On Monday, April 29, 2019, the Jersey City Free Public Library held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the Grand Reopening of a critical facility in the Main Library: the Reference Department.
As the first major project of the third and final phase of the Main Library’s ongoing renovations, the Reference Department underwent a complete upgrade. The intricate plasterwork and ceiling details were carefully restored and repainted in beautiful blues, yellows and earthy reds. The department was completely refurnished with new shelving, new light fixtures were installed, and an electrical upgrade brings power supply directly to the restored original oak reading tables.
The reopening of the department ends a period of closure that began in September 2016. Work on the Reference Department was delayed in 2018 when asbestos was unexpectedly found in the floor of the room; after the additional asbestos abatement work was completed, the restoration of the interiors moved forward.
“The ongoing renovations of the Main Library will ensure that this marvelous cultural and educational asset will continue to play a vital role in our community for another century to come,” said Library Director Priscilla Gardner. “We thank our patrons for their patience during construction and we invite everyone to come see and enjoy the beautifully restored Reference Department.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony was emceed by Reference Department Manager John Butler, with Library Director on hand to address the supporters in attendance, as well as Chief Librarian Hussein Odeh. Also addressing the attendees were Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, Library Trustee Sonia Araujo, former Library Board President Sondra Buesing-Riley, former Library Trustee Dr. Vijaya Desai, and library patron Annie Kessler.
In addition to the resources and staff available in the Reference Department, the Library offers a wide range of online resources accessible from any location, and Reference librarians are available by phone to assist patrons with reference inquiries and questions.
Main Library, 2nd Floor (Left Side)
(201) 547 - 4501
Department Supervisor: John Butler
Chief Librarian: Hussein Odeh