South Orange Public Library Celebrates 150 Years with Birthday Bash Sept. 17

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South Orange Public Library is celebrating 150 years of service to the community with a Birthday Bash on Saturday, September 17 from 2:30-5:30pm.

The Birthday Bash will be fit for all ages with live music, dancing, tours of the historic Connett building, and kids activities.

Live performances will feature 20-piece band Swing Town, African drumming group Sawa, Good Times String Band, Wilma and the Wingers, Island Music Steel Drums and master of ceremonies Bobaloo.

After the historic baseball game between the local South Orange Villagers and the Flemington Neshanock at Cameron Field, the Birthday Bash will commence with a parade from the field to the library. The parade will feature giant mixed media puppets of famous literature figures from the last 150 years made by local artists.

Hildy Karp, Library Board member and chair of SOPL150 committee, told Village Green that “[Village President] Sheena Collum will be playing Pied Piper, leading the parade of magical life sized puppets and humans to the Library to kick it off.”

Karp also hopes for the Birthday Bash to do more than just provide an opportunity for a lot of fun: “The South Orange Public Library’s 150th Birthday Bash is shaping up to be lots of fun. But is more than just a party, it is a chance to celebrate the long history of SOPL,  its importance to South Orange, and get a glimpse of its future.”

“The essence of libraries is community-centered sharing,” said library director Melissa Kopecky. “Information and collections come to mind immediately of course, and both have expanded so immensely in the last 150 years. But the shared space for so many uses – from programs to technology to individual pursuits – is another tremendous resource and creates the potential for serendipitous encounters of all sorts. We are celebrating this library’s history and its constant ability to preserve, enhance and evolve. And we warmly invite every member of this community to join in the fun and celebrations on the afternoon of September 17.”

The event is free to the public. For more information, email or call 973-762-0230.

P.S. Keep an eye out for more of the Library’s history on the Playin’ Around South Orange piano at the Duck Pond. 


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