Submitted by Barbara Shallit, Library Director, Ret. 1996-2004
The library in Roselle Park, was incorporated in 1930 as the Free Public Library of Roselle Park. Our first home was a store front on Chestnut Street and our first director was Miss Edith Kingsland. We had approximately 1000 books with over 700 on permanent loan from the Library Bureau in Trenton (now the State Library). Right after the library opened, the Depression hit and we had people standing in line waiting for books to be returned so they could be borrowed again.
Miss Kingsland served the library for 25 years, until 1955 and was succeeded by Mrs. Ruth DeHoff. During the DeHoff years, the library which had steadily grown in size, could no longer serve the residents of Roselle Park in the store front building. We needed more space and with the approval of then Mayor Arthur Dorfner and the Roselle Park Veterans, our first permanent building was constructed. It was 4800 square feet and was designed to hold 24,000 volumes.
We soon outgrew the space, which was four times larger than our storefront home and in 1974, Mrs. DeHoff oversaw the building and dedication of the first addition to the library. Mrs. DeHoff retired in December, 1974 and since then there have been a series of Directors. In the early 1980's the name of the library was changed officially to the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library, in honor of the Veterans of Roselle Park who made our building possible.
During the next 20 years, the library continued to grow. Each director contributed expertise to the collection of knowledge housed in the building and we were soon looking for sky hooks to shelve the vast store of materials, which now numbered more that 50,000. A move was made to put on another addition and ground was broken in 1995. The newest addition has brought library space to over 10,000 square feet.
In addition to the traditional books the library now houses computers, books on tape, videos, CD's, Meeting Room, information center, pictures, and music tapes. We offer a photocopier and FAX service and allow our patrons to reserve and renew materials over the phone and online. Our aim is to offer the most comprehensive service possible to our residents and to that goal we are constantly changing and growing.
404 Chestnut Street, Roselle Park, NJ 07204;
908-245-2456; 908-245-9204(fax); firstname.lastname@example.org