Seymour Library: A Timeline of Our Building’s Evolution | Lifestyles

Jackie Kolb special for the citizen

The Seymour Library strives to be a place of connection, engagement and inspiration for our community. Our mission is to inspire a love of reading, learning and discovery through individual growth and community connection in an engaging and welcoming environment. We work every day to achieve this goal by cultivating a diverse collection of materials, including books, digital resources, Discover! Kits, hotspots, cake pans, mental health and wellness backpacks for families, caregiver kits (Alzheimer’s/memory), games, New York State Empire Pass and more!

Our services and programs are continually evolving to meet the needs and interests of our community. Over the past several years, we’ve added hotspots, curbside service, and Books-By-Mail (a book delivery service available to door-to-door customers in Cayuga County) and increased digital content.

This year, we offered take-home kits for families, IMAGINE Storytime, DIY challenges, book clubs, and a series of virtual lectures focused on research and genealogy. In June, we’ll be adding even more programs, including presentations by local authors and historians, chair yoga, and story hours. Stay tuned for the library’s Discover Summer series, which kicks off in July.

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Over the years, as our collections have grown and our programs and services have adapted to meet the needs of the community, the physical space of the library has also changed:

1903: The Seymour Library moves into the new Case Memorial Building. When the library opened in 1876, it was located in the Phoenix Building and had only 6,000 books in its collection. Today, we have over 62,000 items in circulation!

1920s: A second storey is added to the rear stacks to house the growing number of books in the collection.

1972: Two-story “pannier additions” were added to either side of the original rear piers on the south side of the building. These additions added more space for collections.

1993: The West Lobby (aka Main Lobby) was added, with a new accessible entrance and an elevator.

2016: Renovations were completed to the Library’s History Discovery Center, making the library’s local history and genealogy collections more accessible to our community and allowing us to better preserve our special collections, including maps, brochures, pictures, books, postcards and directories. Offices dedicated to staff have also been added.

2018: Seymour Library hosted a community discussion on the future of the library. The objective of the workshop was to allow library users, staff and administrators to exchange ideas on the evolution of library services. Design and planning firm Butler Rowland Mays Architects, LLP moderated the conversation, gathered community feedback, and worked with the library board, director, and staff to create a library improvement plan. building.

2019: Construction of the library’s IDEA lab is complete. These renovations transformed the office and storage space into a new classroom/small meeting space for library programs and courses. (With the restart of in-person programs this spring, we look forward to offering more courses, programs, and opportunities to use the library’s new technology resources in the IDEA Lab. Previous programs have included technology courses , art and meditation, STEAM programs for kids and families, a movie and talk series, and book clubs.)

2021: After serving the community for over 100 years, the Seymour Library Children’s Room needed a facelift. Construction of the library’s children’s room began in March.

2022: The new Richard S. and Jeanne Z. Dunn family space opened on February 14. This new space features a designated study area, reading nook, updated furnishings, new windows for natural light, and an elevator, allowing visitors with reduced mobility access to areas never available in the past. New lighting, for safety and visibility, has been added to the front of the building.

Jackie Kolb

Now: Construction of the library’s west hall (i.e. main hall and accessible entrance) is underway. The renovations will improve the functionality of the West Lobby for library users and staff with new layout, furniture, energy-efficient lighting and updates to modernize the library elevator. New bay windows will add comfortable reading nooks for library patrons.

We would like to thank everyone for their patience and support as we move forward with this next phase of our building improvement plan. The West Lobby construction project is expected to be completed this fall. Until then, we will use the historic main entrance to the library located off Genesee Street.

Arrangements will be made for people with reduced mobility. Please call the library at (315) 252-2571) prior to your visit to arrange accommodations. Curbside pickup is also available.

Visit our website ( and our Facebook page ( for the latest updates on library construction and programs!

Jackie Kolb is Community Services Coordinator at the Seymour Library in Auburn. For more information, visit or call (315) 252-2571. The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.