Friday, April 21, 2017

10 Reasons Librarians Are More Important Than Ever

  1. Librarians know tech.
  2. Librarians keep us honest.
  3. Librarians create "maker" hubs.
  4. Librarians take risks
... and more!

See the full article written to celebrate National Library Week.

"It's National Library Week, and we couldn't resist paying homage to one of the most important members of the school community: librarians. Also known as library media specialists, librarians play a unique role in our schools. Often asked to take on a wide range of duties, these passionate and savvy educators deserve more than only a week of praise. And in case you need a reminder of all that librarians do for our students and our schools, we've put together a list -- but it's only a start."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Assemblyman Johnson and Assemblywoman Huttle meet with library Directors

Library Director Matthew Latham posted on the Leonia Library Facebook page:
"Big thanks to Assemblyman Johnson and Assemblywoman Huttle for meeting with the directors of the Leonia, Bogota and Teaneck libraries today, and for your continued support of libraries in the State of New Jersey! Gordon M. Johnson and Valerie Vainieri Huttle."

Friday, December 2, 2016

Stay informed! The Leonia Council is holding open budget hearings for various departments on Saturday, December 3 and 10.

Leonia Library: An Extraordinary Community Resource
The Leonia Library serves as an active educational resource to all people of the community. It provides free and equal access to information, services, and programs. Leonia is not unique in fulfilling this role. Indeed it is a fundamental mission of public libraries. Just last year:

* Approximately 1600 children attended programs (various storytimes, crafts, and special events)
* 276 tweens/teens and 800 adults attended programs many of which centered  on the library’s  creative and popular,  MakerSpace (
In addition to programs, the library answers patron questions (more than 11,000 last year) on topics such as: library holdings, reference, and computers/technology. Patrons used more than 8,000 computer sessions at the library.
Trained library staff plan and conduct these programs. Last year’s budget cuts reduced the quantity and quality of programs serving teens, children, families, and individuals as it eliminated a full-time library assistant and more than 60% of part-time worker hours.
About 4% of the library budget goes to BCCLS  (about $34,000). Formed in 1979, BCCLS pioneered in resource sharing: users borrow from 77 participating libraries in northern New Jersey. eBCCLS is BCCLS’ digital initiative through which patrons can download and/or stream thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, and magazines.
Last year’s budget cut was severe. Leonians responded to this one-time cut with direct donations to the Library.  In October, a special Jazz Concert was sponsored by Carol Franklin and the The Friends of the Library​. With your support, the Friends ​continue to raise funds for the library.
A grant from the Community Chest of Leonia enabled the Library to ​purchase  This database is an online resource offering  thousands of classes, courses and webinars​, all​ FREE to Leonia ​Library card holders.
Libraries provide an essential public good. We look forward to seeing the Council restore funding to our Library.
Stay informed! The Council is holding open budget hearings for various departments on Saturday, December 3 and 10.  The Library will speak at the meeting on Dec. 10.

** View these budget hearings online. All meetings of the Mayor and Council are videotaped. You can watch the meeting in progress, or review the video later. Click on the meeting date at this calendar.

To have your friends and neighbors join Leonia Reads, please have them visit our email list. We promise to use the list only to inform you, and them, about what is going on with our valuable community resource.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fantastic Jazz concert!

Sunday's Jazz concert at the American Legion Hall was marvelous. Many thanks to Carol Franklin and the Friends of the Leonia Library who sponsored this event.

The highlight was 101-year-old Fred Staton on saxophone (left).

This great afternoon of music raised funds for the Leonia Public Library.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Leonia Library Fundraiser on October 16th

Featuring the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band
Sunday, October 16th at the American Legion Hall

sponsored by Carol Franklin 
and the Friends of the Leonia Library

Come and enjoy great jazz as performed by the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band. Originally founded in 1973 by King Oliver's trombonist /blues singer Clyde Bernhardt and the jazz aficionado Al Volmer, the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band features performers who have played with some of the genres' best bands and musicians. The band has been touring and showcasing classic swing and jazz for 40 years.

All proceeds will go to support the Leonia Public Library. The event is being generously sponsored by Leonian Carol Franklin and the Friends of the Leonia Library.

The event will be held on Sunday, October 16th at the American Legion Hall in Leonia from 3 to 5 pm.  
RSVP at Eventbrite
Minimum donation is $20 AT THE DOOR via cash or check. Additional donations are greatly appreciated.  

You do not have the print your ticket from Eventbrite - this is being used as an RSVP only. All tickets are paid at the door the day of the show.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Letter from the Leonia Library Board of Trustees

To our Leonia Neighbors,

On behalf of the Library Board of Trustees, I wish to thank you for your support in our "I Love Leonia Library "campaign.  What a wonderful response!

Thanks to the generosity of our citizens, we have already raised $34,000 with an additional $5,000 grant from the Community Chest.  In addition, Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, in its list of donations from proceeds of the recent sale of their building, very generously included $22,967.38 for the Friends of the Leonia Library.  We do appreciate all this support!

