History

A Brief History of the Franklin Square Public Library

 

November 1937:  Initiated by members of the Monroe Street School PTA, the Franklin Square Free Library Association is formed.

January 31, 1938:  The library opens in the basement of Monroe Street School.  The library is open 6 hours a week and staffed entirely by volunteers.

June 16, 1939:  Franklin Square Public Library is granted a charter by New York State as a School District Library.

August 1, 1939:  The library hires its first librarian.

August 1945:  The Franklin Square Public Library moves from its location in Monroe Street School to a storefront at 8 New Hyde Park Road.  Library hours are increased to 44 hours per week.

Early 1950s:  The library outgrows its New Hyde Park Road location.  The idea of purchasing land and building a new structure for the library is considered by the Library Board.

November 1953:  The community votes for a library building to be constructed.  Several marshy lots are purchased on Lincoln Road as the future site of the Franklin Square Public Library.

1956:  Ground is broken for the new building.

1957:  The new building on Lincoln Road is completed and dedicated.

1964:  The library celebrates its 25th anniversary.  A small meeting room addition is built.

March 6, 1973:  A vote to expand the library is defeated.

1974:  Renovations to accommodate the handicapped are completed.

1994:  Interior renovations are completed to prepare the building for computers and other new services.

January 1996:  WIth the hope of expanding the library, the Library Board purchases two adjacent houses north of the existing building.

October 1996:  The Library Board proposes an expansion which would double the size of the original library.

November 13, 1996:  Put to a vote, the expansion project is rejected by community voters concerned about its price and the impact a larger library would have on the local parking situation.

December 1, 1998:  A second more modest expansion project is voted upon. This time the vote passes overwhelmingly.

June 9, 2000:  Ground is broken for the expanded Franklin Square Library.  The project’s architect is Schaardt & Fullan, de Silva Architects and the project manager is Edwin S. Tweedy, Inc.  With only a few exceptions, the Library remains open throughout the construction process.

October 6, 2002:  The expanded and updated library is re-dedicated.

2007:  The Franklin Square Public Library celebrates its 50th anniversary at its Lincoln Road location.

2011:  A remodeling of the Library’s front door is completed making the building more energy efficient and handicapped accessible.  (click here to view images from the renovation)

2019: New Teen Space was dedicated.

For more information regarding the history of Franklin Square and its library, see the book: A History of Franklin Square and Environs: The Way It Was by Paul D. Van Wie (available to borrow or purchase at the Franklin Square Library).