Maple Shade Library offers many seating and study options.

Spotlight on: Maple Shade Library

| Maple Shade 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.

A community staple for nearly 70 years, Maple Shade Library is located on the basement level of the municipal complex. But, once you descend the steps, you’ll soon forget you’re below ground. Bright and airy, the library is a welcoming space and thanks to some “green thumbs” on staff, there’s an array of lovely potted plants scattered about for you to admire while browsing the stacks.

Founded in 1953, the Maple Shade location officially joined BCLS in 2001 and has been an integral part of our system ever since. Its quaint neighborhood setting makes it convenient for residents who live close by to stroll over and take advantage of all it has to offer. In addition to comfortable seating throughout, visitors will find a cozy children’s department, Teen Zone, Technology Learning Center, meeting room, quiet study room, ample work tables, and two private carrels for focusing without distraction.

It’s no surprise that the library attracts customers of all ages, including young families, seniors, college students and teens. And our helpful staff members are known for always offering a warm welcome and quick assistance to anyone who requests it. Branch Manager Jaimie Donnelly notes that Maple Shade customers borrow a wide range of items, and popular books include the latest fiction and children’s titles, VOX books that let kids listen to audio recordings of the printed stories, and books about politics, self-improvement, and LGBTQ+. TV series DVDs are also in demand.

Welcome to the Library!

Maple Shade Library's Youth Services area

When you enter the Maple Shade Library, you’ll discover that it’s essentially divided into two large sections, with one side focusing on adults and the other catering to our younger customers. Naturally, children will find much to explore. In addition to a generous selection of picture books, easy readers and graphic novels, there are computers reserved just for their use, including two AWE Early Literacy computers. The library’s Book Bundle Table displays new stories added by our librarians several times a week, and the Grab-and-Go Crafts Table features fun kits for kids to take home. During school breaks, you may notice small groups of students gathered in the Teen Zone, which features a cozy reading nook with beanbag chairs for casual lounging and computers that can be used for tutoring.

Something for Everyone

Maple Shade Library's reading nook and magazine area

The library also offers a nice variety of children’s programming, including preschool painting fun, crafts and storytimes for little ones. According to Miss Sarah, families especially enjoy the library’s outdoor storytimes, which are held once or twice a month in nearby Collins Lane Park, and blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged. Programming for tweens and teens places an emphasis on STEAM-themed activities, such as LEGO building and kirigami, a variation of origami that involves folding as well as cutting paper.

Of course, adults also enjoy visiting the Maple Shade Library, which offers plenty of comfortable seating, including a reading niche featuring new books and magazines on display. Paperbacks are popular and the branch manager notes that some customers grab as many as 10 at time to take home. There are also ample computers available, including eight in the tech room, which also features an interactive screen for classroom instruction. Other events for adults include yoga, book discussions, free health screenings, and sessions focusing on travel, Medicare, retirement planning, investment fraud and more.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder residents love their library and now officials are hoping a few are ready to step forward to lend their support. Plans to form a Maple Shade Library Friends group are in the works and if you’re interested in getting involved in this worthwhile and rewarding venture, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Branch Manager Jaimie Donnelly for more information.

Kids & Parents
Library Fun Facts
  • The Maple Shade Library hosts a Grab and Grow Seed Exchange program that encourages the practice of sustainable gardening. Housed in an old card catalog case, the packets each contain about two or three seeds for flowers, herbs and veggies, and are free for the taking. Grab one (or more) to plant at home, then share some of the seeds you grow with the library for others to enjoy.
  • There’s a large mural in the meeting room that depicts a barnyard scene, complete with cows, a cat and a chicken.
  • You’ll find an assortment of educational and creative displays throughout the library
  • Copies of the Maple Shade Progress newspaper dating back to 1935 are housed in a back room of the library. While too fragile to make available to the public, staff have been able to provide copies of obituaries and other information requested by residents.
  • The building that houses the library was once a coat factory and is rumored to be haunted. (The branch manager notes there have been claims of rattling chains as well as a reported ghost sighting by a custodian.)
  • The library’s Technology Learning Center was funded by a generous bequest from the estate of A. Howard Jones and a plaque bearing his name is mounted at the entrance.
  • The fun movie theme display in the library’s small-but-active DVD room changes seasonally. Actor Nicholas Cage recently took the spotlight.
  • Library staff discovered a collection of historic newspapers tucked away in a filing cabinet, including a copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer announcing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and another with the headline “Oswald Shot to Death.”