Petit Branch Library is located on Syracuse’s east side off Westcott Street, in an eclectic area known as the University Neighborhood (for its proximity to Syracuse University) and the Westcott Nation. It is named for Douglas E. Petit, President of the Board of Syracuse Public Library until his death in 1926.
Petit, then called Westcott Station, first opened in the Lawrence Drug Store at the corner of Westcott and Dell Streets. in 1912. The station was discontinued in 1926, in anticipation of the Douglas E. Petit Branch, which opened on Nov. 20, 1928 at 746 South Beech Street. The current building on Victoria Place was dedicated on May 10, 1961.
This branch offers a wide range of adult and children’s materials in many formats–print, DVD, Blu-Ray, compact disc. It is a bright, open building, with a very large collection of children’s picture books. It also specializes in “out-of-the-way” fiction.
Children’s programs, such as preschool story times and the summer reading program for children and teens, are regular features at Petit. A book discussion group for adults meets once a month, and special programs for adults and families, including a variety of entertaining and informational offerings, are very popular. The library also displays works by local artists, featuring a new exhibit each month.
Several computers with Internet access and word processing for adults and children are available.
Petit does not have a meeting room, but community groups, such as the Westcott East Neighborhood Association (WENA), often meet in the children’s nonfiction room.
Petit enjoys participating in neighborhood events such as the Westcott Street Cultural Fair in September. Many of the Fair’s “Kids’ Korner” performances for children take place in the area right in front of the library. Since 2000, Petit has held an annual book sale in conjunction with the Fair.
The Petit Garden Courtyard represents a collaborative community project that began in 2000 as a joint effort between neighborhood residents and OCPL. Planned and created by members of the Westcott community, the garden consists of stone pathways, flower plantings, shrub beds, trees, a water feature, and a brick courtyard. Individuals, families, organizations, and businesses have purchased bricks for the courtyard engraved with names, quotations, and logos.