Midland Park Memorial Library

250 Godwin Avenue
Midland Park, NJ 07432


A library, as much a part of our cultural life as our educational process, is one of the vital commmunity assets of which we are proud. Our first library was established in the school by the Borough Improvement Association, but was wiped out in the fire that destroyed the school in January, 1924.

It took six years for a library to emerge from those bitter ashes. This time the efforts of Mrs. Thomas Young, chairman of the Civic Committee of the Woman's Club, helped to crystallize the clamor for a new library. Mrs. Young called a mass meeting in the Municipal Building on April 9, 1930 to promote the cause of the library. The principal speaker was Miss Sarah Askew, the New Jersey State Librarian, who gave an inspiring talk on the need of a library.

By that fall, a library was established in a classroom of the Highland Avenue School. Miss Hulda Block of the school faculty was the librarian, a post that was taken over by Mrs. Young soon after the library opened.

A free public library was established by the municipal government in November, 1937. Operated in part by public funds, the library was governed by a board of trustees headed by Mrs. Hooker I. Coggeshall. A vacant store at 220 Godwin Avenue was selected to house the library, which was incorporated in 1938. The growing demands for library services and the growing number of books ordained the moving of the library to more adequate quarters and the cornerstone for a library building was laid on September 23, 1950 on the site of the old school.

The library building was a tribute to the unflagging devotion to the community of such persons as Mrs. Coggeshell and Mrs. Young, who died in Novemeber, 1958. Mrs. F. Leslie Strickland was appointed librarian to succeed Mrs. Young.

In the Midland Park tradition of service, many organizations have donated books to the library on frequent occasions. The Garden Club has helped to keep the grounds of the library landscpaed neatly and supplied with plantings. The club has provided floral decorations for the interior on special days. An auxialiary group, the Library Guild, has worked closely with the trustees and has provided physical and financial assistance to carry out many of the library projects. Due to the increased needs expansion was inevitable and in January, 1963, ground was broken for an addition to be used as a children's room. This new wing was opened on May 20th, 1963.*

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