The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center marked its 80th Anniversary on March 18, 2015.
Secaucus Public Library Timeline:
1935– A community effort, spurred on by a small group of volunteers, resulted in the opening of the first Secaucus Public Library. Housed in two rooms on the third floor of the original Town Hall, its only access was via a narrow, metal, spiral staircase. The library, which was open just 10 hours a week and staffed by volunteers until 1937, contained a collection of 200 new books and 1,030 donated materials.
1957– The new Secaucus Public Library at Plaza Center opened its doors to a facility projected to serve a population of 10,000 and house a maximum of 20,000 books. By 1984, however, increased library patronage, an expanding collection and the introduction of technology and the Internet made it apparent that the library had outgrown its quarters. By 1992, it was mandated the building comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act to make the facility accessible to all. Saving then began in earnest, along with discussion for a library that would meet the growing community’s needs.
2003– The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center, located on the main street of Paterson Plank Road, proudly opens its doors with a collection of approximately 57,000 items to serve a residential population of 15,931 and a business/corporate community that more than doubles that number each day. To meet the demands of the 21st Century, the new library provides access to instant information and state-of-the-art technology. Its programs and resources define the library as the informational, educational and cultural hub of the community.
Today– The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center offers a collection of approximately 111,638 items to serve a residential community of 18,311. The library is open seven days and five nights per week.
Secaucus Public Library Oral History Project
In connection with the Secaucus Public Library’s 80th Anniversary, the Friends of the Library sponsored the Secaucus Public Library History Project. Former Secaucus Public Library Director Katherine Steffens formed and continues to lead the Library History Committee. As their first project, the committee created an oral history of the Secaucus Public Library, from its incorporation in 1935 until the present. Throughout 2014 and early 2015, dozens of library users, supporters, staff and Friends of the Library members were interviewed by Katherine Steffens and filmed by Friends of the Library Secretary Fred Grafeld. The interviews were used to create a 90 minute documentary about the Secaucus Public Library, which premiered at the library on the library’s official 80th Anniversary.