They did it with coffee.
And, a lot of help from their friends across the street
In less than four weeks, Patchogue-Medford Library raised $1,500 selling $10 holiday gift packages, each containing a uniquely designed mug and four ounces of coffee from Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company, which is just across Main Street from the library.
The money will go toward the ongoing renovation work at the Carnegie Library.
The library staffers put together 218 packages in total, and sold them all between Dec. 1 and Christmas.
“It was the best $10 purchase you could make,” said the library’s community program coordinator, Karen McCahey. “You covered three things. You got coffee. You got the mug. And, you got to support the efforts at the Carnegie Library.”
Tycoon Andrew Carnegie funded the $10,000 building as a gift to Patchogue Village, according to a New York Times article from 1905. It opened in 1908. The building has been vacant since 1998, when Briarcliffe College stopped using it.
The hope is to have it open by or during this summer.
Click here for updates and photos of the ongoing construction and to donate.
The library staffers said the drive wouldn’t have been such success had Roast Coffee not donated every ounce of medium-roast coffee bags.
“Going into that last week, we knew they would fly and [the Roast staff] roasted enough for 108 mugs that week along,” said Laura Accardi, Patchogue-Medford’s library development assistant. “And the feedback we got on the brew, outstanding.”
Roast’s manager, Tiffany Rivera, said she didn’t think twice about partnering with the library, which in the past has held programs at Roast, drawing in customers for the business.
“It wasn’t really about the amount of work we did [roasting]; I was happy to do it,” she said. “It was for our library. It was for our community. They support everything that we do, so we had to support them. And what they’re doing with the Carnegie Library is such a great thing for the community, that it didn’t matter what I needed to do, I was going to make sure it got done.”
The $1.3 million renovation project is being helped with a $1 million donation from an anonymous benefactor, as well as library capital funds and ongoing fundraisers.
The library plans to use the building for special events, as well as teen and young adult services, with it staying open from 2 to 8 p.m. for after school use and homework programs. The Greater Patchogue Historical Society will also utilize space in the building’s basement for permanent displays and meetings, the library staffers said.
Accardi said the contractors were just recently able to match the color of the building’s old mortar so the new work appears seamless.
She also noted the decorative frieze about the old library’s entranceway is still missing.
“Don’t forget to check under your beds,” she said. “We’re still looking for frieze.”
Photo: The hope is to reopen the Carnegie Library in Patchogue later this year. (Michael White)