Information

Department: 
Special Collections
Address:
151 Laurel Avenue
Northport, New York 11768-3195
Phone: 631-261-6930
Fax: 631-754-6613

http://www.nenpl.org/

Contact Person: Mary N. O'Grady

About

The Library’s story began in 1880 with the founding of the Northport Literary and Social Union in the basement of the Presbyterian Church on Main Street. According to its constitution, the union aspired to “promote the literary culture of its members and to organize a library.” Although its main activity was to host lively, weekly debates on current issues, from the start the union moved toward establishing its library. A library committee was in place by 1883 and during this year books were purchased, a librarian appointed, and a reading room opened in the Northport Journal building. In 1888 the union moved into a larger space in the Union Opera House on Union Place, incorporated, and renamed itself the Northport Literary and Library Union.
At the same time, the union worked toward finding a permanent home. In 1914 it received a ten thousand dollar library-building grant after it had fulfilled the Carnegie Corporation’s building site and funding requirements: The union had purchased a lot on the corner of Main Street and Woodside Avenue with three thousand dollars raised through volunteer efforts in the community.
With Carnegie Corporation and community funding in place and the transfer of assets from the Literary Union under way, the Northport Public Library received its charter from the state in June 1914. Construction started on the new library building the following October. Harry E. Donnell, a well-known New York City architect, designed the tapestry brick building. Mr. Donnell was a member of the Delamater family, whose estate covered most of Eaton’s Neck at that time. Vail and Call, a local firm, was the builder. The library opened on December 13,1915.
In 1939 East Northport residents formed the Library Association of East Northport to establish a public library in the community.
The East Northport Public Library opened as a branch of the Northport Public Library in June 1940 with 321 registered patrons and 1,200 books. During the first year both the book collection and the number of residents with library cards doubled. A fire destroyed the library in 1945. With help from the community, most of the books were saved. Boy Scouts played an important role by forming a book brigade to carry the books to a nearby store. Damaged beyond repair, the school building was demolished and a new library building erected on the site in 1949. This building, expanded by a shelving area in 1966, served the community until the mid-1990s. In 1997 it was replaced at the same location by the present East Northport Public Library.
The Northport-East Northport Public Library received national recognition for the quality of its services when it was named a four-star library by the Library Journal. It has maintained this ranking since 2008. The Library celebrated its centennial in 2014.