2761 Maple Avenue, Newfane, New York 14108 | Phone: (716) 778-9344

Library History

newfane-library-history

The Story of the Newfane Free Library

January 12, 1911

A meeting of the committees from the different organizations of the town of Newfane was called at the Methodist Evangelical Church, Tuesday evening, January 12, 1911 at 7:00pm to consider the question of the need of a town library and to arrange for the establishment of the same.

The committees consisted of the following:

  • The Ladies Club
  • The Grange
  • The Gin Club
  • The Firemen
  • Women’s Christian Temperance Union
  • Methodist Evagelical Sunday School
  • Baptist Sunday School
  • The Business Men

The meeting was called to order by the chairman of the Ladies Club, Mrs. J. Lindsey.

The question was asked, “Does the Town of Newfane need a Public Library and Reading Room.” A vote was taken and it was unanimously carried in the affirmative.

Letters from the New York Educational Department and the librarian of the Lewiston Free Library were read.

Mr. C. Herbert McClew was chosen Chairman and Rev. W. W. Robinson Asst. Chairman, Elma McKee Secretary and Ira Roland Treasurer.

The question of raising funds for the first “One Hundred Dollars” before calling the public meeting was discussed. A motion was made and carried that a subscriptive committee be appointed by the chair.

The question of location of a library was discussed and a motion was made and carried that the chair appoint a committee for this purpose.

February 3, 1911

A meeting of the library committee was held at Mrs. Butterfield’s. The subscription committee reported that ($105.00) one hundred and five dollars have been subscribed and (118) one hundred and eighteen volumes donated by Mr. Shelley.

No building had been found.

April 3, 1911

A meeting of the townspeople was held at the Methodist Evangelical Church at 8:00pm for the purpose of electing trustees for the Newfane Free Library.

The meeting was called to order by chairman McClew.

A committee on nominations was appointed, consisting Rev. Robinson, Fred Shelley and William Collins.

The committee reported the following for trustees:

  • Charles Miller
  • Rev. Schaubacker
  • Dr. Cole
  • Mrs. Butterfield
  • Elma McKee

A motion was made and seconded that the report be accepted. The motion was carried.

A meetings was held on April 5, 1911 to appoint terms and positions, with Mrs. Butterfield as President and Elma McKee as Secretary. Ms. McKee would also act as Treasurer, per the June 5, 1911 meeting, where a motion was made and seconded that application be made to the State Department to use $5.00 for a card catalogue case.

June 23, 1911

From the record-keeping book that was being used at the time, $52.00 was paid to Frank Shaw as rent for three rooms for year beginning July 1, 1911.

July 11, 1911

The next recorded meeting was July 11, 1911 held in the library rooms. It doesn’t specify where those rooms were, but I am assuming they were the rooms rented from Frank Shaw.

November 1911

From the Condensed Accession Book: The Official Record of Each Volume Added To the Library by Melvil Dewey, M. A. (Amherst) Director New York State Library and Literary School, dated November 1911, the first book to officially added to the library was a book of fables by Aesop.

Using an accession book was the way libraries were able to keep track of what they purchased, how much they paid for it, etc. If you’ve ever checked out an older book from the library, the number written or typed on the pocket would’ve been the accession number, which could be referenced back to the Accession Book to see how much the library paid for it, etc.

In 1911, when the first group of books were added to the Accession Book, they were added alphabetically by author (of course!), which placed Aesop first. The last to be added was Heir of Redcliffe by Charlotte Yonge. All 259 volumes were from the estate of L. J. Wright.

September 25, 1914

The next entry in the book of library minutes is September 25, 1914 at the home of Charles Miller. Irma Dodge had resigned as librarian, and Mrs. Frisbie “was enged to act as librarian for the month of October.”

October 29, 1914, 8:00pm

The trustees of the Newfane Free Libary met at the home of Charles Miller. Trustees present : Butterfield, Cole, Miller and McKee. Mrs. Butterfield in the chair.

It was voted to engage Mrs. Clay as librarian and Mrs. Dougless as assistant at the regular price of 18 cents per hour.

Mr. C. H. McClew was appointed as trustee to fill out the unexpired term of Charles Schaubacker resigned.

It was voted to send out evelopes asking for subscriptions. 500 to be printed.

It was decided to sell 500 tickets on the auto horn at 10 cents.

March 27, 1919

Meeting of the trustees held in the Library at 7:30pm. All were present. The report of the Secretary and Treasurer were given and approved.

It was voted to ask for a State grant of $50 for the purchase of new books. It was voted to renew the subscriptions to the magazines already taken and add to our list – The National Geographic and The Literary Digest.

It was voted to hold regular meetings once a month.

It was voted to hold the Rose Festival in June.

Mr. Shaw was appointed a committee of one to confer with Mr. Warren in regard to the care of the toilet.

August, 1921

A meeting of the trustees was held in the library, Tues (?) evening at 8 o’clock. All trustees were present and James Kelley was invited to attend, Mrs. Butterfield in the chair.

The question of new rooms was discussed and a motion was made by Mr. Shaw and seconded by Mrs. McKee that the band hall be purchased to be used as a library. It resulted in the following vote – Collins: yes, Shaw: yes, McClew: no, Butterfield: yes, McKee: yes.

Mr. McClew then moved that the hall be moved onto the Dowding (?) lot or some other property on Main Street. This was carried. Question of a float was discussed but no vote was taken. It is understood that we will have one in the Harvest Day parade. Meeting adjourned.

August 9, 1922

A meeting of the Library trustees was held in the Library Wed Evening August 9, 1922.

It was voted to put on a moving picture show for the benefit of the library on the evenings of August 18-19. It was moved and carried that Mrs. Kruger and some of the ladies act as a committee to select the film.

The election of officers then took place. Mrs. Buttefield was elected President, Mrs. Shoemaker Vice President and Elma McKee Secretary and Treasurer. Misters Shaw and McClew building committee.

It was voted to put a float in the Harvest Day parade.

It was moved and carried that the Secretary send for 15 Publicity Posters and have the holders made for them.

It was voted that the Dearborn Press publications be filed in the store room and used only for reference.

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