East Islip Public Library

The Staff and Trustees of the East Islip Public Library are dedicated to serving the educational cultural and intellectual needs of the communities of East Islip, Islip terrace and Great River. Click on each timeline event to explore the library's rich past!

East Islip Public Library;xNLx; 381 E Main Street;xNLx; East Islip, NY 11730;xNLx;(631) 581-9200;xNLx;http://www.eipl.org/;xNLx;;xNLx;Library Director: ;xNLx;Guy Edwards;xNLx;Board of Trustees:;xNLx;Joseph J. Montuori, Jr., President;xNLx; William R. Carpluk, VP;xNLx; John Flynn;xNLx; Victor C. Gremli, Jr., D.C.;xNLx; Stanley Sadowski., Jr.

The Beginning

In the latter half of the 1950's a group of concerned residents of the East Islip School District #3 wanted to establish a public library in the community. The group's first meeting was held on the evening of November 11, 1960. That group of citizens became the first Board of Trustees, with Carl Duttennofer becoming President, Martha Goldsmith as secretary, and Rudolph Koubeck, Pasquale Mauriello, and Seymour Rankowitz as members. The library's first location was in the former building of the First National Bank of East Islip, located at 100 West Main Street, East Islip, NY 11730. A provisional charter was granted by the Board of Regents of the State of New York in December of 1960. The dedication of the first library, housed in the former First National Bank building, was held on June 17, 1961. The newly formed library opened its doors for the first time on June 21, 1961. The library would operate from this location for 6 years, until the construction and completion of the new building in 1967.

Bulding a Permanent Home

In March 1963, the decision was reached to purchase a piece of property (measuring 140′ x 290′) on the west side of the Christian Reformed Church, now known as Christ Community Church. A brand new library building, which is now known as the original building, would be designed and constructed on this site between 1966 and 1967. Groundbreaking and placement of the cornerstone for the new library building occurred on Saturday, October 22, 1966. The library’s new address would be 381 Montauk Highway, East Islip, NY 11730. Gertrude Schweibish continued as the library director, guiding the library through the construction of the original building, which would open its doors to the public in June of 1967.

The Original Building

With construction of the new building completed, members of the community were invited to attend a preview of the library on Sunday, June 11, 1967. The building was 16,800 square feet and was designed to hold 70,000 volumes. The grand opening and dedication ceremony for the new building was held on Sunday, June 18, 1967. On this day the library officially opened its doors’ for operation. The ceremony was attended and supported by many members of the community, including a local Boy Scout troop who aided in the festivities. Over the years many changes occurred in the 1967 building. For example, music technologies changed over time, taking us from LPs to cassettes to CDs. Computers became important for searching and word processing, replacing the card catalog and print indexes, as well as the typewriter. In addition, many wonderful programs were attended by children, teens, and adults throughout the history of almost 40 years in the original library building.On June 21, 2001 the East Islip Public Library proudly celebrated its 40th Anniversary.

Founding of the Arts Council of The East Islip Public Library

On April 24, 1980, the Arts Council of The East Islip Public Library was granted its official charter and certificate of incorporation by The Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York. The Arts Council of the East Islip Public Library is a volunteer group that promotes culture, art, and artists in the community. Meetings are held at the East Islip Public Library. The group also holds a juried art show each year, to display the works of local artists age 18 and up. The mission and purposes of the Arts Council of the East Islip Public Library are: To continue the East Islip Public Library’s program of education; To enlarge the Library’s circulating original art collection of Suffolk County artists; To encourage contemporary artists and folk art in many media.

Renovation and Expansion

As the needs of the community began to grow, it became evident that the library would need to expand in order to best meet these needs. In 1967 the population was 14,000, quickly increasing to 25,800 by the 2000s. Thus, a renovation and expansion of the original building (built in 1967) was planned. The library’s present director, Mr. Guy Edwards, would oversee this planning, as well as the subsequent renovation and expansion of the original building, from 2000-2005. On the evening of November 8, 2001 a public meeting was held at the East Islip School District administration building, providing residents with the opportunity to become familiar with the plans for the renovation and expansion of the library, as well as the chance to pose related questions to library representatives. The bond vote for the renovation and expansion of the library was held on December 6, 2001. The new building was funded with an 8.25 million dollar bond that will be paid over a 20 year period. This cost represents the total of all construction and professional fees. Groundbreaking for the renovation and expansion of the original building occurred on September 13, 2003 at 12:00 noon. The architect of the new building was Beatty, Harvey and Associates. The contractor of the new building was Rockmore Contracting Corporation of Smithtown, NY. The new addition to the library opened on Thursday, December 16, 2004. The newly added space was 16,800 square feet, including two stories and a basement. This marked the completion of phase one of the initiative. The library renovation and expansion project was fully completed by February of 2005. The new building measured a total of 34,000 square feet, approximately double its former size.

The Current Building (2005-Present)

The current building was fully completed by February of 2005, having its official Grand Opening ceremony for the newly expanded and renovated 32,000 sq. ft. building on June 21, 2005. Since its opening, the current library building has served the community in a multitude of wonderful ways. Looking towards the future, we look forward to the challenges we will face and the changes we will see in the next fifty years. The library will be here with the services we have always offered: providing your favorite reading materials, helping with homework assignments and career searches, providing special programs and services for children, tweens and teens, being a gateway for the Internet, running programs that encourage a love of culture and the arts, keeping you abreast of the latest trends, and looking back at our shared history. We will be here to help you learn the latest technology and to find the information you need for whatever project you are working on, change you are making, or life event you are planning. As much as the services we provide will stay the same, the way we do it will likely change. In recent years we have strived to keep up with the changes in many ways, including expanding our digital services to include downloadable e-books, audiobooks, magazines, and videos. We also enhanced your ability to scan and e-mail paper documents, and now have built a Makerspace that gives you access to a 3-D printer, a large format printer, and software and hardware that can help you create whatever you can imagine! So, the future looks bright for an institution that has always been a community center. As you continue to embrace change and innovation, so will we! We happily hope to remain a part of you and your family’s life for the next fifty years!

Local History Room Dedication

The East Islip Public Library Local History Room was dedicated on September 6, 2006. Located in the lower level of the library, the Local History Room is filled with many resources, including books, pictures, historical objects, newspaper articles, educational magazines, and more! History is a fun and interesting thing to learn about, especially when it is about the place that you live! Visit the lower level of the East Islip Public Library to tour the Local History Room and view exhibits and materials relating to the history of East Islip, Islip Terrace and Great River. Volunteers from the East Islip Historical Society are available to assist you on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2:00 pm – 4:00 p.m. You may also visit the room during all regular library hours of operation, so please come on by!

50th Anniversary

On June 21, 2011 the East Islip Public Library proudly celebrated its 50th Anniversary!

40th Anniversary

On June 21, 2001 the East Islip Public Library proudly celebrated its 40th Anniversary!

9/11 Memorial Groundbreaking

Neighborhoods across Long Island dedicate memorials to educate the next generation about the events of September 11, 2001. The East Islip Chamber of Commerce 9/11 Memorial Project Groundbreaking Ceremony was held at the East Islip Library on September 10th, 2011, at 10:00 am. The community gathered to remember, support and honor the men and women of our nation who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and security. Remembered will be Fire, Police, Military and Civilians of our great nation, The United States of America. The memorial was officially unveiled on Memorial Day of 2012.

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