Arts & Entertainment

Essex County Freeholders Honor Livingston Public Library for Celebrating 100 Years


LIVINGSTON, NJ — In honor of the Livingston Public Library’s 100th anniversary, At-Large Freeholder and Livingston resident Patricia Sebold sponsored a commendation recognizing the library at the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ meeting on Wednesday.

Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein was also present during the board’s recognition of the library, which was incorporated in 1916 as a result of six local women—Minnie Collins Ashby, Edith DeCamp, Gertrude Halsey, Ada Vincent, Mrs. Robert DeCamp and Emily Ashby—who formed a social and literary club called the “Alpha Club” and ultimately presented the idea of the library to the township. A referendum accepting the Livingston Public Library was accepted in 1931.

“As a retired teacher with over 30 years of experience in the field of education, I can appreciate all that the Library has to offer the community,” said Sebold. “Being a former teacher, I recognize that the library is at the center of learning, literacy, and engagement, for not only students, but also the community at large.”

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According to the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the members of the “Alpha Club” took turns entertaining, reading, and discussing books and papers at their homes. They also planned cultural events and undertook civic projects and soon started a lending library, working from a closet in the Junior Order Hall. Their materials formed the original collection of the Livingston Public Library.

Today, the library’s mission is to serve as a place where “reading, learning and ideas converge to transform lives.” Its mission guides everyday activities and the impact the library has on those who use it, the services it provides, the choices made and interactions with patrons.

The Livingston Public Library in 2017 is home to more than 3.5 miles of books, videos, DVDs and other materials and checks out more than 450,000 items a year, according to the library. It fosters learning, literacy and community engagement to support an active democracy.

Thousands of Livingston residents support the library and value the role it plays in the community with its combination of resources, knowledgeable staff and customer service.

The long-term vision of the library is to build on 100 years of achievements and focus on a future where it is at the heart of community life. The library will continue to foster community engagement, connect people with ideas and each other, and make Livingston a better place to live and work.

The Livingston Public Library is overseen by a board of trustees consisted of nine members who are appointed by the mayor and council. The trustees are dedicated volunteers and stewards of public funds.

Current board members including Director Amy Babcock Landry were present to accept the board’s commendations and thanked the board for recognizing the library, the township and the board of trustees. 

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