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Public Statements

Tribute To The Library Of The Chathams

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


TRIBUTE TO THE LIBRARY OF THE CHATHAMS -- (Extensions of Remarks - March 23, 2007)

* Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the Library of the Chathams serving Chatham Borough and Chatham Township, Morris County, New Jersey, vibrant communities that I am proud to represent! On June 9, 2007, the good citizens of the township and borough will celebrate their library's 100th Anniversary with an old fashioned ice cream social.

* On June 1, 1907, the Chatham Public Library opened in the new Borough Hall and Fire House at 10 Fairmount Avenue and the first library card was issued. In 1920, the library moved to the corner of Fairmount Avenue and Main Street because there was a trolley stop there and display windows for books. The library moved again in 1924, this time to the Fairview Hotel site, where it remains today.

* By 1932, there were 2,415 registered borrowers, more than 50 percent of the population. In 1957, the library held 27,500 books, 100 periodicals, foreign language records, musical and dramatic recordings, art reproductions, a Great Books Club, Horne Reader service, Storyhour, Storytime, and a playpen.

* Two wings were added to the original 1924 building in the early sixties, the first was the west wing to house the Children's collection and the second was the east wing to house the Adult and Young Adult collections.

* A major change took place in 1975. After several years of discussions, meetings and presentations, a referendum was placed on the November, 1975 ballot, asking for approval of jointure--to form a library serving both towns. It passed and on January 1, 1975, the Chatham Public Library became the Joint Free Public Library of the Chathams. All residents and those working in the Chathams are entitled to free borrowing privileges. The Library is tax supported on a per capita basis by both municipalities, and administered by six jointly appointed trustees with five year terms, a representative of the school system and both mayors or their representative.

* 1985 saw the Library become fully automated in MAIN (Morris Automated Information Network) which joins all Morris County libraries by computer database. Renovations and additions have occurred on a regular basis, the last being one for more than $4 million, which opened to the public on January 11, 2004. Today approximately 182,000 items are circulated annually, and 9,668 cards are in existence!

* Madam Speaker, I urge you and my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Library of the Chathams on the celebration of its 100th Anniversary!


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