Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jersey City Public Libraries hours and services cut-Speak Out Now

Source: Jersey Journal
Author: Melissa Hayes
Date: September 9, 2010
The Jersey City Free Public Library is scaling back hours and closing most of its branches on Saturdays due to budget cuts.
Library Director Priscilla Gardner says more service cuts could be in the offing pending possible further layoffs and furloughs, noting that a staff reduction plan submitted to the state Civil Service Commission awaits approval.
The city is expected to provide the library $6 million this year, down from $7.7 million last year.
The Main Library, at 472 Jersey Ave., which had been open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., is now closing at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The library will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Gardner said hours at other branches have been staggered to minimize the impact on library patrons. Those libraries will be closed on Saturdays with the exception of two Saturdays between now and the end of the year when each of the branches will be open.
The Glenn D. Cunningham Branch, at 275 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; with Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 9 and Nov. 20.
The Miller Branch at 489 Bergen Ave. will be open the same hours at the Cunningham branch, but with Saturday hours Sept. 25 and Dec. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Five Corners branch, at 678 Newark Ave., and Pavonia Branch, at 326 Eighth St., will be open Monday from noon to 8 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Five Corners will have Saturday hours Oct. 16 and Nov. 27 and Pavonia will have Saturday hours Oct. 2 and Nov. 13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Heights Branch, at 14 Zabriskie St., will be open Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Saturday hours Sept. 18 and Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Greenville Branch, at 1847 Kennedy Blvd., will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; Tuesday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and will be open this Saturday and Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Lafayette, West Bergen and Marion neighborhood libraries will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Send the following letter or call :

Office of the Mayor
City Hall - 280 Grove StreetJersey City, New Jersey 07302Tel: (201) 547-5200Fax: (201) 547-4288/5442
Mayor Jerramiah

Council President Peter Brennan
City Hall, 280 Grove StreetRoom 202Jersey City, NJ 07302Tel: (201) 547-5319Fax: (201) 547-4678email:

Councilwoman-at-Large Willie Flood
City Hall, 280 Grove StreetRoom 202Jersey City, NJ 07302Tel: (201) 547-5134Fax: (201) 547-4678email:

Ward A (Greenville) Councilman Michael Sottolano
City Hall, 280 Grove StreetRoom 206Jersey City, NJ 07302Tel: (201) 547-5098Fax: (201) 547-4678email:

Ward B (West Side)Councilman David Donnelly
City Hall, 280 Grove StreetRoom 202Jersey City, NJ 07302Tel: (201) 547-5092Fax: (201) 547-4678email:

Ward C (Journal Square) Councilwoman Nidia Lopez
City Hall, 280 Grove StreetRoom 202Jersey City, NJ 07302Tel: (201) 547-5159Fax: (201) 547-4678email:

Ward D (The Heights) Councilman William Gaughan
City Hall, 280 Grove StreetRoom 202Jersey City, NJ 07302Tel: (201) 547-5485Fax: (201) 547-4678email:

Ward E (Downtown) Councilman Steven Fulop
City Hall, 280 Grove StreetRoom 202Jersey City, NJ 07302Tel: (201) 547-5315Fax: (201) 547-4678 (fax)

Ward F (Bergen/Lafayette) CouncilwomanViola Richardson
City Hall, 280 Grove StreetRoom 207Jersey City, NJ 07302Tel: (201) 547-5338Fax: (201) 547-4678email:

Dear Mayor and Councilperson:

This video is funny

But the news about the reduction in hours and funding of our public libraries is not!

Please think of the services our public libraries provide and their importance to students, job-seekers and other residents of Jersey City, and please restore funding for library services. Each dollar in funding you provide lessens illiteracy, juvenile delinquency, unemployment and provides research resources and educational support for our students and citizens.

Sincerely yours,


  1. Statement From New Jersey Library Association Urban Libraries Section


    The New Jersey Library Association advocates that all communities and elected officials
    fund urban public libraries at levels above the statutory minimum, which will allow these
    institutions to provide necessary and effective services for all residents of the state.

