Wood Library Celebrates 160 Years!

April 24, 2019 (Canandaigua, NY)—The public is invited to Wood Library’s 160th anniversary celebration which will take place on Sunday, May 5, 2019, from 1:00-4:00PM, at 134 N Main St, Canandaigua, New York.  The family-friendly celebration will feature refreshments, a formal presentation, crafts, games, and historic displays.  This event kicks off a year of special activities planned by the library to commemorate this special anniversary year.

Wood Library was first conceived by a small group of enterprising Canandaigua citizens who set out to establish a membership-funded book collection and reading room.  The reading room opened on May 5, 1859, and was located in Canandaigua’s City Hall.  The founding members named the library in memory of William Wood, a local philanthropist who, among other things, was known for establishing libraries on merchant ships

By 1861, funds were raised, books purchased, rules and regulations drafted, and a catalog listing of books printed.  Wood Library was incorporated on April 17, 1868 for the “purpose of establishing and maintaining a public library, reading room and museum with a historical department and for other literary and scientific purposes.” Frederick F. Thompson served as the library association’s first president.  Later, with leadership from Miss Isaphine Granger, Wood Library was incorporated as a free public library on June 24, 1896.

“Wood Library has changed dramatically since those early days as a members-only reading room in City Hall,” states Executive Director Jenny Goodemote.  “Yet, in all those years, Wood Library has served as a gateway to knowledge and information, and helped people connect with the world and each other.  One of our benefactors once told me that his life was completely transformed for the better as a result of the time he spent in Wood Library as a young boy.  His experience is not unlike that of the teens who hang out at the library after school today.  Wood Library has and will continue to play an important role in people’s lives as it is an essential and accessible resource for learning, literacy, and personal growth.”

Today, Wood Library is a full-service public library that is chartered by New York State to serve everyone who resides in the Canandaigua City School District.  Its mission is to provide exceptional public library service in a comfortable and safe environment where people can satisfy their curiosity, stimulate their imaginations, and connect to the local community and to the world.

“This anniversary celebration is an opportunity to acknowledge the visionaries who established Wood Library, and to thank everyone—trustees, staff, community members, Friends, and donors—who continue to work every day to ensure that Wood Library can adapt and meet the needs of the people it serves well into the future.”

For information call 585-394-1381 or go to woodlibrary.org.