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!
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
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.