Bordentown Library's front doors highlight the original entrance to the building.

Spotlight on: Bordentown Library

| Bordentown Library

Proudly serving the largest county in New Jersey, BCLS is a vibrant network of libraries sharing a vast array of resources. Our locations are conveniently located throughout Burlington County and each one is special in its own way. Take a few moments to learn more about each of our libraries, what makes it unique and all it has to offer.

At first glance, with its red brick exterior and decorative cupola, Bordentown Library  may seem like a quaint, neighborhood gem. But don’t be fooled. This sprawling library has both historic charm and a wealth of modern amenities. Step inside the front entrance of the 1941 Georgian-style building and you’ll be greeted by stained wood trim, a stately portrait above the fireplace and other features reminiscent of an earlier time. Venture a little further inside, however, and you’ll discover an expansive, airy addition about twice the size of the original structure with state-of-the art conveniences.

A group of comfortable chairs surround the fireplace at the historic Bordentown Library.

Bordentown Library has been an integral part of the municipality’s rich history since it was established in 1841. A century later, after a new Bordentown Library Association (BLA) was formed, it found its home in the brick building on East Union Street, and in 1971 it officially became a BCLS branch. Today, this charming yet spacious library offers customers a comfortable place to gather and enjoy all the resources the library system has to offer.

Neighborhood residents often enter Bordentown Library from the front door, while those who arrive by car find easy access in the rear thanks to the construction project completed in 2007 that added ample off-street parking behind the building. It also increased the library’s size by more than 10,000 square feet, giving visitors plenty of room to roam about, and throughout the day this two-story branch buzzes with activity.

Bordentown Library's Youth Services area is equipped with plenty of seating and play space for young readers.

Upstairs, it’s not unusual to find adults and seniors using the public computers or browsing the stacks. Branch Manager Caitlin Hawe-Ndrio noted the library has a loyal following of regular customers who stop by several times a week, and realistic fiction, mysteries and cookbooks are especially popular at the checkout desk. Older students often bring their laptops to the library, then settle into quiet nooks to work. And the library’s technology center, a private room with more than a half dozen computers, is a great place to take a class and brush up on skills. Other events for adults include the romance-themed Rogues & Roses Book Club and health-related information sessions. The library also offers a free notary service that’s available by appointment.

On the library’s lower level, children will find their own space to explore. Accessible by both stairwell and elevator, the bright and cheerful Children’s Department features an eye-catching mural of an underwater scene on one wall and a gallery of original masterpieces — created by budding artists and dropped off by their parents and caregivers — on another. Little ones enjoy selecting new books to take home, tackling crafts, and enjoying the popular kid-friendly events. Teens will find a cozy area with comfortable seating, book displays and grab-and-go crafts just for them, and a gaming club, featuring both video and board games, is popular.

Elsewhere in the library, a large meeting room decorated with more hand-painted, deep-sea murals is used for storytimes and other library events, and is also available for rent. The BLA also maintains its own room in the building. Founded in 1909, the association holds monthly meetings and continues to play a key role supporting the library and its programs,

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Bordentown Fun Facts
  • From 1920 until 1941, the library operated out of a small reading room on East Church Street.
  • Dedicated on June 22, 1941, the original library was made possible through the will of Mrs. Hannah S. Cook and money donated by Mr. and Mrs. George W. Swift, Jr.
  • The 2003 library expansion project more than tripled the original building’s size, from 4,200 square feet to 14,700 square feet, and took four years to complete.
  • The original library space houses a large DVD collection and cozy seating in front of the fireplace for those who want to read the morning newspaper or flip through some magazines.
  • A portrait of former BLA member, principal and community leader Anna T. Burr (1900-2007) hangs prominently over the fireplace, which was converted to electric during the expansion to add some ambiance.
  • If you look closely at the mural of the underwater scene in the Children’s Department, you’ll find three seahorses with hair and eyeglasses inspired by staff who once worked at the library.
  • Li-Brewery Trivia Takeover, a popular program hosted by adult services librarian Kristie, takes place at Tindall Road Brewing Company.
  • There are two display cases located just inside the front entrance with books selected by the librarians that change monthly. The display case near the elevator showcases the personal collections of staff and customers, such as artwork and movie memorabilia.
  • The BLA donated the statue of two children sitting on a bench reading a book on library grounds.