If libraries are adept at anything, it’s filling up bookcases.
But the bookcases that will greet visitors to the renovated Carnegie Library at its June 17 ribbon-cutting ceremony in Patchogue will be of a different sort.
Instead of names like Melville, Dickens or Faulkner, the names will be more, well, Patchoguean.
That’s because the bookshelves will be lined with family names and special messages from people who donated money through the library’s latest fundraising drive, which kicked off last week.
Through the drive, people are being asked to sponsor a book spine — engraved and handcrafted through C & H Custom Bookbinding of Yaphank — for $100, $250, $500 or $1,000. The bigger the donation, the bigger the book spine.
Laura Accardi, who works on community outreach for the library, had noticed university libraries raising money in this fashion, and figured it would be a good idea for the Carnegie.
“I’ve seen this done in metal and wood, but not the real, actual leather material used for books,” she said. “Nobody has done this.”
The books will line the shelves of two six-foot tall bookcases, which will be made from premium wood, and greet patrons in the library’s vestibule — before they step into the actual library.
And that’s where the bookshelves will be for years and decades to come.
“We’re so proud of the community and how everyone has joined forces to resurrect the Carnegie,” Accardi said. “And now to see their names displayed in this building that wouldn’t have even been here … It raises money for the building and brings the community together.
“This is our legacy in town.”
Featured photo: The inside of the Carnegie Library in Patchogue as it appeared in February. (Credit: Benny Migliorino of Benny Migs Photo)
Top photo: Examples of what the handcrafted book spines will look like. (Credit: Michael White)