On Saturday, November 25, 1916, the New York Telephone Company moved into new quarters: a square, brick building on the corners of Main and Prospect Streets, the current location of the Huntington Public Library. The Ketewomoke Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Huntington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution asked the Company to consider either a Colonial or Georgian design for the exterior of the new building. This suggestion was well received and explains why our building is designed the way it is today. The Hartough-Aitkin house, which had occupied this site since 1840, was moved further south and turned to face Prospect Street so that the Telephone Company could have a new building that was devoted exclusively for providing telephone service. In the early days of telephone use, subscribers were able to simply lift the telephone receiver from the hook to connect to an operator! No need to dial ten digits like today. Located on the second floor, currently where our Law collection is shelved, the Telephone Company employed fifteen operators who served a territory from Cold Spring Harbor to Wading River.
During this time, the Huntington Public Library was housed in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building which was completed in 1892 to commemorate our Civil War soldiers. The New York Telephone Company spent nearly forty years on Main Street. Having outgrown the space at the Soldiers and Sailors Building, in 1958, the Library moved to its current location.
Facing Main Street, the floor plan of the original building included what is now the Adult Services Department, the public computer area and travel books. On the second level, the Local History Room, Administrative Offices, and a portion of Youth & Parent Services were part of the original footprint. The two large French doors facing Main Street was the original entrance. The building was expanded in 1966 to accommodate the growth of library services and includes the current entrance, the Periodical Room, Customer Services on the first floor, and part of Youth & Parent Services on the second floor. Commemorating our past, the marble sculpture in our lobby was donated to us by Julia DeForest in 1897, when we were still located at the Soldiers and Sailors Building.
One hundred years after the construction of the original building and fifty years after the expansion, the library is yet again investing in the future and looking for ways to accommodate the ever-changing face of library services to our community
Hello to all! It seems like the summer just gets underway and before we know it fall and Back-to-School time is upon us! This past summer was very busy with programs and we were happy to see some patrons enjoying the library during our open Friday evenings.
With September being Library Card Sign-up month, I’d like to personally invite anyone who does not have a library card to come in and get one. We have many electronic and downloadable resources available to you in addition to our print items that you can access with your library card. Anyone who gets a new card, or just shows us their current card, will get a free gift from the library! Please ask at the Circulation Desk in either building.
Once again, we’ll be participating in the Huntington Awareness Day, also known as Unity in the Community, on Saturday, September 10th at Jack Abrams School. We will also be joining our neighboring Huntington area libraries with a table at the Fall Festival on October 8th and 9th. We hope to see many of you at these wonderful community events.
Lastly, please see the article on this page about our transition back into the Partnership of Automated Libraries in Suffolk (PALS) consortium. This is a very exciting move for us and should help make your library experience easier and more convenient!
Please feel free to contact me at any time: 631-427-5165, x 206 or by email: .
– Joanne Adam, Library Director