New Jersey Voters To Decide On Funding For Public Libraries

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Should New Jersey borrow more than $100 million to help upgrade public libraries?

That’s an issue voters will get to decide Tuesday.

“We’re trying to build all libraries up to a level of technology which we mean upgrading Wi-Fi, things like that throughout the library,” said Patricia Tumulty, head of New Jersey’s Library Association. “We have not had any direct technology funding for the New Jersey Library since 1997.”

She urges a “yes” vote for $125 million in construction bonds to bring libraries into the 21st century and to update aging infrastructure.

“Our libraries are being used much more as community spaces where people are coming in for activities, for lectures, kids doing maker spaces. They are really becoming community hubs,” Tumulty said. “Now we’re finding many more people are coming and using our libraries obviously remotely because we have many services that are available from your smartphone.”

More than 40 million people used New Jersey libraries over the past year.

It is estimated the borrowing will cost each resident $1 per year for 35 years.

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