The Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation was founded by Library Director Priscilla Gardner on January 27, 2004 to support the mission of the Library: to provide services and materials for the education, enrichment and entertainment of the people of Jersey City.

 The current focus of the Foundation’s fundraising is capital improvements to Library buildings. The Library's capital plan calls for building modifications to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, enhance energy efficiency, and modernize heating, plumbing and electrical plants. The bulk of the spending is for the oldest buildings in the library system – buildings that have a great history behind them but also a vital role to play in the modern age. In particular, the Main Library, which has served Jersey City for well over 100 years, is undergoing a major renovation. The goal of the Main Library renovations is to ensure that this incredible building will serve the community in glorious condition for at least another century. For Director Gardner, this project is the capstone of a 48-year career at the Jersey City Free Public Library.

Phase I of the renovation project, completed in 2016, included the restoration of the exquisite architectural details in the Lending Department, a new elevator, barrier-free access to the Main Library entrance and renovated restrooms, and a new basement sprinkler system.

The Main Library is currently in Phase II of the renovation project, which has included continued asbestos abatement and replacement of the aluminum windows with historically-correct, energy-efficient wood.

 Phase III of the project is slated to include several major upgrades, such as: full renovation of the Reference Department and Federal Documents Department; renovation of the interior staircase and public corridors; a new structure to the rear of the building that will house a state-of-the-art auditorium, as well as new climate-controlled bookstacks and rare document storage; a complete overhaul of the building’s heating and air conditioning systems to improve performance and reduce energy consumption; new motorized windows to restore the fourth-floor clerestory windows, and a new roofing system; and refurbished third-floor restrooms.

Long term, the library also seeks to replace the smallest neighborhood branches with new facilities large enough to accommodate the surging numbers of library users in those neighborhoods.

With these planned improvements, the Jersey City Free Public Library will better serve the city, especially its low and moderate-income residents. The Jersey City Free Public Library, an important part of our community, helps children learn about the past and enables them to prepare for the future.

Your tax-deductible contribution will help our Library continue serving the diverse and growing Jersey City community now and long into the future! The Foundation accepts monetary donations, as well as property, securities or real estate, trust arrangements, bequests in wills and as beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

Contributions may be made online in the “Donation” box to the right, or mailed to:

Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc.
c/o Jersey City Free Public Library
472 Jersey Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302

Questions about the Foundation or how to make a contribution? Please contact Library Director Priscilla Gardner at 201-547-4508.

The Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc. is chartered in Jersey City as a 501(c)3 organization to receive charitable gifts.

"The door to your future is technology! The key to your future is knowledge!" —Library Director Priscilla Gardner


Priscilla Gardner
Executive Director, Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc.




 Foundation Trustees

Executive Director
Priscilla Weaver-Gardner

Michael A. Ryan

Joseph Panepinto Jr., Esq.

Roselyn Jackson
Alma Burnett
Jermaine Pharmes
Melissa Banks-Shillingford
Curt Harris, Esq.
Chris Richardson





The Jersey City Free Public Library, with its nine branches and bookmobile, has enriched the lives of people of our neighborhoods and community. The residents of Jersey City (247,597,2010 U.S. Census) have open access to information, knowledge, collections, programs, services, technology, etc., to meet their needs.

For over 100 years this library has reached out to the people of Hudson County, the State of New Jersey and the country to meet the needs of individual citizens who requested assistance or information.

As we enter the new millennium, it will be necessary to meet the challenges/needs of an ever-growing city. It is a time of tremendous change in Jersey City - a city that may become the first city in the State of New Jersey. There is a need to renew old neighborhood libraries, a need for a new community/business library on the waterfront and a new central library at Journal Square to accommodate the Main Library collection. New services and programs will be provided, collections developed, technology updated, etc.

In recent years an increasing number of public libraries have formed foundations. Usually this has been done to provide a method for alternative fundraising. Public libraries are poorly funded; no one who works in them will dispute this. Tax dollars do not stretch to cover inflation in the publishing industry, advancements in technology or staffing costs.


A foundation is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization with funds and programs managed by its own trustees or directors and established to maintain or aid social, educational, charitable, religious or other activities serving the common welfare, primarily through the making of grants.

Foundations in one form or another have been around at least since ancient Egypt and Greece used charitable trusts to support religious and educational activities. The English legally defined them in their statutes in the 1600’s. But it had been the Americans who have really developed the concept of the general purpose foundation. Andrew Carnegie, a name familiar to all public librarians, established the Carnegie Corporation in 1911 and since then foundations with broad charitable purposes have flourished.


Jersey City Free Public Library (JCFPL) has developed a first-time, broad-based and aggressive fundraising and grant program. The funds received from this foundation will be used to buy books and computers, rehabilitate the nine branches, the Bookmobile and the Main Library, replace antiquated equipment and worn furniture, relocate to City-owned properties some of the small storefront libraries, and to purchase a new bookmobile with ADA accessibility and to provide ADA accessibility to all branches.


The goal is to have a net income of $5,000,000 within the next 5 years.


Providing revenues to the library to enhance services in the most direct and observable activity of a library foundation, but a foundation has other advantages for the institution.

Provident Bank Foundation - $50,000.00

Estate of Raymond A. Landis - $28,864.88

Goldman Sachs - $31,170.06

Healy Foundation $12,500.00

Comcast – $8,700.00

Wendy Kalil - $6,000.00

Michael Ryan $5,000.00
Hunt, Hamlin & Ridley Law Offices - $2,000
Helena Ruman Architects - $2,000

PSE&G - $1,500

Ethan Russell - $750.00
Andrew Anderson - $500.00

Christian Coon – $250.00

Gary Murphy - $150.00

Alexander L. Donohue - $150.00

Jigruksh Trivedi – $50.00

Jennifer Gautier - $50.00

Saro Kalayjian – $50.00

Daniel Chall – $25.00

Josephine Go – $25.00

William Laventhal – $25.00



Anonymous Givers


Martha Larkins & William M. Vasil
Harwood Properties, LLC

Nancy and Nathan Sambul

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Pershing LLC
Maureen Crowley


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472 Jersey Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07302

(201) 547 - 4526

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(201) 579 - 0694

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