About Huntington Public Library
With its main building in Huntington Village and its branch library in Huntington Station, the Huntington Public Library (HPL) exists to serve the 34,000 residents of the Huntington Public Library District. HPL is a school district public library, a not-for-profit organization and a member of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System.
To meet the diverse interests and needs of the community, the Library offers a collection of fiction and non-fiction books in print, as well as downloadable books and videos. Subscription databases and internet resources are available for research. All electronic resources, including the online catalog, and Ask-A-Librarian reference assistance are available 24 hours a day at www.thehuntingtonlibrary.org from any computer with access to the Internet. In its expanding role as a community center, the Library provides educational and cultural programs and services for all ages and stages of life. Public computers and WiFi are available in both buildings. Services include job search help, literacy education, museum passes and homebound assistance. Programs reflect community interest in book discussions and author talks, arts and entertainment, crafts and cooking, computers and technology, health and fitness, jobs and careers, local history, parenting, and creative play. HPL is on Facebook, Twitter and Flick'r.
Huntington Public Library receives the majority of its operating expenses through the support of the taxpayers of the Huntington Library District, who have the opportunity to vote annually on the Library's proposed budget.
Huntington Public Library produces a bi-monthly newsletter, which focuses on library programs, services and events. The latest issue of the Library's newsletter is available in the hyperlink sidebar of this website.
Main Library History
With roots dating back to 1759, Huntington Public Library was one of the first public libraries in Suffolk County. Thirty-nine people joined together to form the first circulating library in Huntington with Reverend Ebenezer Prime as the first "library-keeper". The library consisted of 115 volumes which were housed in a "box of shelves". A book could be borrowed for two months but a fine of "one copper per diem" per book was charged.
The library was destroyed during the British occupation of Huntington during the Revolutionary War and it emerged again in 1801, as a circulating library. It was known as the Huntington Lyceum between 1827 and 1843. Again it was reorganized as the Huntington Library Association until 1858. In 1869, the Huntington Lyceum emerged once more; featuring debates and lectures, and developed into the Young Men's Literary Association and continued until 1871. Mary Talmage was considered to be the "mother of the library" because of her dedication to library services. The first Board meeting was held at her home in 1875. It was in 1875, that the Huntington Library Association was formed and it became incorporated in 1883. Through fundraising efforts, the construction of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building was completed in 1892, and became the site for the new library.
The Board of Trustees of the Huntington Public Library elected Assistant Librarian Dr. Theodore Lyman Frost to start work on October 1, 1929 to prepare the book collection for the Huntington Station Branch of the library. The opening was scheduled for December 8, 1929 with an initial collection of 700 volumes, including 300 children's books, 50 volumes of standard fiction, 100 popular reprints, 50 additional titles required for school reading, 100 books of reference and non-fiction, and 100 volumes of recent publications of all classes. The Old Memorial Library Building (the Village Library) transferred 150 volumes of duplicates in good condition to the Station Branch. The community made donations as well.