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Trustees Appoint Chad Leinaweaver as the 17th Director of the Library

Trustees Appoint Chad Leinaweaver as the 17th Director of the Library
The Morristown & Morris Township Library Board of Trustees have announced Chad Leinaweaver as the new Director of the Library. Chad was previously the Assistant Director under Maria S. Norton, who retired on September 1 after working at the Library for 48 years.

“The Board conducted a thorough and extensive search for the new Library Director and found that Chad was absolutely the best candidate for this position,” said Board President Nancy Bangiola. “His extensive education, his experience in Historic and Genealogical research and collections, together with his proven ability to serve the Morristown, Morris Township Community made him stand out from his peers.  We are so fortunate to have him.” 

Chad, a native Pennsylvanian, worked for several libraries and cultural organizations including most recently, the Newark Public Library and the New Jersey Historical Society.  He began his career in Boston working with genealogical resources and manuscript materials at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, where he also taught classes in genealogical research and collection preservation.  Although he moved into more administrative duties when coming to the Morristown & Morris Township Library, Chad still maintains some footing in the History and Preservation community, serving on the advisory board for the State of New Jersey’s CAPES (Caucus Archival Projects Evaluation Service) program and also doing archival surveys for various cultural institutions. 

Chad was a writer and content editor of the Dictionary of New Jersey History [New Library Press, 2006] and provided a chapter to Preserving Local Writers, Genealogy, Photographs, Newspapers and Related Materials by Carol Smallwood and Elaine Williams [Scarecrow Press, 2012].  Chad also has past ties to Morris County, having worked part-time at the reference desks of the County College of Morris Library in Randolph and the Mahoney Library at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township.  Chad has master’s degrees in Library Science (Simmons College, Boston) and in History (Northeastern University), and attended Penn State University as an undergraduate. 

“I am thrilled to be named the Director at The Morristown & Morris Township Library,” says Leinaweaver.  “This area has so many cultural resources and a vibrancy that is wonderful to be in the middle of.  I really look forward to working with many organizations in and around the Township and Town to see how the Library can play a role in making our communities even better.  I know some people think the Library is just about books––and we certainly have those––but we are so much more.  From the adult professionals who use our study rooms for meetings, to the scholars who research the original photographs and historic diaries in our History Center to the school children who come every year to have a tour and get their first library cards, people come to us every day for all sorts of reasons.”  Leinaweaver said that the Library is always trying new things and programs to better serve the public.  “We started our popular Downton Abbey Support group because we had people asking ‘what is this show?’ and now we have an avid group that meets and discusses all things British on a regular basis.  Other recent programs such as our Tech Time One-on-One, our Spirituality Book Group, our monthly Scrabble Club and our photograph scanning days in the History Center have also been quite successful.”

Chad is assuming the directorship of the Library at an historic time, as the Library begins to make plans for its 100th anniversary.  The cornerstone of the current Library building was laid in 1916 and dedicated on October 20, 1917.  “We already have a committee planning events for the Library’s 100th anniversary,” says Leinaweaver with a caveat, “although it is really only the oldest part of the building that is turning 100.  Our actual Library predates even this building.”  Library service began in 1792, but formalized its efforts as the Morristown Library Association in 1812.  It was officially incorporated as the ‘Morristown Library and Lyceum’ in 1866.  When the original Library and Lyceum (which was closer to the Green down South Street from the present building) burned in 1914, local benefactor Grinnell Willis, financed the construction of a new building at South Street and Miller Road, which was completed in 1917.  In 1965, residents of Morris Township and Morristown voted overwhelmingly to have the current Library become the joint library for both municipalities.  The Library has remained a fixture for all residents ever since.

“From computer classes to Jazz in July, our Library has a lot to offer,” Leinaweaver says.  “Whether you see children attending a story time in the Children’s Room, a local support group gathering in our meeting room or local artists installing an exhibition of their work in our gallery, you see a community coming together and sharing its creativity, its ingenuity and its talents with everyone else. That is part of what makes the Library such an integral part of the community.” 

Morristown & Morris Township Library · 1 Miller Rd. · Morristown, NJ 07960 · Tel: 973-538-6161

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