A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Library Too Flush For Its Own Good

The Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library has been in a tight spot for years. So tight, geographically speaking, that it's been difficult for it to expand to meet the needs of our growing community. Consider the Old Bridge library, in comparison. Modern facilities, vast space, great parking. Then consider our library. An equally proficient staff, but the facilities pale in comparison because there is simply no room to expand in its current location.

So, it seems inevitable that the money that is awaiting an opportunity for expansion is now being eyed by a hungry pair of local governments that see the library's capital funds as a surplus in these hard economic times. The township and borough are asking the library to nearly deplete its funds to pay general operating expenses in the coming year, effectively providing a rebate to the two mayors and their councils. In return, there are vague offers of a new location for the library. Sort of a future draft pick, in a bibliographic sense. I'd offer to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, but I think Mayor Bloomberg already has it on eBay.

The library's board wisely refused to attend the joint meeting of Aberdeen and Matawan councils, sending a lawyer and the head librarian to represent them while they decide what to do next. Another joint meeting has been set for Monday 9 March because time's a wastin'.

The Independent covered the joint session and explained many of the basic issues involved. It was a prime source for this article. The slant on the story is my own, but I hope it's yours as well.


  1. I hope the library is able to hang tight and keeps it's funds. Though small, our library and it's staff are top notch. The programs they provide, especially the summer kid's program are wonderful.

  2. We do have a great library. My Wife and kids love it. In fighting between the Township and the Boro mucks it up and the citizens suffer.

  3. Is there anything we can do as the public? I wonder if there are meetings coming up in which we would show our disgruntlement at the idea of taking the library's hard-earned funds.

  4. There's a meeting on Monday at City Hall at 7pm. I'm hoping to attend. It's probably a good time to support the library with your presence if you can. If you can't, send a surrogate.