Source: The Bergen Evening Record, September 22, 1960
Town Library's Miss Norton Will Step Down In December
Teaneck Institution Grew With Her Service During Past 32 Years
Teaneck -- Miss Agnes C. Norton, director of the Public Library since 1929, through the library trustees has announced her retirement effective December 31.
Under Miss Norton's direction the library is today recognized as one of the finest in the State. During the past 32 years she has seen the library grow with Teaneck. Circulation in 1928 was a mere 20,000 volumes, whereas by 1959 it had reached a high of 315,000. Today the library contains some 76,000 volumes as compared with 200 when it was founded. There now are 25,000 registered borrowers.
While the Township's population has increased 207 per cent since 1928, use of the library has increased 1,325 per cent. The library is considered a leader in the cultural and educational life of Teaneck.
Miss Norton came to Teaneck from Howe Library, Hanover, N. H., on March 4, 1929, the day President Herbert Hoover was inaugurated. She said she remembers having lunch that day at the home of a library trustee and listening to Hoover's inauguration address.
At that time the library had only 1 part-time assistant -- Mrs. Ethel Ward -- who still is a member of the staff. Today there are 30 staff members.
Two building additions -- one in 1936 and a second in 1953 -- have come during Miss Norton's administration. Many added services have been extended to residents including a collection of phonograph records since 1949, a lending collection of framed pictures since 1953, and a lending service for shut-ins since 1958.
Branch libraries were conducted in elementary schools from 1930 to 1953 when most schools began their own libraries. A separate children's department was started in 1936 and expanded in 1953 when an addition was made to the library building.
Miss Norton has been active in many professional library or organizations. She was twice president of the Bergen-Passaic Counties Library Club and was vice-presidents of the New jersey Library Association. She also was the 1959-60 president of the Library Public Relations Council, a national organization.
She was chosen "Woman of the Year" in 1950 by the B'nai B'rith for her service in community and civic affairs.
Allen A. Walsh, library trustees president, said, "To Miss Norton, who has been such a devoted representative of the Township, goes the deepest gratitude of all residents."
Mayor Matthew Feldman last night expressed regrets that Miss Norton has announced her retirement. "I know the people of Teaneck share my feeling that our Township will be deprived of one of its outstanding public servants when Miss Norton retires.
"Nevertheless, our feeling of loss must be tempered by the realization that she is most deserving of the joys of retirement which now stretch before her.
"For her unique contribution to the cultural and educational growth of Teaneck, Miss Norton will always be an honored and beloved member of our community. Wherever she goes and whatever she does, her mark on Teaneck is ineradicable," he said.
Miss Norton said yesterday she has been fortunate to have had wonderful support from the trustees, community, and government bodies during her years as library director. She said she has no special retirement plans, but will remain a resident and perhaps will travel.