Old Bridge Library Board of Trustees Plans for Future with Renovations, New Programs, and Improved Services

In a recent meeting, the Old Bridge Library Board of Trustees discussed a myriad of topics revolving around library renovations, upcoming programs, and strategic initiatives aimed at improving library services and user experience.

One issue discussed was the need for renovations, particularly the library restrooms, due to corroded pipes and exorbitant repair costs. The board plans to consult the town engineer on the logistics of maintaining partial library operations while renovations proceed. Part of this renovation discourse was a decision to order 20 new chairs to address immediate requirements, with further plans to replace upholstered chairs with durable mesh ones.

In addition to the renovation plans, the board also expressed a desire to explore alternative energy options, aligning with an upcoming energy provider auction. This move is part of a broader plan to modernize library resources, which includes updating the library’s 3D printer and creating a maker space. The board envisions this space to foster creativity and innovation, with programs focused on sewing, technology, and robotics. In this initiative, there is the potential for collaboration with local schools, leveraging staff expertise.

The Board of Trustees also showed considerable interest in library programs, with Library Director Dawn Jenkin highlighting the success of the teen book review and the English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. Jenkin reported that the ESL program was reaching capacity, prompting her to seek additional space from the YMCA and Recreation. Additionally, she mentioned upcoming programs, including the Lappy lifeways indigenous people program, an Irish dance event, and a concert on the history of 50s and 60s music.

Evolving technology needs were also a significant topic, with discussions around computing upgrades and internet connectivity. The board has made substantial progress on the Tower computer project and is striving to acquire a staff computer capable of handling versatile technologies for training videos and promotions. They also found a solution to persistent hotspot data issues, planning to replace non-functioning or canceled hotspots.

The board also discussed the value of various databases, including Newsbank, Creative Bug, the New York Times, and newspapers.com. These resources, they believe, can offer substantial benefits to patrons. However, the board noted that effective utilization of these resources hinges on comprehensive staff training.

Looking beyond their immediate surroundings, a board member reported on a professional development visit to libraries in Jersey City and Hoboken. The insights gained on different branch models and service variations will be incorporated into the Old Bridge library system.

The board further emphasized the importance of community feedback, welcoming public opinions on library operations. They acknowledged concerns about limited library hours and the need for more accessible programs. To address these concerns, the board is considering a grand opening for the library’s new location along with expanded hours. They are also planning to collaborate with Parks and Recreation for larger programs.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Owen Henry
Library Board Officials:
Kevin Borsilli, David Cittadino (Superintendent of Schools), Dr. Joan M. George, Sara Marino, Frank Weber, Rosemarie Rivoli, Zainab Syed, Estee Spiegel, Maria Nowak, Rocco Celentano (Superintendent of Schools’ Alternate), Owen Henry, Christopher Parton (Board Attorney), Dawn Jenkin (Library Director)

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