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Johnstown Public Library

Sir William Johnson, Mohawk Baronet and New York’s connection with the Iroquois Nation, maintained a working library in his home and shared this reading materials with his fellow Johnstown citizens until his death in 1774.  Johnson is credited with building the first free public school in New York.  In addition, the Court House he had built in 1772 is one of the oldest active court houses in the the United States.


In 1836 Joseph Cuyler allowed a portion of his North Perry Street office to be used as a library with Johnstown residents permitted to borrow books on Saturday afternoons.  The Johnstown Academy Library opened its doors to the general public in 1872.  In 1886 the “King’s Daughters” auxiliary of the YMCA, in conjunction with the YMCA, opened a fee-based reading room in the old McFarlain Building.  The books used there were from the old Cady Mansion.


Andrew Carnegie pledged $20,000 for a library in 1901 and later upped the amount to $25,0000 after the city had raised $6,000 towards the project.  The citizens of Johnstown continue to show the same support today as they did when the library opened at its present location in 1902.


Serving the City of Johnstown residents and surrounding area, the library offers reading material in a number of formats such as books, ebooks and  audio books. Use of public computers and dvd’s, public meeting rooms and special programming are also available.  It has an extensive local history collection that helps with research on both family and area histories.  Open seven days a week September-May and five days a week June-August, it continues to be an integral part of the City of Johnstown.


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