By SCOTT SHELTERS
Special to the OBSERVER
SINCLAIRVILLE - Throughout various Western New York and online stores, consumers have thousands of 2012 calendars from which to choose. Most of these calendars don't possess a local touch. Their photos of landscapes, buildings and people come from far-reaching corners of the U.S. or beyond.
The Sinclairville Free Library’s Historic Photo Calendar can be purchased for $10 at the library, Julie’s Style Station or the Sinclairville Superette. The pictured image, displayed on the calendar’s cover, shows a baseball game at the Sinclairville Fairgrounds.
Those looking for a localized, meaningful Christmas gift for a Sinclairville, Gerry or Charlotte resident might find what they need at the Sinclairville Free Library.
With assistance from Silver Creek photographer Niles Dening, the library put together its first historic photo calendar, which features images from the Sinclairville, Gerry and Charlotte areas.
Dening digitized photos of some of the area's old schools, businesses and streets for the calendar, which can be purchased at the library, Julie's Style Station or the Sinclairville Superette for $10.
Some image highlights include shots of the Gerry Railroad Station, a creamery, a pea vinery and the old Sinclairville Fairgrounds.
"It's really interesting for people to see how the community has changed and what was here at one time," said Sinclairville Free Library Board President Lisa Greeley. "There's an active interest in the history of the area."
Dening found the images while his wife attended a writers' group at the library. He began working on the photos, and the board members came up with the idea to create the calendar, according to library manager Beth Hadley.
Greeley and others thought the calendar would make for a great Christmas gift and showed it off at functions in the Sinclairville area.
"People end up in discussions," she said. "It really ends up as a conversation starter for a lot of people."
In addition to providing enjoyment to area residents, Greeley hopes the calendar will add to the library's budget. She hopes to open the library on Saturdays, necessitating an increase in staff funding.
"This community has a long history of supporting the library," Greeley said, noting the library has experienced budget cutbacks. "Each dollar helps the library grow and evolve to meet community needs."
The library meets those needs through its book, writing, weight-loss, knitting and fly-tying groups. As a result, the board decided to include meeting times for all library functions on the calendar. A combination of increased funding and awareness has Hadley thinking they might put out the calendar annually.
If the calendar becomes commercially successful or community support for the library increases, the library will continue to update materials and expand its audio collection, which has helped those with fading vision continue to enjoy books, Hadley said.
"Having a better variety of materials is dependent on that community support. Even keeping the library building open costs money."
Presently, the library opens to the public on Mondays from 2-8 p.m., Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During those times, Greeley wants people to enjoy its offerings. "When the lights are on, we want somebody to be able to be there, taking advantage of what's going on."
For more on the library, visit sinclairvillefreelibrary.weebly.com.
Send comments on this story to firstname.lastname@example.org