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Start Your Summer Reading At The New Library Branch in Poughkeepsie!

The Poughkeepsie Public Library District has opened a new library branch. It's called the "Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library" and it officially opened on April 9, 2022.

Photo Caption: (Visitors picking out books and reading at the Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library in Poughkeepsie, NY)


The new branch is located inside the Family Partnership Center at 29 North Hamilton Street in Poughkeepsie, New York. The Family Partnership building once was Poughkeepsie High School and this new branch is housed in the same room as the original library. So far, there are about 4,000 books in the new location with plans for more books on the way.


Photo of Sadie Peterson Delaney in 1915 from the Dutchess County Historical Society website.

The library’s namesake ‘Sadie Peterson Delaney’ (1889 - 1958) was an extraordinary librarian who attended Poughkeepsie High and was a member of Smith Metropolitan AME Zion Church while she lived in Poughkeepsie. She was also well known for her poetry and spoke up for women’s voting rights according to the Dutchess County Historical Society.


Delaney became a librarian after graduating from the City of New York College. In 1920, she trained and worked at the 135th Street Branch of the New York City Library. The 135th Street Branch is now known as the Schaumburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. While working there she curated one of the first African-American literature library collections. Her work at the 135th Street Branch was recognized during the Harlem Renaissance period. Delaney was then offered a job as ‘Chief Librarian’ at the Veterans Administration Hospital Library in Tuskegee, Alabama. During her time at the hospital library, Delaney revitalized the library by creating a vibrant and welcoming space, accumulating thousands of books, creating Braille programs for patients who were blind, planning book talks and hosting events with high-profile special guests of times.

Photo of Sadie Peterson Delaney receiving an honorary Doctorate from Atlanta University from the Dutchess County Historical Society website.

Visitors can read books from Delaney’s collection at the new library branch in Poughkeepsie. The books from her collection are marked with stickers that read “Roots Collection”.

Photo Caption: (A look inside the Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library in Poughkeepsie, NY)

Photo Caption: (The library entrance, the computer room and the art display at the Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library in Poughkeepsie, NY)


This bright and beautiful branch has a children's read/play area, a computer room and works of art on display. It is open every day except Sunday and has a lot of programs planned for this summer. Click on the link for more information. Link - https://poklib.org/spd-opening/

Dutchess County Historical Society additional information on Sadie Peterson Delaney


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