TapintoMorristown is excited to present the “Meet Our Leaders” series. These articles put a spotlight on key leaders in our community and give readers a chance to learn more about the individuals who help make Morristown a booming metropolis.
Surrounding towns have published similar series and have met with much success. It’s time we shine the spotlight on Morristown’s finest!
The first leader basking in the spotlight-is Morristown & Morris Township Library’s Director, Chad Leinaweaver. Originally from PA and a graduate of Penn State, Morristown is very lucky to have Chad as a leader and director in our community.
In the digital age of tweets, instagram and youtube- accessing information is easier than ever before. The ability to consume data, news and entertainment is actually more convenient than visiting a local drive thru. With kindles, smart phones, ipads, and dear companions like Siri and Alexa, any and all information is just a click or question away….no need to ever leave the comfort of your home.
So why on earth, would anyone frequent the town library? What’s happening at the library enticing enough to leave a comfy couch?
After a guided tour and fun chat with Morristown & Morris Township Library Director, Chad Leinaweaver, the more relevant question to ask - What’s NOT going on at our library?
Looking for a fun place to watch the Oscar’s? Go to the library.
Want to practice yoga? It’s held Mondays at 6pm, Fridays at 9:30am upstairs in the F.M Kirby Gallery
Still don’t have a firm grasp of EXCEL? Registration for EXCEL I, II or III begins on March 22.
Home office copier on the fritz? Send whatever needs printing over to the library, it will be waiting for you on a designated print station, ready to print.
Need a spot for your local group’s next meeting- call the library, they have several meeting rooms ready and are waiting for your group to convene.
Not sure where to eat in Morristown- before you decide, stop by the library and grab a bookmark listing all of the best eateries around town.
History buff? No better place to explore than our library, it hosts the North Jersey History & Genealogy Center.
Sewing, adult coloring, books clubs, chess… whatever your interest or need, the Morristown & Morris Township Library either already offers it, OR will most likely pursue whatever it takes to get it. All thanks to its director.
“ Whenever anyone contacts me, I am always eager to help. The question for me is always, how may we work together? No matter who calls: patron, group or institution, I do my best to provide a program or service for them.”
The library’s plethora of programs and activities show just how sincerely Leinaweaver responds to his own question. There is something to do, see, learn, no matter what age, interest or demographic, the library has something for everyone.
“What makes the library so appealing is that we are apolitical, we have no agenda. There are no religious affiliations, no political ties and nothing to sell...the library is one of the last vestiges of democracy- we welcome and honor everyone!”
What makes the library even more welcoming and way less intimidating than surfing the world wide web, is its customer service. Around every corner, sitting or standing behind every desk, there are knowledgeable people eager to answer questions, provide directions or recommend the hottest new fiction. “Librarians are the most well read people around!” quipped Leinaweaver. “Odds are, they have already read every book you ever loved and can recommend great companion books or similar titles.”
After the tour of the ever evolving library, Chad continued as gracious host/director and sat for a few questions.
* Quick note to TAP readers- If it’s been a while since you stopped by the library, make sure to add visit the library to your most recent list of things to do. The original library dates back to 1917 and over the past centennial has undergone some visit worthy renovations. Although, good luck thinking it will only be a tour, chances are you will leave with a brochure and be signed up for a program before you exit the building.
The original double doors date back to when the library was built in 1917.
TAP- Why Morristown? How did you find yourself here?
Leinaweaver- Before I took the job here in Morristown, I was at the Newark Public Library. While I was there, I worked closely with Morristown’s previous director, Susan Gulick and her assistant director, Maria Norton. I remember visiting here thinking- I am going to keep my eye on this place. The assistant director position became available in 2011--when Maria Norton became director--and here I am.
TAP- Is there someone you would like to Thank? Someone who helped get you where you are today?
Leinaweaver, With a BOOMING smile- “MY WIFE!” My wife got me here. I went to graduate school for history and then took on a position at a genealogy library in Boston (the New England Historic Genealogical Society). While I was there, my wife said: “I think it is pretty clear, you should go to library school.” I said, WHAT? Library school? I had no intention of ever going to library school… said the current director of the Morristown/Township library. A HUGE thank you to Chad’s wife, Michele for advocating library school. Without her encouragement and prompting, Chad would not be one of our leaders. Many Thanks! ...from all of the library’s patrons, friends and staff.
TAP- Any favorite Morristown ‘hot spots’- *SPOILER*… it would have been easier to record the spots Mr. Leinaweaver does not frequent… he may be from PA, but has quickly become an aficionado of Morristown and takes full advantage of the library’s prime location- here are just a few of his favorites: The Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen, Smart World Coffee, The Committed Pig, Raul’s, Tito’s Burritos, The South Street Creamery, Enjou, Nagano, Dublin Pub* (special notoriety and kudos go out to Mr. Mongey for his generosity and hospitality. When the library was closed in 2010, after suffering a gas explosion, Mongey graciously provided space for the Library to continue service during renovations.
TAP- How do you deal with the celebrity that comes with your position? “CELEBRITY? I am no celebrity”… guffawed Lienaweaver.
*For the record, and for all TapintoMorristown readers, there are a group of students and staff from Morristown’s Unity Charter School who would vehemently disagree. With no library in their school, students and teachers rely on visits from the Library’s Bookmobile to provide reading material. When Kelly Simms, the Bookmobile Driver was out on leave, rather than cancel the visits, Chad took on the book mobile route and students’ reading never paused. There is a thank you note from the students hanging in the director’s office naming Chad as their hero! Ok, Leinaweaver, we’ll give it to you… you are not a celebrity… you are a hero!
Exhibit A… written proof of Leinaweaver’s heroism.