The Philmont Public Library is located at 101 Main Street in Philmont.
Philmont Public Library
101 Main Street
P.O. Box 816
Philmont, NY 12565
About the Library:
Reseached and written by Shannon Hosier.
The first library in Philmont began in conjunction with the village school in 1842. The library opened with eight books, and was located in the basement of the school (1). Harry J Krom, while sole school trustee refused to use state library money to pay teachers salaries, so he used it to purchase a circulating library owned privately in the village of Hillsdale, thus the library was officially started (4). The Philmont Public Library received its first Provisional Charter on September 29, 1893 from the New York State Board of Regents, (10) and contained 452 books by this point. (4) CF Randall was the first librarian to serve, from 1893-1894.
It is rumored that in 1894 the original school building was purchased for $45 and moved across the street to become a dwelling and a new brick building was erected in its spot and named the Union Free School (1); however, a picture titled “Philmont High School” states that the brick building was erected in 1861 (12). The Union Free School building was demolished in the mid-1950’s (12). What stands in place of the school now is the Philmont Cooperative and was previously a Stewart’s Shop. The library was granted its Permanent Charter on December 15, 1898 (9).
In 1907 Mrs. Ida F. Harder, with the help of other community members, presented the library with matching tables, chairs, rugs and cushions which were used in a room dedicated as the reading room when the library was open. The school district also supplied six or seven periodicals for the room (4).
By 1913 the number of books had grown to 2,643 (4).
On October 7, 1925 the Village of Philmont considered a new building for the library (13). In 1932 the library was closed from August 9 to September 17 to move the books and equipment from the basement of the school building to a vacant store in the Hayes Block on Main Street. The store was leased for a period of five years and contained both the library and a reading room (3).
The Philmont Public Library moved into the municipal building on Main Street in 1947 (13). In anticipation of the opening of Ockawamick Central School the library was essentially given over to the village (14). Although the books and materials of the library were turned over to the village in 1947 (14), it wasn’t until September 26, 1952, that official approval was given for all library property to be transferred to the Village of Philmont from the Union Free School. The library became officially funded by the municipality instead of the school district at this time (13).
At this point the Philmont Public Library filed with the board of regents to dissolve their former charter and were granted a provisional charter on Sept. 26, 1952 by the Education Department (11).
The library was moved into the second floor of the municipal building in December of 1956. The library was closed for 11 weeks while this move was made (2). There is now a vacant lot where the original municipal building stood. The library received a five-year extension of its charter on March 29, 1957 (5), and another five-year Provisional Charter on September 28, 1962 (6).
By 1962, the year the library moved to the Village Hall, the number of books in the collection had grown to 6,500 (14). They received a three-year extension of their provisional charter on Oct. 25, 1968 (7). The Absolute Charter was granted on March 29, 1974 by the New York State Board of Regents (4a).
By 1999, the number of books in the library collection had grown to 21,499. It was decided that the collection needed to be downsized, and many of the books were taken out of circulation. However by 2001 the number of books in the library collection had grown again to over 25,000.
In fall, 2002 the village purchased an old insurance building thanks to a grant from Senator Saland. Thanks to hard work by the Mayor and Village board of trustees, the library now occupies its seventh location, at 101 Main Street. The library closed on August 9, 2003 and reopened on September 15, 2003.
Director Tobi Farley