Tag Archive | "John Jermain Memorial Library"

New John Jermain Memorial Library Building Will Dedicate Spaces to Two of its First Advocates

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A rendering of the new front facade of the John Jermain Memorial Library, prepared in 2011 by ARB Review Neman Architecture.

A rendering of the new front facade of the John Jermain Memorial Library, prepared in 2011 by ARB Review Neman Architecture.

By Tessa Raebeck

The Sag Harbor community has come together to underwrite the dedication of two spaces at the renovated and expanded John Jermain Memorial Library for two women who were instrumental in the planning stages of the new facility, which is expected to be finished by October.

The memories of Gail Slevin and Christiane Neuville will be honored with two named spaces in the library, a plaza in the front of the building for Ms. Slevin and a media room for Ms. Neuville.

While the spaces are among many parts of the library that have been named in honor of people, the spaces Ms. Neuville and Ms. Slevin “are particularly lovely because they are spaces that have been underwritten by many, many people,” said Library Director Catherine Creedon.

When the library first embarked on the campaign to fundraise for its renovation and addition, a hired consultant made the point that a campaign must have a large lead gift or it will not be a success.

“We didn’t do that,” said Ms. Creedon, “our lead gift was a pebble, I guess, that was thrown in and we’ve been able to have a very successful capital campaign through word of mouth and community support and groups of people coming together, whether it’s for these named spaces or through our events like One for the Books.”

Both the women were pioneers in the push for a new space for the library, which they believed was at the cornerstone of a strong community.

Ms. Neuville, who died at age 85 on August 8, 2012, was one of the first elected members of the library’s board, where she served two terms and three years as president. A champion of libraries and education, Ms. Neuville grew up in France, was active in the French Resistance, and worked as a teacher until her retirement in 2000, which brought her to Sag Harbor.

“She was part of the board that hired me,” Ms. Creedon said, “and was a firm believer in the power of public libraries to build community.”

Ms. Neuville, she added, “was one of the early advocates for the expansion of the library and worked very hard to bring consensus to the community when there was still a lot of discussion about what the library of the future should look like, so she was an awesome person.”

The Christiane Neuville Biography and Memoir Collection will be a media room, fitting for a library of the future, where all members of the community can come to learn.

Ms. Slevin died on July 29, 2014, at age 70 and will be honored with the Gail Carpenter Slevin Plaza, outside of the library’s Main Street door.

Ms. Slevin “was actually never on the board,” Ms. Creedon said, “although she was such a wonderful supporter of the library that everybody thought she was on the board.”

When the One for the Books event began in 2006, Ms. Slevin was on its first committee, and she continued to run the highly successful fundraising event as chair of the committee from 2008 through 2013.

Before the spaces can be enjoyed and the women honored, however, the building must be completed. Ms. Creedon is hopeful as ever that that long-awaited day is finally approaching.

“The weather has certainly had an impact,” she said Tuesday of the winter storms stalling construction. “Although I was up there today and I just had that feeling that things have been happening.”

The ductwork in the new addition is in, the limestone is going up, pieces of glass should be going into the glass curtain wall next week, and the restoration of the original building is almost finished.

On Tuesday, Ms. Creedon was able to sit on the bench seat that will wrap around the window wall in the fiction wing, look over Ms. Slevin’s plaza and out onto Main Street.

“It was pretty exciting,” said the patient director.

A video walkthrough of the old building is available on the library’s Facebook page and website, and Ms. Creedon hopes to post a second video walking through the new addition once the weather gets “just a little bit warmer.”

Ms. Creedon said the major work of the building should be completed this summer, with an anticipated official move-in date of October 10, which fittingly falls on the library’s 105th birthday and Columbus Day Weekend, “a really fun time to have a grand community celebration.”

“Things are really moving along,” said the director. “We’ve been really lucky to have as much community support as we’ve had…the fundraising is continuing, people are continuing to look for ways to support the project, which is just wonderful.”

The library has raised $3.3 million since its first One for the Books event in 2006, and has an additional $750,000 to $800,000 in pledges and outstanding grants that will be coming in over the next couple of years.

There are two naming opportunities still available, for the elevator and new wing, and anyone interested in funding a commemorative space or book space in honor of someone can contact Ms. Creedon at the library, (631) 725-0049, ext. 223.

