, including Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Marshall, Maury, Perry, Wayne, and Williamson. However, as the city grew, so did the need for more library space.
In June 1976, a branch library was opened in Brentwood, located in Maryland Farms as part of the Williamson County Library System. The city soon grew out of this space, too.
Buchanan House was the next location for the library. The original house was built by Sam Buchanan, who was in the lumber business, in the 1920s. It was known for a hidden back staircase and the ornate balustrade decorating the front stairs. Buchanan sold the house to the Dunns, who sold it to the City of Brentwood in 1979. In June of 1980, the library moved in, but in 1981 they were already housing 10,000 books and expanding up to the second floor of the house.
A new Brentwood Library opened on Maryland Way in February of 1987. It was a two-story building with 14,000-square-feet of space donated by Maryland Farms. And the city sold the Buchanan House to the Brentwood United Methodist Church. Many community events took place in and around this building, including the city’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations.
Ten years later the library, like the city, had grown, once again outgrowing its space. By September 1998, a new Brentwood Library opened at 8109 Concord Road. It was later renovated in 2009 to be the 55,000-square-foot building enjoyed by the community today.
“The library was quickly outgrowing the building on Maryland Way,” said Susan Earl, Library Director, “more space was needed for programs, materials, and computer workstations. The current location is situated on a beautiful 40-acre site, and [it] is centrally located in Brentwood, close to schools, and the YMCA.”
Earl Swensson Associates, Inc. designed the current building. The firm is nationally recognized for innovative design that is created through a collaborative process with their clients.
“When the library moved to its current location,” said Earl, “the city wanted to make sure that the building fit well with its location… It provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that is popular with patrons and staff alike.”
Not only does the library have a centralized location, and a pleasant atmosphere, but they offer programming for all ages. They offer storytimes and a sensory program for preschoolers, classes for older kids and adults when school is not in session including coding, crafts, gardening, ACT workshops, book clubs, Lego mania, genealogy, and cooking.
“In the spring, the library presents [an] Easter Egg Hunt with thousands of eggs to find and prize baskets to win,” said Earl. “In December, the staff invites everyone to Morning with Santa, a chance to meet Santa, see a magic show, and enjoy face painting and refreshments.”
What many do not realize is that the library offers more than just books. There are DVDs, music, books on CD, games, art, Hotspots, ukuleles, and telescopes that can be borrowed with a library card.
“There are study rooms, a conference room, meeting room space, quiet zones for traditional users, a reading terrace, and a Learning Lab,” said Earl. “Jigsaw puzzles can be traded on the honor system.”
The library is also close to parks and walking trails.
“[It] is actually located in Concord Park, and is adjacent to the Civitan Park and River Park,” said Earl, “all part of the City of Brentwood Parks Walking trails. There are several trails located near the library, or others that connect with nearby trails.”
Brentwood Library has come a long way since its beginning as a “station” in Brentwood Dry Cleaners, and gone through a lot of incarnations. But it seems to have found a home with plenty of space to expand with the continued growth of the city.