Mrs. Elizabeth Bemus, in 1907, revealed her plans for starting a public library in Bemus Point. She donated land adjacent to her home on the west side of Center Street in the village. She loaned money for the building and the entire village responded with donations of money, materials, and assistance in construction and furnishings. The building was constructed of block and stone by Selden Bates. It had a fireplace, natural finished woodwork and a wood/coal heating stove.
The library opened in December of 1908 with Mrs. Bemus as librarian in which position she continued until 1929. Two years after opening, in 1910 a charter was granted by the NY State Education Department.
About 1955 a new oil furnace was installed. In 1959 more space was required and the basement was finished into a children’s room with an outside stairway.
The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System was instituted in 1963 and the Bemus Point library became a participating member library.
Again, through the dedicated efforts of the community, 1967 a fund drive raised 18,000. A committee comprised of Arlon Shick, Chairman Allen Gustafson, Clark B. Lord, Clair Robison, Norman Skillman and Robert Stahley conducted the drive and the Bemus Point Fire Department generously sold their clubrooms to the library for $12,000.
In March of 1968, the library was moved from Center Street to the new building at 13 Main Street. A concerted effort of citizens and organizations was responsible for this move, including the fund raising, cleaning, decorating, wiring and equipping the library. Shelving and a card catalog were donated by the Art Metal Corporation of Jamestown. Mrs. Edith Evans was library board president and Mrs. Mary Jane Stahley was librarian.
Board Members are elected by the Bemus Point Study Club, there are seven trustees on the Board. The Bemus Point Study Club was formed in 1903 and has been the vital support group for the library continuously since that date.