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History of the Library

Oceanside Library’s History

The suggestion to start a library for the Oceanside community was presented by Rev. L. Humphrey Walz at a PTA meeting in March of 1937.

His idea was met with unanimous approval. A year later, on February 22, 1938, the first Oceanside Library was opened as an association library on Poole Street, with the help and generosity of many residents. It began as a donated building on a loaned property, and offered about 2,000 titles. There was one librarian, Marion Sager, who would dedicate over 26 years of service to the library.

old library

It soon became apparent that a larger library was necessary. In 1940, the budget allowed voters to appropriate $5,000 for the construction of a new building. The budget passed, and land was secured on Davison Avenue, which would become the library’s present location. The completed building was formally dedicated on February 22, 1941. On February 22, 1950, on the 12th anniversary of the library, a new addition was opened, keeping pace with the growing community. In 1962, the library increased to 16,000 square feet, and included a mezzanine which doubled as an exhibit area. The dedication took place on June 21, 1962.

In 1997, to meet with space demands and new technology, the library was again expanded, doubling in size. The new building was ADA compliant, offered state-of-the-art equipment and internet access, an expanded Children’s Room, as well as many new community services. It officially opened on September 14, 1997. In 2007, a storage annex was completed adjacent to the garden, and in 2009, the library renovated its lower level to accommodate two additional meeting rooms. Today, our building now offers over 258,000 items and continues to serve the needs of over 25,000 registered cardholders in the Oceanside community.

Oceanside Library is a member of the Long Island Library Resources Council.

Oceanside Library Trustees & Directors

1938 – Present

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Library Trustees

Name Start End
Mr. Rufus Smith 1938 1938
Mr. S. Taylor Johnson March 8, 1938 June 1, 1942
Mr. Abraham Levin March 8, 1938 March 20, 1941
Mrs. Margaret Stanley March 8, 1938 March 20, 1941
Mrs. Dagmar Wright March 8, 1938 March 30, 1939
Ms. Viola Stewart March 8, 1938 March 20, 1941
Mr. Frederick W. Shaw March 8, 1938 1960
Mrs. Myrtis Brown March 23, 1939 February 19, 1943
Mrs. Elizabeth “Betty” Boardman 1939 1960
Mrs. Dorothy Truitt February 22, 1940 June 18, 1941
Mr. Vincent Coryell June 18, 1941 1946
Mr. John Burchards July 1, 1942 1963
Ms. Winifred Barry February 1, 1943 June 4, 1956
Ms. Marion White March 1, 1946 1960
Mr. John Saunders July 27, 1956 1962
Ms. Edith Halfpenny June 9, 1958 1975
Mrs. Betty Klein June 9, 1958 May 24, 1994
Mrs. Anne Yarchoan 1961 April 25, 1989
Mr. Robert Rose 1961 January 25, 1971
Mr. Norman Bennett 1962 1963
Mrs. Helen Sullivan 1963 1987
Reverend Barton Leach 1964 1966
Mr. Paul Farrel 1964 1983
Mr. Harold Folz 1967 1985
Mr. Fred Morse February 23, 1971 May 6, 2003
Mrs. Gloria Sabin February 23, 1976 April 27, 1999
Mr. Walter Reiff August 15, 1983 July 10, 1994
Mr. Joseph Chwatsky April 24, 1985 April 29, 1994
Mrs. Carol B. Kossoy November 25, 1986 September 1, 1990
Mrs. Mitzi O’Neill April 25, 1989 April 27, 1999
Mrs. Dolores Filandro September 25, 1990 April 28, 1998
Mr. Richard Roberts May 24, 1994 November 27, 2001
Mrs. Camille Valentino June 28, 1994 2002
Mrs. Eleanor Reiff September 13, 1994 April 30, 1997
Mr. Craig A. Mollo April 15, 1997 May 28, 2002
Mrs. Angela Iovino April 28, 1998 2015
Mrs. Helen Schwartz 1998 February 18, 2001
Mrs. Peggy Salute May 25, 1999 May 6, 2003
Mr. Donald Maresca February 15, 2001 February 25, 2002
Mrs. Florence Mensch December 18, 2001 December 2016
Mrs. Grace Griffin 2002 March 26, 2007
Mrs. Donna Taylor June 24, 2003 May 31, 2011
Mr. Syed A. Majid April 24, 2007 March 9, 2011
Mrs. Cathy Dapolito May 29, 2007 2014
Mr. Wayne Vurture October 25, 2011 April 2, 2019
Mr. Seth Blau May 31, 2011 May 29, 2012
Mr. Michael D’Ambrosio May 29, 2012 July 30, 2013
Mr. Michael D’Ambrosio, Jr. July 30, 2013 September 22, 2017
Mr. Thomas Beirne January 27, 2015 June 11, 2021
Mrs. Ellen Sullivan May 6, 2003 PRESENT
Mr. Dan Faust June 24, 2003 PRESENT
Mrs. Mary DiGiovanna May 2014 January 2022
Mrs. Janet Pearsall April 2019 PRESENT
Mrs. Patricia Roth September 26, 2017 PRESENT
Mr. Richard Woods April 2019 PRESENT
Mrs. Anita Namdar June 2021 PRESENT
Theresa Finneran January 2022 PRESENT

Library Directors

Marion Sager, 1938 – 1964

Norman Seldes, 1964 – 1975

(Michael Hodgson, acting director, until March 1976)

Richard Cheski, 1976 – 1978

Soma Finnel, 1976 – 1986

Caryl Ackerman, 1987 – 1999

Evelyn Rothschild, 1999 – January 31, 2015

Karen Porcella, January 5, 2015 – September 14, 2017

Christina Marra, September 14, 2017 – Present