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FEBRUARY 2, 2007

On July 1, 1731, the first public library was established in North America. The library was formed in the city of Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin and many other community leaders.

The purpose of forming the "new" library, which was called the Library Company, was to create an educational institution that could leverage its purchasing power to obtain educational materials for those who could not afford them.

Unfortunately, the Library Company did not represent the true values of a public library. Patrons were required to pay membership fees to enter and access the books within the library. This membership structure prohibited the majority of people from entering the Library Company.

The first true public library in North America was not established until well after the American Revolution.

The Boston Public Library was formed in 1848 as the first publicly supported municipal library. Today there are more than 16,000 public libraries in the United States.

Although Benjamin Franklinís first library did not uphold the true values of a publicly supported library, its motto did exemplify the reason why public libraries exist today, "To support the common good is divine."

The David A. Howe Public Library will host several programs during the month of February. On Thursday, February 8 at 7:00 pm, Alfred University Professor Susan Morehouse will visit the library to lead a creative writing workshop called, "Writing for Your Life."

Professor Morehouse has received numerous awards for writing and teaching that include the Gertz Chair Award in Writing, and the Kruson Award for excellence in teaching.

She also has several publications in national print such as, "The Southern Review." Her current teaching interests include: fiction writing, creative non-fiction writing, autobiography, womanís studies and playwriting.
Professor Morehouse encourages all participants to bring paper and pencil to the workshop in order to re-create childhood memories.

The workshop will be held in the libraryís Monday Club Room and participants are asked to sign up at the libraryís main desk before attending, as space is limited.


This "Spotlight on the Library" article was written by Brian Hildreth, the David A. Howe Public Library director. Articles are written and published biweekly in the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

Click on a date below to read a recent article. 

Find a complete list of articles on the Search the Library page.

Click here to read the Wellsville Daily Reporter online

Another program at the library this month is on Saturday, February 10 at 1:00 pm. Bwana Jim will visit the library to introduce the families of Wellsville to his little friends.

Some of Bwana Jimís friends include: an alligator, snakes, turtles, an owl, armadillos and exotic birds. Bwana Jim is a lively individual filled with enthusiasm and an outrageous wit. He will bring you the craziest, most educational wildlife show ever seen. Everyone who sees his show will go home talking about "Bwana Jim" for a long time.
This program will be held in the libraryís Exhibition Room. Please be advised that seating is limited and children are asked to attend the program with their parents. The program is roughly one hour long.


Lastly, the library will host two computer classes. On Monday, February 12 at 7 pm, a class will be offered to introduce patrons to the World Wide Web.

This class will discuss how to get on the Internet to find travel, genealogy, health and business information. It will also teach patrons how to evaluate information, use a browser and implement basic search strategies. Participants must know how to work a mouse and have basic keyboard skills.

A second class will be offered on Monday, February 26 at 7 pm. This class will teach patrons how to successfully use their e-mail accounts. Patrons must have an e-mail account setup before attending class. Anyone interested may have a free e-mail account setup by a library staff member. Please inquire at the libraryís main desk for more details.


In addition to great programs, the library is currently showing the Clifford D. Coyle Lincoln Exhibit in the libraryís Exhibition Room.

Clifford D. Coyle, a Buffalo attorney, was the donor of the Lincoln collection back in 1946. The collection consists of more than 200 pictures and relics that depict a time in history that cannot be forgotten.

Many museums and libraries placed generous offers to obtain the Lincoln Collection. However, Mr. Coyle felt it belonged in his home place of Allegany County.


Click here to check the calendar for more events and programs.

The David A. Howe Public Library is open: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am until 9 pm, Fridays from 10 am until 6 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am until 5 pm. The library is closed on Sundays and Wednesdays. You may contact us at (585) 593-3410.

This page was last updated December 11, 2007.

David A. Howe Public Library, 155 N. Main St., Wellsville, NY 14895
Phone: 585-593-3410   Fax: 585-593-4176   Email: