The Cazenovia Public Library recently celebrated 125 years of operation in it’s location at 100 Albany St. From 7 to 9 p.m. on June 3, the library hosted more than 150 Cazenovia residents at a party on their front lawn.
Attendees enjoyed a selection of hors d’oeuvres, desserts and tunes from the band Ten Strings Duo under the tent while celebrating the library’s 125 years of service to the community.
“We’re so pleased to see the show of support and number of community members that came out to celebrate the birthday,” said Cazenovia Public Library Director Betsy Kennedy. “Our goal is to stay relevant, and I think we’re succeeding.”
Along with officials from the Cazenovia village and town boards, Assemblyman Bill Magee and Senator David Valesky also made appearances at the party. Both politicians spoke to the crowd, honoring Kennedy’s dedication and the Cazenovia Public Library’s past 125 years.
“Libraries, in a very real sense, are the heart and soul of communities,” Valesky said. “It says a lot about the community of Cazenovia to have supported its public library this well for the past 125 years.”
Magee delivered the news that an official resolution had been passed in both the New York State Senate and the Assembly, commending the 125th anniversary of the Cazenovia Public Library.
In 1886, the United States contained only 38 states, ragtime music and Coca Cola were first publicly introduced and President Grover Cleveland dedicated the newly erected Statue of Liberty. Cazenovia was eight years shy of its centennial anniversary, and a Cazenovia Library Society formed to build a permanent collection of books and papers to serve the growing community.
Through fees, memberships, and generosity of the village, the project soon grew into fruition. But after four years housed in small office rooms, it became apparent more space was needed and a new location was soon sought.
Society member Robert J. Hubbard, took action and bought and donated John William’s Greek Revival house, still the library’s home today. Hubbard also contributed a diverse collection of natural history artifacts, objects of local interest as well as his souvenirs from his 1894 Grand Tour.
A construction project in 1996 allowed the library to expand both its space and opportunities for the community. The expansion allowed for more shelf and reading space and added an art gallery, archive, community meeting rooms and a Children’s story garden.
“Not only is the library for the community, but it is reliant upon it,” Kennedy said. “It really is the people that make the Library great. Without the dedicated staff, weekly volunteers, the Friends and the Trustees, the Library would not function.”
The 125th birthday party was complete with a specially-made cake from Pascale’s Bakehouse and Cafe, constructed in the shape and style of the library’s historic architecture.
For more information on the Cazenovia Public Library’s resources and history, visit their website cazenoviapubliclibrary.org, call 655-9322 or stop by their Albany Street location.