The roots of reading in the Odessa area began as early as 1817 as local history tells us that a library existed then in the Town of Catharine. In the 1930s-1940s a small library was located on Main Street, Odessa where librarian Helen Smith directed the reading choices of a generation of children.
In the 1970s Odessa, Alpine, and Cayuta were successful stops on the Southern Tier Library System’s Bookmobile run. In the late 1970s the bookmobile was discontinued and a reading center was opened in the home of Ida Millspaugh, Town of Catharine Clerk. The reading center was named ODALCA for Odessa, Alpine, Catharine, and Cayuta. Catharine’s new town hall and highway barn became the next home of ODALCA but by the mid-1980s, more space was needed for the expanding reading center.
In 1986, as the result of donations, grants, and the labor & love of local residents, the Dutton S. Peterson Memorial Library opened for business at the corner of First and Church Streets in Odessa. The library was named for the late Dutton S. Peterson, a former area resident, minister, and NYS Senator. It is a New York State chartered municipal public library with a nine member board of trustees. Support comes from the residents of the Odessa-Montour Central School District. The library celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016 with a summer picnic and concert.