West Orange Library Will Close, Move To New Location

West Orange Library Will Close, Move To New Location

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Say goodbye to the West Orange Public Library – for now.

Last week, the library board voted to close the facility at 46 Mount Pleasant Avenue to the public starting Feb. 1 to prepare for the move to its new location at 10 Rooney Circle, which is still under construction.

Library staff will be available by phone for questions about bills and materials, administrators said.

“While we will be sad to leave the home West Orange has enjoyed since 1959, we are excited to begin our next chapter at a new location that is more accessible to the greatest number of residents and designed to take us well into the 21st century to bear. ,” board members and staff said in a joint statement.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience and we look forward to seeing you in the future; Please look for announcements on our website and social media for information about our grand reopening,” administrators added.

According to board and staff, here’s what to know if you’re a visitor or patron of the library.

REOPEN – “The [library] will reopen at 10 Rooney Circle upon completion of the construction project. We expect a completion in late spring.” DIGITAL ACCESS – “This will not affect your access to any digital resources during our shutdown. In fact, we have increased electronic resources during this period. https://www.wopl.org/digital-resources.” DELIVERY NEARBY – “We have made arrangements with libraries in neighboring communities to ensure your access to materials and resources. While we are closed, you will be able to choose delivery of materials to any of the other 76 libraries in the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS) consortium. Please don’t forget to bring your library card with you when you use other libraries.” OTHER ACCESS – “If you have a REBL sticker on your card, you will also be able to use any library, including university libraries in Essex County. Public library law in New Jersey requires that access to computer use be available free of charge to any member of the public.”


The new library was a key bargaining chip in a major redevelopment project at 100 and 200 Executive Drive and 10 Rooney Circle that took shape during the pandemic. Read more: See plans for the proposed new library in West Orange

In 2021, regarding the proposed new library, councilors made two major arguments in favor of it. The first? Local residents were looking for better options, they said:

“Due to its current decentralized location, dilapidated building with limited square footage and lack of adequate parking, local residents are increasingly bypassing the West Orange Library, choosing instead to visit alternative library options in neighboring towns with more modernized and well-equipped facilities. In fact, a recent survey conducted by library staff found that out of the 47,000 West Orange residents, 37,000 have active library cards, but 22 percent chose to check out books at neighboring libraries—which is the average of 5 to 10 percent among the 77 libraries far exceeded. included in the Bergen County Cooperative Library System, to which the library belongs.”

Trustees said there’s another reason to root for the redevelopment plan to succeed: The new building will be funded in part by a $3.1 million grant from the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act. Read more: West Orange library expected to get big boost from state funds

On its website, the library provides links to various resources about the new facility, including:

According to library administrators — who created an informational packet supporting the move — here are some other factors to keep in mind.

“Better Location”:

Geographically centered in the township, more convenient for residentsJitney serviceNear ShopRite

“Green Environment”:

Sufficient parking for 300+ vehicles (current library 32 spaces) Some space could be reclaimed for trees and garden beds Outdoor space for “Black Box” theater Use of an existing building

“Bigger, better, healthier space/environment”:

New HVAC and duct system for best indoor air quality Main programming room capacity doubles to 160 seats and is available when library is closed (separate exterior entrance) 28% increase in usable, flexible space Safe location for outdoor programming Children’s area is 2.5 times larger with dedicated programming room Teen space is 4 times bigger with space for study, collaboration and more YA books Quiet study rooms quadrupled from 1 to 4, conference room increased from 0 to 2 New furniture throughout, upgraded and comfortable with device charging capability Instructional space for ESOL/Lifelong Learning Literacy classes Separate room for server and IT services Separate room for West Orange Historical Archives

“Enhanced, additional technology”:

Conference, meeting and programming rooms with technology for information-rich and interactive presentations Upgraded wiring, wi-fi, intercom and security systems Laptops for checkout throughout the library Online teaching and virtual classes Back-up generator in case of power outages

The new location is expected to have a “high return on investment,” administrators say:

“Our Library Construction Bond Act grant (approved 11/9/20) provides $3,098,217, paired with the town’s partnerships with private developers of $2.5 million, and $598,217 of funds already approved by the town council for use at 46 Mt . Pleasant will be used to complete the full needs of the $6.2 million project. These funds cannot be used for any other facility, including our current library.”

“Average 160,000 annual visits, [the library] Essex Green Shopping Mall will benefit, including ShopRite as an anchor,” say administrators. “We expect that with a more central location, better amenities, more usable space and more parking, these numbers will increase.”

“With 46 Mt. Pleasant Avenue being developed for 65 affordable senior housing units with a 7,500 square foot community center with branch library services, the project is a win-win for West Orange,” administrators conclude.

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