In 1897 the sisters of the Bond family of East Lyme initiated what was to be their long association with the East Lyme Library establishment. It was that year that Mrs. F.H. Dart (Maria Bond) and several other women in the community created the Niantic Library and Reading Room Association for the citizens of East Lyme. Enthusiasm for the effort swelled causing the Library to outgrow its space six times before finally settling into a permanent structure on Main Street in 1920. When the organization fell on hard economic times, Maria and her sister, Ann, stepped up to the plate and volunteered to serve as unpaid librarians. This arrangement endured for 55 years. Maria was the first librarian with Ann serving as Secretary of the Association and, subsequently, as Maria's assistant. Annie, as she was known to many, later assumed the principal librarian position, which she filled for the next 47 years. Maude, a younger sister, soon joined the library operations. Stephen, another member of the Bond family, served on the Association's Board and donated the land and a significant amount of the building materials that were used to construct the Main Street facility. Annie and the remainder of the Bond family certainly stood out as major driving forces for the establishment and preservation of the Niantic Public Library. In 2003, the East Lyme Library Foundation established the Annie Bond Society in recognition of the family's efforts. The Society will serve as a conduit through which interested members of the community can contribute to the Foundation. With a donation of $2000 or more, an individual joins the Society. This gift can be a one-time contribution or can be the sum of multiple gifts over years. Membership can also be gained by signing a letter of intent for a gift of the above amount via a bequest, trust or other charitable vehicle. Further information about the Annie Bond Society may be obtained by completing the "Contact Us" area of the website.
The members of the Annie Bond Society follow:
| Bjorn and Gunvor Lund
The Mashkin Family FoundationEvangelia Mitchell
Norman B. Peck, Jr.
Arthur B. Robertshaw
Dr. Charles Stephens
Craig and Roberta Trost