Merrell and McMullan Will Speak at Book and Author Luncheon

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McMullan Photo

James McMullan is one of two authors who will speak at the John Jermain Memorial Library’s annual Book and Author Luncheon this Sunday. 

By Stephen J. Kotz

Two Sag Harbor writers, Susan Scarf Merrell and James McMullan, who have both published new works this year, will be the featured speakers when the Friends of the John Jermain Memorial Library hold their annual Book and Author Luncheon on Sunday, December 7, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the American Hotel. The event is already sold out.

Both writers said they are happy to lend a hand to the library, which they both described as a community treasure.

“I love this library. I’ve spent a lot of time writing in the old building, and the people at the library have always been so good to me,” said Ms. Merrell who won a seat on the first elected library board. “I’m very committed to what this library brings to our community.”

“I’m so happy this little town of Sag Harbor has such a vital library,” added Mr. McMullan. “On the human level, I’m very impressed. We’re so lucky to have those kind of people on the library staff.”

Ms. Merrell describes her second novel, “Shirley: A Novel,” as a book of suspense and obsession that was based on her own fascination with the writer Shirley Jackson, who lived in Benington, Vermont, with her husband, the critic Stanley Edgar Hyman.

Merrell Photo

Susan Scarf Merrell

In the novel, a young woman named Rose moves into the writer’s former home with her professor husband and slowly begins to believe she is living in a gothic horror writer’s novel, Ms. Merrell said. She is haunted by the ghost, real or imagined, of the writer who both idealizes and believes is linked to the disappearance of a student from Benington College years earlier.

Rose, Ms. Merrell said, “doesn’t really now how to be an adult and a mother and she becomes obsessed with Shirley Jackson who she thinks is a brilliant writer and great mother.”

Like her two previous books, Ms. Merrell said “Shirley” grew out of her own deep interest in Ms. Jackson and she weaves events from the writer’s life throughout.

Ms. Merrell is also the author of “ The Accidental Bond: How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships” and the novel,  “A Member of the Family,” and other short stories and essays. She teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton College and is fiction editor of TSR: The Southampton Review.

Her speaking partner, Mr. McMullan, is well known for his theater posters and book illustrations. He described his memoir, “Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood,” as “a project I had started myself, with no editor or art director involved. I did more than half the book before I ever approached the publisher. I knew this was a book I was going to do whether or not it ever gets published or not.”

In the book Mr. McMullan pairs each page of prose with an illustration, which describes his childhood in China and the moves he made halfway around the world and back, following the Japanese invasion in World War II.

Although Mr. McMullan said he would not characterize his memoir as “a heavy” book, he said it explored the complicated relationship he had with his parents and the upheaval in his life that came with the war.

“I’m going to speak about why it took me so long to write the book and the feelings I had about the story, the anxieties the story brought up,” he said, “and how it was an amazing act of moving through the process. It’s some of the best painting I’ve ever done in my life.”

Besides his freelance work, Mr. McMullan is the principal poster artist for Lincoln Center, the illustrator with his wife, the author Kate McMullan, of 12 children’s books, the designer of U.S. postage stamps, and a teacher for many years at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is also the author of three books on his work, “Revealing Illustrations: The Art of James McMullan,” “The Theater Posters of James McMullan” and “More McMullans: The Lincoln Center Theater Posters, 1987-2012, a book on drawing,  many articles and reviews.

Thiele Secures Another $250,000 for John Jermain Memorial Library

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Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced he had secured a $250,000 grant for the JJML library on Friday. In the back row, from left to right, are trustees Nick Gazzolo, Ann Sutphen, and former trustee Chris Leonard. In the front row, from left to right, trustee Alison Bond, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., JJML’s Executive Director Cathy Creedon, and Library Trustees Linley Whelan and Toby Spitz. Photo by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. stopped by the John Jermain Memorial Library building on Main Street on Friday after securing a $250,000 Community Capital Assistance Program grant for the library’s exterior.

As part of the program, State Legislators make recommendations for worthy capital projects in their assembly districts, Mr. Thiele explained. “And there’s no project more worthy than the John Jermain Library,” he said.

“Since 2011, the State has provided about 596,000 to John Jermain,” the assemblyman said, “so this is on top of that.”

“I don’t think I overstate it when I say the glue that has held all this together, that has moved the village forward and moved the library forward has been Cathy Creedon, and it’s been just a pleasure to work with her,” Mr. Thiele said.

