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Cherry Hill Public Library remains center of community on 10th anniversary of new building’s opening.


Former Cherry Hill Mayor Susan Bass Levin remembers April 16, 2005, like it was yesterday.

After years of planning, discussion and construction, the new Cherry Hill Public Library building held its grand opening weekend with an array of programs for all ages. Levin said the weekend served as a testament of the hard work of many residents.

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“We wanted something that would be very special and reflect Cherry Hill,” she said.

The library celebrated the 10th anniversary of its new building during the week of April 12, coinciding with National Library Week. Just like its grand opening 10 years prior, there were programs for all ages, including a Birthday Bash, behind the scenes tours of the library, a Teen Galley Party and more.

The new library building was built to allow for more space for patrons, to put in the technological infrastructure to allow the library to succeed in the 21st century and to create a community center with many events for residents.

Levin was mayor during the planning process for the new building and played a big role in making the idea of a new building become a reality. Levin remains a library board member today and believes the library has succeeded in becoming a gathering place for many residents in and around Cherry Hill.

“We always dreamed that the library would become a real community center,” she said.

A few residents recall the old library building, which sat on the same site as the current one. Cindy Digneo, who visited the library with her grandson Leo last week, recalls visiting the old library, which she said was not even one-fourth the size of the current one. She feels the larger size is just one of many positives about the new building.


“I love the room where they have storytime for the toddlers,” she said.

Elaine Procida moved to Cherry Hill in 1964 and echoed Levin’s comments on the library being a gathering place. The library is so special to Procida her name is on one of the bricks at Friendship Grove just outside the library.

“I really consider this library the best part of Cherry Hill for me,” she said. “I don’t have any family in the area, so this is important for me to meet people.”

The number of programs and services the library offers has grown exponentially since 2005. In the last 10 years, the library has increased the number of computer class topics from 13 to 28, the number of professional staff from 12 to 15 and has added two book clubs, a writers roundtable, needlework guild and a letters writer alliance.


For many patrons, the number of library programs only tells part of the story. Kelly Ferrell is a resident of Burlington, but regularly makes the trek to Cherry Hill Public Library with her 2-year-old son, James. She said Cherry Hill’s storytime is better than any other library’s in the area.

“Their storytime is awesome,” she said. “(The librarians) get more interactive with the children.”

Caitlin Danouskas moved to Cherry Hill from Delaware in 2014, and soon after, her and her daughter Sophie became regulars at the library.


“This has way more children’s programs,” she said. “The librarians are way more interactive with the children.”

As part of the building’s 10-year anniversary, the library is running a $10 for 10 years fundraiser. Patrons are asked to donate $10 in support of the library. Donations can be made at the library or on the library’s website, www.chplnj.org/about/support_your_library.htm. All donations will go toward the library’s adult and children programs with the hope of keeping most of them free for years to come.


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