The Simon Fairfield Public Library aims to create an inspired, informed, enriched, and empowered literary community in Douglas and its neighboring towns.
- We aim to inspire our community with an abundance of quality reading material and activities.
- We aim to inform our community with accurate, reliable sources of data free from personal bias or expectation of profit.
- We aim to enrich our community by preserving its historical heritage and promoting the ongoing creation of a vibrant local culture.
- We aim to empower our community by providing access to information technology tools, offering instruction to eliminate the digital divide, and promoting civic engagement.
Since 1770, the Town of Douglas was able to provide her citizens with a book collection, however that collection was housed in homes, businesses, and public buildings. It was not until 1850 that the first official library in East Douglas was founded and was comprised of 100 agricultural works. In 1879, public funding allowed for the creation of the Douglas Free Public Library, which provided access to 500 works that were housed in the old long school house.
In 1903, James Marshall Fairfield made a generous donation in honor of his parents, Simon and Phoebe Churchill Fairfield. This donation would furnish the Town of Douglas with a fully-equipped public library building. The town accepted the donation for Fairfield with a provision that the control and government of the library and real estate be permanently vested in an eight member board of trustees. Three of the members are elected by the town voters for a term of three years. The remaining five members are appointed for life and are self-perpetuating.
On January 29, 1904, the Simon Fairfield Public Library was opened to the public. Along with the building, James Fairfield donated funds to for the library to purchase 700 works to fill the shelves. Until his death in 1912, Fairfield continued to bestow various gifts to town’s library.