Cornwall Public Library


Local public libraries in New York State are supported, in large part, by property taxes paid by library district residents. Residents who live in library districts that are taxed, and that therefore financially support their local public libraries, are given “direct access” privileges within their library system. “Direct access” means that a library card holder can take his or her local library card to check out materials at any public library within Ramapo Catskill Library system, which covers Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, and part of southwestern Ulster Counties.

Due to funding issues surrounding the use of Highland Falls Library by West Point residents, the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS), authorized the restriction of direct access privileges for West Point residents. This means that West Point residents are no longer eligible for library cards with direct access privileges. Both Highland Falls Library and Cornwall Public Library have chosen, however, to allow West Point residents to be issued “local access” library cards. Local access library cards allow their holders most of the borrowing privileges of direct access library cards. Local access library cards, however, cannot be used at libraries other than the issuing library.

What does this mean for me?

As a resident of West Point, you are welcome to apply for a local access library card at either the Highland Falls Library or the Cornwall Public Library. Since individuals residing within the Ramapo Catskill Library System are only allowed one library card from one RCLS member library, you would have to choose which library you would like to use. Your choice can be based on any number of things – proximity to your home or work, your use of the library’s collection, programs available at the library, etc. The library of your choice becomes your “home library.” You can only place holds on books and other materials owned by the library of your choice (Cornwall or Highland Falls) – pick your chosen home library as your “pickup location” and pick up your holds at your home library.

Can I change my mind?
Yes – if you find that you would rather use the library other than the one you initially chose, you would simply give up your current library card and apply for a new library card from the new library. If you are choosing Cornwall Public Library, please remember to bring a photo ID and one other form of ID with your current street address with you to apply for your new card.

Can my children attend your library programs?

Cornwall Public Library offers many programs for both children and adults that are open to all, regardless of where you get your library card. If your library card is not from Cornwall, you are more than welcome to register for programs and story times open to all. You will want to check ahead with other libraries about attending their programs.

Can I use the computers or the wi-fi at Cornwall Public Library?

The library’s wi-fi is open to all. The library’s computers are available to anyone with a valid RCLS member library card, including a local access card, that is free of fines.

Can I interloan library materials with a local access card?

Unfortunately, no, RCLS discontinued this practice as of January 2024.