Ten Years & Counting – Ginny Moriarty

May 12, 2020

I am honored to be asked to share some thoughts on the occasion of Kemmerer Library’s 10-year anniversary.

I moved to Harding from Bernardsville shortly after my husband Ed passed away in 1997. By that point, our seven children were all adults. Since I have always been a joiner, I was eager to get involved in my new community.

Getting involved at Christ the King Church was the first step and that helped introduce me to other groups within Harding. One of those groups was the Harding Planning Board which I found a very interesting way to participate in a growing community.

At that time, the Harding Library was located in a small (400 sq. ft.) area in the current municipal building. I was invited to attend a meeting to discuss a possible campaign to raise funds to form a new local library. One meeting and I was hooked! I’m reluctant to mention individual names because there were so many people who contributed in so many ways, but suffice it to say we had an outstanding team of folks devoted to our common cause!

I recall that in soliciting support, I would recount that when I was about 12 or 13, it was the traditional time for me to become a member of our church. In typical teen fashion, I resisted, telling my mother it didn’t make any real difference whether I became an official member or not, I could still go to church. Her explanation to me was that it made a LOT of difference. Her words were – if you believe in having a church, you need to support it. You can’t expect others to maintain one for you to drop in when you feel like it.That concept has stayed a guiding principle for me over the years and it is why I felt so strongly at the time that Harding should have its own library. If our residents — seniors, families with young children, young students etc. – had to use neighboring library systems, what message were we sending to them about the value of a local library?

Fortunately, right from the start, we had lots of people eager to show their support by hosting coffees and small gatherings and our first phase resulted in an outpouring of many modest gifts. For the next phase, we realized that we needed to seek out larger gifts and the Leadership Plaque inside the entrance to the library recognizes those important donors. Finally our collective efforts culminated in the opening of Kemmerer Library on May 6, 2010!

Over the past ten years, it has been my pleasure to observe the remarkable way in which the dedicated staff, initially under the incredible leadership of Lottie Newlin, has run a library that has served the Harding community in such superb fashion. During this time, the explosion of the accessibility of technology has resulted in real challenges for traditional local libraries. I am proud to say that the Kemmerer team of both staff and board has more than risen to the challenge and has embraced all the opportunities that new technology offers.

Bravo on a job well done and best wishes for continued success over the next ten years!