History of the Hoyt Library
In 1810 Daniel Hoyt, grandfather of Governor Henry Hoyt (18th PA Governor, 1879 to 1883) met with his friends at his home to form a library group so that their community on “this side of the Endless Mountains” could have the mutual benefits of books.
Ninety-nine years later in 1909, his grandson, Frank Weston Hoyt, 1st cousin of Governor Henry Hoyt, donated the family homestead, where that very meeting was held, to the Kingston Borough to be a library.
Quite a bit has changed since the library opened in 1928.
The Flood of 1936 extensively damaged the library.
In 1962 Attorney William P. Brewster, a local lawyer, author and historian died and bequeath his valuable collection of local history and Americana reference to the library.
In 1964 the library received the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book-of-the-month club award for having been one of the most outstanding libraries in the state to encourage community interest in and support of the library.
In 1972 the Agnes Flood destroyed the entire contents of the first floor and basement of the library. The entire Brewster collection was lost. It took 4 years to replace the losses sustained from the flood. Some items from the Brewster collection were replaced but a majority of the items were lost forever.
In 1986 the library grew to a point where it outgrew its current building. New construction and renovations were complete in 1987 which enabled the library to reorganize its operations, providing more efficient use of staff, better public access to more materials and a new children’s wing.
Operations of the Library were running smoothly until Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2007. On this day there was a blizzard and the weight of the snow on the Library caused the roof to collapse. While the addition built in 1987, along with the entire Children’s wing was destroyed, the old Hoyt Homestead stayed standing.
After 2 years of rebuilding and renovating, the Hoyt Library opened to the public in October 2009. The renovations included a completely new library with renovations to the Hoyt Homestead.
The Library receive state funding to provide services to the West Side communities of Courtdale, Edwardsville, Forty Fort, Kingston, Luzerne, Pringle, and Swoyersville. These communities also provide funding for library services to their residents.
The Hoyt Library belongs to the Luzerne County Library System and receives county funding to provide services to the entire residency of Luzerne County.
The Library has over 90,000 items in the collection. This includes books, audio books, DVDs, magazines and newspapers. The library also offers e-Books, online databases and 30 internet computers and Wi-Fi.
The Hoyt Library also provides many programs to the public free of charge. Some of these programs include STEAM programming (Lego Club and Lego Club Jr., Science and Math Club, Art Classes), MESS (Math, English, Science and Stories), Storytime, Yoga Classes, Book Discussion Groups, Stamp Club, Embroidery Club. (Fall Festival, Trunk or Treat, Storytime with Santa, Dr. Seuss, Amelia Bedelia, Book-O Bingo) and various other activities and Pop Culture events (March Madness, Titanic, Oscars, Downton Abbey Tea, Civil War, Barbie Show, Alice in Wonderland Birthday Celebration, Statue of Liberty and Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary, Westminster Dog Show, Olympics, Solar Eclipse).
SAT and PSAT Classes are held for college bound students. The Library also provides rooms for tutor use and student testing along with proctoring services.
The Hoyt Library also offers educational tours, outreach services to every child care facility on the West Side along with visits to various centers and schools throughout Luzerne County. Including Senior Centers.
Special Needs Students and other educational facilities, such as homeschoolers and private schools utilize the Library for classes in developing life skills, along with Math, Reading and research.
The Hoyt Library partners with NASA in providing programs that promote space education and exploration.
All programs are in compliance with the Pennsylvania State Teaching Standards. These standards are followed by all teachers and school districts within the state of Pennsylvania.
The Hoyt Library has been awarded the Best Library in Luzerne County from 2014 through 2020.
The Hoyt Library was also awarded the Gold Daisy Award for Best Library by the Macaroni Kid Website from 2016 through 2019. This is a national website that delivers news on all the kid and family friendly events in our community.