History

History of the Kent Public Library

 

kpreadingcenterThe Kent Public Library owes a debt of gratitude to the enthusiastic volunteers who worked tirelessly in pursuit of a community library for the residents of Kent. Starting in the early 1960s, Wilma Baker and a group of dedicated volunteers organized meetings, petitions, letter writing campaigns, rummage sales, membership drives, book sales, and dances in order to establish a library for the town of Kent. These volunteers founded the Kent Literary Association on May 24, 1963.

 

The first Kent Public Reading Room was a part of Edna Stadler’s Curio Shop in Lake Carmel on Chauncey Road and moved to share a building with Gladys Boalt’s Fabric and Crafts Shop on Smadbeck Road (now Rt. 52). On May 25, 1967, the association was granted a provisional charter by the Education Department of the State of New York as the Kent Free Public Library. The library purchased the other half of the building on Smadbeck Road on August 24, 1972. On September 26, 1987, by unanimous vote of the Kent Town Board, the library changed its status from an association library to a town public library, effective January 1, 1988.
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In July, 2001, the residents of the Town of Kent voted to build a new town center, including a new library building. The town center buildings were completed in November 2004. The Kent Public Library is currently located at 17 Sybil’s Crossing, sharing the Kent Town Center with the Town Hall building and Police Department.

 

 

 

 

 

Library Timeline

May 12, 1964 Incorporation of the Kent Literary Association
June 8, 1964 Contract signed between Kent Literary Association and the Mid-Hudson Library Association for library services
June 27, 1964 Kent Reading Center Building dedication ceremony
April 15, 1965 Library moves to share a building with Gladys Boalt’s Fabric and Crafts Shop on Smadbeck Road
January 30, 1967 Certificate of Establishment granted by NY State Division of Library Extension for a free association library for the Town of Kent
May 25, 1967 NY State provisional charter given to the Kent Free Public Library
March 19, 1972 Dedication of the Kent Public Library Building on Route 52 after purchasing the entire building
January 1976 Permanent charter established by NYS Board of Regents
January 1, 1988 The association library becomes a town public library
September 16, 1988 Kent Public Library is granted a permanent charter by the Education Department of the State of New York
August 2003 Ground breaking for the Kent Town Center and new library building
November 15, 2004 The Kent Public Library opens its doors in the current location at 17 Sybil’s Crossing at the new Kent Town Center