HISTORY OF THE LIBRARY
Opened in 1952, the Library now has a collection of over 50,000 items including books, magazines, DVD’s, music CD’s and CD audio books. The Library’s collection is broad and diverse, but is particularly strong in the arts, biographies, mysteries and cookbooks. In addition, the Library offers electronic database searching and Internet access for reference and research. Through the Interlibrary Loan Program, items not owned by the Library can be provided quickly and efficiently through the Westchester Library System’s online public access catalog.
As the cultural center of the town, the Library offers such activities as The Adult Learning Center (TALC), art and craft exhibits, driver safety programs, films, concerts, lectures and book-discussion programs year round. The Library also sponsors a myriad of children’s activities including winter and spring vacation programs, story hours, holiday happenings, arts and crafts workshops, musical performances, and the annual Summer Reading Program.
Who Was Hiram Halle?
Hiram Halle, a successful inventor and businessman, came to Pound Ridge in 1929. From his arrival until his death in 1944, he worked with local artisans to restore and renovate Pound Ridge to become a thriving residential community.
Adult Reading Room Added in 1955
In 1955 to keep up with the growth and needs of the community a large reading room was added to the original schoolhouse and named in honor of Ruth M. Knight. Mrs. Knight pledged funds to operate the Library for it’s first three years in operation. It was her idea to make the library a memorial to Hiram J. Halle.
Schaffner Room Addition in 1972
By 1969, it became evident that further expansion of the building was necessary to keep pace with the growth of Pound Ridge and the increased usage. A clapboard-covered extension was designed by the architect to harmonize with the existing structure. Dedicated in 1971 to Evelyn Lelong Wood, the wing houses the children ‘s room, the adult non-fiction stacks and the desk area. The Joseph Halle Schaffner Room is a key feature of the new wing, and provides an ideal showcase for exhibits, films, concerts, lectures, special events for all ages, as well as a meeting place for local organizations. The library has become the cultural as well as the informational center of the community.
The Little Schoolhouse
At the heart of the Pound Ridge Library is a charming historic building – the little schoolhouse — rich in history and the legacy of hope that has and fueled the library’s growth since its first days in 1953.
In 1939 Hiram Halle became the owner of the little old schoolhouse in exchange for giving the Pound Ridge school board the land on which the elementary school now stands. This old schoolhouse, once the location for the Red Cross during World War II, became the home of the Pound Ridge Library when the trustees of Halle’s estate donated it to the then newly-formed Library Association in 1950.