In his Will, C. B. Erwin left the Village of Boonville $86,000 for a library and in 1885 the Erwin Library and Institute was founded. The original trustees were Robert H. Roberst, John M. Whipple, Frank Barrett, Robert E. Clark, and Leander W. Fiske. The Erwin Library was built and has always been used as a library.
The first librarion was L. W. Fiske who also acted as janitor, at an annual salary of $500. He donated $425 out of his compensation back to the library.
On May 28, 1959 it was decided to become part of the Mid-York System, which is composed of libraries in Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison Counties.