MILLBURN, NJ - Saturday, November 16, marked an important event for the Millburn Free Public Library and local residents, as many people came out to participate in the festivities celebrating the library’s 75th anniversary.
The day featured a rededication ceremony, children’s storytime led by Mayor Sandra Hamioff, a mini concert, a surprise musical performance from the Paper Mill Broadway Show Choir, and a book talk by award-winning author Beatriz Williams. Residents of all ages attended the day’s events, and the celebration saw the critical involvement of the whole community in organizing the effort. Even township students made a special effort to support the event.
Elementary school students offered their artistic contributions, which decorated the second floor auditorium. Middle school Peer Leaders led anime classes, dressed up as different storybook characters, and offered youngsters their caricature and face-painting skills. The high school Key Club made sure that the day’s events were running smoothly. Without the organization and dedication of other township departments, organizations, businesses, and special supporters, including the library staff themselves, the day would not have been possible. Overall, the Library’s 75th Anniversary Celebration demonstrated the efforts of the community to rededicate their appreciation for the library and its services throughout the years.
The TAP Club of Millburn High School was able to interview several members involved in the event. Key Club members Evanie Anglade and Uma Sarwadnya enjoyed helping out and participating in the celebration very much.
“I’ve been going here for a while. I think it’s really nice that we have a chance to appreciate what the library has to offer,” Anglade said. Sarwadnya added, “I’ve been going here ever since I was born.” To them, the library was a special part of their home community.
For Jonathon Silverman, an avid Harry Potter fan, the day gave him the opportunity to dress up as Harry Potter. Silverman received an additional surprise when the folk singer from the performance asked to do a song with him. He concluded, “This event was really fun today and really means something to me. When I was younger, I went to the library quite often.”
Librarian staff member Barbara Simmonds has been working at the library for more than half its lifetime and noted the transformation that the library has gone through. “First of all, we are in a bigger building. Since we have been here, we have gotten more computers. And people think that they don’t need books anymore but that’s not true,” said Simmonds. “While it is true that just about our whole catalog is on computer, we are still here to help people get books,” concluded Simmonds. The library’s celebration reaffirmed its role as an extensive source of literature and reference with the incorporation of modern advances.