The Trenton Free Public Library (TFPL) celebrated the 120th anniversary of its founding of the historic building of the TFPL with a block party on June 11, 2022.

“Today is our 120 anniversary of the library at this location on Academy St., so we’re celebrating our anniversary by having a block party for the community,” said Eboni Love, Supervising Library Assistant. They invited over 15 community organizations to come out and provide resources. They also had a DJ, henna artist, face painters, Rita water ice, and plenty of food. “You know, like a party,” Love said. 

It is the TFPL’s mission to bring literacy into the Trenton community. The TFPL does this by doing outreach programs. “We’re creating that bridge, that relationship with the community. We’re not all stiff, and books and you know, shhhhh-kinda library. We’re fun. We’re active. We’re open,” Love said. 

Trenton residents, young and old, came to see what the library was doing. Elizabeth Terron, Trenton Resident, was babysitting her friend’s son. “I wanted him to come out here and get some air,” Terron said. “(Kids) can come in and have a good time…that there’s a place here that there’s hope. There’s hope for children, that instead of thinking negative, there’s always positivity.”

On top of games, food, and raffles, the TFPL hosted different tables with information for Trenton residents to use. Organizations like the Trenton Health Team handed out flyers. Fyoseline Figueroa, Outreach and referrer coordinator, explained the information they were handing out. 

“One of the programs that we are explaining to the people around here is that we offer the…New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection, and it’s to offer free cancer screenings for individuals that are uninsured or underinsured,” Figueroa said. 

The TFPL has provided Trenton residents with connections to resources for over a century. Library Director Rebecca Franco Martin explained that it is essential to continue that legacy through thick and thin.

“We need people to know that the library is still open. We’re still here. We’ve been here more than 120 years. Actually, that’s just the anniversary of our historic building. We want the community to know we’re still open. We have materials for them to check out. We have resources for them to access,” Franco-Martin said. 

Trenton residents are always welcome to stop by. Norayma Ramous, Trenton Resident, Mother, and her daughter Lisa Marie Glennon appreciate that mission. 

“We always come to the library. I’ve been bringing my daughter here since she was two… I come here for her most…they have a lot of events for the kids… So I enjoy that my daughter enjoys the library because it helps her better her education,” Ramous said.