The East Orange Public Library helps people of all ages meet their informational, educational, and recreational needs by acquiring, organizing, and assisting in the use of print and non-print resources.
The East Orange Free Public Library, as we now know it, began in 1900 when the Mayor and City Council voted an appropriation of $3,000.00 for establishing a library and appointed a Board of Trustees.
At the first meeting of that Board, a letter from Andrew Carnegie was read offering $50,000.00 for the construction of a library building if the City would provide a site and maintenance of not less than $5,000.00 a year for the library. The land, at the corner of Munn Avenue and Freeway Drive East (then Main Street), was purchased at a cost of $22,182.00, and the building was designed by Kent, Jardine, and Kent in an unusual fan-shape to make maximum use of the corner lot.
The new building was opened on January 22, 1903, with 9,000 volumes ready for borrowing.
Four years later Andrew Carnegie presented the City with another $20,000.00 to be used in the building of two branch libraries. The Franklin Branch was completed in 1909 and the Elmwood Branch in 1912. Mr. Carnegie’s generosity was still not complete. In 1913, he gave an additional sum of $50,000.00 to the City to enlarge the Main Library. This construction was completed in 1915.
The Ampere Branch was the only library facility not built with Carnegie funds. In 1914, a deposit station was established in the Ampere section, but the present branch was not opened as a library until 1931 when the City built a new fire station on Springdale Avenue and renovated the old Ampere Fire Station to become a branch library. This unlikely renovation was done with great imagination and resulted in a charming and individual library for Ampere residents. Nine years later a substantial addition was made to the Franklin Branch.
Over the years, with a greatly increased population and demand for services, the original Main Library became insufficient to public needs. The present Main Library, opened in August 1973, at the corner of Freeway Drive East and South Arlington Avenue, brought a new era of library service to East Orange residents.
The original East Orange Public Library, planned and organized by civic-minded residents, was open four hours a week. Today, library patrons in East Orange can use their library 64 hours, 6 days a week, borrowing books, audiobooks, e-books, and DVDs; accessing the Internet through the use of more than 70 public computers on-site; and enjoying a variety of classes and cultural programs.
Adapted from a paper prepared by Charlotte Perkins, October 1975.
Mon-Fri, 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sat, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Please call for appointments.
Summer Hours (July and August)
Mon-Thu, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fri, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Saturday before Labor Day
Carolyn Ryan Reed, Director
P. Holmes, Assistant Director
Ivonne Kratz, Reference Services
Jenny Tong, Technical Services
Heidi Rempel, Circulation Services
Nathalia Bermudez, Adult Services
Rebecca Magnan, Teen Services
Marissa Lieberman, Children’s Services
Matthew Powell, Public Relations
Hon. Jimmy Small, President
Gloria L. Holt, Vice President
Jacquelyn Davis, Treasurer
Hon. Mumtaz Bari-Brown, Member
Laudaine Simeon, Member
Bobby Powell, Member
Lynella George, Member
Hon. Tameika Garrett-Ward, Council Liaison
Ajah Baldwin, Mayor’s Designee
Deidra Chatman, Superintendent’s Designee
If you would like to contact our Board, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Friends of the East Orange Public Library are an alliance of business & civic leaders, community advocates, and concerned citizens dedicated to the progressive growth of the library in its service to the community.