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Our History

The New City Free Library was founded in 1936 and was originally housed in the New City School. Books were provided primarily by the school and by public donation. The library received $100 in state aid, and matching funds were raised by Library Committee bake sales, tea parties, book sales, and fashion shows.

In 1942, the New City Library Committee, "an unincorporated association of citizens" offered New City School District #5 the books it owned in an arrangement whereby the School Board would support the New City Free Library, and the Committee would continue to handle library business and select books.

By 1950 the school district could no longer support the library due to centralization and the need to convert the spaced used by the library into a classroom. A request was made to the Town Board of Supervisors for a $500 annual fee to support the library. A local attorney donated his legal services to incorporate the Library Committee as the New City Free Library Association, and applied for a charter with the State Education Department.

A provisional charter was obtained in 1951, along with a grant of $100. The library moved to the basement of the school while plans for a building went forward, paid for by contributions from the townsfolk, donated materials, and a charter membership fee to the library of five dollars. The New City Fire Department donated land on Maple Avenue.

In 1953 the library opened, financed primarily through yearly membership drives. The library was open twelve hours per week. 1956 saw the first discussions of obtaining library support from the taxpayers, and in 1958 a petition supporting tax support through the school district was adopted. The library's annual budget was $5,000.

In 1978, due to space constrictions a new building was constructed. It was completed on January 19, 1980. Bentel and Bentel served as the artictectural firm.

Today the library is a modern facility serving nearly 50,000 people, in the communities of New City, Congers, and Bardonia, with a collection of about 170,000 volumes and a circulation of over one half million.

 

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