Standing in the new, still-unfinished children’s wing of the East Hampton Public Library, three East End library directors got a chance to thank two state lawmakers for their share of the $724,655 in state library construction grants that went to their districts.
The small libraries in East Hampton, Sag Harbor and Shelter Island are in the middle of expansion projects, and the state grants provide flexible money for work that does not appeal to individual donors in fundraising campaigns.
The East Hampton library, for example, has raised more than $4.5 million for the planned $5.8 million expansion of the children’s wing and other improvements in the building. But while some donors give gifts for specific rooms or collections, no one makes a donation to cover the cost of excavating or for concrete and steel work or for new windows, library director Dennis Fabiszak said. “That kind of stuff really adds up. For us to get a grant to help pay for those materials goes a long way,” he said.
East Hampton received $342,262 this year, and thanked Assemb. Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) and state Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) for the money, which works out to just about 100 years’ worth of the $3,400 the library gets each year in regular state aid.
The John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor received $227,041 for its reconstruction, while the Shelter Island Public Library — which expanded its basement and added an outdoor patio — received $91,590. The Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library got a $63,762 grant to install a new energy-efficient boiler.