SHUTESBURY — Perched in this rural hill town east of Amherst, the M.N. Spear Memorial Library has no armchairs, no children’s room, and no running water. Librarians must rearrange the furniture to hold story hour. There are no newspapers in its single crowded room, because there is no place to sit and read them. Patrons standing at the checkout desk step aside to avoid the front door when it opens.
In short, everything about the 900-square-foot library is modest. Everything, that is, except the controversy that surrounds it.