By: Michele DiPasquale
It’s almost 2020, so isn’t a public library something from a bygone era? Does anyone still go to the library and borrow books? The answer is a definitive yes! But are we aware of what today’s public libraries offer other than the privilege of reading as many publications as we like – for no charge – simply by obtaining a library card?
The Roxbury Public Library is that exact wellspring of inspiration, learning, services, and joy.
“Our mission is to be the Roxbury community’s connection to learning and discovery, and for the past three years, Roxbury Library has won #1 library in the Daily Record Best of the Best Readers’ Choice Awards,” said Karen Cerreta, Program Coordinator.
Opening its doors in 1961, the Roxbury Library serves more than 200,000 visitors through its offerings of educational and enriching programs, concerts, book lending, writing groups, American Red Cross quarterly blood drives, passport services (the only passport acceptance facility in Morris County available four nights and two weekend days), notary services, storytime for young children and even babies, weekly Mahjongg, meditation, jewelry and beading, painting and drawing sessions including “Paint and Sip” evenings, chair yoga, and even a memory café for people with early-stage memory loss (partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association; caregivers, as well as patients, are, of course, welcome). Furthermore, audiovisual materials and a vast supply of digital content can be accessed by members on their personal devices via their library card, including books, audio-books, music, and film.
And, naturally, book clubs; one of which does more than simply read and discuss: The Walking Talking Book Club meets at Horseshoe Lake Park so patrons can stroll around the lake while discussing a good read.
“I have one of the best brain-candy positions at the library! I create and curate programs for adults – everything from general enrichment to health and wellness, history, music, theatre, gardening, finance, and hands-on workshops. We try to think outside the box and truly meet the needs of the community. One of my favorite programs this year was on basic car maintenance, where a local automotive repair shop owner came with his vehicle. In our parking lot, our patrons got to learn up close how an engine works. Though one can read owner’s manuals, this guided tour of an engine was a much more valuable way to learn something new,” said Cerreta.
Roxbury Library’s digital services are instantly available to patrons at any time through Cloud Library and Hoopla, providing instant borrowing of ebooks, audiobooks, comics, music, videos and magazines, all with easy-to-use apps. Library Director Radwa Ali offers workshops each month simplifying how to download digital content.
Computer services like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Introduction to Facebook, Digital Library Device Instructions like installing the Cloud Library App on a Kindle Fire, and downloading E-Books on a Nook reader are available to patrons as well.
Notary services are obtainable on a drop-in basis and are subject to staff availability: The library asks patrons to please arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to closing and recommend that you call ahead to confirm hours and availability of notary service. Notary pricing for Roxbury eesidents is free for the first visit, then $1 charge per notarization. Non- Roxbury residents pay $2 per notarization.
The Roxbury Library’s Youth Services Department is in a league of its own. Storytime is available for infants, toddlers, and preschool-level children, all with their own special themes. For more specific information about their Youth Services, please contact Youth Services Department Supervising Librarian Lynn Gaillard at firstname.lastname@example.org.