EAST SYRACUSE FREE LIBRARY History
The East Syracuse Free Library was conceived at a public meeting held in Columbian Hall at
the East Syracuse High School late in the fall of 1923. At this meeting it was decided to canvass
the Village of East Syracuse in an attempt to raise $1,000. The drive for funds turned out to be a
success and the East Syracuse Free Library opened its doors on February 9, 1924. With the
help of the Friends of Reading of Syracuse, a collection of 600 volumes was acquired. In
addition, a $400 contract was made with the Syracuse Public Library which loaned 400 books to
be exchanged as often as desired.
The first home of the library was the village office in the old fire barn. The village clerk had his
desk on one side and the library was set up on the other side. Bookcases were built by the men
of the library association and the women arranged a volunteer staff to help with circulation. After
about three months a young woman was hired to act as librarian at a salary of $15 per
month. The library was open 12 hours a week.
In 1924 a Provisional Charter was received from the State Board of Regents followed a few years
later in 1927 with a Permanent Charter. During this time an appropriation of $1,000 for the
support of the library was written into the village budget and Blanche Reis was appointed head
librarian, a position she held for 25 years. In January 1929, after being housed for a brief period
of time in the Engineers and Conductors Building, the library moved back to the then new
By 1964 the library served not only the village but residents from the towns of Manlius and DeWitt
as well. The library housed 8,185 volumes, circulated over 40,000 items and had 2,376
registered borrowers. The Town of DeWitt, the Town of Manlius, and the ESM School
District assisted the Village in the maintenance of our library. Membership in the Onondaga
County System provided even greater circulation and many more borrowers with varied needs
and interests. All this occurred in a space of two rooms and it soon became evident that the
library was running out of room.
Planning began in 1967 to generate public interest for a new building and a drive to raise money
was headed by the Jaycees bringing the library to its current location. Construction began in
June 1971 and was completed that December. In 1977, it was decided a community room was
needed and at the cost of $27,000, an extension was added on. This room is in constant demand
by Parks and Recreation, various organizations, and of course the library.
As of January 2017 the library has over 3,600 registered borrowers and houses over 27,000
items for circulation. This number consists of Fiction books, Non Fiction books, Audio books,
DVDs, periodicals and learning kits. In addition, the library has downloadable music and e-books.
The collection circulated more than 61,000 items in 2016. The library has seven public access
computers, provides wireless access, and a copy/fax machine. The library has an HDTV, laptop
and a blu-ray player available for public use.
The mission of the East Syracuse Free Library is to serve as a community center by providing free and equal access to information, knowledge, and ideas that foster individual and community development for members of all ages.
The East Syracuse Free Library Board of Trustees and staff members envision a future in which the library's collections and programs continue to provide community residents of all ages an encouraging and welcoming environment for its users. We will continue to provide access to information and entertainment resources. We will continue to provide a pleasant and safe environment for individuals and groups. We will recognize and be sensitive to the needs of our community by adopting and adapting the services we provide through continuous evaluations by setting and maintaining established goals and objectives as needed.
Board Of Trustees
Alan DePietro, President
Elaine Lyon, Vice President
Bert Calnon, Financial Officer
Lisa Wojtaszek, Board Clerk
Laurie Rachetta, Director
Lucy Anne Forkhamer
First Tuesday of every month at 7:00pm, except July and August.
Annual Meeting: April
THE EAST SYRACUSE FREE LIBRARY IS A REPOSITORY FOR BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB, LOCKHEED MARTIN, the I-81 PROJECTS AND THE FORMER GREINER ORCHARDS.
Book Donation Policy
The East Syracuse Free Library will accept book donations throughout the calendar year and must be approved by the staff. We also accept DVD’s and CD’s. No donations will be accepted during the month of August due to tax restrictions. Books must be in excellent condition and either recent or of ongoing interest to contemporary readers. The Library cannot accept old textbooks, magazines, encyclopedias, or cassettes. Once donated, all items become the unconditional property of the Library. Gift receipts are available upon request. No returns and no refunds.
Materials available at esfl
At the ESFL all books, and audio books go out for a three week loan with two renewals, when available. If an item is being requested by another patron, renewals will be denied. Videos, DVDs, and magazines go out for one week loans with two renewals when available. There is a three day grace period on all items. However, if the item is returned after the grace period, you will be charged for the three days, as well as any extra time that the item was out for. We welcome telephone renewals. Fines for children's materials are 10 cents a day, and all other materials are 20 cents per day.