Tuesday, January 24, 2017


From Maplewood Police today:

Midland Blvd will be closed from Orchard Road to Boyden Avenue until further notice due to road construction


Are your child's library fines mounting and he or she doesn't have the money to pay? (And you don't want to keep forking over the dough?)

Well, instead of having them miss the chance to check out books, they can pay it off. Not with cash, but with time.

Reading time!

For years now the Maplewood Library has allowed youngsters to pay off their fines in a "time-out" of sorts where they need only read to reduce the debt.

"It is a way to allow people to still borrow books, for kids to still borrow books even if they have fines," said Jane Folger, head of children's services at the Maplewood Library, which launched the program more than 10 years ago. "Because they're kids and don't have a job or an income, how do they deal with it? Here is a way their actions can resolve the fine."

Right now, fines for both libraries run 10 cents for each day that a book is overdue in the children's section, 20 cents in all other sections. There is a $5 limit. 

But any child or adult who owes money on their account is barred from borrowing more books until it is paid off, Folger said. "No library wants to charge a fine," she said. "But what is the impetus for returning things?"

They can work it off in the reading room, she said. Any youngster who owes back fines can come in, speak to the librarian and reduce their debt by $1 for every half-hour of reading time. 

"They have to read in the library," she said. "Words, printed on a page or printed on a screen. If it is a children's fine we have them read in the children's area. We have a slip, they fill it out, and we sign it when they are done."

Fines can be lucrative for the libraries, which took in $31,013.62 in fines in 2015, up from 2014 and 2013. It is an overall decline, however, from 2012 when more than $32,000 was raised and 2011 when the fines topped $35,000.

"It's pretty steady," Folger said about the reading down participation. "People who come in a lot know about it. It's grown." 

For more information call the main library's children's room at 973-762-1622, ext. 5005.


The Star-Ledger website, NJ.com, named Maplewood's own Parkwood Diner as the best in Essex County.

A new listing of the top such eateries in each county offered up the Springfield Avenue site as our county's best. We agree.

See what they posted online below:

This comes just over a year after the diner won a NJ.com online poll as the best diner in North Jersey.

To try it out for yourself, see their menu HERE and stop by.