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Storybrooke Free Public Library

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Storybrooke Free Public Library
Clock Tower
Storybrooke Location
General Information
Status: Existing
Character Affiliations
Owner: Mr. Gold
  • Maleficent (formerly)
Show Information
First appearance: "Pilot"
Latest appearance: "Broken Heart"
Relevant Pages

For twenty-eight years, the hand didn't move. Then one day, tick-tock, it bloody did.

Will Scarlet to Robin Hood src

The Storybrooke Free Public Library, also known as the Clock Tower, is a Storybrooke location on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It first appears in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.


During First Curse

When the Evil Queen cast the Dark Curse, she and many inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest are transported to the newly created town of Storybrooke. Below the main floor of the library, she imprisons Maleficent in her dragon form deep below the surface to guard a trigger. Time becomes frozen, and none of the trapped residents can age or are aware of the restraints holding them in place. The clock tower's hands never move, and stay stuck at eight-fifteen. The Evil Queen assumes the role of Storybrooke's mayor, Regina, and has an adoptive son, Henry, who believes in the curse. One day, he leaves town and returns with his birth mother, Emma. When Henry refuses to tell her his house address, she obtains it from the boy's therapist, Archie. After returning him home, Emma quickly finds herself bonding with Henry, despite his eccentric ideas that the town is frozen in time under some curse and she is the destined savior who will break it. He pleads with her to stay in Storybrooke for a week to prove the curse is real. Until unceremoniously told by Regina to stay away from her son, Emma decides to take Henry's advice and checks into the inn. That same night, Henry stares out his bedroom window at the clock face of the library building and watches the minute-long hand move forward for the first time. He smiles; realizing that Emma is staying in town after all. ("Pilot")

The next morning, Regina is shocked to hear the clock tower chime for the first time. On her way to work, she glares at the clock in disbelief. Archie, on his daily walk with Pongo, comments in wonder if someone finally fixed the clock. ("The Thing You Love Most")

To save Henry from the Sleeping Curse, Mr. Gold instructs Emma to bring back a true love potion he hid in the belly of a beast in his previous life. Emma and Regina enter into the first floor of the clock tower, which is an abandoned library. There is an elevator that goes down one floor, and Regina operates the switch while Emma steps in. She battles the dragon form of Maleficent. After piercing the creature with a sword, she collects the remaining potion. ("A Land Without Magic")

After First Curse

After the first curse is broken, Belle grows increasingly concerned with Mr. Gold's unwillingness to talk to her about his reason for still using magic. Fed up, she seeks refuge at the diner where a waitress, Ruby, offers her a room at the inn and also suggests she take a look at the boarded up library. Belle goes to glance at the inside of the library from an outside window when a stranger, William Smee, surprises her by asking for change. She replies she has none, but William suddenly grabs and kidnaps her to another location. Her father, Moe, asked William to bring her to him. He is unhappy Belle is still with Mr. Gold, and makes William send her down a mine shaft car in the hopes of crossing the town border and losing her memory. Belle is rescued by Mr. Gold, but she wants nothing to do with him. Later, at the diner, Ruby shows her a library key someone left for her. Once Belle unlocks the door to the library, Mr. Gold reveals he is the one who sent the key. She is grateful for the gesture, but doesn't want to go back with him. Mr. Gold finally opens up to Belle, and admits he wants to retain magic to find his long lost son. Having told her the truth, he begins leaving, but Belle decides they can start over and invites him to join her for a hamburger snack at the diner. ("The Crocodile")

The town mechanic, Billy, is killed in a gruesome fashion. Since it the first curse-free wolfs time just passed, everyone suspects Ruby of having transformed into a wolf and mauling him to death. District attorney Albert rallies the angry townspeople and calls for Ruby to be punished, but temporary sheriff David continues to protect her from harm. In fear the townspeople will storm the sheriff's office jail cell where Ruby is held, he and Granny hide her in the library with Belle's help. Believing herself to be guilty, Ruby tries to atone by chaining down Belle while she herself goes to face the town mob. The hunt is put to a stop when David and Granny find evidence Albert falsely framed Ruby. ("Child of the Moon")

