One book passed through the hands of nearly 1,000 Sag Harbor residents to mark the reopening of the John Jermain Memorial Library after an extended renovation.
Residents formed a chain Saturday that snaked south down Main Street, passing the book “Sag Harbor: The Story of an American Beauty” from person to person. The chain began at the library’s temporary location on 34 W. Water St. and ended at the newly renovated library.
The historical account, written by former library employee Dorothy Zaykowski, was the last book to return to the library. It took 45 minutes to travel about a half-mile and changed hands 982 times, librarian Mireille Sturmann said.
“It was amazing to see everyone get so excited. You could hear people shouting down the line ‘Look! The book is coming!’ ” said Sturmann, who helped plan the “book brigade.”
The Sag Harbor Community Band played as the book reached the end of the chain and was carried into the building by library director Catherine Creedon. After a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, people were invited inside to read, relax and sign a guestbook, which was the first book installed at the renovated library, Creedon said.
“It was incredible to see the community come out and support a public library,” she said. “It was probably one of the most moving experiences of my entire life.”
The John Jermain Library was built in 1910 and closed in 2011 for the renovation, which cost about $16 million, Creedon said.