Haddonfield Library shows off their new bike rack

Near the library’s entrance resides a newly installed steel bike rack that has been an anticipated addition to the community.

John and Kathy Burmaster (donors), Steven Daily (artist), Eric Zino (library director), Peter Blau (library trustee), Amy Goodworth (library trustee)

Residents may notice a new amenity near the Haddonfield Public Library courtesy of two donors, John and Kathy Burmaster, earlier this month. Near the library’s entrance resides a newly installed steel bike rack that has been an anticipated addition to the community from not only the library but also the residents in the community.

“The Burmasters wanted us to have one, they wanted it to be more special than the average bike rack we could get online,” Library Director Eric Zino said. “They are really happy with the amount of outreach the library does with the community. They see the number of kids who come to the library of all ages, youngsters, teenagers, and they know that we are well visited these days. As they looked at the outside of the building, they knew that that’s what we needed. And we did.”

Constructed of black mild steel, the rack has two posts incorporating plaques that have John and Kathy’s name on each side. It is cohesive with the library’s architecture and is likely to be missed by the unknowing eye.

“On one hand, you kind of won’t notice it because it fits in with the building, it doesn’t jump out and scream at you that there is something out of place,” Zino said. “On the other hand, it is so pretty and so well done, you (the public) will appreciate looking at it … it just looks elegant out there.”

The rack, which can hold roughly 17 bikes, according to Zino, has intricate detail that emphasizes the neoclassical aesthetic throughout Haddonfield.

“Steven (Dailey) saw the building and took notes,” Zino said. “He designed the posts to have some detail that mimics the columns, some other things that he thought would be of the time period, like some crossed pieces of metal there and the dome on top that he’s kind of reversing the dome on the top of our building.”

Stuart Harting, the chair of the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust who was responsible for choosing the sculptor, expressed his desire to work with Dailey, an artist in Philadelphia, after seeing some of Dailey’s work and admiring it. Dailey collaborated with the library and the trust to find a cohesive layout for the bike rack.

“It was my desire to make something that speaks to the architecture to the building,’’ Dailey, a graduate of The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, said.

After being a professional artist for six years, Dailey was able to successfully design and fabricate the rack in a matter of four to five months. Despite looking like one unit, the piece was assembled from various parts, formed together like a puzzle. From designing to cutting the pipe and welding, Dailey did it all.

The rack is not only an eye-catching addition but necessary for community members who use a bicycle as a form of transportation, especially in Haddonfield.

“It is a walking town and it’s a bike riding town,” Zino explained. “They (residents) come from all four corners of our building, and when the weather is nice, they will come on their bikes.”

The usefulness ties in with the artistic touches, and although the average passerby may not notice the unique details of this new addition to Haddonfield, upon closer inspection, residents can see the thoughtful details included within every inch of the piece.

“The art is the most important thing we are putting here to differentiate us from the other bike racks,” Harting said.