Not so long ago Springs residents and many others in East Hampton Town were fearing the worst for the future of the combined Springs Library and Historical Society, but now it looks as though the mid-1800s building housing them may even get a new cedar roof this year or early next.
Much work has been done over the past year and a half, and the library has now reopened, and is lending all sorts of books -- sci-fi, fiction, nonfiction, DVDs and CDs, Pushcart Press titles donated by Bill Henderson, a Springs neighbor, and books written by Springs residents, including Loretta Orion's "It Were as Well to Please the Devil as Anger Him: Witchcraft in the Founding Days of East Hampton." There are large-print books as well, and books in Spanish.
Both inside and outside in the small tent manned by Matt Stafford, a dedicated volunteer, there are also books for sale for $1.
Paintings by Gracella S. Cunkle are hung all over the spacious building, which also boasts decoys carved by Bill King and the Ashawagh Hall Invitational posters. The sale of notecards made by Springs schoolchildren and books about the history of Springs, as well as playing cards with photographs of old Springs on them benefits the library.
For those inclined to history, in the archive room old maps and photos abound, most of them of historical Springs families and sites. The archive includes the history of buildings as well as of people and Gardiner's Island, the artists school, the Springs Fire Department, the Fisherman's Fair, and the Springs Community Church. Dennis Fabiszak of the East Hampton Library (along with Gina Piastuck, who has since left) and Andrea Meyer of East Hampton's Long Island Collection have been digitizing some of the archives, and Mr. Fabiszak has been a vitally helpful ally; he also donated a new computer system to the library, which will enable it to check books in and out electronically.
For $25 you can be a member of both the library and the historical society, said Linda Child, who runs the library with the help of other volunteers such as Ethel Henn, treasurer, Jackie Wilson, secretary, Abby Abrams, Ann Foster, a volunteer archivist, Kevin Kennedy, and Deanna Tikkanen, who is acting president. Ms. Child picks the new books she is able to buy frequently thanks to a sum of money put aside anonymously this year. She looks at the New York Times best-seller list and other venues to choose which ones, and also considers what her patrons like to read.
The library has more natural light now since the town removed a very old, very dead silver maple from the front yard.
The library is open Monday from 10 a.m.-noon and 6-8 p.m.; Tuesday from 10 to noon; Wednesday, 10 to noon and 2 to 4; Friday, 1 to 3 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed on Thursday and Sunday. Covid protocols are in place, with traffic flow indications at the entrance, and masks and social distancing required.