PLAINEDGE PUBLIC LIBRARY
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The very first Library Service in the Plainedge Community was provided by the local Kiwanis Club in September of 1957 with a small collection of donated books. The Kiwanis Memorial Library provided service only to those who paid a membership fee. Due to a lack of financial support this library ceased operation after two years. In 1960, a group of Plainedge citizens organized a small community Library which was housed in one room in the Southedge Junior High. The entire Library was stocked with donated books and staffed entirely by volunteers. In 1962, at the height of the school district's enrollment, the room was needed for school purposes and the small community Library was closed. However, the residents wanted to continue to provide Library Service to the community. A referendum to establish a tax-supported public Library in Plainedge was held on November 17, 1962 and voters overwhelmingly approved the proposal. A New York State Provisional Charter was granted in March of 1963 and the Plainedge Public Library opened its doors on October 22, 1963. It was located in a small corner store of the Midlawn Shopping Center on Hicksville Road. Due to the ever-growing collection of materials, a second store was rented several doors away in 1964 and was used as a Children's Room.
As the community grew, so did the demand for expanded Library services. Visitors to the Library were not comfortable in just 2,000 square feet divided between two stores. In October 22, 1966, Plainedge residents overwhelmingly approved a bond and the construction of a new Library building soon began. The Library received a New York State Public Construction Grant that covered 35% of the total cost for the new building. The community paid only $426,735. of the total construction cost of $656,500. The new 20,000 square foot, modern Library opened its doors directly across the street from the original store front library on Monday, September 9, 1968. By the end of the day, 600 ecstatic residents came to the new Library and by the end of the week, 8,500 books were borrowed and 200 new library cards were issued. It was reported that a large number of longtime Plainedge residents expressed the thought that they had been waiting for this happy day for 15 years. A permanent New York State Charter was received on September 28, 1968.