Dear Cranbury Residents,
The Cranbury Public Library Board of Trustees was notified on July 15 by the Cranbury School Board of Education that the library must vacate the shared public/school library space by August 15. The Cranbury Board of Education has decided that the space within the school building that currently houses the public library will be repurposed as classroom space in order to meet the NJ Department of Education guidance for reopening school.
The Cranbury Public Library has shared a space with the Cranbury School since the late 1960s, and both parties have collaborated over the past fifty years to make this work, despite diverging needs and access models. Unfortunately, the requirements for the school to adapt to new social distancing requirements for education have changed this partnership.
What does this mean for the Cranbury Public Library in the short term?
- In four weeks, we need to find a new home and move our entire collection. We will lease a secure temporary space soon and provide curbside library services as soon as possible. We will keep you posted on our progress.
- In the interim, The Cranbury Board of Education has approved the Book Drop to open on July 17 at the current location for residents to return materials. Please return your books.
- Curbside Service will begin July 27. Please visit the library web page (http://www.cranburypubliclibrary.org) for details and information on how to request materials.
- The Cranbury School Board of Education will work reasonably to accommodate the Library in meeting this demanding schedule; both the school and library boards will work together to agree upon the terms of an orderly termination of the lease.
What does this mean for the Cranbury Public Library in the long term?
Our goal is unchanged: a free-standing library at 30 Park Place West. The Cranbury Public Library, in partnership with Cranbury Public Library Foundation, has been working for the past ten years to secure an independent space for a free-standing library and community space, and has raised $2.5 Million in private funds toward that goal. This March, the Library submitted a proposal for the NJ Construction Bond Act, which would match 1:1 the available Foundation funds. The New Jersey State Librarian expects to make grant awards in September and a successful outcome would allow the Cranbury Public Library Board of Trustees to break ground as soon as possible.
Our commitment to serving the Cranbury community is unchanged. While the long-term plan has always been for the public library to find a dedicated space, this situation has accelerated the need and will have a short-term negative impact on the ability to provide services to our community. The library staff has continued to provide virtual services and programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the commitment to do so is unwavering through this challenge.
Thank you in advance for your patience and continued support. We recognize this is not an ideal situation for our community of library patrons, and we ask for your patience as we explore options.
President, Cranbury Public Library Board of Trustees