Our History

The Round Lake Library was originally known as The Free Library and Reading Room and opened July 6, 1897 with 400 books donated by residents of the village. It was the second library in Saratoga County and the first to have its own building. The Women’s Round Lake Improvement Society (WRLIS) rented the Clark House for $150 per year in order to house the Library and the building was bequeathed to the Library after its owner, Caroline Garnsey, died. The Library’s first three librarians were members of the same family: Louise Lodewick Stevens, followed by her daughter Grace Powers and then her granddaughter Dorothy Northup in 1954.

The Village of Round Lake has decorative wooden homes crowded closely together, and while this makes for a quaint community, it also created a fire hazard. On July 11, 1921, 17 buildings were destroyed as a result of a fire that started in a cottage located on the Library lawn. The Library was one of the few buildings that was not completely destroyed. The Round Lake Library is still housed in its original Victorian-style building at 31 Wesley Avenue. The Kate VanDembers Memorial Committee Room was added following the loss of the social room in the 1921 fire and the WRLIS meeting room was added later.

In 1908, New York State aided the Library in instituting and using the Dewey Decimal Classification. In 1955, the Vischer Ferry Library donated many books to the Round Lake Library’s collection, which significantly enhanced its offerings. The Round Lake Library was also the first Library in Saratoga County to join the Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS) in 1957, a voluntary association of public libraries in Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. As a result, the Library received funding for books, equipment and reference materials and by 1968 it offered the borrowing of books, records, art prints and films, as well as providing reference services and eventually interlibrary loan services.

On September 16th, 2009 the Round Lake Library opened a new branch to accommodate the growing population in the town of Malta. The Malta Branch is located inside the David R. Meager Community Center.