Around the Island

The little library that could: 10 years, 207 great conversations

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island Library
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island Library

On January 16, 2009 a lecture series funded by donations in memory of Betsy Jacobson began, quietly and without much fanfare — just as Ms. Jacobson, who passed away in 2007, would have wanted it.

Island resident, economist and Brookings Institution scholar Martin Mayer enthralled an SRO crowd as he spoke about the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bailout proposals.  The next month, Pat Mundus, daughter of Montauk’s Frank Mundus, spoke to another packed house about her career at sea and her love and restoration of classic sailing vessels.

It looked like the Shelter Island Library was onto something. Supported by the Board of Trustees and then director Denise DiPaolo, an advertising logo was created and donated by graphic designer Sam Leibowitz, speakers were recruited and the “Betsy Jacobson Friday Night Dialogues,” later changed to the “Shelter Island Library Friday Night Dialogues,” was born.

Now, 10 years later, the library and the community that has both supplied the personalities and come to listen to them will be celebrating the milestone at a special cocktail reception and fundraiser at the Ram’s Head Inn on Friday (of course!) September 7, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Special guest speaker for the occasion will be National Public Radio science correspondent Robert Krulwich, co-host of the program Radio Lab. In addition to NPR, Mr. Krulwich has worked for ABC, CBS and Pacifica, and has done assignment pieces for Nightline, World News Tonight, PBS’ Frontline, NOVA and Now with Bill Moyers. New York Magazine has written that he’s “the man who simplifies without being simple,” and TV Guide has hailed Mr. Krulwich as “the most inventive reporter in television.”

Tickets for this very special evening, which include hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary beverage, are $95, and can be purchased at the Shelter Island Public Library. For further information call (631) 749-0042.