History of the Mahwah Public Library 1912 to 2012
1912 — Eleanor Bugg makes her private library collection available to selected individuals in the community as a lending library.
1920 — The Mahwah Women’s Club assumes responsibility for the Bugg collection.
1921 — The Bugg collection moves to a storefront on Miller Rd., where it is maintained by the Mahwah Woman’s Club.
1929 — The Mahwah Woman’s Club relinquishes control of the collection to the newly0formed Mahwah Public Library Association.
1944 —Mr. & Mrs. Winters bequeath $65,000 for the construction of a new building to house the growing library.
1949 — Construction of library on Franklin Turnpike is completed. This library, designed to serve a population of 4,800, held 1,500 items in 3,000 sq. ft.
1993 — The library serves 11,000 registered borrowers with 80,000 items in the collection, far exceeding the capacity of the 44-year-old building. The Mahwah Board of Education donates land on Ridge Road for the purpose of building a new library.
1998 — Construction of the current library on Ridge Road is completed. The library, designed to serve a population of 24,000, holds approximately 115,000 items on the main floor (22,000 sq. ft.) and the lower level is left unfinished. The library loans 163,000 items, and 7,600 patrons attend programs.
2003 — Circulation rises steadily to 251,000 items loaned, while program attendance climbs to 8,100.
2006 — John Montoro is retained as project architect to complete lower level, transforming it from an unfinished basement into public meeting and program space.
2008 — Lower Level renovation plans are approved. Circulation tops 321,000 items loaned or renewed, and 17,000 attend programs in the library.
2010 — Construction of the lower level begins with Walter H. Poppe and the Joseph M. Sanzari companies acting as general contractors. Circulation approaches 350,000 and public program attendance tops 22,800, a three-fold increase over 1998 when the building was constructed.
2011— Lower Level is completed. The 7,500 sq. ft. space includes two large meeting/conference rooms, a small octagonal theater and open café-style seating areas. The meeting rooms will allow the library to host additional public programs and act as a venue for community-focused events.
2012 — The Library celebrates its 100th Anniversary.