“When I heard from Fred’s office about this award I was uncharacteristically speechless,” Ms. Creedon said. The grant will go fund the library’s streetscape, she explained.

“It’ll help us with the outdoor seating, outdoor lighting, the landscaping, the curbs, crosswalks, all of the handicapped-accessibility pieces, so it really is a monumental gift from New York State,” she said.

“It’s just a wonderful, great gift,” she said, adding that donors rarely want to fund such projects because “no one really wants to name a curb cut.”

Ms. Creedon joked the next “book” that will show the library has reached the $800,000 mark should have Mr. Thiele’s name on it.

“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to support this worthy project,” Mr. Thiele said, adding “This is like the best building ever.”

Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton Voters Approve Library Budgets, Elect New Members

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By Stephen J. Kotz

Sag Harbor voters overwhelming approved the John Jermain Memorial Library’s $2.4 million budget by a 198-32 margin on Monday.

Two incumbent library board members were also re-elected to three-year terms on the board. Ann Lieber received 154 votes, and Jacqueline Brody received 129 votes. Newcomer Ann Sutphen, who received 144 votes, was also elected to a three-year-term.

Also running were Susan Sabin, who received 127 votes; Robert Hooke, who received 84 votes; and Caleb Kercheval, who received 71 votes. Trustee Toby Spitz did not seek another term.

“The staff and board are just so grateful for the community support of the library,” said library director Catherine Creedon on Tuesday.

The budget pierces the state-mandated 2-percent spending cap. It carries a 5.8-percent spending increase of $111,367, which Ms. Creedon said was largely tied to the library’s eventual move back to its building at the corner of Main and Union streets.

She said the budget covered increases for things like utilities, the need for more custodial hours, given that the building is four times larger than the library’s temporary quarters on Long Island Avenue, as well as the need to bring back two part-time positions that were eliminated through attrition at the start of the renovation project.

“This place has been a real gift,” Ms. Creedon said of the library’s temporary home. “Our door count, the number of patrons who have come in, has actually increased in the temporary space.” She said she thought that might because the temporary space is now closer to the business district.

Ms. Creedon said she still did not have a firm answer for when the library would be able to move back to its permanent home, saying it would be late winter at the earliest.

Hampton Library Results

Bridgehampton and Sagaponack voters on Saturday approved the Hampton Library’s proposed operating budget for 2015 and elected five trustees to the library board.

Dr. Louise Collins, Tom House and Jackie Poole, all of whom ran unopposed, were reelected to three-year terms on the board of trustees. John Vendetti ran unopposed for his first term and was voted in by 42 Bridgehampton votes. Sagaponack voters elected Matthew Rojano for his first term as library trustee.

After serving four three-year terms, board president Elizabeth Whelan Kotz stepped down because of term limits, and Trustee Sarah Jaffe Turnbull did not seek re-election.

The five trustees were sworn in on Wednesday, October 1.

The budget, which was proposed at $1,551,700 passed easily. In Bridgehampton, voters approved the budget 38 to 6. In Sagaponack, all nine voters passed the budget unanimously.

“We really appreciate the support of our patrons and voters,” said library director Kelly Harris. “And we thank the people who took time out from a very busy weekend to come out and vote.”

John Jermain Memorial Library Budget Vote and Trustee Election Monday

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Michael Garbedian, President of the Board of Trustees addressed the six candidates running for three available spots on JJML’s board of trustees. Photography by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

This Monday, September 29, Sag Harbor residents will vote on the John Jermain Memorial Library’s 2015 proposed budget.

The proposed budget is $2,399, 812 which is an increase of $111,367 over the approved 2014 spending plan. Library director Cathy Creedon explained in a budget hearing on Wednesday, September 17 the 5.8-percent increase is predominantly due to the much-anticipated move back into the restored, expanded and refurnished historic library building at 201 Main Street, which is expected to open this spring.

Increases in utility and insurance expenses are expected for the Main Street space, which is four times the size of the library’s temporary home on West Water Street. This accounts for the 5.8-percent increase in this year’s budget, Ms. Creedon said. In addition to requiring more custodial workers for the larger building, Ms. Creedon added that she hopes to find both an adult programming coordinator and a local history librarian to join the JJML staff.

After working closely with school district, Ms. Creedon said it was determined that, if the budget passes, the typical taxpayer will see a $12 increase annually—amounting to just one dollar a month, Ms. Creedon noted.

