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Top 11 of 2011: The Little Library That Could

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Read all about it: the library that caught the attention of the likes of Alec Baldwin and Viola Davis.

Every state deserves its own "It's a Wonderful Life" story, and in 2011, Rhode Island's involved a city under attack and a most unlikely happy ending.

The city, of course, is the beleaguered Central Falls, which filed officially for bankruptcy in August of 2011 and whose future becomes bleaker and bleaker.

And yet. Tucked into the square mile of Rhode Island's hard-luck town is a tiny library that somehow caught the attention--then imagination--of some high-profile folks who cared enough to put some serious money

down when the library closed this summer.

Reopened by volunteers, the Adams Memorial Library made made national news when first Alex Baldwin, and then Viola Davis, announced their donations to help ensure its survival. The small public library received $10,000 from the Alec Baldwin Foundation in October and then another $1,000 from Davis, who grew up in Central Falls, in November.

Perhaps less glamorous but no less heartening, the library just received another $10,000 donation from Pawtucket-based International Packaging Corporation.  

With $80,000 in the bank in the midst of the worst recession in recent history, The Little Library That Could has moved remarkably close to its year-end goal of $100,000. Maybe it is a wonderful life after all.


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