Fanwood Library Improvement Project

see the project FAQs here



In this time of national crisis we want to send our support, and hopes
for good health and safety to all of our families, residents and library users.
We can’t wait to see you all again face-to-face.

CLICK HERE to see more preliminary images of the proposed project…

As we begin to see a bit of light at the end of this long, dark year, we are overjoyed to report that the fall has brought the wonderful and welcomed news that we have been successful in our grant application and secured matching grant funds from the state.

Fanwood Library Awarded $3.5 Million in NJ’s Library Construction Bond Act Funding
The New Jersey Legislature approved Governor Phil Murphy’s recommendation to help fund Fanwood’s new library building project as one of the NJ townships to receive funding through the Library Construction Bond Act. “From major building renovations to vital technology upgrades, this bond program will transform our libraries to better serve and be more accessible to their local communities,” said Murphy in a statement released by his office.

Fanwood will receive an impressive $3.5 million through the LCBA, which will be matched by the Borough to support the $7 million project. The funding will pay for improvements – from accommodating disabled residents and enabling the library to be universally accessible, to becoming fully ADA compliant. A capital campaign to raise additional funds will help provide cutting edge technology, furniture, public art, and more. The new expanded space, with modernized efficient HVAC systems, will offer a vibrant community space, bring the Children’s Department up to the ground level, improve public access to information and technology, and provide for additional aesthetic and efficiency upgrades.

The current building is approximately 6,400 square feet and was built in 1951, to serve a community of approximately 3,200 residents. The new building will increase the size by about 40%, with dramatic increases in collection space, seating, meeting and program areas and more. Public meeting space will grow from 275 sq. ft. to 1,280 sq. ft. and include seating for 100, as well as state-of-the-art technology.

We were overjoyed with the news that we had been chosen to receive funds from the Library Construction Bond Act to revitalize the Fanwood Memorial Library,” said Ann Minski, president of the library board of trustees. “Our plans, developed over the last five years of working closely with the board and council, local residents and John Veisz, lead architect at FVHD Architects, will add greatly to the downtown Fanwood area. I would like to thank the team of Trustees, Friends of the Library, and staff members, as well as our mayor and council members for all their efforts in putting together a vision that has something for everyone.

When completed, the building with its newly configured spaces and upgraded services will be in an excellent position to welcome: children in strollers and the disabled in wheelchairs; teens and tweens and their electronic explorations; home workers and entrepreneurs and their need to recharge and connect; and seniors to read and relax. Community groups will have a place to meet, perform, and present.

The fact that Fanwood is one of only 38 projects approved out of over 129 applicants from around the state, speaks loudly to our need, the length of time and thought that we have given this issue over the years, and the impressive quality of our application,” said Dan Weiss, library director. “This new facility will allow us to build on the services we currently provide, and to expand them for all of our users now and well into the future. We can be responsive to unknown future needs and trends, and state grant matching funds will enable Fanwood to build a beautiful new facility, that we would not have otherwise been able to afford on our own; a 21st-century library we can all take pride in that delivers a substantial return on investment because it reflects the values, needs, and expectations of our town.

The new facility opens the library to people of all ages and abilities, offers more and better spaces, supports current and emerging technology, and transforms the building into a sustainable community asset.

FML1951 FML1980



The original library on this site was built in 1951 for a community of about 3,200 residents. An addition was added in 1980.

For more information on the project or with questions, contact Dan Weiss, library director.

Update April 2020 – A Big Step Forward in the Time of Corona

Despite the pandemic and mostly sheltering in place, we were able to submit out grant application on March 30, 2020 for $3.5M of matching funds from the Construction Bond Act, which will cover half the cost of our amazing new library.

This is a major step forward on a very long road for our library rejuvenation project, and would not have been possible without the support of the Fanwood Borough Council and the Library Board of Trustees (current and past), and the input and hard work of library staff, Friends, and many others. A very special thanks is due to Ian Eichen, of Millennium Strategies, and our architect, John Veisz, of FVHD Architects + Planners, whose hard work, dedication and professionalism enable us to submit a very strong application.

