60 Years and Still Growing
We have taken free and public libraries for granted for many years, and yet the actual creation of the Rosendale Library was the dream and work of many people over many years: Town Clerk Anna Mae Auchmoedy, The Comus Club for girls, The Rosendale Women’s Club, local cement baron A.J. Snyder, a multitude of volunteers, a talented young mason, dedicated directors and staff and all the people of Rosendale who wanted their little town to become a big town.
The Rosendale Free Library started in a small space in the Town Clerk’s Office with donated books and books on loan from New York State in 1940. Enthusiasm for the idea caught fire, and in 1958 the Library Committee of the Rosendale Women’s Club sponsored the formation of the Rosendale Library Association. Over 150 volunteers helped raise money with the first Rosendale Library Fair that summer, and on October 24, 1958 the Library Charter was granted to Rosendale Library. This is the milestone we are celebrating this year.
In April of 1959, the library moved into the beautiful All Saints Chapel which had seen two hurricanes and floods, threatened demolition and a heroic rescue by A.J. Snyder who donated it to the town as a library. A lovely large addition brought much-needed room to the building in 1977. That same year Rosendale Library’s first MLS librarian, Director Wendy Alexander, was hired, and we received our Absolute Charter from New York State. The Rosendale Library added the new world of computers in 1992, with free internet access in 1995. A Gates Grant in 2001 gave us four public use computers. The same year Mid-Hudson Library System went on line with barcoded books and patron cards, leading the way to system holds, home access, our library webpage, online catalog, e-Book downloads, and all the online features we now take for granted.