While local libraries continue to provide books, classes, music and movies, many have responded to the changing needs of their patrons by providing a wider variety of items and experiences in addition to their traditional offerings.
Here are some unique items that can be borrowed from North Fork libraries.
Riverhead Free Library
Assistant director Catherine Montazen said Riverhead’s library recently initiated a program that delivers large-print books and audio material by mail for patrons who are unable to visit in person.
Patrons receive a canvas book bag and can keep borrowed items for up to four weeks. To return the items, they flip over the address card that comes on the bag and put the bag in their mailbox for the carrier to pick up. The adult reference desk can offer guidance for patrons interested in enrolling. The library also has blood pressure cuffs and Wi-Fi hot spots that can be borrowed.
In addition, through a partnership with the New York State Department of Labor, the library has representatives who offer scheduled on-site services such as career counseling.
For more information, visit riverheadlibrary.org or call 631-727-3228.
North Shore Public Library
Director Laura Hawrey said the Wading River library has turntables and vinyl records available for loan and also makes Wi-Fi hot spots available to patrons for 14 days at a time.
In the near future, she added, the library will also be lending out “Binge Boxes” filled with family-friendly movies and a special treat like popcorn or candy.
For more information, visit northshorepubliclibrary.org or call 631-929-4488.
Floyd Memorial Library
Floyd Memorial Library, which serves residents of Greenport, East Marion and Orient, maintains a popular seed library for patrons’ use. It was initiated last May and this year has given 331 packets of seeds to 86 people, according to library director Thomas Vitale. The selection includes seeds for a wide variety of edible and ornamental plants, fruits and vegetables, including beets, spinach, watermelon, squash and more.
Patrons can get up to four seed packets per month, according to the library website. To reserve seeds, patrons can complete an online Google form or take the seeds out in person at the library.
Mr. Vitale said more exciting innovations lie ahead for library patrons. For example, he said, the library received a grant this spring from Long Island Community Foundation to create a mobile makerspace and a “library of things.”
“We’re hoping to have a grand opening of that space sometime in the beginning of 2023,” he said adding that the “library of things” will include useful items that can be borrowed, such as sewing machines, bakeware and science kits for both kids and adults.
“We’re still going through a catalog to figure out what would best serve our community out here,” Mr. Vitale said.
Other unique items available there include a loaner ukulele and Wi-Fi hot spots that patrons can reserve for up to 21 days, according to the library website.
In terms of services, Floyd Memorial Library has two in-house notary publics and is training two more, Mr. Vitale said. It also loans out entry passes to museums across the East End and in Nassau County and New York City for periods of seven days, according to the website.
For more information, visit floydmemoriallibrary.org or call 631-477-0660.
Southold Free Library
Jigsaw puzzles, blood pressure kits, fishing poles, a large telescope, umbrellas and bicycle locks are among the unconventional items patrons can borrow from Southold Free library, according to director Caroline MacArthur.
She also noted that the library also pursues programs, such as clothing drives with the Center for Advocacy, Support and Transformation, to give back to the community. A giant Jenga game is also available and will be joined next summer by yard games like cornhole. A film projector will also be available for patrons to borrow in the near future, Ms. MacArthur said.
The library also operates a book delivery service for the homebound.
For more information, visit southoldlibrary.org or call 631-765-2077.
Cutchogue New Suffolk Free Library
In addition to museum passes and lawn games, director Rosemary Winters says Cutchogue New Suffolk Free Library is now offering more technology and craft items for loan, including a GoPro camera, Amazon Fire sticks, a karaoke machine, a sewing machine and a Cricut machine — a “smart” cutting machine for designing custom cards.
“We are open to suggestions,” Ms. Winters said. “The best way for us to build a collection is for it to be patron-driven so that way we’re really giving people what they want.”
For more information, visit cutchoguelibrary.org or call 631-734-6360.
Director Shauna Scholl says the “library of things” currently on hand at Mattituck-Laurel includes an electricity usage monitor, a metal detector, a Cricut machine, a tripod and CD and DVD duplicators.
A variety of yard games is also available, including jumbo chess and checkers, giant Connect Four and a cornhole set.
The library website has a complete list of what’s available in the “library of things.”
In terms of services, Ms. Scholl noted that a social work intern from SUNY/Stony Brook is available at the library Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..
“Patrons can make an appointment or they can come in [and] sit and talk with her,” Ms. Scholl said. “She’s here to offer assistance with any kind of housing or food [matters], referrals, any of that kind of stuff.”
For more information, visit mattitucklaurellibrary.org or call 631-298-4134.