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, and his idea was met with unanimous approval. On April 6, 1937, a committee was formed, assignments handed out and the Library was founded. 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.
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.
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In 2011, the Oceanside Historical Society disbanded. Most of their collection was donated to the Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University. Materials pertaining to the history of the Oceanside Library were given to the library. The Oceanside Library Historical Collection consists primarily of scrapbooks created by Marion Sager, who was Oceanside Library’s first librarian. The collection also contains photographs, correspondence, news clippings, brochures and ephemera, all related to the library’s boards, staff, patrons and events dating from 1937 to the present day.