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Jersey City Free Public Library  TOP

Main Library NJ Room Regional Branches  Neighborhood Branches

We serve the Jersey City community by providing access to diversified printed, audiovisual, and electronic resources that help Jersey City residents

Address their educational goals.

Find answers on a broad array of subjects.

Understand their own culture and the cultures of others.

Locate and evaluate information.

Satisfy their interest and need for current popular materials and topics.

As a taxpayer-supported service of Jersey City, we are committed to serving all individuals and groups in the community through a courteous, well-trained staff in a user-friendly environment.

To go to the Jersey City Free Public Library click here or type in the url: at your browser 

 A Brief History

On May 13, 1889 seven men met in the City Hall office of Mayor Orestes Cleveland to organize the first free public library for Jersey City.  These newly appointed library trustees chose as their president the man who had battled for years to convince both the public and the political officials that a municipal library was a necessity.  He was Dr. Leonard Gordon, a physician, whose first major task was to file a suit to force the city's Finance Board to appropriate the funds mandated by state law.

With 15,515 books in stock and with no fanfare, the new library opened on July 6, 1891 in rented, gas lit rooms in two adjacent bank buildings on Washington Street near York.  To go from one part of the library to the other, the public had to go out into the street.  Cleary, a new structure was needed, one designed to house a large book collection and to provide seating capacity for a city with a population reaching the 200,000 mark.

Throughout the 1890s the trustees and library staff acquired land at Jersey Avenue and Montgomery Street, hired a supervising architect, Professor A.D.F. Hamlin of Colombia University, and announced a design competition.  The architectural firm of Brite and Bacon of New York was selected, contracts were awarded, and, on August 16, 1899, the cornerstone was set in place.  On January 14, 1901 the new building, today's main library, was dedicated.

As Jersey City grew, so grew the library system.  The Hudson City branch opened in 1911 in rooms on the second floor of 337 Central Avenue.  Its success, with over one hundred thousand books circulated in the first year, demonstrated the need for additional branches.  The Bergen branch (now the Miller Branch) opened on Jackson Avenue in 1915 and Greenville branch on Danforth Avenue the following year.  Like the main library, the inadequacy of these rented quarters was soon apparent and, starting in 1917 with the Zabriskie Street library (now the Heights branch), new branch buildings were constructed.

Physical expansion continued into the 1920s, and the main library itself was enlarged.  The Depression, however, took its toll by curtailing any additional growth.  It was not until 1962 that the library added a new building located at Five Corners.

The library added services throughout the next few decades.  Biblioteca Criolla, a Spanish language library, opened in 1972.  Storefront branches were added throughout the city.  Media services were expanded and video rentals introduced.  Additional programming, access to online databases, and the use of microforms, maps, and photographs have augmented the book and periodical collections.  In 1989 the library embarked on its second century as a significant Jersey City institution.

In recent years, the most important development in the library has been the introduction of automation.  With the introduction of an online catalog, patrons can now search the collection from their homes as well as from a growing number of onsite computer terminals.

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September 5, 2000 to June 9, 2001


NJ Room Renovations

Holiday Closures


Thanksgiving November 23 & 24  
Christmas December 25 & 26    (Christmas Eve Observed, 26th)
New Year January 1 & 2        (New Year's Eve Observed, 2nd)
Martin Luther King's Birthday January 15  
President's Day February 19  
Good Friday April 13  
Holy Saturday April 14  
Memorial Day May 28   (Observed)


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Main Library

 472 Jersey Avenue

Jersey City, NJ 07302-3499

(201) 547-4500


Departments Days Hours
Children's Department:
New Jersey Room:
Federal Documents:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday :

Tuesday & Thursday:



Circulation Desk:
Lending Collection:
Literacy Office:
& Reference Department
Friday & Saturday:
Community Awareness Series:


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Regional Branches


(click on Branch and you will go to that  page)


Five Corners 678 Newark Avenue Mon. 12:00p-8:00p
      Tues.-Thurs. 10:00a-6:00p
          Fri. & Sat. 9:00a-5:00p
Greenville 1841 Kennedy Boulevard Mon. & Wed.-Thurs. 10:00a-6:00p
     Tues.  12:00p-8:00p
     Fri. & Sat.  9:00a-5:00p
Hudson City 85-87 Hutton Street Mon., Wed., & Fri. 10:00a-6:00p
  (Temporarily in Masonic Temple) Thursday 12:00p-8:00p
Miller 489 Bergen Avenue Mon., Tue., & Thurs. 10:00a-6:00p
     Wed.  12:00p-8:00p
     Fri. & Sat..  9:00a-5:00p


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Neighborhood Branches


(click on Branch and you will go to that  page)


Claremont Branch 291 Martin L. King Drive Monday-Friday 9:00a-5:00p
Criolla Branch 280 First Street Monday 11:00a-7:00p
  Tuesday-Friday 10:00a-6:00p
Lafayette Branch 307 Pacific Avenue Monday-Friday 10:00a-6:00p
Marion Branch 1017 West Side Avenue Monday-Friday 10:00a-6:00p
Pavonia Branch 326 Eight Street Monday 11:00a-7:00p
  Tuesday-Friday 10:00a-6:00p
Pearsall Branch 104 Pearsall Avenue Monday-Friday 10:00a-6:00p
West Bergen Branch 476 West Wide Avenue Monday-Friday 10:00a-6:00p

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Reprinted from the Jersey City Free Public Library


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