As has previously been reported, the Montclair Township Council unanimously voted to table a draconian resolution imposing a joint funding agreement on the Montclair Public Library.

As originally drafted, the resolution would have substituted Montclair Township officials for the library trustees in overseeing the library, and severely limited the potential for the library to receive funds above the statutory minimum required by New Jersey law. This would have made it impossible for the library to return to the pre-pandemic level of service the Montclair community wants and deserves.

The council agreed that ongoing collaborative discussions will be held between the township and the library regarding a revision of the joint funding agreement. We call on the council to respect the services provided by our library to the Montclair community. The council should be aware that concerned members of the public will be following these discussions and that we intend to make sure that the word "collaborative" is truly adhered to.

We also expect the council to give good faith consideration to the library’s proposed 2022 budget, which would enable the library to restore many of the services which have been curtailed during the pandemic.

Finally, we congratulate Montclair Public Library Director Peter Coyl, who has accepted a position at another library. His leadership brought the Montclair Public Library through the pandemic stronger than ever. We will miss him.

Edward Robin of the Montclair Library Friends Steering Committee and Cordelia Siporin of the Friends of the Bellevue Avenue Library


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