The Morris County Library has a new director, Susan Calantone, who recently started on the job with a vision to make the County Library a valued community focal point for thought, discussion, and community events and programming for residents from throughout the county.
Calantone, with library roots in Morris County, had been director of the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library in Roselle Park since 2004 before being appointed as the new Morris County library director on July 11.
“We are glad to have Susan on board to run our great county library, which is one of the jewels of our county,” said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo.
She replaces the late Lynne Oliver, who was the previous director.
Calantone started her library career in 1988 at the Morris County Library as a library assistant.
“I lived in Cedar Knolls (Hanover Township) and love to read, so my natural migration at that time was to see about a job at the nearby Morris County Library,’’ she said. “The director at the time convinced me to pursue my career by attending Rutgers and getting my Masters in Library Science.’’
She subsequently graduated from Rutgers University in 1994 and worked as a law librarian for two Morristown law firms before being hired as library director in Mendham Borough and then at the Wharton Public Library.
Even during her 12 years in Roselle Park, she still kept ties to Morris County, working occasionally, as needed, on Sundays at the Morris County Library.
The Morris County Library was formed in 1922 and operated from the County Courthouse in Morristown under the direction of the first County Librarian Edith L. Smith. In its early days, a library car was purchased to travel through the county, delivering books to various library stations and the county’s then 83,000 residents.
Calantone has a very different library to run from its current location in Hanover Township, across from the Frelinghuysen Arboretum.
“Throughout my career, I have seen the many changes that have affected the library community,’’ she said. “Libraries have gone from quiet, subdued facilities to community centers. From ESL (English as a Second Language) programs to being a sanctuary during emergencies, the library’s value is in its services to the community.
“My plan for the Morris County Library is to bring all demographics into the library for not just books, DVD’s and other materials but for group programming. My main objective is for the Morris County citizens to view the library as a vibrant focal point within the entire community.’’
Calantone invites all county residents to visit the library and use its services.
For more information on the Morris County Library, visit: https://mclib.info/ or take a walking tour of the library at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj2ibcrcYrU.