Franklin Township Library
1584 Coles Mill Road
The desire for a library for the people of Malaga, NJ, was born in the heart of Miss Helen B. Richman. Books, to her, were a way of life. She was always an avid reader and her family had many books at home, which she, her sister, and their mother enjoyed reading. Her mother would lend books to anyone in the neighborhood who was interested in reading them.
While there were some attempts to start a public library, including one made by Erma Horel at the Franklinville Fire House, Miss Richman was the first one to really follow through and make the Malaga library a success. Named for her mother, Jennie Smallwood Richman, the new library was planned by Miss Richman for over twenty years. The dream was finally fulfilled with a building built on Miss Richman's own property, located off Old Delsea Drive, and filled with books that she herself had acquired. The Franklin Township Library legacy had begun in a gray, one story block building, 42 feet x 28 feet.
In May of 1966, Mrs. Martha Ochs was hired as librarian and the library formally opened to the public on June 13, 1966. Improvements to the building included a canopy over the entrance door, the installation of an air conditioner, and a sign.
The library was open 15 hours a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday (6:30 to 9 pm), Tuesday and Friday (3:30 to 6 pm), and Saturdays (2:00 to 4:30 pm), and was supported by funds appropriated by the township as well as those received from State Aid to Libraries.
In the fall of 1985, a building located on Delsea Drive next to the Township Municipal building was bought from Joseph Grochowski for $92,000. With the help of a $38,000 grant from the State Library, the building was renovated and became the new library.
With the help of numerous community volunteers, the contents from the Richman Library (approximately 14,000 volumes) were moved to the new Franklin Township Library on Delsea Drive. The library staff at the time of the move included Lillian Eshleman, Joyce Francis, Gloria Magliocco, Linda Rosenberg, Pat Dixon, and Director Gail Robinson.