What the Library Can Do for You
Helene Plotkin, a Friends of the Fair Lawn Library member, lays out what the library has to offer residents
Ed. Note: Inspired by a comment thread on the topic of closing the library, Friend of the Library Helene Plotkin has written an informational piece about and all of the library's many offerings.
The Maurice M. Pine Library was named for its founder, Maurice M. Pine, DDS. The original library was a one-room, private library attached to Dr. Pine's dental practice. That library opened in February, 1933. and was staffed by volunteers. The original library held 300 volumes, 200 on loan from the state library system. It has come a long way since then.
The present Maurice M. Pine Free Public Library, at 10-01 Fair Lawn Avenue, opened on February 14, 1965. Library Director, Tim Murphy says the library now has 150,252 volumes—books, DVDs, and CDs. The Library is part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS).The system allows borrowing from over 75 Libraries in three counties. If a Fair Lawnian wants a book the Fair Lawn Library doesn't have, the reader places an order at the front desk, the book's borrowed from another library, and voila, it's sent to this Library.
Library staff members run-the-distance to help visitors find what they need--from locating a book, using a library computer, signing up for library programs and getting a library card. The library staff features five licensed librarians: Kate Natz heads the Children's floor; Elizabeth Fineberg oversees Young Adult Services; Leslie Kruegel coordinates Reference; Mary Kirsch oversees Technical Processing and Timothy Murphy, the Library Director.
The library brims with activity, from the moment it opens at 10 a.m., until it closes at 9 p.m. Every minute of every day holds round-the-libe programs. Children, tweens and teens are the focus of multiple programs, from storybook time for pre-schoolers to reading groups for students in elementary, middle to high school. The Fair Lawn High School Honors Society gives Fair Lawn students in elementary, middle and high school homework help at the library on Mondays, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Friends-of-the-Library gives a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving Fair Lawn High grad.
Grown-up reading groups suit Fair Lawnian's literary tastes . The fiction group, the Readers' Roundtable is led by by Reference Librarian Leslie Kruegel. The group meets on Thursday, April 12, at 2 p.m. This month's book is “Breath, Eyes, Memory." The non-fiction group, led by Library Director Timothy Murphy, meets in his office. April's book is “ The Professor and the Madman.” Members can attend meetings on either Tuesday, April 17 at 2 p.m., or Thursday, April 19, at 7:30p.m. Adults can also join the Chaucer Club to write poetry.
Other adult programs include the Knitting Cub, AARP Tax Help, computer training for seniors and the new coupon exchange program. English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) assists foreign-born residents with their English skills. Also, Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors, a Career Transition and Support Group, meets Monday evenings to give the group job-search strategies and networking possibilities. Emiliana Tuohey curates the Pine Gallery, which now exhibits the mixed media work of Ruth Bauer Neustadler in "No Boundaries."
The Friends of the Library's gently-used book sale takes place in late May. Please, do some Spring cleaning. Bring books you no longer read to the library. Somebody else may like to read them.
To get an eyeful of Fair Lawn Library happenings, visit bccls.org/fairlawn. The site includes monthly calendars and points out once-in-a-library events.
- Helene Plotkin is a Friend of the Fair Lawn Library.