All posts by Marilynn Mullen

Letter to Governor Murphy

This week the Township Committee wrote a letter to Governor Murphy asking that he help to ensure that the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act moves forward quickly.  As you know, the NJ Library Construction Bond Act was approved by a majority of voters in New Jersey on November 7, 2017.  It was also passed overwhelmingly in Cranbury.

Please join us in urging Governor Murphy to ensure the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act moves forward quickly.  Sign the petition at here.

In Cranbury, this 14-month delay has had a significant negative impact on our plans for a free-standing public library with community space. We have a shovel-ready project, funded by $2.5 million in private donations, but our donations have tapered off after the Bond Act was passed, as our community anticipated a quick application and release of matching grant funds to finish the project.  Rising construction and material costs move the goal further away with each month of delay.

Cranbury has been working as a community to raise funds for a new public library since 2009 when a Foundation was formed by a group of concerned citizens who were committed to raise the funds for a free-standing public library; Cranbury is the last township in New Jersey where the public library is shared with a K-8 school library space.

The Cranbury Township Committee donated the land for the new library in a space identified on the master plan since 2010.  The new library can operate fully on the minimum New Jersey library appropriation.  We expect the new library will serve as an community anchor and invigorate our downtown business area.

By raising $2.5 million in private donations, our community has demonstrated the need for new public library.  Please help us cross the finish line and ensure the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act moves forward quickly.

Regards,   Cranbury Township Committee & Cranbury Public Library Board of Trustees

Cranbury Day Envisions the New Library

For Cranbury Day this year the Mike Ferrente, Library Foundation President, got volunteers to help map out and mark the site of the new library building.  Thanks to Jeffrey Butcher for assisting us in marking the plot points; Jerry Thorne in actually marking out the exterior walls; and Tyler and Chris Cenci for documenting the event with aerial photos from their drone flyover.  Here are the impressive results.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to ride the train and take a virtual tour of the new library.  The lucky winner of our Cranbury Day door prize was Jessica Diamond.   Congratulations Jessica!

Cranbury Library Foundation Receives Second FedEx Grant

For the second year in a row FedEx Corporation has awarded the Cranbury Public Library Foundation a grant – this one being for $3,500.  The funds will be used to equip and furnish the Teen and Creative Space in new library.  “We are looking to purchase a charging station, media table and stools, and a large screen monitor so teens can easily collaborate and work together on projects,” said Marilynn Mullen, library director.  “We were fortunate to receive a grant last year as well and used the funds to purchase several Chromebooks.  These have been very popular with the after school crowd in the library.”

In all, FedEx has donated a total of $6,750 toward the New Teen and Creative Space – a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Initiative.  “The library has been using the Chromebooks for coding classes, engineering challenges, and maker projects,” commented Jay Oliver, the Technology Specialist at the library.  “I used some of the grant money to purchase a Raspberry Pi and will incorporate that equipment into our fall class schedule.”

Cranbury Township is looking to receive the remaining funding needed to construct a new library through the NJ Construction Bond Act passed last year by the voters.  Draft regulations for the Bond Act applications have been sent to the various state agencies involved.  The final form is slated to appear in the New Jersey Register this fall. “The Library Board has been anticipating what information and documents will be required in the application,” stated Library Board President, Kirstie Venanzi.  “We are confident that we have whatever materials the State Library will require.  Our project has been in the planning process for nearly 10 years and is shovel-ready.  We have over $2 million raised so we easily meet the requirements for a 1:1 match of grant funds.”

The ultimate goal of the FedEx grants is to equip the Teen and Creative Space in the new library.  FedEx Corporation offers charitable grants to programs that assist teens and young adults in learning skills that lead to greater access to jobs and opportunity, especially in the fields of technology and logistics. To be successful in today’s world it is imperative for teens to have a basic understanding of technology, including computer coding and engineering, as well as to develop collaborative skills.  Currently Cranbury has no space for teens to congregate and work together productively.  This initiative will give teens the equipment, training in its use, and the space to work together.  Learning these skills will open new opportunities to them and help them to succeed in future endeavors.