About the Library
The Irvington Public Library has served the community since 1915. The 33,000 square foot building it now occupies was completed in 1968. It is located on Civic Square opposite Irvington High School and close to the Springfield Avenue shopping district. The building is accessible to handicapped people.
The Library has more than 180,000 books and 150 periodical titles. The non-print collection includes books on tape, videos, audio cassettes, DVDs and CD-ROMs. In 1998 the Library migrated to an automated catalog and circulation system, which has since been upgraded. The Library shares this system, called Clavis, with the Newark Public Library. Newark Public Library and Irvington Public Library honor one another's library cards, so Irvington Public Library members may borrow from Newark libraries and vice versa.
The Library has 35 computers for public Internet access. 16 are in the Internet section in the Mezzanine, six in the Children's Library, twelve in the Technology Training Lab and 1 research computer in the Adult Reference area . Introductory Internet classes (as well as classes in e-mail, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel) are held weekly and are free of charge. Those interested in participating are asked to sign up at the reference desk 15-30 minutes before the start of the class.
The Library is a "hot spot" for wireless Internet for those who have a laptop and there are several power sources located throughout the main reading room.
The Library offers a variety of free programs. Children's activities include story hour, a summer reading program, Halloween and Christmas parties, arts and crafts, bingo, and occasional special programs. There is also an annual "Read-Out", where parents and local officials read to an audience of children and adults. Programs for adults include the aforementioned computer classes, a monthly poetry night, author presentations, an annual art fair, Black History Month programs, and special public affairs presentations.
Library use has been increasing over the past several years. Well over 400,000 people used the Library in 2006, up almost 50,000 from 2000. Internet usage is skyrocketing. We are on a pace to see 55,000 visitors in our Internet section in 2007; that's over double what use was in 2001.
The Library currently operates on a one million dollar ($1,000,000) annual budget. About ninety per cent of the budget comes from the Township of Irvington's annual lump sum appropriation. The State of New Jersey contributes about eighty thousand dollars ($80,000) through the state Library.