History of the Port Leyden Community Library

Our library began in 1920 with books donated by the Literacy Club that were housed in a small room at the school.  The library was initially called the "Library Association" with ninety-five members paying annual dues of one dollar.  A meeting was held in 1925 to appoint trustees.  Library service was within the boundaries of Consolidated School District #5 Town of Leyden.

Using volunteers, the Port Leyden Community Library opened on March 20, 1925.  A program was held at the school with clergy, students and faculty also in attendance.  Seventy books were loaned the first evening.  Approximately two hundred books had been donated by towns people.  The following month, a provisional charter was granted by the New York State Education Department.

The Library applied for an Absolute Charter in 1970.  The library served a combined population of about 1700 in the towns of Leyden and Lyonsdale and the Village of Port Leyden. On October 19, 1978 the library was granted an Absolute Charter.

Trustees were notified that Imogene Tallcott willed her home to the library in April of 1985.  The board of trustees decided to put the property up for sale.  With the proceeds the board purchased the building on Canal Street from Lally Manufacturing, formerly Mangans' Appliance Store.  Construction began in August of 1987 to renovate the building.  The formal dedication of the new library was held on November 22, 1987.  From 1985 to 1987 the board, known affectionately as the "Magnificent 7", worked deligently and tirelessly as they achieved their goal of moving the library from a small area in the Port Leyden Elementary School to our present day location.  The Magnificent 7 consisted of board members Jean Bosco, Ellen Coffey, Ruth Mangan, Laura Mekkelson, Florence O'Connor, Julia Parrish and Vivian Seeloff.