On Monday, voters will also choose the three new JJML board members. Jackie Brody, Ann Lieber and Toby Spitz’s terms will expire on December 31, 2014. Ms. Spitz decided against seeking another term. Ms. Brody and Ms. Lieber are both seeking re-election along with four other Sag Harborites who have thrown their hats into the ring.

“It’s an embarrassment of riches,” said Michael Garbedian, at a trustee forum last Wednesday evening.  Mr. Garbedian currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees; his term will expire next year.

The six candidates attended Wednesday’s forum and discussed the impetuses behind their decisions to run. Before their presentations, Ms. Creedon gave the potential future trustees a few words of wisdom: “You are an ambassador, you are not representative of the public,” she said. “Your allegiance is to the wellbeing of the institution.”

“It was really in this library I learned to love to read,” Ms. Lieber said in the temporary library building at 34 West Water Street on

Ann Lieber

Ann Lieber

Wednesday evening. Ms. Lieber, who worked as an English teacher in Indianapolis and as a Temple librarian, spent her summers in Sag Harbor from the age of two onwards. She moved to Sag Harbor full-time in 2004, she said, and now serves as the administrator for The Customs House, directly across the street from the library’s historic Main Street building.

In addition to her work as a trustee, Ms. Lieber is also involved in planning for “One for the Books,” an annual fundraiser for the library, and the weekly book club at JJML. She currently serves on the policy and long-range planning committee and helps with fundraising, she said. She supports the budget as written, she said.


Jackie Brody

The other incumbent, Ms. Brody, told the story of how she became involved in JJML’s board of trustees. Late in the summer of 2010, Ms. Brody was begged to join the board when there seemed to be no one willing to do the job. This year’s unprecedented interest and competition, she said, is “yet more proof of our success.”

Ms. Brody worked as editor for “Print Collector’s Newsletter” for 25 years and worked as a freelance art critic for about a decade. “I have witnessed the progress made in the historic building,” Ms. Brody said, adding that she has been involved in fundraising activities for the library.

Ann Sutphen also attributes her love for books to JJML. Ms. Sutphen referred to the library as Sag Harbor’s ad hoc community center. A few years ago, Ms. Sutphen sailed from Seattle to Sag Harbor with her husband and daughter. When their three-year journey came to an end and they arrived in the village, the first thing Ms. Sutphen’s daughter asked her was “is the library open?”

Ann Sutphen

Ann Sutphen

Ms. Sutphen’s mother was also a big supporter of JJML, she said. “And when she died my sisters and my step-father and I started Martha Rusk Sutphen Educational Initiative,” she said. She said she is “amazed at the programs the library offers,” but added she hopes the new building will allow for more far-reaching programs. Becoming a board member, she said, would be an obvious next step for her “ongoing relationship with this library.”

Robert Hooke is also vying for one of the vacancies on the JJML’s board. He is a recent full-timer in Sag Harbor but spent all of his summers here, he said. Mr. Hooke has a degree in economics and an MBA, and for many years he has also worked as an artist. He worked in investment banking and is a sculptor, and now owns The Hooke Sculpture Gallery on Main Street in Sag Harbor.


Robert Hooke

“In my own personal history, one of the things that kept me on an even keel is the fact that I had these two interests. I think people should have something they’re focused on, that they’re interested in, that they can measure their progress against that isn’t a career,” he said on Wednesday. “A lot of problems with younger people stem from boredom,” Mr. Hooke noted, as he discussed work he does to help young men and women complete their education.

Mr. Hooke also donated a collection of 210 books of “sea fiction” to the library when he first moved back to the village.

Susie Sabin has decided to run for the board this year, she said, because now that her youngest child has entered kindergarten she can “finally see through the fog.” Ms. Sabin, who has four children in the Sag Harbor School District, moved here eight years ago.


Susie Sabin

If elected, she hopes to be a liaison between the library and the schools, she said. “I feel like not a lot of parents out there know what is offered here,” she said. “There’s so much.  I would like to come on board and help that word get spread.”

Ms. Sabin’s youngest, Ava, is in the same grade as Irina Kercheval – whose father Caleb is the sixth person running for the three board positions. Mr. Kercheval wants said he wants to be on the library board to ensure “libraries are still around.” Mr. Kercheval, the child of publishers, has a background in IT. “Although I’m a proponent to technology, I don’t want to lose the libraries,” he said.


