‘Libraries are here to stay’

Burlington County facility celebrates 100th anniversary -- and its relevance now

The main branch of the Burlington County Library in Westampton hosted a history walk on Oct. 2 that featured photographs, documents and artifacts from the facility’s 100 year history.

The Burlington County Library began its 100th-anniversary celebration on Oct. 2, and it will continue for a year with events that include a scavenger hunt and holiday festivities.

The commemoration began with a celebration at the main branch in Westampton, where local residents learned about the facility’s history and saw how change affected New Jersey’s first county library. Guests participated in a history walk where archived photos, documents and artifacts were displayed. 

Guests were also transported back in time to when the library originally opened on Oct. 7, 1921. A special performance by Svetlana and the Delancey Five, a New York City based swing band, featured music and dancers from that bygone era.

Patricia Lindsay-Harvey, president of the Burlington County Library System Foundation, addressed the anniversary’s importance.

“Not many things last 100 years,” she said, “This is such a historic event, and the fact that the library means so much to so many people. It provides services to communities. You figure how many children have gone through the libraries and learn how to read,”

Harvey insisted libraries are just as important now as they were in the ‘20s.

 “Libraries are here to stay,” she noted. “Their purposes have changed with time, but I don’t think libraries will ever go away. They are entrenched in our lives. It’s a vital part of our community.

“It really has changed from just being a place to get books,”

For more information about upcoming events at the Burlington County Library, visit https://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/