The Town of Crawford Free Library received its permanent charter and was incorporated in 1904 from the State of NY. The library was supported from membership dues, lectures and contributors. One such contributor was H.J. McKenney who helped organize the library and served as president of the association until his death in 1907. He supervised the construction of the building the library now occupies. The first librarian was Mrs. Joel Whitten. The library served the community with books, and story times for the children. The Town of Shawangunk in Pine Bush School District contracted to the Town of Crawford for service
The library became a member of the Ramapo Catskill Library system in the 1960’s. It is a NOVEL ready library. The New York Online Virtual Electronic Library includes thousands of magazines, newspapers, journals, and other informational sources available for use by all library patrons. The library can loan and borrow now with 47 other libraries.
The Board of Trustees bought the adjacent building as we grew. It opened as a community center in 2008. The Public Library was granted an absolute charter in December of 2012. The served district remained the same, only now the Town of Shawangunk area in the Pine Bush School District was no longer on a contract with the library.
Today the library has over 6,500 card holders, has 6 public computers and counted over 40,000 visits to the library in 2015. The library is now open 50 hours a week, hosts multiple programs such as story times, homework help, book clubs, AARP Safety Driving classes, AARP tax counseling, Medicare, and health and finance programs. The library reaches out to the Arts Council, Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, and the Town to seek out the needs of the community.
Video of President Johnson’s Visit to Ellenville Hospital
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