HOLMDEL – For many years, Holmdel’s busy public library has been housed in a windowless basement of the Town Hall. Parking on the driveway circle can be tough. There are few quiet spots to settle down in solitude. As modern municipal libraries go, it’s small.
But that is expected to change by the end of 2017, when a Holmdel municipal library four times the size will open for business down the road in a well-appointed, bright and airy space just past the main entrance at the newly rejuvenated Bell Works indoor business mall, at 101 Crawfords Corner Road. Details were announced Jan. 12 at a public presentation of the plans at Bell Works’ soaring atrium.
“You’re going to be sick of daylight,” promised Lead Project Architect Anthony Iovino, citing the library’s north facing wall of 150 linear feet of glass. He enthusiastically described a space that will be divided into areas by flowing, curvilinear walls, providing breathing room and spaces designed for collaboration or silence, and where collections have the ability to expand “instead of being filled up on day one,” said Iovino, of Arcari + Iovino Architects in Little Ferry, NJ. The library will also be a showcase for historical artifacts and narratives from the famous Bell Labs facility, the site of important innovations.
The space for the new 13,000 square foot library has been provided by Bell Works developer Somerset Development, as part of its redevelopment agreement with the township. At the event, president Ralph Zucker presented the township with an oversized replica of a $1 million check representing the company’s donation for the construction of the facility. It will be run by the Monmouth County Library System, which will provide the materials and personnel, likely requiring two full time librarians, 3-5 circulation aides and a full time children’s librarian for the dedicated children’s and teen wing. The space has its own 80-seat meeting room, a nice size for cultural events, performances and speakers. It will be furnished by the township, which also will control one of its even larger meeting rooms.
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