Letters to the Editor

Voters To Decide on Library Construction Bond Referendum On Election Day


NEW JERSEY - When voters head to the polls on Tuesday, November 7, one of the public questions on the ballot lets voters decide on the NJ Library Construction Bond Act. If the referendum passes, it will allow the state to issue $125 million in bonds. From the proceeds, grants will be provided to public libraries for renovations, repairs, improvements and technological upgrades. The bonds will not impact property taxes, but will allow local governments to make improvements to their libraries by only providing 50 percent of the funding required to make enhancements. The other half will come via a grant that libraries must apply for.

"If the bond passes, the Spotswood Public Library would be able to apply for a grant to cover 50 percent of the cost of any building or renovation projects," said Spotswood Public Library Director C.L. Quillen. "While we have done a number of things to update and improve the library over the past few years, there are several things that still need to be done, including electrical upgrades. When the library was built in 1973, there was not the same need for power that there is now and the grant would help us improve in that area. We were also the recipient of a grant in 2017 that covered the cost of consultants to assess the library and make recommendations for renovations and improvements.  Based on their recommendations, we are currently evaluating a plan to move the children's section of the library, add some computers for children and make a few other changes to improve the usability of the library."
Despite the growth of the internet and the public's reliance on smart phones and tablets, Quillen feels that public libraries remain an essential part of communities throughout the Garden State.
"Libraries bridge the digital divide," Quillen said. "People still come in to use our computers, either because they don't have one at home or because they rely mainly on a phone or tablet and there are some things that are easier to do from a desktop computer. There are also many people who come to Spotswood Public Library for help in doing something on the computer, such as formatting a resume, applying for a job, getting help downloading e-books or searching for information that they're unable to find on their own on the internet."
"I don't think the internet is phasing out libraries at all, but it has changed libraries," Quillen said when asked if libraries are becoming obsolete. "Libraries are a third space, not home or work, for many people and the Board of Trustees, Friends and library staff in Spotswood have all been working together to make our library more welcoming and inviting.  We'd like to be the place in town where everyone comes together regardless of their ages, backgrounds or views. While we still offer the traditional services like story times and books, the library is so much more than that and we welcome residents opinions on what else they would like to see here."
The Spotswood Public Library offers a wealth of programs for both children, tweens, teen and adults.
"Library programs help to develop literacy and a love of books in children through the collections, programs and services that we have and while their children are in the program, we provide a spot for parents and grandparents to sit and develop friendships that go beyond our four walls," Quillen continued. "Thanks to the generosity of the Friends, we have a museum pass that residents can borrow to use at the Grounds for Sculpture and we have a community of adults and seniors who come together almost every Monday for a movie and a social connection."

"The Spotswood Public Library brought approximately 150 people together to watch the Great American Eclipse in August," Quillen said. "Adults and families will be coming to the library next week for a magic show and card holders can choose from over 500 free online classes through Universal Class. And that is only a few of the things that the Spotswood Public Library has to offer to the community."
According to the Library Builds Communities webpage, it has been more than 15 years since the last Public Library Construction Act. After that referendum passed, 68 NJ towns constructed or renovated their libraries. In 2014, the New Jersey Library Association asked communities to participate in a Capital Improvement Survey to assess the condition of public libraries in the Garden State.
The results found many public libraries were in need of technological and electrical upgrades like the Spotswood Public Library as well as facility improvements. According to survey results, at least 50 percent of Garden State libraries were not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and were in need of ramps, elevators and restroom accommodations.
Libraries like Spotswood have reached out to its patrons for assistance in passing the upcoming referendum by providing literature on tomorrow's bond vote in addition to taking to social media platforms.
For additional information on the Library Construction Bond Act visit the Library Build Communities' webpage.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018


ON THE ROAD - It looks like a State Police trooper is going to have to head to the bars to pick up chicks, indicted yesterday for intentionally pulling over women in a desperate attempt to land dates. Internal affairs learned the Trooper was pulling over two lovely ladies at the end of 2016, threatening to arrest them if they didn't hand over their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018


PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 18, 2018


PATERSON - At campaign rallies, why not just cut to the chase? That's what's happening in the Silk City, where a local social media celebrity was handing out $20 bills to would-be voters at a rally on Sunday for mayoral contender Pedro Rodriguez. Our favorite entertainer of all time, Fatboy SSE, had a thick wad of cash, which he was passing out ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 17, 2018


AT THE POLLING BOOTH - Guess what? New Jerseyans don't like the Trump tax plan. It's also not surprising that a potential voter revolt could flip all five of the state's Republican House seats, according to a new Monmouth University poll. NJ.com reports that the new federal tax bill disproportionately hurts taxpayers in New Jersey ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 16, 2018


TRENTON - As Gov. Phil Murphy was in Cleveland to celebrate his buddy, Jon Bon Jovi, who entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, the paperwork is piling up at the office. NJ.com is quick to note we are approaching the end of the first 100 days of the Murphy Administration and there are a gaggle of bills to sign or reject. Lots of ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 13, 2018


STATEWIDE - One would think Gov. Phil Murphy, as our powerful chief executive, would be paid among the highest of all state employees after, of course, the Rutgers head football coach. But the Asbury Park Press has revealed a startling fact: there are more than 1,060 government employees who earn more than the governor. Murphy makes a ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, April 21, 8:00 AM

New Brunswick

Travis “TJ” Henry Health Fair - Free Family ...


Sat, April 21


Project Feeder Watch

Green Home & Garden

Sun, April 22, 11:00 AM

Joyce Kilmer Park, New Brunswick

Mercado Esperanza

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.


Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...

'Elementary, My Dear Watson!' Solving Mysteries with Genetic Geneaology

April 20, 2018

The next meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society will be on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. Andrew May will speak about Genetic Genealogy. Humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup, yet, differences in 0.1% of our DNA has helped us answer questions about our recent and deep ancestral origins. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing provides the toolbox for solving difficult ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...