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Hornell Public Library to celebrate its 150th anniversary

The Hornell Public Library will be celebrating its 150 anniversary in grand style with a series of events throughout the months of May and June.

The Early Years of the Hornell Library

In 1868, just a few years after the American Civil War ended. In Hornell the first Library Association was formed. The association included the following prominent members of the Hornell area:

Irvin Near, Elijah Johnson, Charles Adsit, Safford Thatcher, John W. Shelley, Stephen Gilbert, N.P.T. Finch, Andrew Charles and J.W. Burnham.   

In 1908, The Hornell Library Association received word of a $21,000 donation from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to help with the construction of the library building on Genesee Street. The building was dedicated in 1911 and was later listed on the national registry in 1975.

For more information about the history of the library, click here.

Traveling Basket Raffle

The Traveling Basket Raffle will be the Kick-Off Event for the 150 Year Hornell Library Celebration. Pictures of the baskets will travel to three sites in the Hornell area (sites will be announced at the celebration dinner where the baskets will be on display). They will remain at each site for about 1 week. To view the baskets in person, visit the Hornell Public Library where they will be on display throughout the duration of the fundraiser.

Tickets may be purchased at the library or any of the display locations. Tickets for the large baskets are $2, three for $5 or seven for $10. For small baskets, tickets are $1, six for $5 or 15 for $10. Winners will be drawn Friday, June  29 at 4 p.m. at the Celebration Party.

The 150 Year Celebration Movie

The history of the Hornell Public Library, a community treasure, will be  featured in a movie that depicts its role in the Hornell community from 1868-2018. Also featured will be 150 year celebration of the Hornell Library Association.

The movie was developed by Linda Walter’s 6th grade computer class from the Hornell Intermediate School. It will premier at the Spotlight Theater in Hornell June 9 at 1 p.m. Admission is free and all are welcome. 

The movie will also be available at the Hornell Public Library for viewing and/or check out. 

The movie will feature interviews conducted by 6th grade students of business owners, churches and local organizations that have served the community for 100 years or more.

This will surely uncover some of the true history of these organizations.    

So come one come all to this red carpet event. It’s bound to be one of your top movie programs.

To read The Evening Tribune coverage of our event, click here.

Forgotten hero subject of Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic

The Hornell Public Library looks forward to introducing Josiah Henson to the Hornell community. Please plan to join us on Wednesday May 23 from 6-7 p.m. at the Hornell Public Library 64 Genesee St., for a first showing of JOSIAH THE STORY THAT SPARKED THE CIVIL WAR. 

Watch the trailer and get more information at     

A new documentary highlights a forgotten hero of the Abolitionist Movement whose life inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

JOSIAH, the story that sparked the Civil War, is a documentary that traces Josiah Henson’s harrowing journey from slavery in Maryland and Kentucky to freedom in Canada. Josiah Henson (1789-1883) spent 41 years as a slave. He was a dynamic, driven man with unyielding principles who overcame incredible odds to escape his cruel masters and improve the lives of hundreds of freed people throughout his long life. Though immortalized by Harriet Beecher Stowe in her seminal, society-changing novel Uncle Tom's Cabin and catapulted to international fame in 1852, his story has been largely lost to history. Until now. Including interviews with leading experts and Henson descendants, JOSIAH is an unmissable documentary about one of history’s greatest lost figures.   

To accompany the documentary and to be released simultaneously is the definitive biography of Josiah Henson’s life, THE ROAD TO DAWN: Josiah Henson and the Story That Sparked the Civil War. The book delivers the full narrative of a great man’s great life—a life that symbolized the definitive triumph of the human spirit over the brutality of slavery. In this excellent biography, Brock chronicles Henson’s 41 years in bondage, his eventual escape to freedom, and his rise as a great preacher and orator who used his freedom to uplift his fellow man for the entirety of his life.

Together, the book and the film, have created a comprehensive portrait that restores a hero of the abolitionist movement to his rightful place in history—a hero whose life speaks of a love of humanity and invites us to follow in his steps.

The Hornell Public Library looks forward to introducing Josiah Henson to the Hornell community. Please plan to join us on Wednesday May 23, 2018 from 6-7pm at the Hornell Public Library 64 Genesee St. for a first showing of JOSIAH THE STORY THAT SPARKED THE CIVIL WAR. Watch the trailer and get more information at                        

 To schedule an interview with Jared A. Brock (director of JOSIAH & author of The Road to Dawn), please contact Brooke Parsons at or (212) 364-0683.

For more information about the local JOSIAH screening, please contact the event organizer, Director, Alice Taychert at the Hornell Public Library 607-324-1210. or at