Caleb Kercheval

Mr. Kercheval said one of his fondest memories was spending a week break from school writing a research paper in the New York Public Library. “I think today not a lot of people go to the library as much,” he said. “I see how the reading of books has changed.”

“You downplayed what you bring to the library, you guys are awesome,” Ms. Creedon said to the six running when they finished their presentations.

“Even if you are not elected to the board, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to contribute in some way,” Mr. Garbedian said. “I’m incredibly proud to sit here in front of you. And know that it’s not perfunctory or gratuitous comments. We would be absolutely proud and tickled pink to have you serve on the board.“

The library trustee election and budget vote is Monday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the library’s temporary location at 34 West Water Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit johnjermain.org.

Banned Books Week is Celebrated at the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor

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Banned Books Week, the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read, is September 21 through 27. Children and young adults ages 0 to 18 are invited to read a banned book and get their mug shot posted on the “Sag Harbor’s Most Wanted” wall of infamy at the John Jermain Memorial Library. Each participant will be entered into a raffle for a tote bag full of banned books. Stop by the library and see Susann to report what you’ve read or to get recommendations. For more information, call (631) 725-0049.


Library Board Candidates Announced in Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor

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John Jermain Memorial Library

John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor.

By Tessa Raebeck

Sag Harbor

With three seats opening on the board of the John Jermain Memorial Library, six Sag Harbor candidates have stepped up for the race.

Incumbents Jackie Brody and Ann Lieber are both seeking re-election. Incumbent Toby Spitz decided not to run for a second term.

Robert Hooke, Caleb Kercheval, Susan Sabin and Anne Sutphen are also running for the board.

Library Director Catherine Creedon said all of the candidates “are active users of library services, programs and collections. All have shown continued interest in the library’s future in the ‘new’ building.’”

The three winners will serve three-year terms, starting January 1, 2015 and running through December 31, 2017. Candidates are limited to two consecutive terms.

John Jermain Memorial Library’s proposed budget for 2015 is $2,399,812.

The public budget hearing and trustee forum is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17, at 5:15 p.m.

The budget vote and trustee election for the John Jermain Memorial Library will be held on Monday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the library’s temporary space at 24 West Water Street in Sag Harbor.



Five candidates will run unopposed in this year’s election for the board of trustees of the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton. Four seats will be voted on and filled by Bridgehampton residents; Sagaponack residents will determine the remaining seat.

Incumbents Jackie Poole, Tom House and Louise Collins and newcomer John Vendetti are running for the Bridgehampton seats. Matthew Rojano, another newcomer, is vying for the Sagaponack representation.

After serving four three-year terms, Board President Elizabeth Whelan Kotz is stepping down due to term limits, and Trustee Sarah Jaffe Turnbull is not seeking re-election.

The new trustees’ three-year terms will run a few months longer, from October 1 to December 31, 2017, in an effort to align terms with the library’s annual reorganizational meeting. Starting this year, three of the board’s nine trustees will represent Sagaponack, as opposed to two in previous years, and six will represent Bridgehampton.

The proposed 2015 budget for Hampton Library is $1,551,700.

The budget vote and trustee election will be held on Saturday, September 27, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Library, located at 2478 Main Street in Bridgehampton.

Petitions Due for Library Elections; Five Openings in Bridgehampton, Three in Sag Harbor

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Hampton Library Director Kelly Harris uses the library's new 3D printer on February 24. Photo by Michael Heller.

Hampton Library Director Kelly Harris uses the library’s new 3D printer on February 24. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

The deadlines to submit petitions for positions on the board of trustees of both the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library are this week.



The deadline at the Hampton Library, where five seats are open, is Tuesday, September 2, by 5 p.m. Four seats will be voted on and filled by Bridgehampton residents; the remaining seat is in Sagaponack and will be voted on by residents of that school district.

Incumbents Jackie Poole, Tom House and Dr. Louise Collins are all seeking re-election.

Elizabeth Whelan Kotz, the board’s president, who has served four three-year terms, will be stepping down after reaching her term limit.

Sarah Jaffe Turnbull chose not to run for re-election due to other commitments.

In order to make sure term limits line up with the library’s annual reorganizational meeting, the terms for the trustees who will join the board this year will run from October 1 to December 31, 2017. Terms previously ran from October 1 to September 30, but will now run for a year and three months for as long as it takes to get all trustees serving three-year, January to December terms.

