Written by Linda Sadlouskos
The Board of Trustees of Bernardsville Public Library has selected April L. Judge as the library's new permanent Executive Director. Judge, a Morris Township resident and current director at the West Caldwell Public Library, will begin the position on Jan. 2.
Judge has been the Director of the West Caldwell Public Library for the past 15 years. She previously was the Supervising Librarian of Public Services at the Livingston Public Library, served as the “Born to Read” project manager for the American Library Association (ALA) and worked in progressively responsible positions at the Thousand Oak Public Library in California.
“I am very proud that I was selected to be the next Executive Director of this prestigious library," Judge said in a release from the Bernardsville Public Library. "It is a highly regarded public library and I plan to continue promoting and instilling greatness in its operation," she said.
Anne Meany, former director of both the Bernardsville and Basking Ridge public libraries, had been serving as the Bernardsville library's interim director since late last summer. Former Bernardsville Library Director Karen Brodsky left on Aug. 31, to take a library director's position in Chatham.
Donald Burset, president of the Board of Trustees said, ”We are all proud that our library is widely known as the jewel of Bernardsville. Our community deserves an executive director who is committed to sustaining the greatness our library has achieved."
He added he and the board are anticipating that under Judge’s leadership, and "with the tireless efforts of our professional staff and volunteers and the support of the community at large, Bernardsville Public Library will continue to be 'A World at Your Doorstep.'"
The library in Bernardsville has received consistent honors on a nationwide basis. Not only a library, the staff has been trained to assist as part of the borough's emergency response team.
“I am confident that my management and leadership skills will benefit the patrons, staff, the Board of Trustees and the community generally," Judge said in the release.
She added, "I look forward to reaching out into the community to maintain the excellent partnerships with organizations and businesses that have previously been developed and feel that my strengths and expertise will speak for themselves as I take over the helm of this smoothly run operation. I am extremely excited about all the interesting opportunities that this new position will offer me.”
As the Director of the West Caldwell Public Library, Ms. Judge helped plan and complete a renovation and expansion project during which the facility was only closed for 12 hours, enhanced the schedule of programs for adults, started a long-running book discussion club at an assisted living community and gained membership for that library in the Bergen County Library Cooperative System (BCCLS).
Professionally, she served as President of the New Jersey Library Association and was a member of the Caldecott Committee (ALSC, a Division of ALA). She is a member of the Rotary Club of the Caldwell and was Chair of their 2013 Dictionary Project. She began her career with the Baltimore County Public Library.
Judge also pointed out a lighthearted distinction she had earned.
"Because of my roots as a Children’s Librarian and my strong belief in providing quality library services to this segment of a community’s population, I was known for several years as one of the only New Jersey library directors who continued to write and present puppet shows.”
She indicated that maybe the children of Bernardsville are in for a treat.
She resides in Morris Township with her husband, Kevin.