Bolivar Free Library

390 Main Street
Bolivar, NY 14715


Library History

THE BOLIVAR LIBRARY - Brief History: In 1897, a women's organization known as the Bolivar Sorosis, organized the first library in the back of the State Bank, with the entrance on Boss Street. In 1898, the state agreed to give $200 to the library providing the town would agree to give $200. The books came from the NYS Traveling Library and from donations. By 1900, the Librarian was paid $50.00 a year. In 1903, the library was moved to the WCTU Rooms on Boss Street which the library rented for $4.00 a month. The Library soon moved again to the old nickle plate building on the corner of Main and Plum Streets. For the first time a reading room was added. The library didn't remain here long either. It moved to Boss Street where J.J. Kennedy later had his tailor shop. In 1910, on the Louis Seibert lot on the corner of Main and Olean Streets on the site of the old Opera House, ground was broken (with a horse and plow) for a new library. This is the same library that is here today. In the cornerstone of the building there was placed a copy of the library charter, the history of the Sorosis Club and Library, the constitution of Sorosis, the June 9,1910 Bolivar Breeze Newspaper, a list of donors to the building fund, copies of the Sorosis yearbooks from 1908-1910 and a copy of J.B. Gray's speech he made as Bolivar's President.

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