After 44 years at 2 Center Street, the Glassboro Public Library will be moving to a new location by the end of the year.
The borough of Glassboro, which owns the current library building, has plans to tear the building down in hopes of replacing it with something that generates revenue. What exactly will take the empty space remains unclear, but many have speculated that Nexus Properties will claim it.
In the meantime, Gloucester County has stepped in and will be funding a five-year lease on the new library space. This gives residents five years to see what they like and dislike about the new location before the lease is up when they can decide whether to renew or ultimately find a new location.
“This is a good thing,” said Gloucester County Commissioner Lyman Barnes at the recent Gloucester County Library System commission meeting. “This has been talked about in this borough for 20-plus years. And even if it’s an interim, it’s an interim in the right direction.”
As Commissioner, Barnes oversees the GCLS and has for the last 12 years.
According to Barnes, there have been several attempts to secure a new space for the Glassboro Public Library, whose facilities are not optimal, over his time as commissioner, with each hitting a road bump.
“I am very much focused on, for my term, to get this done, from the county perspective. It’s been way too long,” Barnes said.
While Barnes could not confirm the library’s new location due to ongoing contractual negotiations, many residents seem to have a hunch about where the library is being moved. 101 Rowan Boulevard, a Nexus Property, is a 2,714-square-foot space located across the street from the current location of the library. A construction permit with “Library” as the description of work currently sits in the window of the space.
Many Glassboro residents expressed concerns about the speculated new library space, including accessibility, parking, and the much smaller size. The size of the current library is around 8,500 square feet.
“I’m really concerned about accessibility,” said one Glassboro resident. “I pretty much know where it’s going to go, and it’s not accessible. Saying there’s a parking lot down the street is not accessible for a lot of people in this room. I would not be able to go.”
Regardless, this move is happening, and for the next five years, the Glassboro Public Library will have a new home.
“I expect certainly this will be done well before the end of the year,” said Barnes. “I am actually hoping this is done before the end of [October], and I’m pretty optimistic about that.”
This will be the fourth time the Glassboro Public Library has moved since its opening in 1956.