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UPDATE: Take A Sneak Peek at the New Smithtown Library Commack Branch

The new library—the first in a 4-building, $21 million renovation project—is set to open to Smithtown patrons on Thursday.

Update: According to a bulletin posted on the Smithtown Library District's website, the opening date has been moved to Thursday, April 14. Patch will continue to update if that date changes.

After almost a year after it closed for renovation, the of the Smithtown Library District is on Wednesday.

The building, which is the first of the, has been completely transformed inside and out, including the installation of a 3,000 sq. ft., 2-story addition to accommodate a storage area and new children's wing. 

Almost everything inside the building is brand new, or close to it. "The original plan was that the building would be nearly seamless. It's not nearly seamless; it is seamless," said Smithtown Library District Director Robert Lusak. "Every part of this building has been touched. The only things we used from the old building was stairs, a mezzanine and some shelves. You cannot tell where the old building ends and the new building begins."

The layout of the building has been redone, and the installation of new elevators, new shelving and new furniture are evidence of the library's embrace of modernization.

The entire building is Wifi-enabled, and charging stations built into tables and walls make the facility technology friendly.

"We are extremely pleased [with the construction]. It exceeds expectations,"  said Board Trustee Charles Sauer during a recent tour of the site.

The addition of a community room, conference room and 1,500 ft. storage facility provide ample space for patrons to enjoy while allowing for the library's collection to grow, Lusak said.

"It was important for us to create room for major growth. We created public space and areas so we can grow and introduce new materials and elements that don't currently exist," said Lusak. Building extra space now prevents the need for an additional expansion in the future.

The addition of large windows and skylights on the main floor makes the building more energy efficient, and nets several LIPA rebates for the library. The new book stacks and elevators are fully wheelchair accessible, allowing handicapped individuals to explore the library independently—something they couldn't do before, due to limited space.

The opening of the Commack branch signals the closing of the , which will shutter for its own renovation immediately following opening day. The renovated is expected to open within a few weeks, and will be followed by the closing of the main . According to Lusak, the entire renovation project is expected to be finished by early 2012.

Mindy E April 11, 2011 at 02:48 PM
So happy to have the library re-opening on Wednesday. Looks good. Much needed update.
Florette Small April 11, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Will it hold more books? I don't read anything about expanded shelf space!
Monica Hecht April 11, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Besides the renovations of the physical plant of the library, what about new books, computers, etc., items which would truly bring the library into the 21st century?
Kaitlyn Piccoli April 11, 2011 at 05:02 PM
Florette and Monica: The new shelving units and storage room allow the library to hold new books, as well as new DVD's and Bluray discs. Director Lusak said they plan on expanding the library's collection within the next few months. The quote I used regarding the renovation creating more space for new materials explains that, I apologize if it was not clear enough. The 3,000 sq. ft. additions will allow the library to expand its collections, as well as make room for new technology like computers and laptops, e-readers, and possibly even iPads. In addition to more computers and accessible power outlets, the library will also be equipped with a self check-out service so patrons don't have to wait in line to take out a book.

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