Submitted by countylibrary on

The Burlington County Library System is ready to celebrate - all year long! This year marks our centennial, a notable milestone representing decades of achievement and incredible progress. And it all began more than a century ago when three Burlington County teachers thought it would be a grand idea for county libraries to be established throughout New Jersey.

Thanks to our residents, we were proud to lead the way. In 1920, voters overwhelmingly approved a new law providing for the creation of a library system and the following year Burlington County Library became the first county library in the state. From our humble beginnings operating out of a small room of the Mount Holly YMCA, to the modern, far-reaching library system we have today, it's been a remarkable journey.

Naturally, we think you agree and we want you to join in the celebration! We've come a long way in 100 years and to kick off the festivities we've created a special timeline to illustrate some key points in history that are worthy of recognition and reflection. Scroll through to get a glimpse of the important people, places and ideas that led us to where we are today.

Throughout our anniversary year, we'll continue to take a virtual look back, sharing treasured photos and fascinating facts about our 100-year history. Each month, you'll find new centennial celebration posts on our website and social media platforms. You'll learn about Assemblyman Emmor Roberts who drafted the County Library Law in 1920, our first librarian Adeline Jessup Pratt and the innovative leaders who followed her. We'll share details about our early years of operation, the original "book truck" that traversed the county as a precursor to future BCLS bookmobiles, and the libraries we added and renovated to meet the demands of our growing population. We'll also take a look at the significant advances in technology that improved the way we serve the community and helped us swiftly adapt during a worldwide pandemic.

We're proud to share our amazing history and highlight the decades of achievement that all began with a simple, yet groundbreaking idea. And we look forward to celebrating even more exciting milestones during our next century of service. Here's to another 100 years of progress!