At the Princeton Public Library we work hard to ensure that we offer something for everyone, even if that everyone includes groups that are often seen as less likely to use public libraries. One of the stories we often hear is that public libraries “lose” people when they go to college, “find” them again if […]
from the archive
Author: Brett Bonfield
Brett Bonfield is the executive director of the Princeton Public Library, the busiest municipal public library in New Jersey. He grew up in Abington, PA, lived in Collingswood, NJ, from 2000 until 2016, the last seven of which he spent as the director of the Collingswood Public Library, and he moved to Princeton in January 2016.
Brett co-founded In the Library with the Lead Pipe, and he co-founded and is a former co-chair of Library Pipeline. He currently serves as treasurer of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and on ALA’s Committee on Organizations and Digital Content Working Group.
In order to truly understand or fully appreciate anything, we first need to understand and appreciate its context. This phenomenon works in reverse, too: a clear, well told narrative that provides us with context often helps us understand, appreciate and take an interest in phenomena that we might not otherwise have given a second thought. […]
At the Princeton Public Library, our community is always foremost in our minds. Is it any wonder why Princeton Environmental Film Festival (PEFF) founder, Susan Conlon, and Kim Dorman, the library’s Community Engagement Coordinator, made “Community” the theme of this year’s festival? PEFF, which runs from March 27 through April 2 and is now in […]
A couple of weeks ago, the library increased the speed of its internet access from 300 to 500 Mbps, bringing us closer to the “research speed” available at universities. The library’s desktop computers and WiFi network, both of which we are upgrading as part of the 2Reimagine project, will now provide significantly faster connections for […]
As a fan of the Princeton Public Library’s blog even before I was affiliated with the library, I have long enjoyed its flexibility. Sometimes it provides space for announcements, updates on initiatives, or information about an event. Other times it highlights the library’s collection or offers insight into staff members’ role within the library and […]
One of the questions I frequently answer is, “Do you like ebooks or print?” Usually, by intonation or strategically timed body language (rolling their eyes, pinching their nostrils, pantomiming gagging), the questioner makes it clear whether they are a Hatfield or McCoy. Am I a sentimental Flat Earth Luddite tree slayer? Or a techno futurist […]
We are sometimes asked why we do not have a particular item in the collection, or, when every copy in the collection is checked out to other cardholders, why we do not have enough copies to always have one available. This can be a difficult question to answer, because every library deals somewhat differently with […]
Like other sports fans, I often worry that watching and thinking about sports may be selfish and wasteful. I want the time I spend in the stands, watching television, reading articles, or listening to podcasts to have broader significance. I want my appreciation for sports to further my development as a moral being, critical thinker, and leader for meaningful causes.
I want to learn everything I can about Princeton. Moving to a terrific community and starting a great new job is incredibly energizing. If you have had this kind of experience, you know what I mean. You feel like your capacity to consume information has increased exponentially, as though your limbic system has tapped into a fountain of youth, and you want to drink deeply from the well.