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Patchogue-Medford Library kicks off construction of its new Medford branch

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By next year, the Medford community will no longer have to travel to Main Street in Patchogue to borrow books.

The Patchogue-Medford Library hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday morning at the Medford Athletic Complex, which will give rise to the library’s forthcoming Medford library annex building.

Digging began last month and the project is expected to take one year to complete.

Once open, community members can expect to browse a selection of books and access similar community programs and services they’ve come to expect from the Patchogue-Medford Library.

Danielle DeMicco Paisley, the director of the Patchogue-Medford Library, said the new annex will attract a myriad of guests from young learners to working professionals.

“We’ll have a nice meeting room, and it’s a multigenerational space,” Paisley said of what’s to come. “I want it to be a multi-use space because we are trying to serve everybody. There will be computers, there will be laptops. We’re going to open up the meeting room during the day for tutoring and for people who want to work from home and need a space with charging spaces.”

Paisley said the meeting room will hold 60 to 70 people. The basement level, which will remain unfinished when the building opens to the public, will also boast a meeting room to accommodate twice as many patrons.

The Medford Athletic Complex presents new opportunities for Paisley, her staff and her patrons. She said grassy open-air spaces could engender new programs and services, such as a community garden.

“It will have a nice outdoor patio, which is also a new thing for us,” she said. “So people can take materials outside and read, because we’re in this nice park setting.”

Years in the making

Paisley said plans on the Medford annex kicked off in 2017. Plans became possible when the Town of Brookhaven leased the property to the library for free.

“Libraries define communities,” Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine said Saturday morning. Libraries, for me is where I first learned to love books. And now, so many other things are happening at the library, so many programs. It’s an essential part of our community. This day is a joyous day.”

Soon after the land was secured, the Medford Hamlet Foundation donated $1.6 million towards the project’s construction, which will cost an estimated $2.5 to $3 million. The Patchogue-Medford Library Board additionally committed $1 million from capital reserves for the undertaking.