The mission statement of the Bernardsville Library Foundation proclaims that it was established "to be a source of private funding to enable the outstanding Bernardsville Public Library to continue to operate at a level of excellence without regard to variations in public funding."
Famous for its spectacular annual Homes of Distinction fundraiser, which will be held at Hamilton Farms in June, this volunteer group is also determined to establish an income-generating endowment to fund special projects for the library. A well-funded endowment will help to offset budgetary constraints in the future; however, the library is currently facing a reduced budget because the Bernardsville Borough Council did not increase the library's annual allocation this year. These cuts to the budget will force noticeable changes to this year's operating hours and material acquisitions.
Due to these budgetary constraints, the Board of Trustees has approved the decision to reduce library hours in 2017. Effective July 1, the library will have shortened Saturday hours, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and will maintain these hours through the end of the year. In addition, the library will close on Thursday evenings at 5:00 pm instead of 9:00 pm. and will continue to close an hour earlier on Friday evenings, at 5:00 pm, as previously announced. Reductions have also been made in the materials budget, particularly in books and audiobooks, as well as online databases and magazines. Planned expenditures on computers have also been sharply reduced to stay within the budget.
To avert further restrictions to library access, the Bernardsville Library Foundation is currently undertaking a donation campaign and is counting on your support. The Foundation provides an additional way to show your support by purchasing tickets to its annual house tour and reception known as Homes of Distinction. This year's event is scheduled for Sunday, June 4, at the U.S. Equestrian Team Stable and Carriage Barn at Hamilton Farms where live entertainment, a silent auction, wine pull, cocktails and appetizers, and several other exciting features will be offered.
Tax deductible donations will also be gratefully accepted by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library, a volunteer group providing wonderful programming throughout the year for children and adults. If you've enjoyed the many Sundays at Three free concerts or made use of the Summer Reading programs for your children, you have been benefitting from the hard work of the Friends. "Considering the constraints we are facing this year, we encourage all concerned citizens who use and love the library to make a contribution to one of these groups," states Alexandria Arnold, Executive Director of the library. By doing so, you will be building a firm foundation for your library's future.