Many of you have historically given to the library in the fall.  Please note that our campaign is ongoing through 2016 and it is not too late to contribute!  If you have not yet given this year, now is the time.  If you have contributed, thank you again!  If you would like to make an additional donation, you can do that as well and your total annual giving will be combined for our commemorative plaque.

If you are wondering how we have been using your donations, here are the major expenditures to date:
  • Purchase of additional books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks
  • Restoration of much of the fall programming
  • Continuation of some MakerSpace activities
As you may know, donated funds could not be used for salaries (by far the largest line item in the budget), which limitation has affected the library's opening hours.  We hope next year will be better.

It has been a difficult and challenging year.  Please know that the board will continue to work to keep Leonia Library at the level you expect. We would also like to recognize and thank our Library Director, Matt Latham, and the staff for their dedication to serving you, our public, as best they could.

Finally, we cannot thank you enough, not only for your financial support, but also for your involvement in letting the Mayor and Council know how important the library is to you.

Here is a quote from one of the many notes we received with your donations:
"My wife and I have always considered the library and the services it provides along with its dedicated employees to be one of the great benefits of living in Leonia."

We are lucky indeed to live in this community with good people like you all.

Warm regards and thanks again,
Betty Carillo
President, Leonia Library Board of Trustees

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Understanding the Library’s 2017 Budget

Thank you to all of you who answered the library’s supplemental request for donations. You should be proud to know that Leonians generously contributed nearly $35,000 in response to the campaign. This will certainly help close part of the budget gap this year, but we need to work towards restoration of the library funds that should be part of the municipal budget.

In October, all municipal departments, including the Leonia Library Board, will submit their annual budget requests to the Council to cover the cost of operating the Library from January through December 2017. They will do this along with other municipal departments. Each year, the Borough allocates an amount to the Library Board for salaries, materials and operating expenses. By law, the Library Board determines how to spend these funds -- both those allocated to it by the Mayor & Council and those it obtains supplementally.

The Library budget was cut in 2008 (3 people lost their jobs) and has not returned to 2008 levels. In 2008, the Library budget was $840,464. In 2015, it was $817,982. This year, it is $714,647. In order to meet ​this year’s $103,000 loss of tax dollars, the library reduced its hours and cut its staff. In July, it eliminated a full-time library assistant, a part-time archivist, and more than 60% of part-time worker hours.

The Mayor and Council typically do not officially adopt the 2017 budget until spring, after the start of the fiscal year, so it is critical that a preliminary understanding be reached as early as possible. During the time between the start of the process next month, and the final vote in the spring, the library board will meet with its Council liaison and the Finance Committee to come up with a workable budget. During this period, supporters of Leonia Reads should stay alert to the need to be vocal in their support to the Mayor and Council.

LeoniaReads would like to learn more about the budget process. We would also like to hear the views of candidates Bill Ziegler and Bernadette Flaim who are running for Town Council in the election on Nov 8. We are exploring the best way to accomplish these goals and will let you know our plans. If you have any suggestions for ways to help the library during these budget discussions, or wish to get more involved in ensuring a restoration of funds to the library, contact us.

Please communicate this information to your friends and neighbors who are not on our list and encourage them to join us.  You can share this message by using the icons below.

Leonia Reads

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Keep the Momentum Going!

Welcome Leonia Library Supporters! Yes, we’ve been on a break, hopefully like many of you. And now it’s time to bring you up to date on library news.

We were happy to see many of you at Leonia Day, a real celebration of our community here in town. In June, the “Friends of the Leonia Library” held its annual book sale. It was a great success, thanks to the dedicated work of the volunteers, the donations of books and, of course, the SUPPORTERS / CUSTOMERS! Thanks to everyone who participated.

And now: of course, you know -- the Mayor and Council cut the library's budget by $103,000. It is a very deep slash: one full-time library assistant position was cut along with a part-time archivist and more than 60% of part-time worker hours were eliminated. Loss of staff and need to cut expenditures has resulted in the reduction of evening and weekend hours. The library sent out an appeal letter which can be viewed on our blog,, with a request for the town to match any funds raised.

The danger of further cuts may occur again -- in next year's budget. The library is not out of the woods! Leonia Reads needs to grow and we need your help. Please ask your friends and neighbors to join the Leonia Reads email list. We promise not to use the list for anything but to inform you, and them, about what is going on with our valuable community resource.

Feel free to contact us at and please let us know if you'd like to become more involved.

Leonia Reads

Supporting the Leonia Library

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Library Board sends appeal for donations

Dear Fellow Leonian,

We need your help. Now more than ever.

As I am sure you know, we are facing a significant reduction in our budget. The Mayor and Council are proposing a $103,000 cut from last year’s appropriation which, given the mandated increases (healthcare, BCCLS fee, etc.), is in reality an approximately $125,000 cut.

This means cutting staff, and therefore services, as well as purchases of books, CDs and DVDs.

