Farmingdale’s ‘Hidden’ Library

The library is open to all on weekend afternoons. (Photo by Gary Schoening)

By Gary Schoening

  FARMINGDALE – Most people assume that this cozy little borough doesn’t have a library and residents have to go elsewhere to find their reading interests.

  Readers need only travel as far as 48 Main Street to the Wainright House Museum, where Virginia Woolley has established a book repository open not only to Farmingdale residents but anyone looking for a convenient, no hassle library experience.

  “All you need to do is check out our collection, see what’s available and leave us your name and phone number,” said Mrs. Wooley, the founder and curator of the museum in the historic house that dates to the mid-18th century. “If the book is out on loan, we’ll call whoever has it and get it back in house.”

  There’s no library card or registration required. And best of all, no fees. Patrons can keep the books for as long as they want, Mrs. Woolley said, “as long as it’s reasonable.”

  The library is a long-standing dream of Mrs. Woolley, who turned to a friend, Linda Scott of Lakewood. Mrs. Scott has broad experience in establishing and running libraries during her business career, including a medical library in a hospital.

Photo by Gary Schoening

  “For this library, we were interested in recent books, no more than 10 years old,” Mrs. Scott said. “When we were setting it up, we were very pleased with the donations we received. The collection makes for a good, what I call, browsing library.”

  Readers will find a variety of topics, including history, arts and crafts and even mysteries, in a dedicated room in the Wainright House that serves as the library. While the policy is to limit books to no more than a decade old, many are only two years old and some are new, Mrs. Woolley said.

  “All of the books have been read at least once, and those readers recommend what age group the book is suitable for,” she said.

  Organizers had hoped to start the library in 2020, but the pandemic put those plans on hold. The library was established after things started to return to normal.

  A formal grand opening is scheduled for Sunday, July 3, between 1 and 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

  Normal operating hours will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.

  Further information is available at the Wainright House Museum.