The library was created through the bequest of Florence Crofut, the Hartford historian and philanthropist who joined First Church at the age of 88. In 1962 she endowed the John P. Webster Collection of the Church Library, a collection of religious resources named in honor of the Senior Minister of First Church. Upon her death in 1974 Florence Crofut bequeathed one-third of her estate to First Church for the establishment of “an outstanding New England church library to be known as the John P. Webster Library.” What began as an anniversary gift, and continued as a thank offering, has become a lasting legacy to our church and the broader community.
Newly renovated and open to the public, the JPW provides a diverse collection of religious and secular books, audio books, and videos to nurture spiritual growth, inspiration, and fellowship for all ages. Regular film and book discussions, author events and workshops take place in our state-of-the-art reading room.
The JPW offers a variety of services and programs to the greater West Hartford community:
- Diverse collection of over 7,000 religious and secular resources
- Pre-K through Middle School collection
- Guest Speakers
- Author Forums
- Book Group Kits available for loan
- Awakening the Spirit book discussion (each Monday).
- Food for Thought book discussion (first Thursday of each month).
- Special programs
- First Church of Christ Archives
- Art Gallery
- Member of the statewide library system, iConn
- Free WiFi
Director, John P. Webster Library