Home Essex CountyBelleville A Guide to the Libraries of Essex County

A Guide to the Libraries of Essex County

by Olivia Fisher
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At nearly every library in Essex County, patrons will find physical books, DVDs, music CDs, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, programming, and a variety of digital resources. Some libraries also offer museum passes, genealogy resources, and printing services, and a few have unique things like cake pans, birdwatching kits, seeds, and vinyl records. Read on for a guide to Essex County libraries and what they offer.

Nutley Public Library

Library Borrowing Programs and Offerings

Libraries offer a little bit of everything to communities. There are several programs that Essex County libraries participate in to increase their offerings to patrons.

The Ivy at Chatham

PALS Plus is a library consortium of 30 public and academic libraries in 22 communities across Passaic, Essex, and Hudson counties. Library card holders from PALS Plus libraries have access to over 1.2 million books, 100,000 movies, 27,000 audiobooks, 26,000 CDs, and over 1,000,000 digital titles including ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and television shows. The program allows Essex County residents in Belleville, Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Fairfield, and Verona to take out materials at libraries in Bloomingdale, Clifton Main, Clifton Allwood Branch, Haledon, Little Falls, Kearny, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Totowa, Wanaque, Wayne, West Milford, and Woodland Park. All of these libraries are also part of the Open Borrowing program.

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ReBL is a program called Reciprocating Borrowing and Lending where many Essex County libraries, both public and academic, partake in a reciprocal borrowing program. Public libraries that are a part of this program include Belleville, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Cedar Grove, East Orange, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Livingston, Maplewood, Montclair, Newark, Orange, Roseland, South Orange, Verona, and West Orange. Academic libraries included in this program are Caldwell University, Essex County College, Seton Hall University, and Rutgers University. 

BCCLS is a reciprocal borrowing program called Bridging Communities, Connecting Library Services which includes almost 80 libraries in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties. Member libraries in Essex County include Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Nutley, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Montclair, Nutley, Roseland, South Orange, West Caldwell, and West Orange. 

Museum Pass Programs at local libraries allow residents to visit a variety of museums, art centers, and history centers that have admission fees, for free or reduced cost. At Essex County libraries this includes the Montclair Art Museum, the Morris Museum, the Museum of the American Revolution, and more. 

At Look at Essex County Libraries

Belleville Public Library | 221 Washington Avenue, Belleville

Belleville Public Library

The Belleville Public Library has been in existence for over 100 years and is the jewel of Belleville’s Washington Avenue. It serves a diverse population of approximately 36,000 residents and is part of PALS Plus, Open Borrowing, and ReBL. Belleville residents can apply for free library cards. Cards for non-residents cost $35 per year. The space’s collection includes about 36,000 books and other materials.. This space offers museum passes, printing services, ESL courses, a teen center, and digitized local history. Museum passes available here include the American Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Montclair Art Museum, the Newark Museum of Art, and the Storm King Art Center.

Bloomfield Public Library | 90 Broad Street, Bloomfield

Bloomfield Public Library

Bloomfield Public Library offers Ancestry.com, local history resources, movie screenings, ESL resources, a library of things, and numerous events. This library also has something unique for bakers. The Wilton Cake Pan Collection is a part of the Library of Things and Open for Lending. All Bloomfield residents are entitled to a free membership and have access to resources at other libraries that are a part of the ReBL and BCCLS programs.

Cedar Grove Public Library | 1 Municipal Plaza, Cedar Grove

Cedar Grove Public Library is part of the PALS Plus, Open Borrowing, and ReBL programs and offers access to the Verona Cedar Grove Times, Ancestry.com, Freegal Music, and numerous more sources.

East Orange Public Library | Numerous Locations

East Orange Public Library participates in ReBL and has a main location and three branch locations. The main library is located at 21 South Arlington Avenue. The Ampere Branch is located at 39 Ampere Plaza, the Elmwood Branch is located at 317 South Clinton Street, and the Franklin Branch is located at 192 Dodd Street. The main library as well as the Elmwood and Franklin branches are Carnegie Libraries, and the main was the first Carnegie library within the state. The original main library opened in 1903 and in 1973 became the East Orange Municipal Court. The libraries offer local history resources, Ancestry.com, fax services, study rooms, a typewriter, and a variety of digital resources. 