    Economic environment

    The economic difficulties of the past two years have been extremely challenging for all
    residents of New Jersey but particularly for those living in urban areas. High unemployment, reduced afterschool programs and limited technology access have all contributed to a decline in opportunities for urban residents. New Jersey’s urban libraries provide essential services that residents need for survival and success.

    Library response

    Urban libraries provide a wide variety of resources and services that no other single
    institution can provide. As community anchors, these libraries provide: assistance in
    finding employment; access to government services; access to and assistance with
    technology; support for small business owners; a safe environment for children to read
    and learn; support for learners with indispensable resources critical to their success; and public programs for education, entertainment, and literacy.


    Statutory minimum funding for libraries in New Jersey is based on local tax bases.
    Because these bases are limited in New Jersey's urban communities, cities have
    historically funded their urban libraries above the statutory minimum in order to enable
    these libraries to provide the essential services needed by their communities. State aid to cities ameliorated the funding burden. When state aid was cut, cities were forced to cut
    library funding to the statutory minimum. The results of inadequate library funding have
    been devastating: hours have been cut, libraries closed, staff eliminated, and books and online resources reduced.


    Reductions in funding in cities like Camden, Trenton, Newark, and Jersey City are
    destroying the equal opportunity lifeline for those who are disadvantaged, poor, poorly
    educated, or newly arrived in this country. Urban libraries are a critical and essential
    governmental service that ensures equal access to information for all communities.

    Developed by the NJLA Urban Libraries Section and adopted by the NJLA Executive
    Board Sept. 21, 2010

  2. Anonymous2:35 PM

    More Bad News
    from the Jersey Journal
    Jersey City Free Public Library says 3 neighborhood branches will close, beginning with West Bergen this Friday

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    The Jersey City Free Public Library is closing its three neighborhood libraries by the end of the year, beginning with the West Bergen library on Friday.

    The branch, which opened in 1971, is located at 476 West Side Ave.

    Library officials announced the closure on Twitter yesterday and its website,, and later issued a press release saying layoffs are also pending.

    Jennifer Morrill, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, said the administration has suggested modifying hours to better accommodate residents and entering shared services agreements to cut costs.

    "The administration is of the opinion that cuts can be made without such drastic measures as completely closing neighborhood branches," Morrill said.

    Library Director Priscilla Gardner said she has no choice but to close the neighborhood libraries The Lafayette and Marion branches will also close.

    "Things are not getting better for us," she said. "There's nothing we can do."

    Gardner said staff would be transferred to other locations until the state Civil Service Commission approves her proposed layoff plan. Gardner would not say how many positions would be eliminated.

    Residents are unhappy with the news.

    Pine Street resident Lycel Villanueva is circulating a petition to save the Lafayette branch, which has been open since 1924.

  3. Anonymous5:32 PM

    Jersey City Libraries struggling to stay open ... 86346331139470.xml&coll=3

    Jersey City Public Library says 3 branches slated for closure are staying open while efforts are made to find more money from city
    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    The doors remain open at three neighborhood branches of the Jersey City Free Public Library that were slated to begin closing last Friday.

    "We are working with the city to find the money to keep branches open instead of closing them," Priscilla Gardner, the library director, said in a statement yesterday.

    "While we are in negotiation with the City Council, we are keeping all neighborhood branches open for our loyal library users."

    Spared from closing for the moment are the West Bergen, Marion and Lafayette branches.

    "To say they're (the libraries) are on life support is an accurate assessment," Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop said yesterday.

    Fulop noted the city is transitioning from a fiscal year to a calendar year budget and that could further delay what money gets allocated for the library.

    City Business Administrator John "Jack" Kelly suggested at a recent City Council meeting that the library renegotiate its lease agreements for the West Bergen, Marion, and Lafayette branches, and explore the possibility of using surplus money in the library budget to keep those branches open.

    Neighborhood branch libraries are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.