My Favorite Place: Maplewood Library, Hilton Branch

Hi, my name is Brian, and I am a Library Nerd. As much as I liked going the the library as a kid, it’s actually ramped up significantly in adulthood. One of the first things I did when we moved to Maplewood a few years ago was scope out the library situation, and I was more than thrilled to find that the township had thoughtfully placed the Hilton satellite branch walking distance from my house. On the move-in todo list: Get a library card.

Since then, the Maplewood Library’s Hilton Branch has been one of my regular haunts (I think I’ve only been to the main location a half-dozen times or so). Because it’s a little smaller and not right downtown, I find that it’s easier to make the Hilton library my own local literary watering-hole. The librarians there quickly started to recognize me (it helps that they have to call my house several times a month with reserve items), to the point that my parents recently came in from out of town and were able to borrow a book for the grandkid just by dropping my name at the front desk. No card, no ID, no collateral—they just said, “Brian sent me.”

With all the upsides of using the smaller town library come no real downsides. Books taken out there can be returned at either branch. Books housed in the main library can be requested online and will be delivered to the Hilton hold shelf in just a day or two. And most kid & adult programs at the downtown branch are also offered at Hilton.

As soon as my son was born, I went about making sure the Hilton library started to become one of his favorite places, too. He began attending Baby Lit there before he was old enough to sit up and focus on the stories, and I frequently bring him over for a little father/son story time. Now he digs crawling up and down the stacks, and the librarians all know his name, too.

I keep hearing rumblings that Maplewood is considering shuttering the Hilton branch to trim the budget, a possibility that makes me shudder. Drive down to the main branch instead of walk to my local library? Suddenly become an anonymous face in the book-borrowing crowd? No thanks. When it comes to filling my bag with books and my brain with stories, the Hilton Branch is my Cheers: I want to go where everybody knows my name.

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  1. So Maplewood can manage to have a satellite library branch and a budget that has NO increase. It would be nice to know how they manage to do it.

  2. So Maplewood can manage to have a satellite library branch and a budget that has NO increase. It would be nice to know how they manage to do it.

    AND a
    township pool with picnic area and big snack-bar.
    But, best of all is the semi-hidden quant Old English Center of town,
    Food Court wirth some shopping, too, and NO meters to feed, ever !

  3. Yes it is a great town, with a full blowen July 4th circus, rallye races for the under 12 group, and an all day professional circus comes to town, and 90 minutes of fireworks at dark. I tried to organize a classic car show a couple of times, but interest was weak because Millburn has that locked up. Hiw does Maplewood do that all?
    Taxes are = to Montclair, however and just a small sneeze below Short Hills.

  4. Herb: ” residents of Short Hills try to distance themselves from Millburn, they are the same town. ” I know that – but many do not. It’s like the Newstead section of South Orange. I grew up in that arena. When folks passed on & I inheirted the house, I had to sell ASAP ! I could not do $ 33,000 A year in Taxes ! Gulp ! I still go back there alot, to the movie theatre , fine dinning and the fabulous fireworks and the parks. 16 minutes away. Closer than Nutley, from where I am.

  5. I totally agree with you, Brian. I love Hilton Library and the staff there. It is one of the best things about living in Maplewood and a big part of what attracted us to the Maplecrest area.

    Good job highlighting a fantastic resource.

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