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Princeton Public Library Begins Initiative to Update Books, Media

New science books, reference materials, and the library's book club selections, along with more children's books, best-sellers, and audiobooks will be part of the Princeton Public Library's collection thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Friends of the Princeton Public Library.

This donation is 25 percent of the desired $200,000 the library is hoping to receive as part of its Opening Day Collection initiative, which has begun in anticipation of the library's move from its temporary Princeton Shopping Center location to the newly renovated $18 million library downtown in April.

Library workers have been inspecting all 146,000 books, videos, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks in its collection, discarding approximately 3,000 books due to damage, missing pages, or out of date information. The books, which were recycled or donated to other organizations, must now be replaced.

"It was a real eye-opener to realize just how much room there is for improvement," said Leslie Burger, library director.

In addition, some of the 4,300 videos in the library's collection have been borrowed more than 200 times each, while others have only been borrowed a few times in the last 25 years, said Ms. Burger.

Along with the generous donation it has already received, the library is now asking for community donations for new library materials. Employees have estimated that a $25 donation will buy two children's books, one garden or craft book, or two children's music CDs, while a $1,000 donation will buy the library a set of encyclopedias.

"We want an up-to-date collection to go along with our new world-class building," said Ms. Burger. "We're grateful that the Friends of the Library have stepped forward to lead this campaign and we hope everyone in the community will get involved."

According to Tim Quinn, library community director, the library's initial focus was to work on updating the children's book collection. Now, staff are starting to sort through and purchase books for their world language collection.

"We're going to be greatly expanding that collection, just as we have been for the last two years," said Mr. Quinn.

Books in German, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, French, Hebrew, and Spanish will all be available to the public. Best-selling books from other countries will be available, along with popular American novels that have been translated, such as John Grisham books, said Mr. Quinn. The library's collection of almost 150,000 materials will not be expanded as much as it will be updated, said Mr. Quinn. Approximately 62 percent of the money donated will go towards the purchase of books, 23 percent towards media, which includes audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, and videos, and another 15 percent will go towards both books and media closer to the opening of the library, he said.

The library is hoping for a generous response from the community to update the library, said Mr. Quinn. "Up to this point, the community has been very generous," he said. "This is a town that loves its library and has come to expect ever increasing library services." For more information on how to donate money to the library, call (609) 924-9529, ext. 255, or visit www.prince tonlibrary.org.

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