Fairfield Free Public Library | 261 Hollywood Avenue, Fairfield

Fairfield Free Public Library is part of PALS Plus, Open Borrowing, and ReBL programs. Residents of Essex Fells and North Caldwell are allowed to register for a library card for one year for a fee of $100. This spot offers local history resources, museum passes for the Montclair Art Museum, meeting rooms, yoga classes, and more. 

Glen Ridge Public Library | 240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge

Glen Ridge Public Library is a part of ReBL and BCCLS and offers museum passes, a library of Things, a notary service, study rooms, 3D printing, and a local history database. The local history database includes The Glen Ridge Paper as well as annual reports, founding documents, city directories, high school yearbooks, and historical photos. Museum passes for residents include the Morris Museum, MoMA, the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim, the Montclair Art Museum, the Newark Museum of Art, the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, the Museum of the City of New York, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. 

Irvington Public Library | Civic Square, Irvington

Irvington Public Library is part of the ReBL program and offers meeting rooms, notary services, fax services, computer and internet access, has museum passes for the American Museum of Natural History, maintains a collection of Irvington High School yearbooks, and a cafe on the first floor. There is also a reciprocal borrowing agreement between Irvington Public Library and the Newark Public Library. Those who work, reside, or attend school in Newark or Irvington are entitled to a library card. All other parties interested must purchase a $75.00 membership. 

Livingston Public Library | 10 Robert H Harp Drive, Livingston

Livingston Public Library is a part of the ReBL program and offers museum passes, a library of things, local history resources, language learning resources, Ancestry.com, study rooms, printers, and wellness programs. Museum passes here include the Montclair Art Museum, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and The Jewish Museum. All residents and property owners of Livingston are entitled to a free library card

Maplewood Public Library | 1688 Springfield Avenue + 129 Boyden Avenue, Maplewood

Maplewood Public Library is part of the ReBL and BCCLS programs and offers a digital archive of local history, museum passes, notary services, wireless printing, ESL courses, and a teen book club. The Maplewood Public Library has two branches. The Hilton Branch Library located at 1688 Springfield Avenue in Maplewood caters to children and teens. The main library located at 129 Boyden Avenue in Maplewood caters to adults. Museum passes here include the Montclair Art Museum, Morris Museum, The Newark Museum of Art, and the Intrepid Museum. Any person who lives, works, pays taxes, or attends school in Maplewood is entitled to a free library card. Other parties can purchase a Non-resident Library Card ranging from $80 to $200. 

Millburn Free Public Library | 200 Glen Avenue, Millburn

Millburn Free Public Library is part of BCCLS and offers museum passes, a Library of Things, Ancestry.com, 3D printing, notary services, public computers, local history resources, home borrowing services, language resources, and events for all ages. Museum passes at this library include the Montclair Art Museum, the Newark Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Greenwood Gardens, and the Millburn Community Pool. All Millburn residents are entitled to a free card. Non-residents can purchase annual cards, which cost between $85 and $185 per year. 

Montclair Public Library | 50 South Fullerton Avenue + 285 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair

Montclair Public Library is part of the ReBL and BCCLS programs and offers local history resources, notary services, printing options, events, museum passes, a Library of Things, seeds, and a variety of digital resources. Museum passes include the Montclair Art Museum, the Morris Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and a few others. The main library is located at 50 South Fullerton Avenue and the Bellevue Branch is located at 285 Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair. Students, workers, and residents of Montclair are entitled to cards. All other parties can pay a $100 fee for a membership card.

