Library History - Haunts (Library Locations)

General Movement of the Library

The Early Days, 1883-1908

  • John Joseph Craven's Home - Where the organizational meeting of the Patchogue Library Association met, and elected officers, set up committees, planned for a Library, on June 12, 1883
  • John Roe Smith Block (to right of Central Hotel) -- Housed the association library, 1883-84, 1884/85-1890/91, the demonstration public library, 1899-1900, and state-chartered public library 1900-1902 -- located on the south side of W. Main Street. Note: Patchogue Bank (shown to the right of the Library) was successor to the former Patchogue & Suffolk County Bank [Patchogue's only bank] which failed in 1884. Edward S. Peck, its CEO, also happened to be the Library Board's Treasurer, seriously complicating library as well as village business.
  • George M. Ackerly Block -- housed the association library 1891-96, and later the public library, 1902-08 -- and was located on the west side of South Ocean Avenue, Patchogue
  • The New Lyceum -- housed the association library, at street level, on its left (or west) side, 1896-1899 -- and was located on the north side of Lake Street, Patchogue, where the Lake Apartments are today (just west of Reese's 1900). Note: The Old Lyceum, which started as the Clinton Roller Rink, was located on South Ocean Avenue. Both Old and New Lyceums were used for library fundraising events, usually involving concerts, shows or lectures. Jesse C. Mills, longtime Board Member and principal agent of the New Lyceum on Lake Street proposed the Library be moved here, covering its initial year’s rent, and gaining the library a reduced rental rate. George M. Ackerly provided the free very part-time services of a clerk on Saturdays. Today’s Lake Street Apartments, just West of Reese’s 1900, on the North side of Lake Street, was previously an asbestos factory, prior to that, the New Lyceum (village show place) and previous to that, the original location of Patchogue’s Congregational Church (which was sold in 1891, and moved it its present E. Main St. Location.). The Library was in the Left Front room.

More Permanent Homes, 1908-Present

  • The Carnegie Library - Housed Patchogue Library (after 1973, Patchogue-Medford Library), 1908-1981. Note: This was the first building in Patchogue to be completely devoted to a public library. It took some stiff negotiations to get it, launched separately by both Patchogue Village and the Library Board, which also took some diplomatic sorting, and a few ruffled feathers, soon forgotten. Located at 10 Lake Street, on land donated in 1904 by Edwin Bailey, Sr., it housed the Library that took the first active role in coalescing the Suffolk County, N.Y. library community in the 1920's and 1930's, into a Suffolk County Library Association (1939-Present), coordinated the first County-wide Library [union] Catalog (1942). Suffolk Cooperative Library System (1961-Present), commenced operations in its basement, before moving to 15 Main St. (a former Nabisco factory), then to its present North Bellport location; whose first Director, Walter Curley, in 1963, created the impetus for the countywide Public Library Director's Association (1968-Present). Patchogue Library became the NYS-designated Co-Central Library for Suffolk County, then sole Central Library (1978). The building is one of 3 or 4 Carnegie Libraries to ever have been built in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, N.Y. (i.e., Long Island, proper). Moved to its new West Avenue & West Main Street location in 2012, it has since then been beautifully restored, and this landmark building is now once more open to the public (2016). Its main level is now home to Patchogue-Medford Library Teen Services. Its basement houses a museum of the Greater Patchogue Historical Society, opened in 2017.
  • Patchogue-Medford Library, 1981-Present, located at 54-60 East Main St., Patchogue. - This library has seen one wave after another of electonic & Internet revolutions, variations and expansions of new types of resources and services, the Library's Centennial (in 2000), renovation and modernization of the facilities, efforts to build and knit together a community when it reached a crisis point, the Nation's highest honor to libraries (received at the White House in 2011), and national recognition in the American Library Association's Library Journal, 2011-16, as one of America's All-Star Libraries.