The Stoneybrook Public Library is a Stoneybrook institution and the most common destination for the BSC when they need to conduct research, especially for a mystery.
Mrs. Kishi, Claudia's mother, is the Head Librarian. The main children's librarian is Ms. Feld; Miss Ellway is another librarian. Mrs. Kishi also has an assistant, who makes very good chocolate-chip cookies. In #117, Mrs. Nicholls is another library employee until she leaves Stoneybrook with her children. A student librarian named Donald, who attends Stoneybrook University with Janine Kishi, is seen in #91.
Mrs. Pike is on the library's Board of Trustees.
Building and amenities
The library was built eight years before #17, after the town outgrew its old library. It is located not far from Stoneybrook Middle School. The front of the building has steps and double doors, with a lawn nearby. The main desk is near the doors; Mrs. Kishi's office is behind it. The bathrooms are on a hallway. There is a photocopy room; the copy machine costs fifteen cents per page. Books are kept on metal shelves, under flourescent lighting.
The children's room is on the first floor of the library and is new; the children's books were kept upstairs "when [Mary Anne] was little" (presumably when the library was first constructed). The children's room has lots of windows, cozy nooks and crannies, a puppet theatre (bright blue with yellow curtains) in one corner, a giant Raggedy Ann doll in another corner, and a games-and-puzzles corner. There are actually two rooms in the children's area; the main room has the office area, the main desk, and the fiction books, and the smaller room holds the card catalog and non-fiction.
The library's resources are described inconsistently throughout the series. In most books, a card catalog is used (sometimes a different catalog for children's and adults' books), but in #91 and SM#2, a computerized catalog is used. (However, the card catalog is seen again in #94.) In most books, old newspapers (including The Stoneybrook News and The Stoneybrook Gazette) are kept on microfiche (flat sheets) or microfilm (stored on spools), but a computerized Stoneybrook News index is seen in SM#2. The microfiche machines are on the first floor. Claudia learns how to use the microfiche machine in #33 and is an "ace" with it in M#14.
Different books have mentioned a "conference room" on the second floor, where Mrs. Kishi holds staff meetings on Friday afternoons; a "meeting room" where the library holds a slapstick film festival; and "the Prescott Room", where the Board of Trustees meets. These may all be the same room, or any two of them may be the same.
The library closes at 6 PM. In #94, the library is closed on Sundays, but in M#11, it's open for "a few hours" on Sundays.
Activities and fundraisers
The library has offered:
- A regularly-held Story Hour.
- A six-week creative writing course that Mallory is invited to join, in #100.
- A lecture on haunted houses in Stoneybrook, in #13.
- A slapstick film festival, in #19.
- A pet show, which the Thomases' collie Louie won, mentioned in
- An advanced readers' group for children every Saturday, which Rosie Wilder attends.
Several events have been held as fundraisers for the library, including:
- A special luncheon at Chez Maurice, in #47.
- A Readathon to raise money for new books, in M#13.
- A craft fair mentioned in M#6, in response to recent budget cuts.
- In M#13, Mary Anne volunteers at the library for "a few afternoons a week" and also on weekends for the duration of the Readathon. Someone starts setting fires by burning books in the library; it turns out to be Sean Addison. In the same book, a group of demonstrators (including Merrie Dow) picket outside the library to demand that several books be banned.