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'Always Something New' After 40 Years, Montvale Library Director Says

Montvale Mayor Roger Fyfe honors the library's executive director, Susan Ruttenber, for her 40 years of service.
Montvale Mayor Roger Fyfe honors the library's executive director, Susan Ruttenber, for her 40 years of service. Photo Credit: Facebook MPL
Borough officials and the library staff rally around Ruttenber in Borough Hall on Oct. 13.
Borough officials and the library staff rally around Ruttenber in Borough Hall on Oct. 13. Photo Credit: Facebook MPL

MONTVALE, N.J. — The Montvale Public Library has seen two facilities, three computer systems, dozens of staff members and thousands of patrons in the last four decades -- and Executive Director Susan Ruttenber was there for it all.

Despite the many changes at her library, one thing remains the same: "There is always something new to learn," said Ruttenber, who was honored for her 40 years of service at the library at the Oct. 13 Montvale Council meeting.

Ruttenber was a librarian when the facility opened in 1975 in a vacant building at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Waverly Place.

She didn't think about running the place until the then-director moved to Vermont in 1979.

Ruttenber continued her tenure as the executive director and helped moved her staff, the books and computers to the municipal complex — its current location — in 2003.

"Unfortunately some of the people I've met are now gone, which is sad," Ruttenber said.

"But I've also watched parents who brought their children to story time become grandparents who now bring their children's kids."

The library's English as a Second Language program continues to get larger every year, she said, as area demographics change.There's certainly more change to come, Ruttenber said.

"There's always something new, and better and good," she said. "I'm actually waiting for the upholstering guy to show up. It's time to get these chairs reupholstered after 12 years."

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