1958-1960 BEHIND THE SCENES
Mrs. Dorothy Sebaste, Chairperson, Monroe County Library
System [MCLS] Board of Trustees wrote Gates Chili Parent
Teacher Association urging the P.T. A. to consider need
for a library for the Town of Gates, then with a
population of 12,000.
A P.T.A. Committee which included Eleanor Freislich, as
Chair, Edna Kemp, and Charlotte York ‘indicated
enthusiastic support for the library project’ Times
November 11, 1958: Gates Town Board approved
establishment of a public library and appointed the 1st
Library Board of Trustees: Eleanor Freislich, Ralph
Johnston, Edna Kemp, Joseph Morrow and Charlotte York.
The 1st library budget was $15,000.
A year of work ensued for the new Library Board and
volunteers. The Board was able to rent the Gates Grange
quarters at 1408 Buffalo Road and renovated the facility
for public library services.
1961 IN THE BEGINNING
January 3, 1961, Gates Public Library opened for the 1st
time. 422 books were borrowed the 1st day and 167
library cards were issued. Library hours were Monday
through Friday 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
September 1961, 1st Library Director, Lois Klonick,
November 1961, 1st story times for preschoolers started.
Service hours were increased to 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Total circulation for 1961 was 61,388. The library owned
The 1st Friends of Gates Public Library organized
1st adult programs held.
1st summer reading program held.
Library began circulating long playing records.
Town of Gates Sesqui-Centennial. Many activities at new
Recordak method of filming circulation begins
Library outgrowing rented quarters: 15,754 books owned
1965 BUILDING CAMPAIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
2nd Library Director, Susan Swanton, hired 9/1/65
Joint Town Board – Library Board meeting to discuss
possibility of a joint facility
Town Board approved option to buy present 11 acre site
at 1605 Buffalo Road for a new Town Hall – Library
December 7, 1966: 1st bond issue for joint facility
defeated 1069 to 866
February 14, 1967: 2nd bond issue for joint facility
successful 977 to 941
Library received final approval for 35% Federal aid for
December 1967: ground breaking for new facility
1st children’s librarian, Lynn Willard, begins
November 1968: cornerstone for new building laid
Library closed 1/13/69 to 1/18/69 library closed for
1/20/69 Library opened in new and 1st permanent library
Circulation for 1969 was 147,200 with a collection of
1970 NEW DECADE OF SERVICE BEGINS
Library begins circulating framed prints.
1st young adult services librarian hired, Karen Biggs.
1st Friends group disbands.
1st annual book sale held by library.
1st Live ‘n’ Learner programs held [travelogues and
outside speakers for Senior citizens]
1st Ideas ‘n’ Authors book discussion group started
Library holds craft fair and ‘Remember the ‘50’s’
1st evening story times in any area public library began
at Gates Public Library.
Library roof leaks cause public comments.
Library starts a Community Information Table, collecting
local information to help the public.
Town bicentennial activities led to creation of
library’s 1st endowment fund, the Horatio Gates Memorial
Pauline Breit becomes Children’s Services librarian.
1st Gates Human Services Directory published.
1st Adult Services librarian, Nancy Lurie Blanda, hired
Founding Board member, Eleanor Freislich, selected by
Gates Lions Club as Citizen of the Year.
Library annual circulation now 279,584 and collection
totals 70,856 materials.
1980 TECHNOLOGY BEGINS TO IMPACT LIBRARY
Library hours increased to present 62 hours a week
Gates Chili News and its predecessor, the Gates Chili
Press, preserved on microfilm, thanks to library efforts
and grant funding.
1st video collection added to library
Gates Public Library and Chili Public Library cooperate
in joint local history taping grant
Storyline service [prerecorded preschool story] began
1st two microcomputers for public use added to library
Library begins to provide computer training for the
Typewriter for public use added
Literacy services initiated at library
Compact discs added to library collection
Library Trustee, Sam Palma, selected as Citizen of the
Year by the Gates Lions Club
25th anniversary of library held
Friends of Gates Public Library reestablished
Compact disc player added for public use
Nancy Blanda recognized by Gates Town Board for her work
with Gates Chili Continuing Education in promoting adult
1st Junior Friends of Gates Public Library started by
then Young Adult services librarian, Joan Rubin. Library
began bar-coding collection in anticipation of full
automation to start following year. Pauline Breit
becomes the library’s 1st Assistant Library Director
Town of Gates 175th anniversary: library active
Final report of Building Needs Assessment Committee
presented to Library Board. Library has outgrown present
space [14,500 sq. ft of useable space]
November 9, 1989: library went ‘live’ on MCLS’ automated
circulation system, GEAC.
Library circulation is 371,277 and total library
holdings are 122,462
1990 MOVING TOWARDS THE 21st CENTURY
1st CD-ROM database, Infotrac, added to library
Library Board accepts SWBR’s Building Expansion
Library Director starts Library Link column in Gates
Library celebrates its 30th anniversary
1st five year Long Range Plan for library developed
library repainted for 1st time since 1969
Pauline Breit retires after more than 30 years with
Gates Public Library
Gates Public Library crosses the 400, 000 annual
circulation line: dividing line between medium sized
libraries and large libraries.
Cooperative ‘Parents as Reading Partners’ program brings
over 400 children and parents to Gates Public Library in
Library wins Federal grant for addition of drive up
June 25th: 1st drive up window in a public library in
New York State opened.
September 7th: Gates migrates from GEAC to CARL. Online
catalog [CARL product] replaces card catalog; library
starts with 7 computers for public.
October: William Doty gives the library the largest
donation from any individual to the library in memory of
Drive up window services expanded to include almost all
Judy MacKnight becomes Assistant Library Director
1st HOPE [Helping Our Parents Educate] grant received by
Gates Public Library and Neil Armstrong Elementary
Friends publish cookbook: ‘Literally Delicious’ [now out
Library Director, Susan Swanton, honored by Gates Chili
Council as Citizen of the Year
2nd HOPE grant includes Walt Disney School
September: Library offers text only access to Internet
for the public
Library begins its 1st web page on Rochester Free-Net’s
Genesee Gateway service.
Library celebrates its 35th anniversary.
February: 1st reference question via the library’s web
Gates Public Library recognized by NYS as an Advanced
Electronic Doorway Library.
Library installs security system and eliminates double
shelving of video collection
Library begins permanent display at new Tinseltown,
providing additional outreach for library activities
Books to Babies program started
Library begins circulating CD-ROMs for all ages.
2nd five year Long Range Plan adopted by the Library
1st year in upgrade to Local Area Network: installation
of server and cabling.
Upgrading library computers for LAN threatens library
hours and materials budget. Friends of Gates Public
Library provide major boost to prevent cuts from
2nd year of LAN upgrade replaces dumb terminals with
Handicapped unisex bathroom added.
Public finally has access to fully graphical Internet by
Library offers more public training on Internet and use
of online catalog.
Law library shelving installed to expand video, young
adult and children’s shelving.
Senior SIG program started as cooperative venture with
Library begins to promote remote access to electronic
3rd stage of LAN installation upgrades staff computers
and provides access to shared files and software.
Library staff unionizes with Communications Workers of
America, local 1170.
Circulation is 409,541 and library holdings are 134,134
2000 THE 21st CENTURY AND BEYOND
Library tries Book Bistro to use center corridor between
library and town hall. Experiment lasts one month
1st year under new union contract.
Library begins circulating electronic books, thanks to
Last two founding Library Trustees, Ralph Johnston and
Charlotte York, pass away
Library celebrates 40 years of service to the community