A look inside the brand new annex on Horseblock Road.

A look inside the brand new annex on Horseblock Road. Credit: James Carbone

Along with hundreds of Medford residents, Nerina Sperl on Tuesday celebrated the opening of a new $6 million Patchogue-Medford library annex in a Brookhaven Town park on Horseblock Road.

She just wished her friend Joan Travan could have been there.

Travan, who spent more than 15 years working with Sperl and other civic leaders to plan and raise money for the library branch, died May 10 after a long illness, Sperl said. She was 81.

The 11,000-square-foot annex is expected to make it easier for Medford residents to access library resources. Residents previously had to drive 10 to 20 minutes to the Patchogue-Medford library's main branch and children's annex, both in downtown Patchogue. 

“The sad part is that Joan Travan isn’t around to see it,” Sperl, 69, of Medford, said Wednesday, the Medford annex's first official day of business. “She would have been thrilled to tears because it was a long, hard road to get here.”

Efforts to build a Medford library stretch back 60 years, library and local officials have said.

Tuesday's celebration resembled a community block party, as residents listened to live music, took photographs and ate cotton candy and ice cream under cloudy skies.

Many toured the new library and placed orders for books, even before library director Danielle Paisley and officials cut a blue ribbon stretched across the library's entrance.

The annex was built without raising taxes on library district residents, Paisley told Newsday.

Civic leaders worked with library officials and volunteers to raise about $3.5 million from state grants and private donations, Paisley and Sperl said. Another $2.5 million came from library district reserve funds, Paisley added. 

Brookhaven donated an unused one-acre section of the town's 23-acre Medford Athletic Complex for the building.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Paisley said. “Those people are going to feel like they finally accomplished the dream.”

About a third of the Patchogue-Medford library's 25,119 cardholders are Medford residents, Paisley said.

“The community is so excited about it because Medford has not had this kind of place,” Sperl said. “We don’t even have a downtown.”

The annex is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.

For now, only about 5,500 square feet of space is occupied, Paisley said, adding that an additional 5,500 square feet in the basement is available for future use.

The main floor includes shelves filled with books and DVDs/Blu-Rays, children's and teen sections, and community rooms for meetings and presentations. A piano was donated by the late Charles Pilger, Sperl said.

The library also loans games such as checkers and chess, and activity bags for games such as boccie, volleyball and pickleball.

If you want to do some reading by a faux fireplace, they've got that, too.

“Joan’s view was to have it look like a community house rather than a municipal building,” Sperl said. “We wanted to have a warm, cozy reading area.”

Along with hundreds of Medford residents, Nerina Sperl on Tuesday celebrated the opening of a new $6 million Patchogue-Medford library annex in a Brookhaven Town park on Horseblock Road.

She just wished her friend Joan Travan could have been there.

Travan, who spent more than 15 years working with Sperl and other civic leaders to plan and raise money for the library branch, died May 10 after a long illness, Sperl said. She was 81.

The 11,000-square-foot annex is expected to make it easier for Medford residents to access library resources. Residents previously had to drive 10 to 20 minutes to the Patchogue-Medford library's main branch and children's annex, both in downtown Patchogue. 

“The sad part is that Joan Travan isn’t around to see it,” Sperl, 69, of Medford, said Wednesday, the Medford annex's first official day of business. “She would have been thrilled to tears because it was a long, hard road to get here.”

Efforts to build a Medford library stretch back 60 years, library and local officials have said.

Tuesday's celebration resembled a community block party, as residents listened to live music, took photographs and ate cotton candy and ice cream under cloudy skies.

Many toured the new library and placed orders for books, even before library director Danielle Paisley and officials cut a blue ribbon stretched across the library's entrance.

The annex was built without raising taxes on library district residents, Paisley told Newsday.

Civic leaders worked with library officials and volunteers to raise about $3.5 million from state grants and private donations, Paisley and Sperl said. Another $2.5 million came from library district reserve funds, Paisley added. 

Brookhaven donated an unused one-acre section of the town's 23-acre Medford Athletic Complex for the building.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Paisley said. “Those people are going to feel like they finally accomplished the dream.”

About a third of the Patchogue-Medford library's 25,119 cardholders are Medford residents, Paisley said.

“The community is so excited about it because Medford has not had this kind of place,” Sperl said. “We don’t even have a downtown.”

The annex is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.

For now, only about 5,500 square feet of space is occupied, Paisley said, adding that an additional 5,500 square feet in the basement is available for future use.

The main floor includes shelves filled with books and DVDs/Blu-Rays, children's and teen sections, and community rooms for meetings and presentations. A piano was donated by the late Charles Pilger, Sperl said.

The library also loans games such as checkers and chess, and activity bags for games such as boccie, volleyball and pickleball.

If you want to do some reading by a faux fireplace, they've got that, too.

“Joan’s view was to have it look like a community house rather than a municipal building,” Sperl said. “We wanted to have a warm, cozy reading area.”

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