Continuing to clean up the library, Belle receives a visitor whom she is startled to recognize as Hook. She runs from him, but is not able to escape the library. Belle pins Hook underneath a bookcase and hides in the elevator while she calls Mr. Gold for help. Hook uses his hook to break into the elevator, but he is no match for the dexterity of the elevator. ("The Outsider")

Regina visits an amnesiac Belle in the hospital, and uses magic to force her unconscious. Then, she rummages through Belle's pursue until she finds a binary number for a book that presumably guards the location of Mr. Gold's dagger. She, Cora and Hook search the library shelves for the book. After realizing the book is gone, Cora find a map in its place which Hook is able to translate. They discover the location of the dagger, Cora sees no more use for Hook and flings him into a bookshelf so she and Regina can have the weapon to themselves. She explains that they will use the dagger to manipulate Mr. Gold into killing David, Emma and Mary Margaret. ("Manhattan")

David and Mary Margaret persuade Emma, while she is in New York City, to procure the true location of the dagger from Mr. Gold. The pair find the dagger hidden in the minute hand of the tower's clock face, but Cora and Regina threaten to kill Mary Margaret's dear friend Johanna if they do not hand over the weapon. Mary Margaret, unable to bear seeing Johanna suffer as Regina crushes her heart, surrenders the dagger. Satisfied, Regina shoves the heart back into Johanna's chest while Cora picks up the dagger. Mary Margaret waits with open arms as Johanna rushes towards her, but Cora cruelly kills the woman by flinging her out the clock face. ("The Queen Is Dead")

Attempting to murder Mr. Gold in New York, Hook believes he succeeded, despite being knocked out and locked in Neal's apartment storage room. He is found by Neal's fiancée, Tamara, and taken back to Storybrooke where she and her partner-in-crime, Greg, haul him inside the clock tower. Seating the pirate in front of the broken clock face, they hand him a mini-telescope to view the street below. Hook looks down in disbelief to see an alive Mr. Gold walking around with Belle. Greg and Tamara offer to assist in destroying his nemesis, but first he must help them by getting close to Regina. Hook pretends to become Regina's ally and later tricks her into clasping on a bracelet that Greg and Tamara altered to remove all her magic. Regina herself double-crosses Hook, using him as a scapegoat, when they go down to the lower level of the clock tower to retrieve a trigger to destroy Storybrooke. After gaining the item, she returns to the library ground level only to be greeted by Hook, who was rescued by Greg and Tamara. He reveals his betrayal just before Greg and Tamara kidnap her for an interrogation. ("The Evil Queen")

Following a return trip from Neverland after rescuing Henry from Peter Pan, Emma and her allies quickly realize all is not right. Discovering Pan switched bodies with Henry, Mr. Gold uses the wand of a Black Fairy to undo the change. With Granny's sense of smell, they track Henry, now returned to his original body, to the library. The boy rushes out to reunite with both of his mothers, Emma and Regina. He gives Regina a scroll, which Pan had plans to use for enacting another curse. ("Going Home")

During Second Curse
Regina meets her half-sister, Zelena, and is challenged to a duel after sundown. As the anticipating townspeople gather outside in front of the library, Zelena approaches, garbed in black, while an enslaved Mr. Gold is forced to follow along. Emma starts a fight with her, but is swiftly disposed of. When Regina shows up, the two sisters trade harsh words until a magic battle commences. Eventually, Zelena hurls Regina right through the clock face and attempts to steal her sister's heart. Mockingly, Regina states that their mother taught her well not to bring her heart to a witch fight. Having lost, Zelena hops on her broom to leave, but not before vowing she will find the heart. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

