Written by Pat Wayne, Town Historian
In 1946, Ms. Pauline Evans began sharing an idea with her neighbors. Up until that time, Irondequoit did not have its own public library and she hoped to change that. Ms. Evans held meetings in her home for months and enlisted the help of Irondequoit school officials. She talked with every organized group in the town, including the Director of the Rochester Public Library, the Library Development office of the State Education Department in Albany, and the Board of Regents. Following her grassroots campaign, the decision was finally made to try an experimental library and beginning on June 30, 1947, a temporary library opened.
Volunteers donated their time to work the library and had gathered book donations as well as borrowed books from the State library and from Seneca, Dake, and Rogers schools to be circulated. In the 7% weeks that the temporary library was opened, 535 people borrowed 3,000 books. On August 18, 1947, Ms. Evan’s held another meeting at her home and this time the goal was to staff a permanent library for the town of Irondequoit.
November 13, 1947 saw the Titus-Cooper Library dedicated in the basement of the old Lincoln-Rochester Bank at 621 Titus Avenue
November 28, 1947 – Opening of the Sea Breeze Branch of the library in the Water Commission Building in Culver Road.
June 24, 1952 – The Irondequoit Library Association was one of the first town libraries to apply for a contract with the Monroe County Library System.
In the year 1955, there were four public libraries in Irondequoit; the Titus-Cooper, the Sea Breeze, the Laurelton, and Ridgewood. Circulation has reached 61 , 000 and the libraries owned 17,000 books.
In 1956, the State awarded the Irondequoit Library volunteers a certificate of excellence at the New York State Fair.
In 1957, A library center was included in The B. Forman Co. store in the Culver Ridge Plaza, so the three small East Irondequoit libraries closed and merged into a new branch- Culver-Ridge.
On February 1, 1958, Ms. Helen C. McGraw began working as the first Libraty Director for the Irondequoit Library at the Titus-Cooper Branch.
On April 1, 1961, a referendum was voted on by the town tax payers to finance new library buildings.
In September of 1963, the new libraries opened to the public at 45 Cooper Road and the other at 2180 Ridge Road East where they sit to this day.
In 1975, Helen C. McGraw wrote that both of the libraries “were inadequate” in keeping up with the thousands of books, non-book materials, and equipment.
40 years after she wrote those words, the dream of a new library that meets the needs of Irondequoit has been realized. The Irondequoit Public Library is truly the library the community built.
Irondequoit Public Library
Dedicated on September 12, 2015
Adam J Bello
Mary Joyce D’Aurizio
John Perticone, Deputy Supervisor
Nicole Hushla Re
Library Board of Trustees
Stephanie A. Squicciarini, President
Mary Ellen Jones, Vice-President
Irondequoit Public Library Foundation
Friends of the Irondequoit Public Library
Barkstrom and LaCroix
Terry Buford, Library Director
Nicholas Weatherbee, Director of Development
Patrick Meredith, DPW Commissioner
NYS Assembly Majority Leader
Honorable Joseph D. Morelle
Honorable Rich Funke