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History of the Library

The Village of Altamont, situated within the Town of Guilderland, has a long history of library use. On July 1, 1916, the Altamont Free Library was established and chartered with the State of New York. Over the years, the library has had a variety of addresses.

From its founding until January 1919, it was located at the Sturges property at 109/111 Maple Avenue. The move next door to the Van Aernam property at 113/115 Maple Avenue was for just two years. In 1921 the library moved again to rooms in the former Hallenbeck (currently Fredendall) Funeral Parlor on Heldeberg Avenue.

Again in 1925, growth in membership and the library’s collections necessitated a new home. This time the library moved to the former Beebe Harness Shop at 119 Maple Avenue. There was plenty of room and the potential for future expansion with this building. The sale of the property at 119 Maple Avenue brought about the library’s relocation to the back of an adjacent building. When the Post Office was completed in 1961, space became available in the Lainhart Block. The move to this location was completed in February 1962.

On November 19, 1972 ceremonies were held to celebrate the library’s move to its former location, in the lower level of the Key Bank building at 105 Park Street. Since the ’70s, much has changed at the Altamont Free Library. Over the years, some things found in the library have “faded away” (phonograph records). “Recent additions” include books on tape, CDs, and videotapes.

During hurricane Irene, the library was flooded and materials were severely damaged. A move was necessary. By August 2012 the Altamont Free Library made its new home at the train station. There are six public use computers (2 desktops, 1 standing, 3 laptops) with internet connections and software for word processing and accounting. Story times, book discussion groups and the annual Summer Reading Program provide a wide variety of programs for everyone. The Altamont Free Library continues to be an active informational and community center for the Village of Altamont and surrounding areas.

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