Fairview Public Library celebrates its 40th anniversary

It’s hard to believe, but it has been 40 years since the Fairview Public Library (Fairview) was formally chartered in September 1974.
The library’s history prior to becoming chartered ranges from a loft above a residential garage on Maple Street, to an upstairs business suite at the corner of Main and Walnut to the former high school building on Church Street to lying in wait for six years. The library charter serves the Town Middletown, which includes the villages of Margaretville and Arkville and hamlets of Halcottsville, Denver, and New Kingston. Being chartered enabled the library to become part of the Four County Library System.

The name, ‘Fairview’ comes from residing in the former Fairview House in Arkville, now the Erpf Center. The library occupied the space for about 18 years where it thrived and grew. Great appreciation and credit goes to concerned members of the community who persevered in finding the space and to Armand Erpf, philanthropist and patron of the arts. Mr. Erpf gave the library the use of four rooms free of charge to share in the renovated location of his newly established Erpf Catskill Cultural Center. The Erpf Center currently houses the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development.
After years of success in Arkville, the library outgrew its 700-square-foot space. In 1992, through a grant from the Allen-Heath Memorial Foundation of Chicago the library purchased and moved to the former Joe Christian house in Margaretville –its current location. Within two years Fairview again outgrew its physical space. Yet this time, since the library owned the property and building there was no need to move. Instead a major campaign raised the funds to renovate Fairview’s home on Walnut Street. The library expanded to add a computer and periodicals room, a main stacks area and a meeting room. The addition, designed by David Hoggatt and Chris Cook, and built by Frank Flachs, was dedicated August 6, 1994.

Just part of the story
The physical building and locations are only part of the success story for the Fairview Public Library. The trustees, librarians and community all played major roles. For its Anniversary Celebration, Fairview will honor and acknowledge 40 special people and organizations that have supported the Fairview Public Library over the years. Among the special people are the original Board of Trustees including Dawn Roadman, Margaret Gottfried, Ernst Hyatt, Margaret “Peg” Barnes and Gary Akins. Marion Connell was another early trustee who was active in the library’s development.
Fairview librarians will also be honored: Cynthia Kehoe was the first volunteer librarian at Fairview, assisted by MCS library Caryl Jenkins who helped with the children’s room. Imogene (Jean) Patrick became librarian in the fall of 1974 and held that post until 1982. She was succeeded by Leslie Seidman (1982-84); Barbara Scudder (1985-87), Naomi Weiss (1987-2001), Christine Ossipov (2002-2004), Donna McBride (2005-2006), Ellen Verni (2007), and Diana Cope (2008-2011).
Last but not least current trus­tees want to thank the community for its support and patronage in making Fairview what it is today. Please come to the library’s 40th Anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 23 to celebrate Fairv­iew’s history and Fair­view’s future.
The festivities will begin at 1 p.m. with an old-fashioned ice cream social, and end at 3 p.m. with the announcement of the People’s Choice Cake Contest winner. In between the ice cream and cake there will be music, performers, balloon sculptures and activities to participate in. Be sure to cast a vote for the best decorated cake of the People’s Choice Cake Contest! Or bring a cake to be judged. Need a cake pan? Come get one at the library before the celebration! The cake contest winner will receive a gift certificate from Spillian in Fleischmanns. 
The schedule of activities for the celebration will be: 1 p.m., 1908 Maxwell antique car on display; 1:30 p.m., story program with Miss Keri; 1:45 p.m., balloon sculptures; 2 p.m., awards and recognitions; 2:30 p.m., Native American drumming; 2:45 p.m., “fishing” tournament, 3 p.m., announce winner of cake bake off.
Sponsors for the 40 Wonderful Years celebration include Stewarts Shops, Spillian, Then and Now Video, and the Hubbell Companies.