By Christine Sampson
The John Jermain Memorial Library on Sunday concluded a 10-year capital campaign that has yielded what many describe as a community treasure in an expanded, restored and updated library building.
With the unveiling of a “donor wall” as a tribute to more than 300 key donors, the Board of Trustees, library director Catherine Creedon and a crowd of about 300 people officially closed the doors on the campaign. The renovated, restored and expanded Main Street, Sag Harbor library was completed at a cost of $16.5 million, including $9.975 million in public funding approved by voters in 2009. The remaining funds were collected through an ambitious fundraising effort led by Ms. Creedon. In addition to those recognized on the donor wall, more than 2,000 other individuals, businesses and organizations also helped make the project a reality.
Since the library reopened, foot traffic is up, program attendance is up and children’s material circulation is up, among other highlights, Ms. Creedon said.
“It was a wonderful, very moving day,” she said Monday. “It represents gratitude to the people who made the building possible. As librarians, we are always concerned with citing our sources, and the plaques throughout the library and this wall serve as a certain kind of bibliography.”
Ms. Creedon credited two library trustees in particular, Jackie Brody and Susan Edwards, with spearheading the donor wall project.
She noted while this particular campaign has come to a close, the library will continue to fundraise for revenue to off-set the residents’ tax burden. “It is still, I believe, part of our responsibility as stewards of the library and its services,” she said.
Library board president Nick Gazzolo gave some of the credit to Ms. Creedon herself, who recently celebrated a decade as library director at John Jermain.
“We never would have gotten there without her leadership,” he said.
He also expressed his gratitude toward the donors.
“We were so happy to have a moment to thank everyone who made the building possible,” Mr. Gazzolo said. “It really is by, for and of the community. It was a long haul, so it was good to be able to say thanks for getting us here. People made an investment in the library, and now they’re seeing the returns on the investment, an we’re able to thank them for it.”