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 History

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