In addition to serving as Deputy Mayor for the past many years, I have had the honor of serving as trustee of the Teaneck Library Board. This recent experience has given me the pleasure of getting to know our library better, and to appreciate how lucky we are to have this amazing operation in our town.
For 86 years the Teaneck Public Library has been the crown jewel of our municipal services. What began with a public referendum in 1927 and approval for spending $20,000 for the original building has grown into the institution we know today that processes more than 1,000,000 transactions per year for our residents.
While the collection initially consisted of some 2,000 volumes, today’s residents have access through BCCLS (Bergen County Cooperative Library System, pronounced ‘Buckles’) to more than 600,000 books, periodicals, videos, and recordings. Aside from Princeton and Rutgers, BCCLS represents one of the largest collections in the state and we have access to every one of those titles.
Whether it is staffing attrition, reduction in hours of operation, or shrinking collections, many communities in Bergen County and across the state have allowed their libraries to be underfunded and less available to the public. While many municipalities have cut funding to their libraries, I am proud to support the full funding levels of our jewel.
We are one of only a small handful of public libraries left that has Sunday hours. And those hours are some of our busiest. It’s not just books either. From the WPA funded murals on the reference room walls to art exhibits of current residents, to poetry readings and displays, book discussion groups, computers and Internet access to concerts in the auditorium (if you didn’t know there was an auditorium I encourage you to get lost in the library for a few hours). So come and check out all of the great programs, borrow something from the collection and chat (quietly of course) with an old friend or even a new neighbor.
By Adam Gussen