 


 

Newark Public Library | 5 Washington Street Newark + more

Newark Public Library is New Jersey’s largest public library and has nine locations within the Brick City. This library is part of the ReBL program and offers digital resources, language resources, children’s programs, and more. All Newark residents are eligible for a free public library card and certain non-residents, including students, workers, and property owners may also be eligible for a free card. Other parties can purchase a membership for $50.00 a year.

Nutley Public Library | 93 Booth Drive, Nutley

Nutley Public Library

The Nutley Public Library opened in August 1914 serving roughly 7,000 residents. Today the library maintains a collection of approximately 90,000 books and provides audiobooks, large print books, magazines, music, videos, video games, and downloadable ebooks and audiobooks that nearly 30,000 residents can enjoy. The library is part of the BCCLS and offers Ancestry Library Edition, local history resources, ESL classes, vinyl records, and museum passes. Museum passes are available to the American Museum of Natural History, the Montclair Art Museum, the Newark Museum of Art, and the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center. Nutley residents can receive library cards for free.  Those who do not live, work, or go to school in Nutley, can purchase a subscription card for an annual fee of $150.

Roseland Free Public Library | 20 Roseland Avenue, Roseland

Roseland Free Public Library is part of the ReBL and BCCLS programs and offers a chess club for all ages, movie showings, English language classes, and a knitting circle. This library also has a wide variety of traditional and digital resources. 

South Orange Public Library | 298 Walton Avenue + 5 Mead Street, South Orange

South Orange Public Library is part of the ReBL and BCCLS programs and offers museum passes, notary services, birdwatching kits, a tech studio, and a variety of digital resources. The main library located at 65 Scotland Road is currently closed for construction. 298 Walton Avenue and 5 Mead Street in South Orange currently serve as temporary locations. Museum pass options here include the Montclair Art Museum, the Morris Museum, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the New York Historical Society, and the Newark Museum of Art. Anyone who lives, works, owns property, or goes to school in South Orange is eligible for a South Orange Public Library card. Other parties can purchase a membership ranging from $40 to $60

The City of Orange Township Public Library | 348 Main Street, Orange

Orange’s library has a collection of over 72,000 holdings that benefit the community’s 33,000 residents. The library is also a part of the ReBL program and offers meeting rooms, printing, and programs for teens and younger children. To obtain an Orange Public Library card, bring a valid form of photo ID and proof of your current Orange residency such as a mortgage statement, lease, or utility bill.

Verona Public Library | 17 Gould Street, Verona

Verona Public Library

In the early 1920s, the Verona Public Library opened a permanent location in the town center. Today, this space offers a variety of in-person services and digital resources such as museum passes, printing and photocopying, meeting rooms, a children’s section, elevators, free onsite WiFi, a digital collection of Verona High School Yearbooks, and is part of the PALS Plus, Open Borrowing, and ReBL. Museum passes for residents include the Montclair Art Museum, the Morris Museum, the Museum of the American Revolution, MoMA, the Frick Collection, and the Guggenheim. 

West Caldwell Public Library | 30 Clinton Road, West Caldwell

West Caldwell Public Library

West Caldwell Public Library is a part of the BCCLS program and offers ESL classes, faxing services, study rooms, resources on local history, Ancestry.com, a library of things, sewing machines, museum passes, 3D printing, and a plethora more digital resources. Museum passes here include the Montclair Art Museum, Morris Museum, The Newark Museum of Art, and The Jewish Museum. Anyone who lives in, owns property in, or is a tenant of West Caldwell is entitled to a free library card. Paid memberships ranging from $40 to $250 a year are available for individuals who do not live in West Caldwell, work in West Caldwell, or are already members of a BCCLS library. 

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West Orange Public Library | 10 Rooney Circle, West Orange

West Orange Public Library is part of the ReBL and BCCLS programs and offers museum passes, language learning resources, digital yearbooks from West Orange schools, and a variety of digital resources. Residents of West Orange are entitled to free library cards and those who own property, work, or attend a West Orange school are entitled to a Courtesy Card. The library also offers a Paid Membership Card for people who live out of town for $100 a year or $30 for three months.

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