The Board of Trustees has heard our fellow citizens speak in glowing terms about our library. You have praised our new director and the programs he has brought to the library. You refer to the library as being the heart and soul of the community. We are uplifted by your words while also saddened by the cuts. We want to find a way to lessen the impact on the services you have come to expect. For that we need your personal generosity.

Will YOU help us?

We are challenging you to dig deep and give. We are looking for the following:
10 donors of $1000 or more 10 donors of $750 - 999 15 donors of $500 - 749
50 donors of $250 - 499 100 donors of $100 – 249 250 donors under 100

This is the I Love Leonia Library campaign. We know that we cannot expect this level of giving every year but we are looking for something extra this year.

100% of the money raised in this campaign will fund items that otherwise would be cut. Our goal is to raise $100,000 and ask the Mayor and Council to find $.25 for every $1.00 contributed ($25,000 on our target). The Library Board controls funds from donations, fines, etc. We will contribute money from that fund (previously earmarked for technology upgrades) to supplement what we need up to $40,000. This would be a true public-private partnership with the borough, its citizens and the Library Board. Together we can keep your library functioning at the level you want.

We have made every effort to reduce costs and will continue discussions with the Mayor and the Borough Council to try to reinstate whatever we can in next year’s budget. We are optimistic in the Mayor’s efforts to increase borough revenue.

But we need you now. In honor of these special gifts, any donations of $100 or over will be placed on a commemorative plaque in the library. All donations will be recognized, as every dollar is important.

We thank you.


Elizabeth A. Carillo
President, Board of Trustees

P.S. Please make your check payable to Leonia Public Library and mail it in the enclosed envelope. Or click here to Donate Online.  Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Elizabeth Carillo, President; Arnold Trachtenberg, Treasurer; Phyllis Dain, Secretary; John Kendrick, Susan Boyd, Brad Wilds, Mary Heveran; Judah Zeigler, Mayor; H. Philip Zeigler, Mayor’s Alternate; Joanne Megargee, Superintendent of Schools; Julie Diemer, Superintendent’s Alternate; Bernadette Flaim, Council Liaison
Matthew Latham, Library Director

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Leonia Library - reductions caused by budget cut


Due to budget reductions in the library's 2016 municipal budget ($103,000 less than in 2015), the Board of Trustees has authorized the following changes in service.  Working closely with Library Director Matthew Latham, we have done our best to minimize the impact on quality of service while adjusting to fiscal realities.

     As of July 1, 2016, the library will close evenings at 8pm rather than 9pm.
     The library will be closed Saturdays in July as well as, in the past, in August.
     As of September 3, 2016, Saturday opening will be 10am - 2pm. The library will remain closed on Sundays.
     The Local History Room will not have public opening hours as of July 1, 2016.   Requests for access will be by appointment.
     There will be only one public service point for public assistance on the library's main (upper) level as of July 1, 2016.
     Library events and programs will also see reductions.

These new policies result from the necessity to eliminate staff, since labor costs represent the highest portion of a budget and the library cannot run as before without staff to do so. The library will lose one full-time staff member (reducing full-time staff from six to five); our part-time archivist; and more than 60% of part-time worker hours. The library has also reduced every operating expense, including books and AVs, to a minimum and is using non-municipal funds to supplement operating expenses wherever possible. Unfortunately, these non-municipal funds cannot be used for salaries.

Given new funding levels, the board believes that these changes reflect the best possible adaptation.  Sundays are the slowest usage day, incur the highest labor cost due to higher Sunday rates, and are the most difficult to staff. The slowest hour of weekday usage is between 8pm and 9pm.  The Local History Room is of great value to the community and the collection will remain.  But since usage is low, access must now be by appointment only.  And library programs will necessarily be curtailed: remaining staff members will need to spend more time covering other essential tasks and have less time to plan, create, promote, and host programs.

The library board and staff will work to provide the highest level of service possible to the community.  We will work to continue to offer innovative and diverse services.  We will restore whatever we can with additional funding and/or donations.  We deeply appreciate the support and care the Leonia community has provided the library.

Please feel free to address questions to the board in care of

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Support the Library at the Book Sale - sponsored by the Friends of the Leonia Library!

Leonia Lions Club Fundraiser cancelled

​Dear Leonia Reads,

We wanted to let you know that the Lions Club benefit trip has been cancelled. They were not able to get enough subscribers to the event. HOWEVER, we also wanted to let you know that they are giving a generous contribution to our beloved Leonia Library regardless, and we urge you to do the same this season.

Thanks for all that you do,
Leonia Reads

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Leonia Lions Club Fundraiser for the Library

Fundraiser for the Leonia Library

The Leonia Lions Club is sponsoring a bus trip
benefiting the Leonia Library
to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA.

  • Saturday, June 11, Departure 9 AM, return 5 PM from / to the Recreation Center on Broad Avenue
  • Price $45, includes $20 slot free play and $5 meal voucher
  • Net proceeds will be donated to the Leonia Library
  • Must be 21 or older (ID required for bus)
  • Contact: Mike Minetti (201-370-2061 or