BY PAUL GOLIAS
The Hoyt Library has known adversity, but at its 90-year mark, it stands as a tribute to Kingston, library staff and supporters and the thousands of library users of all ages.
“The library is the hub. It is the community’s living room. It is where neighbor meets neighbor,’’ said Melissa A. Werner, MLIS, executive director.
Owned and operated by the community, the library, 284 Wyoming Ave., is a member of the Luzerne County Library System and receives county funding to provide services to residents of Luzerne County. Additional state funding supports services to West Side communities.
It was the concept of neighbor meeting neighbor that prompted Daniel Hoyt, grandfather of Gov. Henry Hoyt, to meet with friends in 1810 at his home to form a library group. In 1909, his grandson, Frank Weston Hoyt, donated the family homestead on Wyoming Avenue to Kingston Borough for use as a library. The Hoyt Library formally opened Jan. 2, 1928, funded by rental income and public funds saved over the years.
In 1972, the Agnes Flood destroyed the library’s first floor and the Attorney William Brewster history and Americana collection kept in the basement. Some items were replaced, but most were lost.
An addition built in 1987 and the children’s wing were destroyed when the roof collapsed during a blizzard on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2007.
But there was no surrender to the elements.
Fundraising began and again the community and the Municipality of Kingston (now under home rule) responded. The Hoyt Library reopened to the public in October 2009. The renovations included a new library and a renovated Hoyt homestead, which survived the disasters.
Hoyt Library — which formally observed its 90th anniversary with an event in August at Keeley’s Alehouse & Grille in Kingston — offers a wide range of services to citizens on the West Side, including book discussion groups, yoga classes, children’s programs and outreach services to learning centers. A boutique offers an additional source of revenue. Werner said the Hoyt Library “has grown to become an important and well-recognized feature, a point of community pride and a source of valued, reliable knowledge.’’ The library plays a vital role in the West Side community, a place for people to engage and collaborate with others, “to create, explore, grow and discover,’’ she added. It .
The library is open from 1 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. It has more than 90,000 items in its collection, including books, audio books, DVDs, magazines and newspapers. Also offered are E-books, online databases and 30 internet computers, and Wi-Fi.
The Hoyt Library is accepting registrations for a variety of free fall programs, which begin Monday, Oct. 7, unless otherwise indicated. Registration is mandatory.
- Storytime: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, for ages 3-5, but not in kindergarten. Children and their parents can listen to stories and make story related crafts together.
- LEGO Club: 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays, for children ages 6-18. LEGOS, Keva blocks, and Lincoln Logs are supplied for use in the program.
- Jr. LEGO Club: 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays, for children ages 2-5. LEGOS are supplied for use in this program.
- Fun with Science: 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, for children ages 7-15. This is a peer approached and student driven program for hands-on learning in science.
- Itty Bitties!: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Fridays, for children 6 weeks to 23 months of age. Program will consist of songs, stories, and different stages of play. The program provides parents an opportunity to meet and share ideas.
- Toddler Town Program: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays, for children 24 months to age 3. Program will consists of age appropriate songs, stories, socialization, and hands-on learning.
- Pre-School M.E.S.S.: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, for ages 3-5, but not in kindergarten. The program incorporates math, early literacy, science, or stories. Program theme is camping.
- Pajama-Jama: 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Thursdays, for children ages 3 to 5, but not in kindergarten. Children and their parents will enjoy stories, crafts, music and dancing. Pajama attire is optional.
- Make-n-Takes: Children and their parents can read books, play board games, or make a themed craft together, by visiting the library in the Discovery Zone area of the library. No registration is required.
- Book-o Bingo Series (ages 13 to adult): 2:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22. Theme is All Things Autumn! Some knowledge of books is required. There are chances to win prizes.
- Adult Reading Discussion Book Program: Come in to register, and check-out a copy of the current Book Discussion’s book choice, “What the Wind Knows”, by Amy Harmon, on a library card, while supplies last; along with the book’s discussion questions. Copies are also available for purchase at bookstores. Register early to read the book by the Oct. 24 meeting.
- Adult fall coloring contest: Patrons 18 and older may enter to win prizes. Call the circulation department of the library for contest rules, or visit the library to obtain an official Hoyt Library coloring sheet. Contest ends Oct. 5.
For information on any of the programs, call the library at 570-287-2013.