Belly dancing, anyone? Or how about “Pizza & Pokémon”? Or a quilting class? My grandmother would have loved to join the Knitting Club. There is a weekly Story Hour available for the preschool crowd. Whatever your interests, your age, or your energy level, the Little Falls Public Library has something for you.
The library, built in 1876, is a spectacular three-story brick house at 10 Waverly Place. It is conveniently located in the center of the city, just a stone’s throw from Benton Hall Academy. County Judge Rollin Smith (1838-1911) deeded his home to the city to use as the town library and provided an endowment for its conversion and care. In 1982, a new addition was built and dedicated, effectively doubling the floor space. The original part contains reading, reference, and storage rooms; part of the library’s charm is that this wing still feels like you are visiting a grand and comfortable house. The well-matched addition includes the main entrance, library, and community rooms. This past fall, the new handicapped entrance was installed by Little Falls Construction. In 2017, the library plans fundraising activities to aid with the cost of staffing in order to keep competitive with industry standards.
Besides books and periodicals, the library houses several decorative arts collections. Locals are proud of the beautiful and extensive Hurley Collection of Little Falls diamonds (quartz rock crystals unique to our county). There is also a butterfly collection donated by Edward Terry and a large collection of Staffordshire figurines. Upstairs, there’s an impressive collection of export china and pottery (most of it was made in England between 1820-1880 for the American market). Some of it displays Erie Canal imagery. There is also a large-scale map of the city of Little Falls that was drawn in 1906. To access this room, just ask the librarians for permission. After you admire the china, linger to review the map and see if your house is on it—it’s fun to compare the map to what your block looks like today.
Little Falls Library is far bigger than the collections within its walls because it is one of 43 members of the Mid York Library System. This gives us access to the collections of the other member libraries. The system also provides automation of services such as processing book loans and coordinating the summer-reading program. This cornucopia of books, music, movies, and periodicals may be accessed online through the library’s website: lflibrary.org. Once you obtain your library card (free!), it is easy to sit at home in your slippers enjoying the latest edition of The Economist or The Atlantic Monthly—to name just a couple of current magazines—on your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Books on tape are also available if you are planning a long trip or wish to enliven your daily commute.
Please visit the library today, and find out what captures your imagination.