A BRIEF HISTORY OF BANCROFT LIBRARY
Bancroft Public Library in Salem was opened December 5, 1891. Melville Dewey, then secretary of the public library department of the University of the State of New York, signed the certificate of registry, dated February 14, 1896. Located on the seconed floor of the Proudfit Building on Salem's Main Street, the library was named for Benjamin F. Bancroft, banker and benefactor of the community during the middle and late 1800's.
A unique collection of books on natural history was donated in memory of Hiram Walker after his death in 1870, and is known as the Walker Collection. The majority of this collection of 400 books is on ornithology. Interest in Ornithology is endemic in Salem, for John James Audubon's granddaughter, Maria R. Audubon, lived here from 1890 to 1925, and edited and published Audubon and His Journals in 1897.
In January 1976, a fire, later determined to have been caused by faulty wiring, destroyed the upper two floors of the Proudfit Building. The fire department and townspeople made a heroic effort and perhaps a fourth of the books survived, including almost all of the local history, bound copies of newspapers, and rare books dating back to the early days of the community. The first floor of the building was saved.
Our juvenile area is always very active with children enjoying the computers, working on their homework, playing games or just relaxing with a good book!
CHILDREN: Children have an area in the library dedicated to their use. Here you will find baskets of board books, oversized books, picture books, easy reader books, and read along cassette/book sets. These all circulate according to the library policy, 2 weeks with up to 3 renewals. For use inside the library are puzzles, toys, and computers. We also receive a "Bulk Loan" of children's books from SALS that rotate every six weeks between libraries. Ongoing are also events, such as crafts, for children of all ages. See the library for details.
TEENS: Teens, or "Young Adults", can enjoy books and video's that are mixed in with the adult books. These materials may be checked out for 2 weeks with up to three renewals. Video's allowed to be taken out by young adults are rated PG-13 and below, and circulate for 2 days with up to three renewals. They can also enjoy events such as arts and crafts ongoing in the library. See the library for details.
ADULTS: Adults will find most of the current best-seller fiction books in addition to an extensive range of non-fiction books. We also receive "Bulk Loans" from SALS every six weeks consisting of a range of fiction books. All books circulate for 2 weeks and can be renewed for up to 3 times. We also have Books-on-Tape, and large type books for the elderly or for those who like to listen to the latest titles on the road. Books on the best-seller list can be reserved and held for two days only and can be renewed once.
FAMILIES: In addition to books, we have video's and circulating computer CD-ROM's. We also have computers for use in the library for playing educational games, and internet access.
Special CollectionsWILLIAM (Al) CORMIER, VILLAGE & TOWN HISTORIAN
The Bancroft Public Library has a small local history collection and microfilm copies of "The Journal-Press " dating back to the late 1800's. We also have some census records and cemetery records on microfilm for patron use and yearbooks of Salem Central school dating back into the 1920's. Historical materials do not leave the library, but a photo-copier is available to make paper copies of materials for $0.15/page.
Friends of the Library
Paula Krieg, President
The Friends is an active organization who support the library by sponsoring event and programs. Friends meet 10:AM on the 4th Wed. of the month. To join or for more information, please stop in the library during normal operating hours.
PAULA KRIEG, PRES.
CAROLYN MALE, VICE PRES.
ANITA WITTEN, SEC.
SUE KEYES, TREAS.
LIBRARY BOOK CLUB MEETS
ON THE FIRST TUES. OF THE MONTH
IN THE HISTORICAL ROOM 11-12:30
NEW MEMBERS ARE WELCOME
LUCY AND PEG ARE DEDICATED LIBRARY VOLUNTEERS. THE LIBRARY STAFF ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE THEM AND APPRECIATE ALL THEY DO FOR THE LIBRARY.
Carlene worked many long hours entering the cemetery records for Evergreen and Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. Dolores proof-read the entries. Many, many thanks for their hard work.
MARY KILPATRICK, PRES.
BRIAN TIFFT, MAYOR