The original building was built in 1897 by Jesse Spalding in loving memory of his son, Robert L. Spalding 1872 to 1895, as a gift to the inhabitants of Athens Township.

The cost of the construction at that time was close to $25,000. Mr. Spalding was born in Bradford County, PA and educated at the Athens Academy. The Academy was located on the lot across the street from the library on South Main Street. He became a very successful lumberman and businessman in Chicago, IL. On March 12, 1897, it was announced that Mr. Spalding had promised to erect a fireproof building for the use of the Tioga Point Historical Society and also for a public library. On August 11, 1897, the cornerstone was laid and on June 8, 1898, the completed building was formally dedicated.

The building stands on a narrow strip of land between the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers which was part of the Alonquin Indian territory. It also was the location of the fort built by General Sullivan during his campaign against the western Indians in 1779.

The building is a stately looking brick structure with antique stone trimmings. It is “of the colonial style of architecture and has a handsome portico supported by four magnificent Ionic Columns. A. H. Kipp of Wilkes-Barre was the architect.”

Thirty years later, on March 1, 1928, the building reopened after a new addition and thorough repairs were completed. The Spalding heirs gave the money for the addition and renovation with the stipulation that the town take over the maintenance of the building. To do that, there was a special election in Athens in April 1927 to enact a 1 mill tax, thus funding their responsibility for the library.

A few years later, Mrs. Jesse Spalding Langdon bequeathed $50,000 to the library in the form of a blind trust. The income from the trust was to go for the support of the library and continues today.

On September 11, 1999, the Lina Burns Elevator Tower was dedicated. The elevator provides handicapped access to the library and museum. Mrs. Burns was a teacher in the Athens School District for many years. She served on the library Board of Trustees for many years and as its president. A bequest from her estate and a Community Development Block Grant made the addition possible.

The building has seen three different centuries. It has undergone many changes and continues to change and adapt as it goes forward into the 21st century.

Board of Trustees

Katie Jones, President

Jacqueline McNamara, Vice-President

Philip Crouse, Treasurer

Shirley Blakeman, Secretary

Todd Babcock

Bruce Carpenter

Nina Seebeck

Lori Pruyne

Lisa Grazul

Library Staff

Tiffany Robbins, Director,


Meaghann CampBell, Assistant Director,


Jessica White, Youth Services Librarian


Walt Wagner, Library Clerk

Becky Williams, Library Clerk

Bryanna Kellogg, Library Clerk

Laura Smith, Library Clerk

Board Meeting Schedule

The Spalding Memorial Library board plans to meet on the 4th Wednesday each month in 2024.

Meetings are open to the public. Please call if you are interested in attending.

You can reach us at 570-888-7117 or email smlibrary724@gmail.com

Mission Statement

We are a free community gathering space providing access to knowledge, information, and inspiration for personal and professional development.

Strategic Plan

Click Here to see the Library’s Strategic Plan.

Support the Library

Follow the link below to donate to the Library through C&N Autobooks!
We will be using this donation page as online ticketing for our Annual Wine & Dine + A Brew or Two Fundraiser. Please write in the description box that you are buying W&D Tickets! 
Questions? Call the Library at 570-888-7117!