The attached article “Making It Happen: A Small Town Builds Its Own Library,” by former Trustee and Friend of the Library, Kimberly S. Blanchard, appeared in American Libraries, April 1996. Used by permission of the author.

Time Line


  • The Library is granted an extension of its Provisional Charter, by action of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, for and on behalf of the State Education Department, on February 26, 1988.


  • Broke ground for building addition on Carol Place side
  • Commenced landscaping to grounds


  • Grounds landscaped
  • Temporary Certificate of Occupancy issued
  • Village of Pelham Library moved and transitioned into new building
  • Fax machine, photocopier, pay phone, library catalog and public access computers installed
  • Volunteer storytime program started
  • The Library is dedicated and officially opened on September 16


  • Local Area Network (LAN) installed
  • Certificate of Occupancy issued April 10
  • Cherry trees planted
  • American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights is adopted
  • First summer reading program, called Going Places with Reading, is held


  • Mission and Trustee Statements adopted
  • Collection Policy adopted
  • Programs Policy Statement adopted


  • Bookmark column debuts in the Pelham Weekly
  • CD Tower installed on LAN
  • 2 WebGUIS installed bringing total to 4


  • New carpeting installed in, and table and chairs purchased for, the Program Room by a gift from Vic Henningsen
  • T1 line installed
  • New Integrated Library System (ILS) called Dynix installed by Westchester Library System (WLS,) replacing CARL


  • First website launched


  • Children’s board books collection introduced
  • The Friends of the Library gift three cherry trees and one dogwood tree


  • Reconfiguration and alteration to back office space
  • Book Nook built and moved to its current location by the Circulation Desk
  • Rapid Reads (new book that circulates for 2 weeks/no holds) introduced
  • Policy on Use of Internet and Network Computers adopted


  • Library implements new hours including Sunday afternoons


  • The exterior of the Library’s building was painted, funded by the Town of Pelham.
  • The windows in the 1945 addition were repaired, funded by the Town of Pelham.
  • One of the cherry trees along Carol Place was replaced, funded by the Town of Pelham
  • A new telephone and paging system was installed in conjunction with and funded by the Town of Pelham


  • WiFi hotspot installed by WLS
  • Policy on Use of Computers and Wireless Internet Access adopted superseding Policy on Use of Internet and Network Computers
  • The Library’s fire detection system was replaced and additional emergency lights in the basement were installed funded by the Town of Pelham
  • Four columns were replaced at both entrances by the Town of Pelham
  • Pre-School area refurbished with gift from the Friends of the Library including the mural painted by John Hastings


  • The exterior stairs on the Carol Place entrance were retreaded, funded by the Town of Pelham
  • Code of Conduct policy adopted


  • The Library’s Integrated Library System (ILS) was migrated from Dynix to Sirsi
  • The Library completed the project to replace its 3 HVAC units and new flat roof, funded in part by a NYS Library Construction grant
  • The Library also received a NYS Library Construction Grant for 2006-07 to install new lighting in the Adult Reference and stacks area in the addition
  • The Library installed a camera surveillance system, funded by the Friends of the Library
  • The Library conducted a town-wide survey, funded by the Friends of the Library
  • The Library’s parking lot was expanded and repaved, funded by the Town of Pelham
  • Gift Policy adopted


  • Library is awarded a NYS Public Library Construction Grant for 2007-10 for the basement water infiltration issue.
  • The Library completed the installation of new lighting in the reference and adult stacks area.
  • The Library purchased a door counter system to count patron visits beginning in 2009
  • The Town and Pelham Manor Village completed a joint project to expand the Library’s parking capacity by providing additional parking on Carol Place
  • WLS installed a PC Reservation System and Print Management system for the pubic computers as well as a coin box for accepting payment for printing
  • Participated in Poetry Westchester!: The Poem You Want to Write and Adult Poetry Workshop with Poets House for adults and teens. The difficulty of anagrams : a Poetry Westchester! anthology, Pelham Poetry: a Poetry Westchester! teen anthology, and Twisted balance : a Poetry Westchester! anthology written by participants added to the collection. Poetry Westchester! was funded by the Westchester Library System (WLS) through the Westchester County Board of Legislators.
  • Received a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities for a Together We Read series. Held a Together Book Talk for Parents and Kids in the fall.


  • Participated in Creative Aging in Our Communities developed by Lifetime Arts, Inc. In conjunction with the Pelham Art Center, sponsored Reflections on a Lifetime: Writing and Collage, funded through a grant from the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation to WLS in partnership with Lifetime Arts, Inc. and the Friends of the Library.
  • Installed electrical outlets to the reference table to support laptop use
  • The Library completed the Library Construction Grant to prevent basement water intrusion with the installation of a generator and three sump pumps in the basement
  • The new door counter counted a total of 96,340 patron visits for 2009—its first year in operation
  • The Town of Pelham installed a new lighted flagpole at the Library, refurbished the brick walk and regraded the Wolfs Lane lawn. A flag-raising ceremony was held with Veterans of American Legion Post 50 of Pelham.
  • The Library was granted its Absolute Charter, on April 20, 2009, by the Board of Regents of The University of New York, for and on behalf of the State Education Department


  • Continued the Creative Aging in Our Communities Project with the Pelham Art Center, Creative Aging Reflections: Inside/Outside the Box, funded through a grant from the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation, designed by Lifetime Arts, Inc., and administrated in partnership with WLS
  • Received NYS Library Construction Grant to redo the lighting in the main room
  • JLP initiates a Puppet Workshop program for grade school-age children Aesop comes to Town. Based on Aesop fables, children created puppets and put on a skit based on the tales.
  • Lighting fixtures were installed in basement of the Library, funded by the Town of Pelham.
  • A backflow prevention device was installed in the basement for the sprinkler system, funded by the Town of Pelham
  • Media system installed in program room with a special legislative grant received with Amy Paulin’s support
  • Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy adopted
  • Open Meetings Policy formally adopted


  • Added and installed 2 additional hardwired computers for public use
  • Policy on Use of Computers and Wireless Internet Access amended
  • Code of Conduct policy amended
  • The Friends of the Library funded the purchase of new chairs for the eight public computer stations
  • Received a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities for a Together We Read series. Held a Together–Book Talk for Parents and Kids.


  • Started complete replacement of  the building’s original slate roof
  • Received New York State Library Construction grant for slate roof


  • Completed slate roof project
  • Received DASNY grant for roof project
  • Widened library parking lot aprons, entrance and exit
  • Completed library main room lighting renovation project including the repainting of main reading room
  • Friends of the Library received grants from both the New York Council for the Humanities and the Junior League of Pelham to create and develop the first community-wide read featuring Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, together with Pelham Art Center and the Pelham Picture House


  • WiFi printing introduced


  • Five new LED lamp posts installed on grounds
  • A new entrance sign was installed
  • New above-ground lights were installed on the flagpole and corner sign


  • Received a NYS Library Construction grant for automated door for Carol Place entrance and ramp restoration


  • Completed grant project to install automated door and restore the ramp for Carol Place entrance


  • Awarded a NYS Library construction grant to renovate bathrooms and replace select concrete pavers and engraved bricks
  • The Readers of Oz, the Library’s teen team led by librarian Oz Coto-Chang, won the coveted title to the county-wide Battle of the Books
  • Partnered with the Friends of the Town of Pelham Library on community-wide Pelham Reads! featuring Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American WomanWho Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space by Margo Lee Shetterly


  • The Library launches a new logo and revamps the website
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