The Whitesville Public Library was granted a New York State provisional charter in 1923 as “The Whitesville Free Library”. In 1971 permanent certification was granted and it became “The Whitesville Public Library”. The original library was housed in a tiny building, Lincoln Hall, once a jewelry store, that stood between the Richmond and Chapin residences on Main St. The Girl Scouts raised the original funds to lease the building. The rent was $75.00/year. Mrs. Anna Seeger became the librarian in 1923 and served in that capacity for 45 years on a $200/year budget. The library has had many homes during it 89 year history. In 1925 it moved to the front room of the Henry Potter Building, then to the American Legion Building. In 1946 the library was once again relocated, this time to what is now the Catholic Church. Later it moved to the upper rooms of the Alton Scribner home, the property the library now stand on. In 1950 the library was housed in the front corner of the school bus garage on Main St. In 1971 monies from the Sesquicentennial celebration were used to purchase the Whitesville Telephone Company building. At times the director had to wear mittens in this dark, cold, aging building, squeezed between an apartment building and a bar. In 1990 a gift of $10,000 from the estate of Helen Barney opened the possibility of a new building. Plans were drawn up with the intention of a new building on the same lot, however a donor came forward offering the purchase of the Scribner lot and vacant building. They desired to give it to the library. It was decided to tear down the old home that had once housed the library and start from scratch. In 1993 the board president met with Senator Jess Present and obtain a $25,000 grant. The donor of the Scribner lot provided additional fund as well as money from bake sales and ice cream socials mad a new building a reality. In 1994 the new 42″ square building was begun by students from Alfred State College students and their professors. Money was provided to use brick rather than vinyl siding, to purchase a computer and to commission art from local craftsmen in the area giving the library a truly unique atmosphere. A tile mural made by Van Vlack Clayworks was installed over the entry way. The family of Michael McLoughlin established a Children’s Library. The new “Whitesville Public Library”, the Williams-Barney building was opened in 1996. The “Whitesville Public Library”, a member of the Southern Tier Library System, has grown from a $200/year budget, supplied by the town board to a $23,000/year budget largely funded by school taxes. As a member of STLS we provide our patrons access to over a million books and movies through inter library loan services. Your library is open 24/7 STARCat, an online catalog you can use to access books from all 48 libraries and reading centers in the system. You can request an item and it will be delivered to Whitesville via the STLS delivery system. You are also able to borrow books through Overdrive, music through Freegal and magazines through Zinio. All it takes is a library card. It is the desire of the board of trustees that the library will be used by community members for many generations.
The original Board of Trustees:Erma J. McKee, President; Wheeler Jones, Vice President; Alice Robbins, Secretary; Julia Seaver, Treasurer; Anna Seger, Director
The current Board of Trustees: Joanna Clark, President;Susan Ellison, Vice President; Kayla Bissett, Secretary,Kerry West, Treasurer,Linda Mallory, Member, Karen Smith, Director