Monday, January 11, 2016

The Julia Boyer Reinstein Library [Documenting Libraries]

Published in Mogul

As avid readers, writers and advocates for literacy, my son and I decided to begin documenting the libraries we visit, and to start where it matters first, where we were born, Erie County, New York. We have already been to numerous libraries in this region but this is the start of presenting the background and what we discover in each library with photographs. As we visit each location, we bring books to donate to further support education, community and reading.

Historian and philanthropist, dedicated to history and libraries, Julia Boyer Reinstein was the first and only historian from 1953 to 1992 for the Town of Cheektowaga, New York.

She was the widow of Dr. Victor Reinstein, physician, landowner and developer who became the town's largest single benefactor of Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve.  

Julia was singlehandedly responsible for the final donation and specific legal management of 292 acres of land to New York State [Department of Environmental Conservation, DEC] following her husband, Victor's, explicit wishes. Julia made sure the DEC was to comply to the preservation and education of wildlife and nature that Victor had envisioned and started.


Julia was extremely active in the creation of numerous town historical societies across Western New York as an advocate and promoter of regional and local history. 

Mrs. Reinstein was the first president of Municipal Historians of New York state and co-founder, with the late George G. Sipprell, of the Erie County Historical Federation, the moving force behind the creation of 28 historical societies in Erie County, one of them being the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, now the Buffalo History Museum.

With the help of Julia Reinstein, the Historical Society was able to purchase a house, The Reinstein Center, in 1989 as part of the ‘History Lives Here’ capital campaign. 

In 1992, the house was restored to befit its National Register of Historic Places honor. The building was then named after Julia Boyer Reinstein. 

With a generous grant from alumna Julia Boyer Reinstein, the
Women's and Gender Studies Program at Elmira College hosts annually, The Julia Reinstein Symposium, based on women's studies and gender rights. 

Buffalo Women's Oral History Project interviewed Julia Boyer Reinstein who reflects on lesbianism and her life as a lesbian.

The library itself is beautiful. The used book section has brand new, hardly used paperback, trade and hard cover books for fifty cents and one dollar. They also sell DVDS, albums, CDS and children's books.

The library DVD selection is endless, as well as audio books. There is a specific large section for children only, along with a student section for research and studying set apart from the rest of the library. 

Each section is an endless corrider of books. Turn a corner and there are computer workstations, study centers, technology, courses to sign up to, raffles, community related events, small nooks, corners, and nature. 

Architecturally pleasing, the library is peaceful and quiet, even when full. The atmosphere is one of rest and relaxation. The back of the library borders nature and the front borders Losson Road in Cheektowaga. 

This library is more than happy to answer questions, assist, take monetary donations and/or used books to support the libraries in Cheektowaga and Erie County. Of course, as we donate books, we buy more books. The choices are excellent. 

I understand why this library was named after such a successful woman as Julia. It embodies her work, her journey, and her love for history and literacy.

  • 1030 Losson Rd.
  • Cheektowaga , NY 14227
  • Phone: 716-668-4991
  • Fax: 716-668-4806
  • Glenn Luba, Library Director II 
  • Wi-Fi Ready 
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Parking lot available
  • Public Access Computers: 32 computers
  • Microsoft Office Applications
  • Children's Homework Center  
  • Children's Area 
  • Meeting Room, [for non-profits only] capacity 100
  • Conference Room, capacity 12
  • Study Rooms
  • Copy machine
  • Radio receiver for the visually impaired
  • Book Club 
  • Computer Classes 

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