West Hurley Public Library

42 Clover Street
West Hurley, NY 12491

845-679-6405


History

The West Hurley Public Library was founded in 1956. The first home of the library was the West Hurley Public School and the first board of trustees was drawn from community civic and religious organizations.

Used books, donated by local residents, were the core of the library’s first collection; early additions to the collection came from another library’s castoffs and the monthly purchase of two new books, funded by a $1.00 family membership fee. When the library moved to the former Hurley Town Hall, on Route 28, the hours of operation were increased from two to four.

During the sixties, the library received a temporary charter, joined the Mid-Hudson Library System, hired its first full-time librarian, installed new lighting and heating equipment in the Town Hall, and built its collection to over 6,000. In response to the need for a more adequate facility, the board of trustees voted in March of 1974 to launch a building program for a new library. The program received the full support of the community and was funded by local fund raising and federal revenues. The present building was dedicated on November 16, 1975.

In the late eighties, the library began the process of converting its systems to computer. On June 6, 1988, Governor Mario Cuomo signed a bill which established a library district in the Town of Hurley. During the 1990’s, the focus of the board of trustees was on the maintenance and beautification of the physical plant, on upgrades and additions to the computer system, and on the development of a written library philosophy.

The mission of the West Hurley Public Library is to collect, preserve, and make available library materials in print and in electronic formats to serve the recreational, informational, educational and leisure needs of the community. The West Hurley Public Library is committed to supporting a lifelong enjoyment of reading and learning.

In 1995, the library became an “electronic doorway library” through the creation of an automated card catalog and circulation system, participation in the MHLS online card catalog, provision of access to databases outside the library, and its commitment to the use of technology to provide quality library service.

By the late nineties, the library had become fully automated and had its own website. In partnership with the community, it produced a video about the construction of the Ashokan Reservoir.

The library is facing the beginning of the twenty-first century with excitement and change. The Internet is now available on three patron computers and basic computer tutoring is available for library users. Patrons also have access to fax service, a scanner, and an expanded selection of audio books. In addition, our collection has ‘expanded’ through the use of electronic Inter-Library Loans (ILL).

In November of the year 2000, the library held an Open House to celebrate twenty-five years at the location on Clover Street. Guests were invited to view the Ashokan Reservoir video and the library’s local history reference section, to give feedback on library services and to view plans for expansion of the current building.

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