Library History

 

  • 1880's – The Trustees of Public School District #11 of the Town of Warwick erected a two-room public schoolhouse, which has evolved into the present day Greenwood Lake Public Library.

 

  • 1927 – The two-room public school house was abandoned as a result of the building of a new stone school building across the street from the present day library.

 

  • 1931 – Helen Burt started a kindergarten on the steps of the abandoned school house and was eventually granted permission to use the building. Soon after, the school board adopted the kindergarten program into the elementary school.

 

  • 1932 – The Greenwood Lake Taxpayers Association, Inc. began planning for a public library. With permission from the school district, the building was repaired and readied by volunteers.  Miss Jennie Waterstone was the founder with her gift of 700 books.

 

  • 1932 (December) – The Library opened. The Greenwood Lake Taxpayers Association became responsible for the support of a free public library for an experimental period of one year.  An Executive Library committee was formed consisting of year-round residents.  Mrs. Harry Foy was the first Chairwoman of the committee and Margaret Gonzales Hallock was appointed librarian.

 

  • 1934 – The Taxpayers Association offered the contents of the new library as a free gift to the school district, to be maintained by taxes as a School District Public Library, in accordance with the provisions of State Education Law. The library was granted its Provisional Charter on September 21, 1934.

 

  • 1940s – The Greenwood Lake School District swapped the property that housed the library with the Village of Greenwood Lake for a piece of open village land.  The village allowed the library total autonomy since it was run under School District and State Education Department guidelines.  Under this agreement the northern half of the building was used as the library and the southern half became the Village Recreation Hall.

 

  • 1950s to Present – The library joined the Ramapo Catskill Library System.  The system provides services to public libraries in Rockland, Orange, and parts of Sullivan and Ulster counties.

 

  • 1959 – On January 22, 1959, the Greenwood Lake Public Library was granted its Absolute Charter by the Board of Regents on behalf of the Education Department of the State of New York.

 

  • 1979-1981 – Renovations were made to the inside and the outside of the building utilizing money granted to the Village of Greenwood Lake.

 

  • 1982 – "Friends of the Library" raised enough money to pay for a custom-built circulation desk.
     
  • 1990-1991 – The taxpayers of the Greenwood Lake Union Free School District voted to establish a "Capital Fund" for the express purposes of expanding the library.  The Friends of the Library held many fund-raising projects. Monies collected were invested and accrued for approximately six years prior to the building project.

 

  • 1992 – On June 4, 1992 the library Board of Trustees, on behalf of the school district residents, were able to purchase the building and property for $1.00 from the Village of Greenwood Lake.  This was done with the approval of the school district and the State Education Department.  The Agreement of Purchase also included the provision of a 99-year free lease of the southern half of the building to the Village of Greenwood Lake.
     
  • 1993-1995 – The Project Architect, Peter Hoffman was hired by the Library Board of Trustees to design the library addition. A bid was accepted on October 31, 1995 and work began in November 1995.

 

  • 1996 – Phase I, consisting of the new addition, was completed.

 

  • 1997 – Phase II, consisting of the renovation of the old building, was completed. 

 

  • 1998 – The library's board and staff set a goal to offer a wide variety of programming for the community.

 

  • 1999 – The still active "Capital Fund" was restructured for the express purposes of building a program room, quiet reference space and a tutoring/meeting room.

 

  • 2000 – (May) Senator Thomas P. Morahan secured $120,000 through a Member Item Initiative, to support the building of this project. The Ramapo Catskill Library System helped secure an additional $47,000. Fund-raisers and individual donors also contributed to the funds secured for the project.

 

  • 2002 – (April) The addition ws completed. This addition has provided 3,000 more square feet to the Library. 

 

  • 2003 – (June) The last free pre-school class run by the Village of Greenwood Lake, graduated.  Due to budget restraints and several for-profit-pre-schools operating within the Village; the free pre-school was discontinued leaving the Recreation Hall vacant most of the time.


  • 2004 to Present – On August 3, 2004 the library and the village signed an agreement allowing the library to convert the Recreation Hall into a Youth Study Center. This center has been furnished with teen friendly furniture and houses the "Young Adult" materials collection of the library.  The room is supervised during its hours of operation by library staff and is still available to the village for events and village sponsored programming.