About Us

Carthage Free Library Mission Statement

The Carthage Free Library will provide current, high demand, high interest material for patrons of all ages.

Special emphasis is placed on encouraging children to develop an interest in reading and learning, and on providing the community with timely, accurate, and useful information in their pursuit of job-related and personal interests.

Our Staff

      • Christina Bamberg – Interim Director
      • Shannon Margrey
      • Serena Parkinson
      • Roger Arnold
      • Melissa Trombley
      • Elizabeth Mallette
      • Izzy Bamberg
      • Donna Petzoldt
  • Our History
  • Board of Trustees
  • Annual Report / Meeting Minutes


The Carthage Free Library was founded largely through the efforts of the Carthage Federation of Women’s Clubs, particularly Mrs. Ruth Strickland Allen and Mrs. Nettie Hewitt.   In September 1910, 36 citizens of Carthage and West Carthage voted to establish a public library for "free use of inhabitants" of the villages.

The library was granted an Absolute Charter by the Regents of the University of the State of New York on June 24, 1915, to serve the villages of Carthage and West Carthage.  It began as a reading room in rented rooms in the old Kimball House on Mechanic St. in Carthage. 

About 1910, Wallace Branaugh left $10,000.00 to the library in his will.  In 1915, Mrs. Mollie Corcoran left $15,000.00 to the library board.  These funds were used to construct the building on Budd St. November 15, 1915.  The present site was purchased for $2,600.00. The cornerstone was laid October 7, 1916.

In March 1918, an Open House was held at the new library and the building was dedicated. In the 1940’s Carthage Free Library became a member of the North Country Library System, the first cooperative system of its kind in New York state.

The first Board of Trustees in 1910:

President              Miss Ruth Strickland
Vice President     Mrs. Nettie Hewitt
Secretary              Mrs. Emma Singe
Treasurer             Mrs. Lulu Strickland


6/17/20 Minutes

4/15/20 Minutes

THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020 -6 PM
PRESENT: In Person - Tina Bamberg, Library Director
Rebecca Heagle, Secretary
Via ZOOM conference line - Tammy Blunden, Bridget Fetterly, Vice-Pres.;
Nusrat Hafeez, Pres.; Jamie Peck; Robert Sligar, Treas.; Darby Tarr; Lisa Trembley
STAFF GUESTS: Roger Arnold, Shannon Margrey, Debbie Vermeulen
Bridget opened the meeting at 6:18 pm.
1. COVID-19 Pandemic Closure Vote - Nusrat motioned to approve the closure of Carthage Free Library to the public as of 3/17/2020. This is due to health concerns over COVID-19 per North Country Library System and New York State guidance. Darby seconded.
All in favor.
2. Fines and Fees - Rob motioned to forgive any fines/fees accumulated during the State of Emergency once Carthage Free Library reopens; seconded by Lisa. All in favor.
Also, Rob motioned to allow the Library Director discretion regarding forgiveness of fines for blocked accounts during the State of Emergency; seconded by Nusrat. All in favor.
3. 24 hour WiFi - Darby motioned to turn the library’s WiFi on for 24/7 access per North Country Library System (NCLS) guidance; seconded by Tammy. All in favor. While there is no password, there are filters in place for protection. Tina can now inform the public.
4. Alternate Work Locations and Assignments - Rob motioned to allow alternate work locations and assignments for Library Staff at the Director’s discretion; seconded by Nusrat. All in favor.
5. Overdrive Funds - There was discussion to donate $500 to NCLS to buy more eBook/Audiobook titles at this time, allowing for more unlimited access during this timeframe. Northern New York Library Network has pledged $3000 for eBook content, but it requires a match. This obligation has already been met by contributing libraries. Rob motioned to donate $500 for this access; seconded by Lisa. All in favor.
6. Updates list for down the road-
*All April/May events postponed
*Consider ways to still serve the community
*Work on a Pandemic or State of Emergency Policy
*Restructure sick leave policy
Lisa motioned to adjourn at 6:31 pm, seconded by Nusrat. All in favor.

Annual Report from the Library Manager – The calendar Year 2019

     Carthage Free Library had a successful year.  We supplied patrons with access to books and on-line; e-books, music, data bases and classes, through our library and in cooperation with the North Country Library System (NCLS). 

    In 2019 we received funding from Pratt-Northam Foundation and the Fort Drum Spouses Club for our children’s Summer Reading Program, and funds from a New York State Construction Grant for our parking lot project.  The second phase of the parking lot project was completed; the site was leveled and paved, and we have a new handicap accessible site for parking with easy access to the building. Isabel Bamberg left us to attend JCC, and Melissa Trombley is working some of her hours.  We still offer TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion aka GED) tutoring for anyone looking to receive their high school equivalency diploma.  This year we partnered with BOCES, Headstart, Carthage Summer Recreation, and the Carthage Chamber of Commerce and led several school visits at the Library.  We donated food collected from patrons and donated books to the VEM food pantry, and donated books to Carthage Pediatric Clinic. We again partnered with the Carthage Summer Recreation program for our Summer Reading Program. Isabel Bamberg and Adalee Bamberg led the Summer Reading Program, with over 90 children registered plus a group from the Recreation program attending once a week.  We had a special visit this summer from the Bubble man with his fantastic "Bubblemania!" show.  Our Heritage Room was open with dedicated volunteers organizing materials and helping patrons with research. Friends of the Library is active and looking for new Friends! Thank you to all our "friends" who work hard to help us through their fundraising efforts, and thanks to all our patrons for supporting your Library.

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