In 1923, a small group of people became interested in starting a library in Adams Center. The Chairman was George Fairman. Other members were Roswell Peters (Principal of the school), Talcott Parker, Dr. Frank Greene, Will Davis, Lena Babcock, May Jones and Rodney Hodge. It was through the interest and efforts of this board and also of the Home Bureau that some books were placed in the Rodney Hodge Drug Store. Since these books could be borrowed for about two weeks, Adams Center Circulating Library No. 1 was born. Flora Hodge and her husband Rodney did much to get the library started.
Some time later, the books were moved to a room in the front of Clayton Williams’s building. Flora Hodge was the librarian. Everything went well there until Mr. Williams decided to rent the room to the barber. At this time the books were moved to the basement of Mark Parker’s home. It was not long before the books began to show signs of damage because of the dampness. They had to be moved immediately. The result was the formation of the library committee to convince the townspeople that Adams Center needed a library. An invitation was extended to all interested people to meet at the Adams Center School to discuss the future of the library. The committee consisted of Alice Greene (President), Carl Fassett, Ross Catlin, Gerald Greene, Lottie Bemis, and Eleanor Greene (Treasurer).
Other meetings followed and as a result, Albert Gilmore and Gilbert Knowlton were chosen as co-chairmen of the financial campaign for the library’s construction. The drive was systematically carried out so that almost every family in Adams Center was contacted and asked to pledge whatever they felt they were able to the fund. For those who felt they couldn’t pay the entire amount of their pledge at one time, there was a provision made enabling them to pay over a three-year period.
As a result, Don Illingworth built the library in the summer of 1958. Carl Fassett worked with Don in the drawing up of the plans. Carl also planned and worked on the landscaping. The total cost of the library was $5,900. Enough money was pledged to pay for the cost of the building with a surplus which later helped pay part of the addition in 1973.
Clyde Brown undertook the construction of the addition at a cost of $3,400. Volunteers did some of the labor from the board as well as Justine Trowbridge, Pam Jones and Peggy Flaherty. At the time Carol Cooper was President.
A very dedicated individual responsible for the success of the library was Alice Greene. From the time she was first elected to the board of trustees in January 1946 until her retirement in 1972, Alice Greene was completely dedicated to all that pertained to the Adams Center Free Library. She served as president of the board for several years. Her interest and enthusiasm were contagious and often encouraged others to take part in the maintenance of the library. Through the years, she was truly one of the library’s principle guiding lights. On July 24, 1972, Mrs. Greene was made an Honorary Trustee of the library and was presented with a plaque in recognition of her outstanding service and dedication to the library.
The Adams Center Free Library is affiliated with the North Country Library System, which services 65 libraries in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. This enables all of the libraries to exchange materials among themselves as well as with the system. Our association with NCLS also makes possible the downloading of digital materials for free, including ebooks, epubs, movies and much more.
The ACFL houses over 5,500 books, and also includes magazines, movies, non-fiction, young adult, and adult fiction, juvenile books, easy picture books, and many series books. We also subscribe to over 11,000 electronic books and 3,000 downloadable audio units. Also available are free internet and desk-top computers, a copier, a fax machine, and large print books and kindle readers. We also offer one-on-one basics for working on a computer or accessing email.