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Home North Brunswick Sentinel NB News North Brunswick Library director closes one chapter, begins another

North Brunswick Library director closes one chapter, begins another

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North Brunswick Library director closes one chapter, begins another
Cheryl McBride

NORTH BRUNSWICK – The director of the North Brunswick Public Library is starting a new chapter in her life.

Cheryl McBride, who assumed the role in 2005, will retire on June 29.

Zoltan Braz, who has been a librarian in North Brunswick since about 2004, will assume the role of director going forward.

McBride started as a volunteer at the first library in North Brunswick in the old Parsons School when she was 14. She was hired as a page at 16 and continued working at the library through high school, college, marriage to her high school sweetheart Jeff, graduate school, and the birth of their son David.

She then worked for the Franklin Township Library for two years and followed it by 23 years as a reference librarian at the East Brunswick Library. While at the East Brunswick Library, she managed New Jersey Nightline, a statewide late-night seven-day call-in reference service for 10 years.

McBride was recognized as the Libraries of Middlesex Librarian of the Year in 1995 for her efforts.

“I really enjoyed my years of reference work. Most of it was pre-internet so you really had to use your detective skills to find the answers. I enjoyed helping kids and their parents find what they needed for a child’s homework and especially loved it when they came back and told me they got an A on their project. I loved helping people find important information to make their lives easier, whether it was locating an IRS form, helping someone get a plane reservation, fill out a job application, find a nursing home out of state, or locate a replacement birth certificate,” she said.

In 2005, McBride returned to her teenage hometown of North Brunswick as the library’s director. During the past 13 years, she started collections in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Urdu and Gujarati; she increased the size of the DVD collection from next to nothing to more than 9,000 titles; she added museum passes, CDs, e-readers, video games, e-books and e-magazines; and she redesigned the interior of the building in 2016, adding space for a teen area, new books, a computer area and new seating.

“As a director I didn’t work directly with the public as much but I got to make a real difference in the look of our library and the services we offered. I got to give people jobs. I got to mentor my newer, younger fellow directors and I influenced a couple of people to become librarians. [I am] especially proud that I influenced my brother-in-law John to become a librarian so we could talk shop while my husband and his other brother talked computers,” she said.
“And as director I loved meeting folks I went to school with and the parents of folks I went to school with. I loved the fact that they stayed in North Brunswick and made it home.”

Her efforts were recognized by the New Jersey State Library when members appointed her to a statewide project called the SWAT team, where she and three other librarians helped their colleagues update the look of their libraries, according to the statement.

“My biggest disappointment is that we didn’t expand or build a new building on my watch. I hope with the bond act that was just passed in November, my successor is able to accomplish what I could not,” she said.

McBride has also served as president of the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium (LMxAC) for the past three years. Active in the New Jersey Library Association, she runs their store, earning thousands of dollars for the organization, according to the statement.

She was awarded the association’s Librarian of the Year Award in 2014-15 for her efforts.

The former “Jeopardy!” contestant and her husband are looking forward to traveling and going to the movies in the afternoon. Six months from now, McBride said she will once again help with the Friends of the North Brunswick Library’s annual used book sale.

“What am I going to miss? Working with my wonderful staff and my terrific Board of Trustees. They are a hardworking, dedicated group of people who want to offer the best service they can to the residents of North Brunswick,” she said.

 

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.