The Children’s Reading Room is housed in a new 6,800 SF wing at the East Hampton Library, founded in 1897 and one of Long Island’s oldest public libraries. The interior design and environmental graphics of the Reading Room reference the heritage of Long Island’s East End. The East Hampton Library is a repository of local historical documents, maps and objects and these collections are also influential in the Children’s Reading Room design.
Icons of the East End such as lighthouses, windmills and boats find their way into the interior design. The Toddler Room is decorated with colorful alphabet murals with a beach and ocean theme, sand pail-shaped ceiling pendants, and seating and bookshelves in the shape of oversized letterforms. The main reading room is bookended by a windmill book display and seating area at one end and a librarian’s desk shaped like a wooden fishing dory at the other. Nautical references continue in the wood flooring design, built-in window seats and custom map rug that anchors a central lounge seating area. Overhead, rows of custom ‘book-bird’ pendant lights flock like seagulls through heavy wood trusses that replicate those found elsewhere in the building. A Teen Room has an aquarium and deep blue carpeting made from recycled fishing nets. The overall effect of the Children’s Reading Room is one of warmth, community and pride of place.