After Second Curse

Since escaping from Emma, who he has been avoiding since stealing money from an ice cream shop, Will outruns her again at a local restaurant. After celebrating his getaway by getting drunk, he mistakes the closed library for a bar and begins lock-picking his way in. Hook, having finished his date with Emma, passes by and tries to persuade Will to go home. Will pushes his hand away twice, to which an enraged Hook repeatedly punches him; seemingly fueled by his restored hand that Mr. Gold recently reattached. When Will questions what he's doing, Hook regains calm and threatens him into keeping quiet about what just happened. Once his attacker leaves, Will breaks into the library. Finding a particular book, he rips out an illustration of the Red Queen and tucks it into his pocket. In the morning, Belle finds Will asleep on the floor and phones Emma for help. Emma, not pleased to be disturbed on her day off from work, still arrives to reprehend him. ("The Apprentice")

When new evidence is discovered the Snow Queen, Ingrid, had been Emma's prior foster mother, everyone splits up into a search party to find the villainess' ice cream truck. Belle opts to research at the library as Elsa joins her. Elsa is desperate to find her missing sister, Anna, though she remains unaware Belle is hiding a secret relating to her. Belle once met Anna in the past, failing to save her, resulting in the girl's capture by the Snow Queen. In the library, she hides a map of Arendelle from Elsa, who is losing hope of finding her sister. Elsa wonders if Anna trapped her in the urn, as the Snow Queen claimed, and doesn't want to be found. Belle insists that's not true, but out of guilt, she leaves and secretly tracks down the Snow Queen. Continuing to research, Elsa finds a pictorial family tree of the Arendelle royals. On it, she discovers her mother, Gerda, Ingrid and another woman named Helga are sisters. ("Family Business")

In her plan to ostracize Emma from her loved ones, Ingrid sets up a fake mirror on the inside of the clock face within the tower. Shortly after, Emma apprehends Ingrid with a spell to magically bind her wrists. Ingrid is taken to the sheriff station for an interrogation by Elsa and Emma while David and Hook examine the mirror. Elsa later joins the twosome, but at Belle's arrival, she warns the trio not to look at the reflection as it will brainwash them. On closer examination, Belle notices it's not the same mirror she saw in the Snow Queen's lair. Realizing they have been duped, the group rush to Emma at the station. ("The Snow Queen")

During a diner discussion, Will suggests to Robin Hood, who wants to find the storybook's author, that Storybrooke's magic originates from the clock tower. He explains his theory by revisiting life under the first curse, in which time was frozen until Emma's arrival; prompting the curse to weaken and the clock face hands to move as time resumed. Suspecting they will find information on the author in the library under the clock tower, the pair go there together. Will attempts another library break-in, but Robin Hood notices a sign listing the store hours and opens the unlocked door. Inside, they find nothing of use until Robin Hood discovers a storybook page, seemingly appearing out of nowhere, in his bag. The illustration depicts himself and Regina's would-be first meeting in the past Enchanted Forest. Shocked, he urges Regina to come to the library right away. Once she arrives, he shows her the image, which is listed as page twenty. In comparison the storybook's page twenty, it has an image of Regina choosing not to meet Robin Hood for the first time. He argues this as proof that their pasts had different possible paths because the book already has illustrations for both events. With her optimism in hope renewed, Regina kisses Robin Hood. ("Smash the Mirror")

In the six weeks after Belle banishes Mr. Gold from Storybrooke, she and Hook research at the library for a way to free the nuns from the sorcerer's hat. One morning, as Belle is opening the library doors, he meets her there just as Emma parts from him for the day. Inside, Hook examines a board littered with dead ends about the missing nuns, and in a fit of anger, he knocks it off the wall. From the counter, Belle assures him that they do have a lead towards saving the nuns, but since it's written in an ancient language, she is consulting with outside help to translate it. Guilty over his part in trapping the nuns, Hook expresses remorse over letting Mr. Gold control him. As Belle goes to shelve books, she asserts her own fault, too, by doing the same and for being blind to her husband's actions. Hook then recalls something Mr. Gold once said that he himself believes to be true; love is a weapon and is as dangerous as magic. Belle considers the fact he had both their hearts; figuratively and literally in each of their cases. Despite her husband's bad ways, Hook confirms that Mr. Gold did truly love her, which makes Belle tear up as she shares hopes that he found what he was looking for. Later, she receives an email response from an "Oxford professor" with the text translation for a ceremony that needs to be performed to bring back the nuns. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

