Library foundation seeks more public support


The library foundation will sell commemorative bricks that will be placed in the "community walk of knowledge" beside the building.

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
The new Cranbury public library/community center project could go out to public bid before the end of May, even as the library’s foundation concomitantly will seek more public support to raise money for the building., The revised timeline would see the library board hire a contractor over the summer and a ground-breaking in the fall, “if everything falls into place,” library director Marilynn G. Mullen said Tuesday in an interview from her office., In that scenario, the building would open either next spring or the summer of 2018., Putting the project out to bid will then coincide with the start of a fundraising appeal to the public. The nonprofit Cranbury Public Library Foundation will sell commemorative bricks, either 8×8 “champion” bricks for $1,000 each or 4×8 “citizen” bricks for $500 that will be placed in the “community walk of knowledge” beside the building., “We’re stuffing the envelopes, we’re writing personal notes,” she said., So far, around $2.5 million has been raised for the project, with “less” than $185,000 to go, according to the fundraising literature., In addition to monetary donations, the project has received other kinds of support. Mullen said Bristol-Myers Squibb donated furniture, like desks and bookcases. The library even got the free service of a moving company and storage., Mullen finds herself juggling multiple project-related responsibilities, with engineering drawings stored in her office. On one hand, she has to prepare for the transition out of one building and into a new one., “It’s concentrating now on the move and then making the library the center of the community,” she said., The library will leave its current space, with the Cranbury School asking for the move out to occur during a school break., “I don’t know if we’ll make the Christmas break,” she said, “so it might be like next spring.”, The new building will fulfill a goal the library board has had for years; it will be part library, part community center, with the facility having a barn-like design in a nod to Cranbury being a farming community., “And many people feel this is the more important aspect,” she said of the community center.