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Sherman Free Library seeking support

Fund-raising campaign now under way

The Sherman Free Library, located in Port Henry, is in the midst of its annual fund raising campaign. Bill Bryant, library finance committee chairman, and Andrea Anesi, library director, are urging people to support the effort.

The Sherman Free Library, located in Port Henry, is in the midst of its annual fund raising campaign. Bill Bryant, library finance committee chairman, and Andrea Anesi, library director, are urging people to support the effort.

— The library has also joined forces with the Adirondack Foundation, formerly the Adirondack Community Trust. A charitable trust, the Adirondack Foundation can assist people who wish to donate stocks, bonds, real estate or make bequests.

“As a library partner they can help with tax and privacy issues,” Bryant said.

Staley Rich, library board president, said public support is crucial for the local library.

“We cannot do all that we hope to do without your support and ask you to join us in making this a reality for our community,” Rich said in a fund-raising letter. “It is your generous donations that make possible the repairs and upgrades the library needs, and the programs the library offers.”

The Sherman Free Library welcomes about 600 visitors a month, according to Andrea Anesi, library director. It has seven public computers, free internet access, books, DVDs, books on CDs, E-books and more. It also offers local history resources and serves as a exhibition area for local artists and authors.

“People are often surprised to learn about everything we have available,” Anesi said. “Through the Essex-Clinton-Franklin Library System we have more than 900 E-books available. We can get people almost anything they’re interested in.”

The Sherman Free Library is open Tuesday and Wednesday noon to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The library opened Jan. 17, 1887. George Riley Sherman, a partner in the Witherbee & Sherman Mining Co., provided $7,700 to build the library and stock it with 3,000 books with the stipulation that the library be free to patrons.

Sherman also provided a $10,000 endowment. In 1901 Jane Sherman added another $10,000 to that endowment. The library has been using that endowment since, although it is shrinking after more than a century.

The library was enlarged in 1907. A Dec. 7, 1907, fire severely damaged the building and it was rebuilt, re-opening Aug. 12, 1908.

“To many of us, the Sherman Free Library is more than books,” Rich said. “It’s more than free WiFi and computers, it’s more than book clubs and monthly programs. It is an icon that has stood the test of time with its paneled walls, graceful architecture and hushed atmosphere.”

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