The Woodmont Library loses one of its founders, Anna Crocker
The Woodmont Library lost one of its founders on December 14, when Mrs. Anna Crocker passed away at the age of 100. Miss Crocker served as the second head librarian from 1947-1955.
Ann was born on September 22, 1918, in Orange, Connecticut. She graduated from Orange Center School in 1933 and Commercial High School in New Haven in 1937. Shortly after World War II began, she took a job as an inspector at Sikorsky building Corsair fighter planes.
In 1953 she and her husband built a house in Woodmont where she lived for the rest of her life. She was active in numerous social and charitable groups, including many in Milford: Milford Red Cross, Milford Hospital, Woodmont Congregational Church Women's Club, Milford Seniors, and the Woodmont Volunteer Fire Department Women's Auxiliary. In 2001, she received the Milford Living Treasure Award.
The Woodmont Library first opened in the spring of 1945 when the Woodmont School PTA got permission from the Milford Board of Education to open a volunteer children’s library in the school. Around the same time, volunteers from the Woodmont community opened a separate library for adults in rooms at 113 Hawley Ave, in a house owned by the Red Cross. In 1946, the Woodmont Library was annexed by the Taylor Library, then a private library which received its operating budget from the city of Milford.
In its first 30 years of operation, the Woodmont library had just three head librarians. Mrs. William Quirk served from 1946-47. Mrs. Anna Crocker served from 1947-1955. And Mrs. Edith Doyle served from 1955-1975.
The Woodmont Branch of the Milford Taylor Library moved moved from Hawley Avenue to larger space in the Woodmont Union Chapel in 1966. Then, in the late 1970s, Milford considered closing its three library branches, but Woodmont residents petitioned to save its library. Their efforts were successful and in 1980, the library made its final move, back to the Woodmont School, where it had started 35 years earlier.
In 1981, when the city decided to close all its branch libraries, the Woodmont community and Borough officials protested and proposed leaving the books there and allowing the Borough to organize a volunteer library. Just two years earlier, Milford head librarian Stanley Carmen had developed a proposal to convert the Woodmont Branch Library to a volunteer library. The city and the borough began immediate and successful negotiations with a signed agreement among the two municipalities and the Milford Public Library.
After being closed for just four months, the library was proudly re-opened on Oct. 17, 1981. What began as an all-volunteer library 36 years earlier, returned full circle to a volunteer library once again – one that has lasted 37 years and is still going strong, thanks to the dedicated efforts and hours contributed by volunteers such as Anna Crocker.