About Mount Morris Library
Chartered in 1910…
The Mount Morris Library has been our community’s home away from home for more than a century. The original building, donated by Mrs. Orzo Clark, opened its doors in 1910 with 2,280 books and boasted live-in space for its then-janitor, Cornelius Duffy. By 1930, it became clear that the original building was degrading past the point of repair, forcing the library to consider its future in a new space. Over the next twenty-five years, the trustees planned and dreamed, supported by several community members who donated generously in support of that dream.
The trustees hoped that they had enough funds to build a new library, and they decided to move forward. Initially, the trustees wanted to build a new Early American or Colonial building. that would fit seamlessly into Mount Morris’s historic aesthetic. Rising building costs and practical needs, however, made that dream impossible. The trustees spent a year consulting with experts and researching other library buildings. Through this process, the trustees decided that the library’s best bet was to invest in a simple concrete block building with brick facings and manufactured materials. Their hope was that choosing a simple exterior would give them scope to make the interior both beautiful and practical.
The collection, however, had grown. By 1956, the library housed almost 12,000 materials–a number that would not fit in the new building. The trustees decided to cut that number to 8,000, weeding almost 4,000 books from the collection. Volunteers then hauled the remaining books to the Youth Center across the street even as contractors razed the old building to the ground. Afterwards, however, construction blazed forward, and the current building on 121 Main Street was born. It opened its doors on March 9, 1957 with 8,000 books and a single librarian, and has served us in its (mostly) original state for the past 65 years.
Fast forward to today.
But while the building is the same, the Library is not. These days, the library is packed to bursting with more than 15,000 books, magazines and movies for our patrons to enjoy. That’s not including the tens of thousands of audiobooks, e-books, print books, and digital resources our patrons can access through the OWWL library system!
Better still, shushing librarians and silent reading rooms have given way to friendly conversation and the sounds of kids learning through play. We’re the kind of library where staff gets to know patrons by name. Every day, we work hard to give everyone who comes through our doors our personalized attention, whether its greeting them by name, recommending just the right title, or helping them work through a tricky problem. Sometimes, we even laugh at people’s jokes :).
We’re looking towards the future.
The library is still growing, and so are the needs of our community. As we look to the future, we’re asking the hard questions. What resources does the community need to grow? Can we provide them as we are, or do we need to grow too? The chaos and confusion of the early 2020s have made it hard to see a clear path forward. But we are still here, celebrating life and making fun plans for readers and non-readers alike. We’re forging partnerships with community members and looking to help out in any way we can, from giving out encouraging smiles to connecting people in need with essential community resources.
Most importantly, we’re here for you, whether you need weekend entertainment, free wi-fi, or any number of other things. You are part of our story, and we are so excited to see the fun we can have together.