The Greenwich Free Library strives to create a welcoming atmosphere, respecting individual rights to privacy and choice. We provide free and open access to literature, information, technology, meeting spaces, and cultural and educational experiences. We reach out and collaborate with people in the Greenwich area to enrich their lives and strengthen our community.
The Greenwich Free Library will be more widely recognized as a center for literacy, preservation of and access to local history materials, lifelong learning, inspiration, recreation and community connection.
Statement of Core Values
Accessibility: Working to eliminate physical, economic, cultural, technological and social barriers.
Sustainability: Ensuring stewardship of the Library resources through environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically feasible practices.
Intellectual Freedom: Guaranteeing and facilitating the free exchange of information and ideas in a democratic society, protecting intellectual freedom and respecting individuals’ rights to privacy and choice.
Adopted by the Board of Directors February 8, 2017
Early in 1902, at the urging of a small group of local women who saw the need for a public library, a project was launched for the establishment of the Greenwich Free library. Greenwich was not without a library through the earlier years. There was a public, though not free, library in Greenwich as early as 1833. It was a modest venture on a very small scale and has left little record of its history. The Greenwich Academy, a private school founded in the late l830’s slowly accumulated a library which for a small fee was available to the general public. The Turner house on Main street was purchased, a charter was applied for, trustees were elected, an auxiliary was organized, and nearly $2000 of the $3800 purchase price of the building was raised. By 1939 the library had outgrown its quarters. The Thompson house on Main St. was purchased in 1944 for $5000 and the library moved in on September 1 of that year.
An Endowment Fund was established in 1916 with a donation by I.C. Blandy and it grew over the years providing the impetus for the 1944 Thompson house purchase. In 1965 the library became a member of the Southern Adirondack Library System. 1965 saw the addition of the I.V.H. Gill Historical Room and in 1969 the Friends of the Greenwich Free library was organized. It became increasingly apparent that the library was outgrowing its space and in March of 1972 a lot at the corner of Main and Academy streets was purchased. Construction on the present facility began in late September 1973 and the building was completed and opened to the public on March 18, 1974
A need for expansion became apparent and began in February of 2002. Since the completion of the library expansion from 3,340 to 5,540 square
Starting in 2016, we embarked on a program of building renovations and improvements that included updates to heating and air conditioning, insulating and waterproofing our basement and the creation of a reading and gathering space on our covered back porch. In 2018, we completely renovated the basement; creating new public meeting spaces, a new Friends books sale room and a new IVH Gill Local History Room. In 2021, we are renovating the main floor of the library and look forward to providing even better service to the community.