The Herkimer Free Library was established in 1895 in the former home of Judge Robert and Juliette Earl on North Main Street in the Village of Herkimer. The Earls donated their large house, their collection of books, a $10,000 endowment, and funds for furnishings and cataloging. This privately-funded free association library was chartered to serve the citizens of Herkimer. In 1970, the Library was re-chartered as the Herkimer Library and officially owned by the Village. In 1974, safety and service concerns prompted the Library Trustees to sell the Earl Home and purchase the present building, located just a few lots away. The Trustees began a capital fund drive to renovate the building and buy furnishings. The largest contributor was the family of Frank J. Basloe, for whom the library is named. In the same year, the Washburn Memorial Corporation donated the Washburn Memorial Room, a public meeting area within the Library. On February 22nd, 1976, the Frank J. Basloe Library was formally dedicated and continues to serve the citizens of Herkimer.
On May 21st, 2013, school district voters approved a Basloe Library District Proposition. The new charter will change the service area to the geographic area containing the Herkimer School District. The library will become an independent district library yet continue to serve the public as it always has. It will no longer receive funding from the Village and Town of Herkimer, instead receiving the majority of its funding from the area served by the school district. The school district and the library will remain separate. The new charter is expected to be in place by the end of 2013.
The Frank J. Basloe Library provides materials and services to help meet the personal, educational, and recreational needs of community residents of all ages. Special emphasis is placed on providing popular materials and materials necessary to provide reference services. The library is also a center for local history and genealogical materials. The library also serves as a center for encouraging young children’s interests and appreciation for reading and learning and has a commitment to foster that interest throughout the school years.