When Maleficent offers an alliance, she asks the savior to locate her daughter Lilith, a name Emma unexpectedly recognizes. Rushing to the library, Emma goes through a projector of newspaper clippings until she sees a microfiche for Lilith Page, who she remembers as her childhood friend Lily. Regina finds her there, suggesting they leave town together, as they both have missions outside of Storybrooke. Emma resists at first, stating she doesn't need a babysitter, but Regina clarifies that she needs Emma, who more experience in the Land Without Magic. ("Lily")

After Camelot Quest
In defiance of her allies, who have no interest in rescuing Mr. Gold from Emma, Belle heads to the library, hoping to track Mr. Gold with a street map. Suddenly, she hears the elevator coming up from the lower floor, causing her to grab a weapon in defense of whoever is in there. The elevator doors open, revealing a frightened Mr. Gold, who is running from Merida. During a brief respite, he thanks Belle for not giving up on him, as it was her voice he heard while in his coma, which gave him a reason to cling onto life rather than let go. Although she is touched by his sentiments, Belle quickly puts her feelings aside and urges him to seek cover with her at the pawnshop. ("The Bear and the Bow")

List of Locations

For detailed location information, please see the list of Storybrooke Clock Tower locations.


On-screen Notes

  • Its address number is 3551. ("The Outsider")
  • The library's opening hours are from 9 A.M. to 10 P.M. on Mondays to Fridays, 10 A.M. to 8 P.M. on Saturdays and 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. on Sundays. ("Smash the Mirror")

Production Notes

Props Notes

  • In "Pilot", the sign for "Storybrooke Free Public Library" is a green house-shaped structure,[9] but in "The Thing You Love Most", it is changed to a white rectangular sign.[10] Stock footage appears to have be used briefly in a scene in "The New Neverland" where the Shadow flies past the library and the old green sign is seen.
  • Just like many other Storybrooke locations, the library contains references to the Enchanted Forest, both the mainland and the maritime part: There is a tree shaped mirror on the wall that hides the elevator doors,[11] and the library contains a nautical guide book,[12] and a children's book with pop-up sailing ships.[13] ("A Land Without Magic", "The Outsider", "Smash the Mirror")
  • Among the library shelves are books for parapsycological methods, mental derangements, magic & ritual, naturalism, pantheism, liberalism, dreams & mysteries,[14] rosicrucianism,[15] gnosticism & neoplatonism,[15] hermeticism[15] and divinatory graphology.[15] ("The Crocodile", "Smash the Mirror")
    • Parapsychology refers to the study of mental phenomena which are excluded from or inexplicable by orthodox scientific psychology;[16] such as precognition and telepathy.
    • Mental derangements refers to mental disorders.
    • In philosophy, naturalism refers to the belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.[17]
    • Pantheism is a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.[18]
    • Liberalism refers to the holding of liberal views.
    • Rosicrucianism is a worldwide brotherhood claiming to possess esoteric wisdom handed down from ancient times. Their teachings are a combination of occultism and other religious beliefs and practices, including hermeticism, Jewish mysticism, and Christian Gnosticism.[19]
    • Neoplatonism is a philosophical and religious system that arose in the third century in Alexandria. It mixes Platonic ideas and oriental mysticism.[20]
    • Gnosticism is a collection of philosophical and religious movements whose adherents shunned the material world and embraced the spiritual world.
    • Hermeticism is a religious and philosophical tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. Its philosophy is comprised of astrology, alchemy and theurgy.
    • Graphology refers to the inference of character from a person's handwriting. The theory underlying graphology is that the way words and letters are formed can reveal traits of personality.[21]
  • There is a poster inside the library advertising Spanish lessons.[22] The headline says "Habla Espanol?", meaning "speak Spanish?". The rest of the poster includes the text "Spanish Speaking Tutor taking New Students".[23] "("The Crocodile", "Darkness on the Edge of Town")
    • The same poster can be seen in the hallway in Neal's apartment building in "Manhattan".[24]
  • A poster inside the library contains the phone number 555-0166,[22] which is the phone number of the Storybrooke Convent.[25] "("The Crocodile", "Darkness on the Edge of Town")
  • Several members of the production team of Once Upon a Time are listed as authors of a set of nautical guide books:[26] ("The Outsider")
[image begins]f the sails are
[image begins]d

