The Cortland Free Library's roots extend back to 1886 when a South Cortland
Farmer, Franklin Hatch, realized his dream of endowing a public library.
Hatch's library, located on Court Street opposite the fire station, served
Cortland residents nearly 40 years. During the early 1920's, Hatch library
board president John Suggett joined citizens to reorganize the Hatch Library
as Cortland Free Library. The Library was chartered in 1926. The library first
served just the city of Cortland and now includes the towns of
Cortlandville, Truxton and Virgil.
Major facility expansions have occurred since the library opened in 1927:
shelving for the glass mezzanine was purchased in the 1930's, the separate
Children's Room was opened in 1961, additional mezzanines were constructed in
1975 and 1989, and handicap accessibility was also added in 1975. A new
roof was installed in 2008 and an elevator addition was completed in June
of new books are paid by non-tax dollars: fines, memorial donations and other
contributions including library-benefit used book sales.
The Cortland Free Library, a member of the Finger Lakes Library System, houses
over 70,000 volumes comprised of children's books, as well as adult fiction
and non-fiction books, nearly 300 periodicals, over 8,000 reference volumes,
twelve computer terminals with Internet access, and approximately 1,300
audio books. In microfilm format we have the Cortland Standard since its inception
in 1867 and several 19th
century local papers. Since the library is a member of the Finger Lakes
Library System, there is access to more than 400,000 items and dozens of databases for health information,
college choices, national newspapers, periodicals, references, encyclopedias,
authors and other resources.
The Adult Department offers
two microfilm reader/printer machines, large
print books, career resources, a local history collection, and Heritage Quest software,
a genealogy program of the U.S. Census records. Adult Department books are
loaned for 21 days, while magazines, audio books, and new fiction may be borrowed
for 14 days. Overdue fines accumulate at the rate of ten cents per day to
a maximum of four dollars per item in both Adult and Youth
Services offers a weekly
pre-school storytime on Thursdays, a separate young adult section, a
playhouse, and a sofa for cozy reading.
The library publishes a
periodic newsletter to keep the public informed
of new services, events, resources and changes. There is a monthly
listing of new books and programs in the Cortland Standard and
there is a library blog called "Off the Shelf" which can be
accessed from the homepage for the library. The library also has a presence