The opening of the East Rochester Public Library in May 1922 was the successful outcome of a project started by the women of the Welfare League, a women’s organization of about 500 that flourished in the 1920s.
In 1923, the library was moved to the election booth on West Commercial Street with a budget of $10 per month for a janitor. This room was far from satisfactory as a library, and, in June 1924, the library was moved to the M.D.T. Reading Room, then located on Main Street adjacent to the Methodist Church.
In September 1927, the library moved to the second floor of the Municipal Building/Fire Hall with the village taking over financial responsibility. When the library opened in 1922, the village population was 5,883. The collection had grown to over 3,000 volumes, and circulation had reached 24,000 items per year.
The Monroe County Library System was formed in 1952 allowing the local readers to request books from any library in the county. East Rochester is a charter member of the system.
In 1955, Mrs. Burton J. Fryatt donated her home at 901 Main St. to the village for use as a library.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Fryatt died in 1957 of a sudden heart attack months before the library opened and never saw her generous donation come to fruition.
Lucile Saunders, the first officially appointed village historian and chairman of the library board, was instrumental in getting a local history room established on the second floor of the Fryatt Memorial Building.
Through Mrs. Saunders’ efforts, an extension branch of the library was opened at 148 E. Commercial St. in December 1965. The branch served those who could not come to the Main Street library.
The branch closed within 14 months because of lack of use.
Martha Hieber was appointed library director in 1971. Through urban renewal, the village was building a new complex on West Commercial Street. In February 1978, the library moved to its new location.
The library board members have been numerous over the years, planning programs, advising on decision matters and chairing activities.
Friends of the library are continuing the efforts of the Women’s Welfare League of almost 100 years ago by raising money through their used book sales.
With the remodeling of the large Eyer Block in 2014, all the village departments were relocated there.
The library under Meredith Frazer as director was one of them, and it continues to serve the public today.