EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Planning for a greater utilization of the Alice Appleby Devoe Library in East Brunswick's Historic Village of Old Bridge has led to the removal of a demolition plan by the township. The plan, based on an engineering site evaluation and no substantive record of use of the library over the past two decades, led to an announcement by the township administration that the historic location could be torn down within the year.
Now that plan has been set aside, as township officials and the Middlesex County Historical Society have begun to work with the volunteer staff at the East Brunswick Museum to develop plans to better maintain the library and to increase its community connection. Township Administrator Joseph Criscuolo met with Mark Nonesteid of the Middlesex County Office of Culture and Heritage and Mark Fafara, President of the East Brunswick Museum Board, to begin the outline of a plan to make the Devoe Library part of the revitalization of culture, business, and community resources in the township. In Criscuolo's words, "It's all about sustainability. How does the library support itself and how does it serve East Brunswick?"
Remarks posted on the East Brunswick Museum website state, "For several months, the Museum has been working with local, county, state and federal officials to save the Alice Appleby Devoe Library, and we are pleased to announce that the order of demolition has been lifted.
Board members and volunteers are hard at work rehabilitating this historic structure and making plans for its use. Please join or renew your membership in the Museum and be part of our effort to make the Alice Appleby Devoe Library a vital part of the community."
According to some member of the museum's board, plans have been made to engage the locations of the both the museum and the library with events hosted by township arts and recreation programs. The records that are housed at the Devoe Library are also scheduled to be digitized for greater access and increased use by historians, say sources.