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Long IslandSuffolk

Amityville Public Library to introduce miniature 'book bike' libraries throughout village

The Amityville Public Library is seen on June

The Amityville Public Library is seen on June 5, 2011. Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

The Amityville Public Library will extend its reach in coming months with a “book bike” and several mailbox-sized miniature libraries that will be placed in locations around the village.

The “book bike” is actually a tricycle with a cargo box in front with space for books. The books will be given free to readers, and librarians will do the pedaling. Likely destinations for the bikes include the farmers market, downtown, and the village beach, said assistant library director Ann Hofbauer, who said the two-mile trip from the library to the end of South Bayview Avenue would not be a deterrent: “That’s nothing.”

A grant from state Sen. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) will cover the $2,500 bike cost.

Possible locations for the miniature libraries include Ireland Place near Park Avenue, the village beach, Peterkin Park and Village Hall. The public library is looking for community groups to help with construction and maintenance, Hofbauer said.

The village already has three miniature libraries. One, in the waiting room at the Long Island Rail Road station, is maintained with the help of Freeport-based nonprofit Book Fairies and United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Suffolk.

Two more — one built low to the ground for children and one higher up for adults — are outside the home of village attorney Richard Handler and Susan Benard-Handler, former library reference librarian.

Richard Handler said both are popular. “A carload empties out and little kids rush to the small library, and then you have the adults, with a serious eye, going through their collection,” he said.

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