FALCONER – The village of Falconer’s unassuming, yet indispensable public library remains both a gateway to literacy and a vital conduit to some of Falconer’s most popular summer events.
This summer, the library- located at the village’s Community Building at 101 W. Main St.- is again not holding back, with a healthy mix of the familiar and the unprecedented.
On Aug. 11-12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the library will hold its 69th Annual Book Sale. The event is the library’s sole fundraiser with all proceeds going toward the purchase of new materials for the library. DVDs and VHS tapes will be available. Also on Aug. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the library will be holding a Rare Book Sale in the lobby.
On Aug. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Brenda Cavallaro, village historian, will be holding a first-time open house of the village’s historian room above the library. Inside, visitors can check out old yearbooks and scrapbooks as well as memorabilia and artifacts of Falconer’s earlier days.
Additionally, in keeping with new opportunities, Cavallaro will be leading a walking tour to some of Falconer’s historic landmarks on Aug. 13, starting at 9:30 a.m. The hourlong tour can take up to 25 people. Sign-up will be available at the library, beginning Tuesday. Those interested can also call the library at 665-3504.
Other events include the annual Summer Band Concerts, which take place in Davis Park, every Thursday in July, starting at 7 p.m. The concerts are sponsored by the Falconer Public Library and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Visitors can hear Junior Guilders on July 21 and Dem Bones on July 28. The concerts are open and free to the public.
Library visitors can also swing over to the Farmer’s Market, which sets up every Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Davis Park, right across the street from the library. The market will continue through October.
Sue Seamans, library director, said the summer is a particularly exciting time for the library, averaging more than 100 visitors a day.
“If we can encourage these people to not just come and enjoy a good read in a quiet, air-conditioned place … but to also go across the street and buy products at the Farmer’s Market … or watch a Band Concert in the park that’s great,” Seamans said. “(The library) is a conduit of literacy and ‘enjoying the summer.'”
DeEtte Dispenza, Falconer deputy mayor, echoed Seamans and emphasized the integral role the library plays in the community.
“We’d like people to support the library and (in the process) support the village,” she said. “Great things are happening in the village of Falconer and we want everyone to know about them.”
The Falconer Public Library has earned the distinguished honor of being one of the top 100 libraries in the United States since 2000. This honor is based on the Hennen Library Ranking of libraries in the United States based upon population served, services offered and community support.
The library is also an eight-time Star Award winner and ranked #5 of the top libraries in the country within the $100,000-$199,999 budget category, according to the Library Journal.
In 2004, Seamans received the New York Times Librarian Award, which is a program honoring librarians who provide outstanding public service. Only 27 librarians in the United States were chosen.
When asked about the library’s enduring success, Seamans credited the village and public library board, the town of Ellicott board, the library staff and patrons.
“We are averaging 100-125 people a day,” Seamans said. “People are reading. They’re reading books, they’re listening to books on CD … they’re still interacting with literacy on a very high level. So we would be (the first) ones to say ‘it’s working.'”