“The other thing we did this year,” said Library Director Kelly Harris “is in order to make sure that Sagaponack is represented.”

The library’s nine-person board formerly had seven seats reserved for Bridgehampton residents and two for Sagaponack residents, but starting this year, one of the Bridgehampton seats has been switched over to Sagaponack, “so that there’s just a little bit more representation of Sagaponack on the library board,” she said.

Starting in October, three of the trustees will be from Sagaponack, with the remaining six from Bridgehampton.

“Board members are really advocates for the library, but they also represent the community,” Ms. Harris said. “One of the things I’m very proud of at the Hampton Library is we really are a community center and a community library.”

“And we want the library board to not only reflect the community and be a representative of the community,” she added.

The budget vote and trustee election will be held Saturday, September 27, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Library, located at 2478 Main Street in Bridgehampton.


Sag Harbor

In Sag Harbor, three seats are opening on the board of the John Jermain Memorial Library. The deadline to submit petitions is Friday, August 29, at 4 p.m.

The terms of three board members have expired. Ann Lieber and Jackie Brody are both seeking re-election for their second term, while Toby Spitz has decided not to run for a second term.

Those who win the three-year terms will be in office from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2017. Candidates can run for two consecutive three-year terms.

The library board meets every third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. and members usually also serve on committees that may meet monthly depending on the need, but oftentimes do not.

“Formally,” said library director Catherine Creedon, “being a board member entails attendance at the meetings, supervision and hiring of the director, long-range planning and the setting of policy. So, there’s a formal, very narrow charge, but in fact—particularly in a community like Sag Harbor—board members are really the ambassadors for the library.”

“I always think they are the best people to go out and understand our mission, to talk about it, to look at the community and see ways we might be able to better serve the community and bring that information back to the library,” she added.

“Right now, I think is the most exciting time to be a board member at John Jermain,” the director continued, “because we have this gorgeous new building about to open and at the same time, there are all these amazing changes in technology.”

The budget vote and trustee election for the John Jermain Memorial Library will be held Monday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Pierson auditorium, located at 200 Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor.

Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library Presents 2015 Budget Draft

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John Jermain Memorial Library Director Catherine Creedon at the library during its renovation in October 2013. Photo by Michael Heller.

John Jermain Memorial Library Director Catherine Creedon at the library during its renovation in October 2013. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

With the much-anticipated move back to its renovated and expanded home at 201 Main Street on the horizon, the board of Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library (JJML) is presenting a budget draft that aims to cover the expenses of the building without exactly knowing what they will be.

“This budget was by far the most interesting budget for the board and I to put together in the years that I’ve worked at the library,” director Cathy Creedon said Monday, July 21, “because we’re almost back into the old, fresh, new building and we don’t have a real clear sense—because we’re not there yet—of what any of our operating expenses would be.”

The total of the 2015 draft budget, proposed at a library board meeting Wednesday, July 16, is $2,399,812. It includes operating expenses and debt service but is excluding capital expenses.

The budget represents an increase of $111,367 over the 2014 total budget, which was $2,288,445.

It would result in a 5.8-percent increase in the tax collected on the library’s behalf by the Sag Harbor School District, increasing that by $128,723 to $2,348,088. Those figures include funds for the library’s operating expenditures and the $905,000 in annual debt service approved at the time of the library’s 2009 renovation referendum.

Income designated for operating expenses (exclusive of funds raised through the capital campaign to improve the building) that the library generates itself through fundraisers, fines and other means is projected at $51,724 for 2015.

Ms. Creedon said the budget increase is due to moving into a bigger and better building, a move that has been stalled several times but should occur over the winter.

“At a minimum, we expect to see increases in electricity,” the director said. “We’ve been seeing our electric bills go up month after month even here in our temporary space, as we have people use our facility as a resource to support information searching of a digital nature. People are charging their laptops here or their iPad—they’re interfacing those devices with our collection to try to bring their research into the 21st century, which has been a great thing.”

Ms. Creedon said she has met with PSEG Island representatives to try to determine how much electricity the new building will need. In the proposed budget, electric expenses would increase by $8,439 for a total projected cost of $36,439.

The other major anticipated increase in expenses is due to staffing.

