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Our Mission

To provide community members of all ages with convenient access to print and digital resources within our library and beyond; enriching educational and social programs; and opportunities for interaction and engagement in a warm, welcoming environment.

Our History

Libraries are thought of as peaceful quiet places and while that is true of our library today, it has had an adventurous past. Regardless, it has always provided, in the words of one library volunteer, “the personal touch which big libraries don’t have. Knowing most of the readers and what they like makes working in the library more friendly.”[1]


The Briarcliff Library was started in 1914 by the Briarcliff Manor Community Club.

According to the 1914 issue of “Community Notes” published by the club, “The library is open for the lending of books. So far six cards have been taken out.”[2] In 1924, the village of Briarcliff Manor began providing financial support for the library.

In 1928, the library was forced to move.

When the Community Club building was sold to the Westchester Parkway Commission and for the next two years, the library was housed in the tower room of the Briarcliff Realty Company which is now the home of Operating Engineers Local 357 on Pleasantville Rd.

In 1930, the library was given another “temporary” home.

On the main floor of the High School wing of the old Briarcliff Public School. This “temporary” location lasted until 1949 when increased enrollment forced the library to move again.

From 1949 until 1958, the library was housed in two rooms.

On the second floor of the village recreation department in the building now owned by Thalle Industries off Rte 9A. This location was far from ideal. The space was so small the reference section and most of the adult fiction collection had to be put into storage.

1958 and 1959 were big years for the library.

In 1958, The Briarcliff Free Library was one of the founding members of the newly created Westchester Library System. In 1959, the library was able to move into a new home in the former station of the Putnam Division of the New York Central Rail Road.

Since 1968, the Briarcliff Manor Public Library has been chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

And registered with the Education Department as a municipal public library. The library continued to grow and a series of renovations in the 1980s and 1990s failed to keep up with the need for space for the library’s expanded collection and services.

These issues were addressed in 2009 when the library moved into its current home,

a new two-story addition to its former home in the train station. Our library continues to grow and thanks to the commitment of the community and staff, we will meet the challenges of the future just as we met the challenges in our past.

[1] Reibel, Jane, “Briarcliff Manor’s Community Library – A Fifty year History,” 10.
[2] Hoppenstedt, Esther, “The Briarcliff Free Library,” 5.