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Brick by brick, Shelter Island library gets help

The Shelter Island Public Library

The Shelter Island Public Library Credit: Handout

A brick and masonry specialist took the ferry to Shelter Island last week, carrying 50 stencils with him as he crossed the water. He spent the day — his fourth so far — behind the small public library, using the stencils to sandblast names on bricks that have been installed on a walk of honor.

The Friends of the Library raises funds through book sales and membership fees and by selling bricks. And whenever 50 people have given $125 apiece to get a name inscribed, library director Denise DiPaolo calls Rock Solid Brick and Masonry in West Islip to do the engraving.

The bricks have been cemented in place, and DiPaolo said it is important to find someone with experience to do the work without cracking the bricks. “This is our fourth 50,” she said.

The Shelter Island library was built in 1965, and had its first and only expansion last year.

The library board proposed a $4 million expansion in 2008, but that was voted down, 655-178. Instead, the board decided on a much more modest $565,000 plan to renovate the building’s basement and open up an outdoor patio, creating a larger meeting area and opening more space for programs.

The money raised by the Friends of the Library is being used to cover the cost of audio visual equipment and other expenses connected with the renovations, DiPaolo said.

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