On the Map
by Norm Parry, Library Director, New Woodstock Free Library
Playing well with others can literally put your library on the map. That’s what the New Woodstock Free Library learned during the six month grant
application process that placed on site a roadside marker commemorating the building’s 177 year history. Formerly a church, built circa 1836, the often renovated building was acquired by the library association in 1995 and refitted as a full service modern library facility, wired for cyberspace and ready to grow with the community.
Combining the talents and resources of several organizations, including the historical society, the highway department, the county records office and the regional church diocese, documentation was compiled that met the exacting evidence requirements of the granting agency, The William G. Pomeroy Foundation. The marker was dedicated in October 2013, with a celebration that included town and county officials, representatives from historical societies, the highway department, the library and other local civic and community service organizations.
The New Woodstock Regional Historical Society, with Town Historian Sara Chevako, led the effort with painstaking research, grant writing acumen and access to historical archives. The highway department installed the sign. The library handled the publicity and communications among the participating agencies. The county records office provided information leading to the discovery of original documents establishing the provenance of the building. “This effort represents how cooperation among the many stakeholders in our community can do more than any one agency could do on its own,” historical society President Kathleen Weimar said.
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation has been providing grants for Historic Roadside Markers since 2006, and has funded over 80 markers primarily in Central New York, Chevako noted. “The foundation paid for the forging of the sign and even provided the post to which the sign is affixed,” Chevako said. “This is wonderful recognition for our Hamlet. We are pleased that the long history of the building is now emphatically celebrated in this way,” she added.
The New Woodstock Free Library will mark its 75th anniversary in 2014 noted Library Director Norm Parry. “The longevity of the building in which the library is now housed and the continuous library service for three quarters of a century can be attributed to the care and sustaining efforts of hundreds of individuals and numerous partner organizations,” Parry said. “This latest collaboration is evidence that the spirit of cooperation flourishes today as it did a hundred or two hundred years ago when people got together for the initial roof raising. We are reminded that libraries and other community service organizations work best when they share common purpose with others. It’s a whole lot more effective. And infinitely more fun.”