The building is four times larger than the library’s temporary space at 34 West Water Street, so custodial hours will need to be added.

The library moved into its temporary space around the same time as Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted the 2-percent tax cap on school districts. As a result of being in a smaller building and under a smaller budget, three employees left without being replaced. A desk clerk will not be replaced, but Ms. Creedon hopes to reinstate the adult programming coordinator and local history library positions.

“I really want to bring that building to light, be able to celebrate our local history holdings and the programming that we have,” Ms. Creedon said, adding that the number of people visiting the library for programs is increasing monthly.

“I think that kind of face-to-face instruction is something the community is really hungry for in terms of how they gather their information,” she added.

Ms. Creedon is hopeful the proposed budget for 2015 will enable the library to stay below the tax cap next year—and that JJML and the community will be enjoying the new library before the spring.

“I can see the staff, I can see the public computers, I can see the reading room full of people and it’s really wonderful,” the director said.

The terms of three current board members—Jackie Brody, Ann Lieber and Toby Spitz—will expire on December 31, 2014. They are all eligible for re-election.

A budget hearing and trustee forum will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, September 17, preceding the regular monthly meeting. The library trustee election and budget vote is Monday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

East End Weekend: What to Do July 11 – 13

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Malin Abrahamsson, "Winter Lot," mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy Sara Nightingale Gallery.

Malin Abrahamsson, “Winter Lot,” mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy Sara Nightingale Gallery.

By Tessa Raebeck

From shark hunting to art grazing, a carefully-curated selection of top picks to do on the East End this weekend:

Art Market Hamptons brings booths from selected modern and contemporary galleries to Bridgehampton, returning for its fourth season from Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 13.

Scott Bluedorn of Neoteric Fine Art.

Scott Bluedorn of Neoteric Fine Art.

With 40 participating galleries, Art Market is more exclusive than other art fairs. Local galleries like Neoteric Fine Art, Sara Nightingale Gallery and Grenning Gallery will feature their artists in booths.

The fair is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, July 11, and Saturday, July 12, and from 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 13, at the Bridgehampton Historical Society, located at 2368 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton.


The Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton shows East Hampton artist Richmond Burton in an exhibition running July 12 through August 11.

“Known for his dazzling kaleidoscopic abstractions, Richmond Burton melds geometry and naturalism to usher the pictorial language of his predecessors into a contemporary context,” the gallery said in a press release. “With swift, vibrantly hued marks, Burton creates densely gridded compositions that morph into expansive waves of pattern, their overlapping rhythms at once steady and unstable.”

The exhibition will feature Mr. Burton’s last large-scale paintings created in his East Hampton studio, as well as his more recent works. An opening reception is Saturday, July 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Silas Marder Gallery, located at 120 Snake Hollow Road in Bridgehampton.


The Shark’s Eye All-Release Tournament & Festival returns to Montauk Friday, July 11 through Sunday, July 13.


A little girl watches a shark being tagged at the Shark’s Eye Festival and Tournament in 2012. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

The weekend-long event is “Montauk’s only satellite tag, catch-and-release, high stakes, big game sport fishing competition combined with cutting-edge science, conservation and informative entertainment focused on saving sharks,” according to a press release.

The tournament, held in the Montauk Marine Basin, offers prize money of $10,000. In 2013, participating teams tagged and released 64 sharks, including 33 mako and 31 blue sharks. Four sharks were tagged with satellite tracking devices.

Although it may sound scary, the event offers fun for the whole family, as kids can see sharks up-close-and-personal and learn about conservation and marine wildlife. The festival is free to the public on Saturday, July 12, from 3 to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, July 13, from 2 to 6 p.m. A dock part Saturday night runs until 10 p.m.

The tournament and festival are supported by marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

“There is no other fishing tournament like Shark’s Eye,” Mr. Harvey said in the press release. “This tournament combines the thrill of shark fishing, practical conservation measures, and meaningful fisheries research and community involvement into a single event. It is truly the future of shark fishing tournaments.

The Montauk Marine Basin is located at 426 West Lake Drive in Montauk. For more information, call (631) 668-5900.


In its annual Sag Harbor house tour, the John Jermain Memorial Library presents five homes–one in North Haven and four in Sag Harbor Village–to the public. The houses were specially picked for their unique and personalized interior decorating and for the feeling of “home” each conveyed. For more information on the house tour: read the Express’ full article here.