A much-anticipated modernization of the Montauk Library has yielded a brand-new children’s wing, family room, teen area, sound studio, local history center, book sale room, and three exterior spaces with spectacular views and greenery. A robust of slate of 2022 programming for kids and adults has already begun! Visit montauklibrary.org/calendar.
By Denise DiPaolo
Spring 2022 marks the completion of a key modernization project at the Montauk Library. Already much loved and frequented by Montaukers and visitors alike all year round, the expanded Library has cemented itself as one the End’s top destinations. Of course, it’s still the best rainy day spot around, but so much more. If its new walls could talk:
The new FAMILY ROOM walls would brag about the child-height picture book browsing bins, the preschool-age play area, the interactive puzzles and games, the cozy nooks where children can read, the growing bilingual book collection, and the new outdoor deck.
The newly expanded UPPER LEVEL walls would crow about the spectacular views from the outdoor decks, the comfortable reading areas for adults, and the board game tables.
The LOWER LEVEL walls would cheer about the new recording studio, the book sale room, and the additional meeting room where small groups can reserve space for tutoring, proctoring, and book clubs.
The walls of the new ARCHIVAL STORAGE room would boast about the grand space where maps, documents, photos, and other memorabilia pertaining to Montauk’s illustrious history reside safely.
The walls in the brand-new LOCAL HISTORY EXHIBIT CENTER actually can talk. Scan the QR code under each portrait on the new Oral History Wall and hear, in their own voices, Frank Tuma, Mary Gosman, Craig Tuthill, Gus Pitts, and so many others sharing anecdotes and memories of their day-to-day Montauk life and adventures.
All are welcome. Stop by and see for yourself at 871 Montauk Hwy, just east of town. 631-668-3377. Montauklibrary.org
Denise DiPaolo, Montauk Library Director’s experience includes over 20 years as a Library Administrator/Supervisor. Denise joined Montauk Library as Director in 2015. She is particularly interested in sustainability, technology and archival collections and collaborating with community organizations to create an enriching library experience for visitors of every age & distinction.
Once Upon A Time…
By Sally Krusch
The town of Montauk had no library until 1980. Before that, starting in 1963, all Montauk had was a Bookmobile that came every two weeks. It was operated by the Suffolk Cooperative Library System (SCLS) and in late 1970’s, they decided they would stop the service.
The first library was opened in a small cottage (which is still standing) on property owned by the Montauk Community Church. They kindly offered it for rent at one dollar a year. It opened in November 1980 with ten thousand books donated by other libraries and library patrons, plus financial aid and guidance from SCLS.
Soon the community supported a building plan for a new, much larger facility. In 1982 Montauk voted to purchase 2.5 acres east of town for the site. A bond issue was approved, a State Grant was obtained, and fundraising was started. Construction began in 1989.
In 1991 the main floor opened, and fundraising continued. In 1997, the downstairs Archival Room was completed, followed by the meeting room in 1999. Finally, the mezzanine level opened in 2001, marking the library’s completion.
But by the time it was completed, it was already too small. Twenty years had passed since the idea for a library was hatched, and another twenty years would pass before another renovation would be completed. In 2022, under the direction of Director Denise DiPaolo and the Board of Trustees, which is led by matriarch Joan Lycke, the library was modernized and enhanced with 50% more space added, including a greatly expanded children’s library. Be sure to see it.