Lucky us. Each of our six towns has its own library. And these aren’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill libraries. They have more cool stuff to check out than you’d ever imagine—tools, musical instruments, cooking equipment, metal detectors, laptops, board games, craft kits. They have so many thoughtful programs—from concerts and live animal storytimes to mini-golf, writing workshops and glow yoga—that they function as defacto community centers.

All that and thousands of books, too. Literally thousands. By our count, the six libraries have a total of more than 180,000 books between them.

This being winter, we’re particularly grateful to our libraries for keeping the lights on, welcoming us with comfortable chairs and sometimes even a hot lunch. Whether you’re seven years old or 70, if you’re spending winter on the Vineyard, you owe it to yourself to check out our Island libraries. Start by taking a look at our library primer.

Libraries

 

Aquinnah

aquinnahlibrary.org
Hours: Tues., Thurs. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

library picture
Jeanna Shepard
Year founded: 1901
Number of books: 7,337
Staff members: 4
Library Director (acting): Rosa Parker
Cool kids programs:
Drop-in crafts on Saturdays, after school club
Most checked-out book:
Fiction
Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty
Non-Fiction
Educated, by Tara Westover
Oddest check-out items:
Ice cream maker, banjos, metal detector
Winter programs:
Crafts, Bruce the Bear storytime, painting class
What makes it special:
Summer music on the deck

"During the off-season, the library winds up being a place that kids and families can come and learn something from each other or just see neighbors and friendly faces."

Aquinnah Public Library
@aquinnah_library

Chilmark

chilmarklibrary.org
Hours: Tues., Thurs., Sat. 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wed. 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
Fri. 10:30 a.m. to 1:30pm
library picture
Ray Ewing
Year founded: 1882
Number of books: 29,458
Staff members: 6
Library Director: Ebba Hierta
Cool kids programs:
Guided makers' space during school break, hands on crafting
Most checked-out book:
Fiction
Transcription, by Kate Atkinson
Non-Fiction
Emily: The Cookbook, by Emily and
Oddest check-out items:
Birdwatching kit, stargazing kit, book bags
Winter programs:
Adult collaging, author talks, writing workshop
What makes it special:
Endowed poetry collection

"Our mission is to make this a place where everyone who walks through the door thinks that there's something for them here."

Chilmark Free Public Library
@chilmark_library
 

Edgartown

edgartownlibrary.org
Hours: Mon., Thurs.-Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tues., Wed. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

library picture
Ray Ewing
Year founded: 1904
Number of books: 36,500
Staff members: 12
Library Director: Lisa Sherman
Cool kids programs:
Art club, board game night, book groups
Most checked-out book:
Fiction
Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty
Non-Fiction
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
Oddest check-out items:
Slow cooker, guitars, ukeleles
Winter programs:
Guitar workshops, slow cooking class, winter film series "Into the Heart of Art"
What makes it special:
Kids programs (ex. Animal Storytime)

"We’re not school, we’re not home, we’re this fun in-between world where kids can explore who they are and explore their literary and artistic endeavors."

Edgartown Public Library
@edgartownlibrary

Oak Bluffs

oakbluffslibrary.org
Hours:Tues.,Thurs. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wed., Fri. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
library picture
Ray Ewing
Year founded: 1906
Number of books: 37,858
Staff members: 15
Library Director: Allyson Malik
Cool kids programs:
Teen writing group, cookie decorating workshop
Most checked-out book:
Fiction
Milkman, by Anna Burns
Non-Fiction
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
Oddest check-out items:
Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps, Internet hotspots, 100 board games
Winter programs:
Indoor mini-golf, tai chi, Afro-Cuban dancing
What makes it special:
3D Printer

"This library feels like it could be your own home. We try to maintain that living room."

Oak Bluffs Public Library
@illuminateob
 

Vineyard Haven

vhlibrary.org
Hours: Mon., Weds., Sat. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tues., Thurs. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Fri. 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sun. 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
library picture
Ray Ewing
Year founded: 1909
Number of books: 35,275
Staff members: 7
Library Director: Amy Ryan
Cool kids programs:
Mini Comic-Con, cupcake decorating competition, glow yoga
Most checked-out book:
Fiction
Kingdom of the Blind: A Chief Inspector
Non-Fiction
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
Oddest check-out items:
Metal stamping kit, gummy bear mold
Winter programs:
MFA textile department curator, WHOI speakers
What makes it special:
Large print collection

"We have a real commitment to adult programming. We really focus on having a good core collection of the classics and more contemporary classics."

Vineyard Haven Public Library
@vhlibrary

West Tisbury

westtisburylibrary.org
Hours: Mon. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tues. - Thurs. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Fri.- Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Sun. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
library picture
Ray Ewing
Year founded: 1892
Number of books: 39,000
Staff members: 15
Library Director: Beth Kramer
Cool kids programs:
Music programs, Bruce the Bear, storytimes, crafts
Most checked-out book:
Fiction
A Rule Against Murder, by Louise Penny
Non-Fiction
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
Oddest check-out items:
Mandolin, keyboard, hotspots, external disc drive, Roku, Kindles
Winter programs:
Lapsit storytime, quarterly death cafès, flower arranging, art classes
What makes it special:
Dancing/music

"We're a library that's very interested in ex- ploring the outdoors to see what nature is all about; we're interested in what's outside as well as what's inside."

West Tisbury Free Public Library
@wtpubliclibrary