The Friends of the West Windsor Library is proud to celebrate its 37th Year. Above is our first book sale.
West Windsor’s First Branch Library
The Mercer County Library System (MCLS) opened a branch library in West Windsor Township (WWT) in November 1968. The library was located in a leased vacant school building, built in 1882, located on Village Rd in Dutchneck. (This building is currently used by the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District.) The useable space was 2,482 sq. ft.
The Library quickly filled this space, as the Township’s population grew. By the mid 1970’s it became clear that the space was inadequate. In 1978 conversations commenced between MCLS and WWT Ad Hoc Library Committee (Library Committee) regarding future library needs. The Library Committee recommended building a 5,000 sq. ft. library, with meeting rooms, and a separate area for children.
In early 1980, the West Windsor Township Council asked the Library Committee to organize a “friends group” to help with the organization of a new library. Friends of the Library (FOL) groups already were plentiful in the US and dated back to 1922. The Friends groups were formed for the purpose of fundraising for the library, drafting volunteers, and running community programs.
Friends of the West Windsor Library Campaign Begins
The Library Committee began a Friends of the West Windsor Library (FOWWL) publicity campaign and posted a membership signup sheet in the Library. In June, 1980 Mercer County's Freeholders passed a bond ordinance to enable the MCLS libraries’ expansion projects to proceed. Our Library Community was thrilled and by August 1980, 50 people had expressed interest in joining a Friends group!
The Library Committee consisting of Mary Benton, Marilyn Dais, Ruth Finkelstein, Carol Gerbino, Jay Hughes, and Sylvia Russo. Interested patrons were invited to attend an FOL organizational meeting on October 5, 1980.
Early Fundraising Efforts
The Library Committee sold used books at West Windsor—Plainsboro High School (now South) Flea Market September 1980.