The grand re-opening of the Wyckoff Public Library is just one week away and after just more than a year of construction, the excitement that's been building — right along side the new wing — is absolutely palpable.
When the doors open to the community on Saturday, May 19, visitors should be prepared for a party that includes live music, mimes and poetry slams.
"We want our opening day to be a wall-to-wall celebration of this ," said . "We are very proud of what we accomplished in getting this expansion and renovation done in only 15 months, and we know the people of Wyckoff will be very happy with the final product."
She said that each of the activities planned for the day is expected to be light-hearted and joyous to match how she and her staff feel about the "wonderful space in this wonderful town."
"We have invited former staff and trustees, current town officials, and other people who have contributed greatly — through monetary donation or tireless labor — to getting this building project done," said Witherell.
The building will be ready and fully operational on May 19, the director said, with the only exceptions being six desktop Macs and 10 iPads the library is leasing through a cooperative partnership with the Wyckoff Board of Education; and a new audiovisual system, which is expected to be completed in June.
Many local dignitaries are expected to be on hand when the library opens next Saturday, including Wyckoff Mayor Chris DePhillips.
“The new library will be a community destination and a place for residents, young and old, to collaborate and immerse themselves in learning," said DePhillips. "I am particularly excited about the new Children’s Library and the emphasis on the Library Board this year on the technology of the future.
"I hope as many residents as possible can come out to dedicate the township’s new library on May 19," he added.
Fellow Committeeman Brian Scanlan said the grand re-opening of the township's library will help usher in its fifth iteration.
"The Woodland Avenue location is the fourth home of the Wyckoff Library since its founding in 1921 by Margaret Rambaut and the Women's Work Committee, Scanlan said. "This grand re-opening is really the fifth home of the library and could be called 'Wyckoff Library 5.0.' As a regular user of the library I'm very much looking forward to taking advantage of all the great resources Wyckoff Library 5.0 will be offering."
Beth Wharton, the president of the Friends of the Library, said she and the group are pleased and excited about the "beautiful" new library.
"It is wonderful to see the hard work accomplished by so many individuals, finally come to fruition," Wharton said.
Wharton gave kudos to a long list of people, each of whom she said were instrumental in guiding the library toward the May 19 finish line, including: all the library trustees, past Director Judy Schmitt, Interim Director Marilyn Force, Witherell, and the entire library staff.
"We are so lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful space to use in town," she added.
Here's a schedule of events for the May 19 opening day at the :
10-11 a.m. Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Light luncheon in the Shotmeyer Room, featuring local pianist Marrianne Sellers and local mime Juggles — aka Steve Beigel.
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. The Mad Hatters design adorable balloon sculptures in the Rizzo Children's Library
1:30-2:30 p.m. The Juggling Hoffmans perform up-close-and-personal tricks in the Rizzo Children's Library
2-2:30 p.m. The Ackerman String/Woodwind Trio in the Adult Library featuring Achilles Georghiou on guitar, Patty Lazzara on flute, James Settler on violin.
2:30-3:30 p.m. The Juggling Hoffmans show combines comedy, music, magic and juggling in the Shotmeyer Room
3:30-5 p.m. Teen coffeehouse and poetry slam in the Monroe Room
3:30-5 p.m. The Mad Hatters paint faces in the Rizzo Children's Library
For more information, call 201-891-4866 or visit the library website at http://wyckofflibrary.org.