[image begins HITCH)
[image begins] the top is defined
[image begins]oks as a rolling
[image begins] defined by some
[image begins] hitch but is a variant
[image begins]not with a Half Hitch"
[image beginsottom knot is similar to a
[image begins]]t line hitch is doubled

[image begins]anding part of the line.
Most of the text is actually an excerpt from a leaflet called "The Basics of Sailing 2010". The full excerpt, found on page 80, reads:[31]
"Rolling Hitch (or Magnus Hitch): In the right hand picture, the knot on the top is defined by Ashley and most US knotting books as a rolling Hitch. The knot on the bottom is defined by some British knotting books as a rolling hitch but is a variant of what Ashley calls a "Awning Knot with a Half Hitch" or a "Midshipman Knot". The bottom knot is similar to a taut line hitch except that a taut line hitch is doubled back on itself and tied to the standing part of the line."
  • Various members of the production team are also listed as authors of the books on a shelf where Cora finds Mr. Gold's map:[32] ("Manhattan")
    • B. Chometsky, a reference to production staff member Brenda Chometsky (barely readable)
    • R. Lavigueur, another reference to production staff member Rob Lavigueur (barely readable)
    • M. Joy, a reference to production designer Michael Joy
    • B. Burd, another reference to property master Bill Burd
    • P. Venturi, a reference to illustrator Paolo G. Venturi
    • G. Venturi, another reference to art director Greg Venturi
    • S.B. Edwards, production staff member
    • A. Hrytzak, a reference to production staff member Adrian Hrytzak
    • M. Soparlo, a reference to production staff member Mark Soparlo
      • M. Soparlo was also listed as the news reporter in a newspaper clipping about baby Emma in "True North"[33] and "Family Business".[34]
      • M. Soparlo is also the name of a news reporter listed in the newspaper that Isaac reads in "Operation Mongoose Part 2".[29]
  • A poster pinned to the wall inside the library, contains an illustration of Titania and Nick Bottom from William Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream".[23] ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

Filming Locations

  • The building is portrayed by Nikka Fishing & Marine, a two-story store on Moncton Street in Steveston Village.[36]



Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis on Season One DVD Commentary for "Pilot"
  2. 2.0 2.1 File:101Clock.png
  5. File:312Town.png
  6. File:101ClockMoves.png
  7. 7.0 7.1
  8. File:102Clock8.23.png
  9. File:101Library.jpg
  10. File:102Tower.jpg
  11. File:122Mirror.png
  12. 12.0 12.1 File:211ANauticalGuide.PNG
  13. File:408PopUpBook.png
  14. File:408InsideThePub.png
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 File:408ThisGoes.png
  22. 22.0 22.1 File:204Posters.png
  23. 23.0 23.1 File:412PosterWall.png
  24. File:214AnyOfTheseNames.png
  25. File:412Missing.png
  26. File:211Books.png
  27. File:118StorybrookeDailyMirror.png
  28. File:421BookBlurb.png
  29. 29.0 29.1 File:422Newspaper.png
  32. File:214ItShouldBeHere.png
  33. File:109Articles.png
  34. File:406NewspaperClipping.png
  35. File:108Poster.png
  37. File:102TheDaughterOf.png
  38. File:108Storybrooke.png
  39. File:112JustPerfect.png
  40. File:405EmmaAndHenry.png

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