So many people have been asking about the new construction at the Shelter Island Public Library that director Denise DiPaolo has been putting photos of the work done each day on the library’s Facebook page.
“It’s closed up. People hear the banging. They want to know what’s happening,” she said.
Shelter Island, the smallest town on Long Island, has one public library. And the renovations that started at the beginning of the year are the first major change to the building since it opened in 1965.
The renovation work will not increase the exterior size of the 6,000-square-foot building, but will make the interior space more usable, doubling the area of the lower-level community meeting room. An elevator will be put in to make that room handicapped accessible.
Library officials hope to reopen the building around Memorial Day, and have been regularly holding programs in other places around Shelter Island — Tuesday movies in the central firehouse, poetry readings on Thursdays at St. Mary’s Church, and Lego Club meetings in the town youth center.
“We’re very grateful for the people who took us in while we are homeless,” DiPaolo said.
If the renovations stay on schedule, the library will hold a special tour of the building for the private donors who raised the $700,000 for the renovations — no tax increase was involved — on the Friday before Memorial Day.
Meanwhile, an orientation class will be held at the library on Saturday at 9 a.m. for volunteers who will help run the library’s used book sale, one of the first things to be closed in preparation for the renovation work.
“We haven’t done that in a year,” DiPaolo said.
Above: Shelter Island poet Hilary King reads from her recent book, "Love & Other Poems," at the Shelter Island Library. (May 7, 2011)