The Kinnelon Public Library is without a doubt the community center for the Borough of Kinnelon. This has not always been the case; in 1960 the literary needs of the community were being “met” by a monthly Morris County Bookmobile Service. Recognizing this to be insufficient for so many reasons, a group of civic-minded citizens began the long and arduous process to establish a free public library in the Borough.
The journey was not easy or straightforward. In 1963 a citizens-group, enlisting the support of key town leaders, the Mayor and Town Council, eventually obtained the approval of the voters. Several sites were offered but found inadequate for a permanent facility before a site at the Municipal Building Complex on Kinnelon Road was chosen for the location. In the meanwhile a temporary library was established in the Municipal Building and then moved to a medical building.
The rest, as they say, is history. A one-story edifice was built to meet the needs of the Borough and opened to the public in 1966. Those needs have continued to grow with both the Borough and the changing nature of libraries. The facility has expanded three times and is now a 19,000 sq. ft. two story building with 4 meeting rooms to serve the Kinnelon community. In meeting the needs of the public, the library has grown from an initial collection of 900 books to a present collection of over 84,000 volumes comprised of books, periodicals, DVDs, CDs and electronic resources. The library also maintains 15 computers for public use, circulates electronic book readers and sponsors numerous programs and art exhibits for residents. The library’s adult educational organization, the Center For Lifelong Learning, has celebrated its 20th anniversary and has provided adventures in learning to over 10,000 students since its inception in 1993. Additionally, the Friends of the Kinnelon Library organization has annually provided additional funding to further support library priorities such as the purchase of computers and printers, furnishings for the Children’s Department and additional programs and resources for children, teens and adults.
In fifty years the Kinnelon Public Library has grown to become the educational, cultural and informational center of the Borough and looks forward to meeting the evolving needs of that community over the next fifty years.