The Cutchogue-New Suffolk Free Library celebrated its newest addition last Saturday with a ribbon cutting for a refurbished lobby that includes a book-sale nook, which will help raise money year round.
The Friends of the Library created an area in between the two automatic doors at the entrance to the library, complete with new flooring and custom shelves for a more attractive book selling space.
The Friends are a volunteer fundraising group who raise money for library needs, programs, and other offerings to the community. The group also has a large art presence and hosts bi-monthly art exhibits in the library.
“We really wanted a brighter, more compelling space to sell books,” former Friends president and active member Janet Thompson said. The lobby used to hold copy machines.
“It’s certainly much more appealing to walk into the library and see that bright space, so we’re very happy with it,” Ms. Thompson said. “I love walking by it.”
The fundraising group thought of the idea about a year ago, and work on the lobby was completed in just a few weeks.
“It provides a little reading area and a place where people can browse,” Rosemary Martilotta, library director, said. “The community seems to be responding very well to it.”
The ribbon cutting also served as a way for the Friends of the Library to introduce themselves to people and share its mission.
“They do really nice work, and I think the biggest thing now is that they’d like to get more people involved in the community,” Ms. Martilotta said.
The Friends’ mission is to help provide services to community members, and new president Robin Sweeny is looking forward to spreading the word.
“Libraries are like community centers now. It’s a pretty cool thing,” Ms. Sweeny said. “Over the last 20 to 30 years, they’ve found a way to make [libraries] relevant to a lot of different people’s lives.”
Right now, about a dozen members actively participate in the Friends. Community members are welcome to attend meetings the second Monday of every month. Interested individuals or businesses can join by making an annual donation.
Books in the nook are donated, and money from sales will go to help library programs as a year-round fundraising effort. The Friends also hosts an annual book sale that will be held Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4, in the Community Room.
Photo caption: The new book nook at the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Free Library (Rachel Siford photo)