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 municipal building.
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 2022 the library has over 5,000 registered borrowers and houses over 27,000 items for circulation. This number consists of Fiction books, Non Fiction books, Large Print, Audio books, DVDs, periodicals and learning kits. In addition, the library has downloadable music and e-books. The collection circulated nearly 58,000 items in 2021. 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.