The Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library opened a new, 7,000-square-foot Satellite Branch Library at 369 Neighborhood Road, in Mastic Beach, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 14.
Attended by local officials and members of the community, the opening of the new satellite branch represents a milestone in an overall, multi-project expansion of library services for patrons of the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library district by helping to offer a streamlined and convenient library experience for residents district-wide.
The new satellite branch library—situated within a short walk or bicycle ride for residents in the densely populated southern part of the library district—is expected to play a catalytic role in the revitalization of the Mastic Beach business district and to bring increased levels of foot traffic to businesses along Neighborhood Road.
“For decades, library patrons in the Mastic Beach area had expressed concern that our main library building in Shirley was located beyond reasonable geographic reach for significant portions of our community,” said library director Kerri Rosalia. “This new Neighborhood Road branch will significantly help residents obtain the library services they want and need.”
“The entire library staff deserves enormous credit for bringing this beautiful, new facility into existence,” said library board president Joseph Maiorana. “Our team is particularly excited about having the opportunity to help boost the economic vibrancy of the Mastic Beach area.” Last year, Maiorana was appointed to the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Panel by Third District Legis. James F. Mazzarella.
A library district-wide expansion and modernization program had been set in motion by local voters on Dec. 10, 2019 through passage of a $22.7-million bond referendum. At the time of the referendum’s approval, the district’s sole library—situated at 407 William Floyd Parkway in Shirley—was 28 percent smaller than the recommended library size for a community with the district’s population.
Underscoring the absence of adequate space, attendance at popular programs had to be limited due to lack of capacity. Moreover, the library had been forced to conduct hundreds of classes and meetings at off-site locations every year, which had proven to be costly, staff-intensive, and logistically cumbersome.
In addition to the creation of the newly opened satellite branch, the referendum’s passage set the stage for two additional enhancements in library services that, for the first time, would bring quality library services within close geographical reach for all residents of the community.
First, in addition to the new Mastic Beach facility, the district is erecting a new, 7,000-square-foot Moriches Satellite Branch on Montauk Highway, a construction project nearing completion. And second, the outdated main library in Shirley is closed for a period of technological modernization and renovations that would bring it into code compliance. Once the newly upgraded Main Library opens, the two new branches in Mastic Beach and Moriches will remain in permanent operation.
Currently, main library services have been temporarily relocated to the Town of Brookhaven’s Mastic Recreation Center at 15 Herkimer Street in Mastic. “The Town of Brookhaven is proud to be providing the district with a place to offer temporary library services to the public at the Mastic Recreation Center,” said Brookhaven Town supervisor Ed Romaine. “In addition, we are delighted about the role that the Mastic Beach Satellite Branch is certain to play in the revitalization of the local community.”
“Communities benefit in countless ways when they have access to top-quality library services,”
said Mazzarella. “I applaud the trustees and staff of the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library for an achievement that will benefit Mastic Beach for a great many years to come.”
Designed by H2M architects + engineers of Melville, the modern, new library in Mastic Beach represents the expansion and adaptive reuse of the community’s former village hall, a 4,000-square-foot structure. The new facility’s colonial-style exterior is compatible with the architectural style of the surrounding community.
With an abundance of natural light streaming throughout the building, the library’s flexible space includes dedicated areas for children, teens, and adults. It also features an outdoor area for children- and family-oriented programming. To complement the branch’s ample inventory of books and audio-visual material, items requested from the inter-library loan network are available for pickup.
The library design team emphasized cost-efficiency in its selection of building materials and structural elements. The ventilation system, for example, is energy-efficient. The overall site also promotes sustainability by adhering to LEED standards set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council.
In addition, directly across the street from the new Neighborhood Road facility, the library has secured a 30-year lease for a parcel of county land at the nominal cost of $10 a year. The lot will be upgraded for outdoor community programs and such activities as seasonal outdoor performances, concerts, children’s offerings, and other programming.
Construction work at the Mastic Beach site was undertaken through a competitive bidding process. The selected contractors were all based on Long Island. Sandpebble Builders of Southampton served as construction manager.
About the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library
The Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library was established by the voters of the William Floyd School District in the summer of 1974. It opened to the public in June 1975, when it was located in two small, portable classrooms on the William Floyd School District property. Since 1982, it has been one of Suffolk County’s most utilized libraries, occupying a 44,000 square foot building on William Floyd Parkway in Shirley. Since its inception, the library has been a leader in providing innovative services that include automation; children’s and family programming; services for teens and seniors; cultural activities; literacy services; community outreach initiatives; digital services and technology support; career and college readiness assistance; lifelong learning opportunities; and partnerships with local businesses and community organizations. The recipient of numerous grants in support of its unique programs and services, the library has been recognized in such major media as Newsday, the New York Times, NBC’s Channel 4, and News 12. For more information, visit www.communitylibrary.org.