Southern NJ Development Council Voices Support for Library Construction Bond Act

The Library Construction Bond Act, passed with strong bi-partisan support in both the Assembly and State Senate, was signed into law by Governor Christie in July. The Act requires that voters approve the state issuing $125 million worth of bonds with a ballot question on November 7.

The program will be a 1:1 match of state and local funding, providing a potential infusion of $250,000,000 into New Jersey’s economy. The $125 million Library Construction Bond Act allows for much-needed enhancement, as the last program for capital construction in public libraries was passed 15 years ago for $45 million of approved funding. With the previous bond approval, sixty-eight library projects were completed.

The Library Construction Bond Act would not only have short-term benefits, including the improvements for the libraries, but also long-term advantages. By improving local libraries, communities would be provided with resources for career training, access to technology and access to an invaluable community center.

A survey by the New Jersey Library Association in 2014 found there is a strong need for capital funding for physical improvements and technological updates in public libraries.

With over 41 million people visiting the public libraries in New Jersey last year, the need for this support is apparent. In all, it is estimated that the bond program will cost approximately $1 a year per NJ residents for 35 years. However, the gain from passing the bond far exceeds the cost, with generating at least $250 million in economic development, providing hundreds of jobs for construction workers and small businesses, as well as enhancing the library facilities for New Jersey residents.

The Southern New Jersey Development Council encourages you to Vote Yes on Referendum #1 on Tuesday, November 7.

Marlene Z Asselta, President
Southern New Jersey Development Council

Posted in Statements.

One Comment

  1. I think supporting our local libraries is very important. Many libraries have become community centers. More and more people are heading to our libraries for social groups, help seeking jobs, meet the mayor events, mommy and me play groups, safe zones for tutoring services, and the list goes on and on. My family has greatly benefited from the Ocean County Library System – please note it is rated #3 in the ENTIRE country. My daughter has had many positive experiences because of this awesome library system. She has gone to countless Story Times, Lego Clubs, Live Animal events, Theater events, and has a love for reading that can only be founded on strong support and encouragement from fabulous children’s librarians. I have watched group homes for disabled individuals come to the library to do various crafts and/or social interaction events. It’s not just about books. It’s about COMMUNITY. It’s about building positive community relationships. From something as simple as “checking out a book” many individuals have found kindness rocks that have turned a bad day around, to stressed and lonely new moms meeting fellow moms and/or dads during story time and knowing they are not alone in this parenting world, to our young at heart 75+ year olds playing mah jon or attedning chair yoga to keep an active and sharp in their retirement years. Our libraries need our support and love! If you haven’t been to your local library, make it a point this week to see what you local library is doing this week. You never know what you might see – there might even be a live Alapaca greeting you in the entry way.

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