library movement began very early in Potsdam. The Washington
Benevolent Society, incorporated on June 14, 1814, was the first
library association and was followed by the Union Library Association,
incorporated on January 8, 1828. The Potsdam Reading Center
and Library Association opened on April 3, 1887 and was located
in the two stories of the Albion Hotel Block on Market Street
which has since been torn down.
first official Potsdam Public Library and Reading Room Association
was incorporated on March 10, 1896. The Regents of the State
of New York granted the library its charter nine days later.
The charter, now on display at the library, was signed by Melvil
Dewey (the founder of the library pervasive 'Dewey Decimal
library moved to the Fennimore House on the corner of Market and
Depot Streets and occupied the lower floor. In 1933, Potsdam's First
Universalist Church closed its doors and gave its building, which
is the present museum, to be used for the library. The church also
gave the land between the church and town hall to be part of the
new Civic Center. The village government built the Civic Center,
and at the same time, turned the church into the library.
|In the 1970s,
the Village board conducted a needs survey to accommodate and
study the expanding, vital and "bursting" library
and a master plan was developed. The decision was made to move the
library to the Civic Auditorium. The auditorium historically housed
the "gun house" where armaments were stored, and served
as the Town Hall and Opera House. Renovations began June, 1975
and a ribbon cutting ceremony took place on December 20, 1976.
|In 1993, the Library started its automated circulation system and the on-line patron catalog was operating a year later. Public access
computers for general purpose and internet use were also made available.
In 1996 the Library celebrated its Centennial arranged by the Board
of Trustees and a committee of 15 from the community.
1999, Director Kathy Cassell retired after 29 years of service
and was succeeded by Assistant-Director Patricia Musante. That
year the Employment Information and Micro Enterprise Resource
Center was opened next to the Local History Room.
|At the dawn of a new century the Potsdam Public Library is committed to serving the North Country as the premier media resource center
with the best in resources
Come on in and see what we have to offer you.