BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Children and adults using Vassar Field will now be able to exercise body and mind thanks to the recent installation of a “Little Free Library.”
A good-size container with a framed, clear plexiglass door, the library is basically an enclosed bookshelf on a post. Books may be left, taken or exchanged by anyone. These libraries are an international movement directed at literacy with Watsessing Elementary School installing one a few years ago. They have been popping up locally on residential front lawns, although a municipal permit is more than likely required for that.
The one at Vassar Field, which has a permit, came about through the efforts of Jamie Goodman, a Bloomfield mother of two. At the ribbon cutting for the library on Thursday, Aug. 9, Goodman said she had seen them in playgrounds and thought it was a good idea. In October 2017, she brought the idea to the Bloomfield Department Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and its board of commissioners. She began promoting the idea on social media and funds were raised to purchase a Little Free Library construction kit for $380. Michael Sceurman, the recreation department director, said the Bloomfield High School woodshop students of Michael McCoppen assembled the container and the art students of Nicole Finnerty painted it. Those art students were Jovensky Fenelon, Kate Mendez, Julie Mesuk and Luis Santana. The library was installed by Randall Mora Castro, of the Department of Public Works.
According to a press release, contributions to the project through a Go Fund Me campaign were made by Dan Bitecola, Michael Cantalupo, Mary Crawford, Jamie Goodman, Peter Goodman, Megan L’Heureux, Kathleen Lim, Bloomfield Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, Judith Nitkowski, Patricia Podkul and Michael Sceurman.