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History of the Germantown Library

The mission of the Germantown Library is to maintain and improve the quality of life for all citizens of our community by providing resources that enhance and contribute to individual knowledge, enlightenment and enjoyment in the most efficient manner possible. We especially recognize our responsibility to serve as a place for children to discover the joy of reading and the value of libraries.

Our library was founded in 1948 through the efforts of Emily Fingar Lappe and members of the Germantown Garden Club. The library was located in the Town Hall on Main Street, across from the present Post Office. Volunteers ran the library until 1950 when Bessie Muller-Babcock was hired as the first librarian at a salary of $100 per year.

In 1980 the library moved into the new Town Hall, now located in Palatine Park. Within ten years, however, it became apparent that this space was inadequate to meet the demands of a growing collection of material and increasing public use.

The new permanent home of the Germantown library opened in February 2008 and features a designated children’s area, young adult and adult sections and a media section. The Hover Room was also completed in 2008, thanks in part to a grant from the Alexander and Marjorie Hover Foundation; the Hover Room offers space for library-hosted programs, classes, performances, and community organization meetings.

In 2015, an area of the library was designated as a makerspace; the first library makerspace in Columbia County. This area provided a popular space for DIY and STEAM activities for patrons of all ages. In early 2018, the Makerspace was expanded to encompass half of the lower level of the library (next to the Hover Room), thanks in part to another grant from the Alexander and Marjorie Hover Foundation. The Germantown Library Makerspace includes advanced workstations, presentation technology, and equipment/supplies for numerous DIY and STEAM activities; for a more comprehensive list, visit the Makerspace website:  https://makerspace.germantownlibrary.org/

Board of Trustees:

President: Devin Overington
Vice-President: Gretta Tillman
Treasurer: Thornton Lewis
Secretary: Katherine Overington
Board of Trustees: Gabrielle Balkan, Bronwen Bitetti, Lori Crawford, Beverly Meagher, Don Westmore


Director Lynn Place

Contact Us

Germantown Library
31 Palatine Park Road
Germantown, NY 12526
Phone 518-537-5800
Fax 518-537-5928


Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

*Open Tuesday and Friday from 9AM to 10AM for at risk & senior patrons

Current Year Approved Library Budget