The Adams Free Library is located on Park Street at McKinley Square. In 1897, President William McKinley laid the cornerstone of the building containing a time capsule of items from that day. The buff-colored brick building was built in the Greek Renaissance/Beaux Arts style and opened to the public on January 2, 1899.
The memorial library building was erected to serve three purposes: to house the public library, to serve as a Civil War Memorial and to be a meeting place for the Civil War veterans association in Adams. That group was called the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) George E. Sayles Post 126 and they met on the second floor above the library. Their hall remains in its original condition with the chairs once occupied by Civil War veterans. Today the G.A.R. Hall serves as the location for special events and programs. It may be viewed by appointment only.
The library offers an extensive collection of books, magazines, newspapers, audio books in CD and MP3 formats, ebooks, emagazines, free or reduced rate passes to area museums and DVD's. The newspaper collection, stored on microfilm, dates back to 1844. A genealogical collection is available, which includes the set of Mayflower descendants, the vital records of Rhode Island and other genealogical information.
The library is a Mini-Net Member of the Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing (C/W MARS) System. Most of the Library's collection may be found via the C/W MARS link.
At the Library, both adults and children are provided free access to Internet computers. Free wireless service is also available.
The library is a member of the Massachusetts Library System, which allows for an inter-library loan program through which books and other materials not owned by the library may be borrowed from other participating libraries as well as libraries across the country. Extensive databases and online educational programs are also provided.
Annual summer reading club programs are offered to both children and adults, as well as book discussion groups, special programs and events throughout the year for all ages. Preschool story times are also offered periodically throughout the year.
The building was extensively renovated in 2014 to make it fully accessible while maintaining its historic charm.