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 Priscilla Gardner Main Library, which has served Jersey City for well over 100 years, is undergoing a major renovation. The goal of the Priscilla Gardner 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 50-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 Priscilla Gardner Main Library entrance and renovated restrooms, and a new basement sprinkler system.
The Priscilla Gardner 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 Priscilla Gardner Main Library
472 Jersey Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302