Adult Services Highlight — February 2024

As the Library celebrates its 150th anniversary, we will be highlighting other organizations that also have long histories in Summit.

It seems fitting to begin with the Summit Area YMCA because it shares a common history with the Library. The Y was founded in 1886. The land for both institutions was sold to the City of Summit by the Summit Home Land Company, a holding company formed by the children of Crane Bonnel, one of Summit’s founders. The Bonnel children inherited a significant part of the city’s center, selling land only for public benefit. The family’s contributions extended to projects such as the YMCA, Summit High School (now Lawton C. Johnson Middle School), the Mabie Memorial Playground, and the Library.

Last October, the Summit Area YMCA fully reopened after months of renovation. The new facility includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, spacious exercise studios, a high-tech teen center, a redesigned kid zone, and community lounges. As their motto states, “In this space, you belong.”

Our intertwined beginnings were just the start of a shared commitment to community service and development. It is not uncommon to see people stopping by the Library before or after a workout, or browsing the shelves while their kids attend swim lessons. The Y and the Library are more than just friendly neighbors; we often collaborate on programs and services that foster our common goals.

“The Summit Area YMCA is excited to partner with the Summit Library & Summit Library Chinese Club for the upcoming Lunar New Year event,” said Tiffany Escott, Director of Mission Advancement at the Summit Area YMCA. “This collaboration emphasizes our shared commitment to community engagement and cultural celebration. Together, we aim to create a welcoming space for individuals and families to come together, learn, and celebrate the rich traditions of the Lunar New Year.”

The Lunar New Year Celebration will take place on Saturday, February 10 at 3 pm at the Library and the YMCA. Both locations will host a variety of events to honor the Year of the Dragon. All are welcome to register and enjoy the festivities.

— Abigail Brady, Head of Adult Services