55 Forest Street
Hartford, CT 06105
Monday – Friday 1 pm – 5 pm
The Mark Twain Memorial Commission opened the home of Mark Twain in 1929, and in May 1930, the Hartford Public Library opened a branch library on the first floor of the famous house.
Subsequent restoration of the house made it necessary to move the Branch to 256 Farmington Avenue. The branch was relocated to Hartford Public High School on Forest Street in 2011.
Mark Twain Branch staff members have achieved a strong community relationship with the Asylum Hill and West End neighborhoods by listening, learning and linking to the needs of the people. Active attendance at meetings such as the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association (AHNA) and the West End Civic Association (WECA), as well as Public Safety, Economic Development, and Education/Cultural subcommittees, has contributed to the branch making a difference in the community. In addition, the Asylum Hill PSNRA has the improvement of the branch as one of its main objectives. The Mark Twain Branch also serves the small businesses, senior centers, shelters, community-based-organizations, and residents who live and work in Asylum Hill and the West End.
The Mark Twain Branch has an excellent relationship with the school community. The school age population attends West Middle School, Noah Webster elementary school, Hartford Public High School, and Quirk Middle School. Other educational institutions include daycare centers, nursery schools, museums, and cultural organizations, such as the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Hartford Conservatory, Dance Connecticut, Connecticut Opera, and the Mark Twain House. These organizations, along with the Mark Twain Branch, have as one of their common goals to provide educational, cultural, and recreational programming, classes, and collections to enhance Asylum Hill and the West End youth.
The Mark Twain Branch serves two very diverse neighborhoods. Asylum Hill is more densely populated and is more transient. West Middle School in Asylum Hill notes mobility, socio-economic status, and the language needs of its students as major factors influencing curricula changes. Refugees from Burma and Bhutan, sponsored by Catholic Charities, are the latest populations of new arrivals who frequent the Mark Twain Branch in great numbers. An increase in the number of Spanish-speaking adults visiting the library has also been noticed. The school age population has increased. One or more vehicles available to householders per occupied housing unit have dropped slightly. Crime is up in the area near the branch.