Government

The Library, What's In Its Future?

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Library Director Stephanie Bakos said plans are being made to move the library, in the event it has to be closed before it has a new home. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. - Questions came up about what's going to happen to the library during the Tuesday, Aug. 4, council meeting if Scenario #1 is adopted.

Councilman Ed Delia said he was concerned about "not having a library with this Swap."

He wasn't alone. Other residents wanted to know if the library would close before the new one was built in the Park Avenue Municipal Complex and, if it was, what would happen - not only to the service it provides residents, but to the taxes collected that support the library.

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Library Director Stephanie Bakos said plans are being made to move the library, in the event it has to be closed before it has a new home. "The library will look at rental space," possibly in an empty retail space. "We can become a store-front library and rely more on the downloadables and databases," she said.

As for what happens to any monies not spent if the library is in a rental space, she reminded the council "Any surplus of library funds must be used to reduce taxes."

Councilman Kevin Hall said moving a library is "a very laborious and technical task," and one which will cost about $50,000.

Mayor Robert Woodruff said during this process, "there may be a time when we don't have a library."

If that were to happen residents could use New Providence's library, but the plan is to have a local spot, said Bakos.

As to whether there could be some sort of arrangement with Little Flower Church to allow the library to stay in place, that looks doubtful. The church will need the space for its own purposes, once it no longer has access to the North Church and school property.

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