Because of our current situation, the submission deadline has been kicked back by the state for 60 days to June 5, so of course the timeline for awards notification is likewise a bit delayed from what we expected. We are still hopeful that we will hear positive news about our funding, and be able to move ahead with this wonderful construction project. This is what is says on the State Library site: “As a result, it will not be possible, as originally anticipated, to submit a list of approved projects to the Legislature in Fiscal Year 2020. The State expects, but can make no assurances, that the list will be submitted to the Legislature in mid-September.”

Update December 2019
email sent to library project Cheerleaders and Supporters
Library Cheeerleaders

Update September 2019
Fanwood Memorial Library to Apply for NJ Construction Grant This fall, the Fanwood Memorial Library is moving forward with plans to apply for a matching grant through the NJ Library Construction Bond Act…
read the press release below:

Library Project Press Release for 9-10 release – final version

Update June 2019
The State Library announced that May, 30 2019 they reached a major milestone as the DRAFT Library Construction Bond Regulations were officially received by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on a timeline appropriate for publication in the July 1 Register. July 1 then marks the beginning of a 60-day public comment period, to be followed by a 30-day response period, and then within several weeks the adoption and reposting of the final regulations and an announcement of the solicitation for proposals. The application window will allow 90 days for submission. The State Library anticipates grant applications being due early in calendar year 2020.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee who will make recommendations to the State Librarian. Once the State Librarian has finalized the slate, it will be submitted first to the University President for approval, and then to the State Legislature for their action.

The State Library commented that, “We all recognize that this is not a massive amount of money. However, because we are investing in libraries, this is a major investment in our residents and communities. These investments will reach beyond the structures themselves. They are investments in individuals, families, and businesses in our communities through supporting learning, education, economic growth and stability. These projects are intended to be of strong and lasting value to their communities.”

** The Board of Trustees, the building committee and the staff continue to work with our our architect John Veisz, of FVHD Architects & Planners, to finalize a plan that meets all of the needs and goals expressed by the public. The design opens the library to people of all ages and abilities, offers more and better community and library spaces, small and large meeting rooms, a business center, a teen room, brings the Children’s Department up to the ground level, supports current and emerging technology, and transforms the building into a sustainable community asset that Fanwoodians can take pride in, and one that will serve them now and well into the future.

The final design is close to being resolved by all of the stakeholders, and will be shared with Council and the public. We will then move forward to have all the materials required to be ready to apply for the state’s matching funds, which are critical to the project’s success, when the application window opens (see above). This one-to-one match is made available through the NJ Library Construction Bond Act that voters approved in November, 2017.

** The Board is working with a professional fund-raising consultant, the Friends of the Library and the Fanwood Community Foundation to begin planning a capital campaign seeking private, corporate and grant donations to offset the project’s cost to the public, as well as addressing more long-term development goals.


** Although the NJ Library Construction Bond Act, which will make $125 million in matching funds available for public library construction throughout the state, was approved by NJ voters on November 7, 2017, the Fanwood Memorial Library, and libraries around the state, are still waiting for the regulations to be published that will describe the application process. The window to apply will hopefully open in the spring of 2019.

The Fanwood Memorial Library will be ready to apply for Construction Bond Act funding at the earliest opportunity. Our plan will be in place for a beautiful, inspiring 21st century library, and we have strong support from the Fanwood Borough Council, the Library Board of Trustees, the Friends of the Library, and organizations and individuals throughout the community.

Thank you to all of you who voted for a strong future for libraries in NJ. Here is the latest information available:

CLICK HERE to download a pdf with additional details:

Securing these matching funds will clearly have a great impact on the Fanwood Library Improvement Project by providing one-to-one matching funds and significantly reducing the financial impact of the library improvement project on Fanwood taxpayers.

pastfutureThe design of the renovation and expansion of the library presents a feasible vision for addressing the long-standing physical needs of the library as detailed in the Strategic Plan, expressed by the community, and established in the review process by staff, the public, and the council-library building committee.