Township Library Partnership Seen As Model For Somerset County

A partnership between the Franklin Township Public Library and the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey, through which members of each can borrow items from affiliated libraries, is seen by officials as a model of cooperation between the SCLSNJ and independent libraries in the County.

Through the program, Franklin Township library patrons can borrow materials from and take advantage of services offered by the SCLSNJ’s 12 branches.

Conversely, anyone who is a member of the SCLSNJ can borrow materials from Franklin Township’s library.

All of the borrowing rules for the loaning library apply.

“This program is vitally important because it lets the population have access to materials that they might not have if they were only using one library,” January Adams, director of the Franklin Township Public Library, said in a press release. “It opens up the world to them. It lets the public get a taste of other libraries. And, it is something that people have wanted for quite some time.’

“The public has been asking for this, and are surprised that we do not already have this in place,” she said in the release. “I am all for partnership; I think this is a big deal.”

“Ensuring that all residents have equal access to resources and information is a priority for Somerset County,” Somerset County Commissioner Melonie Marano, the Commission’s library liaison, said in the release. “I hope similar partnerships can be developed in the future because access to library resources helps to enrich lives, expand knowledge, and strengthen communities.”

“Libraries connect people with stuff, with content – it is our collective mission, it is what we do,” Brian Auger, county library administrator at SCLSNJ, said in the release. “We – Franklin and SCLSNJ – are both big libraries and I think together we can do a better job of serving our mutual audience than we can apart.”

“My hope is that this will serve as a model for how we might reach out to our other independent libraries in Somerset County and forge a relationship that respects everyone’s independence while also finding a way to open every library door to every Somerset County resident,” he said.

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