History of the Montauk Library

In 1980 the Montauk Library began through the efforts of William DePouli and an energetic first board of trustees. Originally located in a cottage on the property of the Montauk Community Church, this small facility opened with books donated from other libraries, the Bookmobile program and financial aid from the Suffolk Cooperative Library System. Within a year the library had 1,000 Patrons and circulated 1000 books a month. An active Friends of the Library group formed and provided programming such as story hour, book discussion groups, and quilting sessions.

As demand for quality service increased, the community supported a building plan for a new, much larger library. In 1982 Montauk voted to purchase 2.5 acres of land just east of town as the site for the new library. Voters approved a bond issue in 1986 and in 1987 a grant of Federal money enabled the building program to proceed. By the time the new facility opened in November 1991 the collection had own to 14,000 books.

In the ensuing ten years, through the support of the community, the efforts of many volunteers and several state grants, funds were raised to complete the three level facility. The library is now a valuable resource serving the educational cultural and technological needs of the community.

The Building

The firm Susana Torre Raymond Beeler Associates designed the Montauk Library building on a site overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Montauk Village. The building was planned so that the main level could be completed and utilized by the public before funds were available for the other two levels. The building design was dictated by the hillside character of the property and the need to protect natural vegetation and wetlands to the west.

A stucco and wood exterior and an interior structure which is articulated in pillars and beams all of laminated timber, echo the Tudor character of so many of Montauk’s 1920’s era buildings and evoke the power of the Montauk landscape. Light oak and sea green tones create an atmosphere that is inviting and cozy and mirror the sea views from the building.

The library’s main level houses non-fiction, Shakespeare, large print books, local history, Young adult and childrens’ books magazines and media collections. The mezzanine level, with its breath-taking view and comfortable reading area holds the fiction collection a Spanish language collection and current newspapers.

Computers with Internet and email access are available here for public use. The lower level meeting/community room, seating 100 people, provides an area for workshops, lectures musical performances and art exhibits. On this level also is our state of the art archival room and Friends of the Library work space.