The Whitney Book Corner Begins Latest Chapter in New Downtown Schenectady Location

Used bookstore operated by Friends of Schenectady County Public Library raises funds for library system

May 10, 2022

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. —  The Whitney Book Corner, a used bookstore run by the Friends of Schenectady County Public Library (SCPL), held a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration today for its new retail space at 105 Clinton Street in downtown Schenectady. The new storefront is located at the corner of Liberty and Clinton Streets – directly across from the Karen B. Johnson Central Library, Schenectady City Hall, and near the Schenectady Greenmarket.

Christine Witkowski, Friends of SCPL Board Member, said, “After 20 years of providing quality used books to the Schenectady community, the Whitney Book Corner is thrilled to be opening in a new location. Its proximity to City Hall, the Greenmarket and the Central Library is a plus and will likely attract even more customers.” She added, “Managed entirely by the Friends of SCPL, proceeds from the bookstore are used to fund most County library programs. We are confident the move will allow us to continue this vital support for years to come.”

First opened in 2002 in a building close to the library at the corner of Union and Clinton Streets, the store was named for Patricia Whitney, a volunteer who had managed the Friends’ popular book sales for years and whose bequest was used to get the store up and running. When the Friends were notified in late summer 2021 that the building they occupied was being sold, the hunt for a new location began. Through the help of Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, an available retail space in the former Labor Temple building was found. The move was made possible in part from another very generous gift received in 2021 from the estate of Samuel Wait, as well as funding from Metroplex.

“We are very excited to have the Whitney Book Corner stay and grow in downtown Schenectady,” said Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair. “It was our pleasure to assist with the site search and the successful move to their new space.”

“The Whitney Book Corner is a great asset to downtown in many ways,” said Jim Salengo, executive director of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp. “It’s an extremely popular shop that brings a steady stream of customers to downtown, and it directly supports the outstanding programs at the Central Library, making it one of our signature attractions. We look forward to seeing the Whitney thrive in its new location.”

The Whitney Book Corner will continue to feature a wide selection of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s book titles. Most books are priced less than $5.00. The store will be open seven days a week. For more information, visit

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