Everyone loves Pinelands Library! It’s been an integral part of our library system for 50 years, and fittingly, it all began on a day associated with hearts and affection - Valentine’s Day. After a groundswell of support from the community and years of planning, our beloved Pinelands officially opened its doors the public on Monday, Feb. 14, 1972. We’re proud of the library’s long history and bright future, and we think it’s an anniversary worth celebrating!
When Pinelands joined BCLS, it became the fourth library in a system that began a century ago. (Burlington County Library started operating out of a single room in Mount Holly in 1921 and Cinnaminson Library became the first branch in 1966. Bordentown Library joined the system in 1971, the same year BCL found a permanent home in Westampton.)
Even before it opened, Pinelands garnered an outpouring of support from the public. In 1969, citizens who wanted a library in their community came together and formed the Medford Library Association to advocate for the local branch. Fortunately, Medford Township had purchased a bus garage at Allen Avenue and Main Street the previous year and after months of planning and fundraising, it was refurbished to serve the region’s swelling population. Because the library was established to serve other surrounding communities as well as Medford Township and Medford Lakes, and in honor of its connection to the Pine Barrens, it was named Pinelands.
The new library was an instant success. Approximately 400 people turned out for an open house celebration that included punch and cookies, as well as tours of the new site. And that enthusiasm has never waned. Pinelands customers love their library! From storytimes, to computers, to craft programs, there’s something for everyone.
In fact, the library became so popular over the years, an addition was added in the mid-1980s and, ultimately, it outgrew its original location. In December, Pinelands marked another important milestone when it found a brand-new home. The modern, state-of-the art library is now located on the first floor of the new Medford Town Hall at 49 Union Street. We’re thrilled to note that customers who walk through the doors are greeted by not only an impressive list of amenities, but also that same warm, inviting ambience and strong sense of community that has long been associated with the Pinelands location. It seems 50 years later, everyone still loves their library!