Things are happening!
The future of the South Orange Public Library has never looked brighter
Since 2009, the Library Board has been laying groundwork for a significant renovation that incorporates the historic Connett Memorial Library building. The new and vibrant space will be a place for gatherings, solitary pursuits, and access to ever-evolving library services—a place of creativity and community.
A new link
The centerpiece of the new library complex will be a transparent, light-filled entrance linking the Connett building and the main library. The first step in this transformative vision has already been completed: the restoration of the Connett building roof, which was essential to stabilizing and rehabilitating the structure.
Based on extensive community input, the renovation plans emphasize programmatic flexibility, improved layout and welcoming, light-filled spaces. Expanded rooms for children and teens and re-designed spaces for individual, small group and community use will serve vital community needs for generations to come.
The Connett building roof restoration was undertaken by the Village of South Orange with funding from the Essex County Recreation & Open Space Trust Fund 2014 Local Aid Program. The library space analysis, community needs assessment for library services, and master plan development were carried out by Atkin Olshen Schade Architects and Library Development Solutions LLC with direction from the Library Board and the Village, and with funding through a 2009 Historic Site Management grant from the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, administered by the State of New Jersey Historic Trust. The planning process included a town-wide survey and community meetings.
Five Core Library services, building for the future
The library will be an anchor for meeting & gathering.
Inviting, neutral, public space has the capacity to inspire all generations, individuals, and groups: that space will heighten the nature of civil discourse and engagement within the community.
The library will provide, programming, service opportunities, & resources for community members at various life stages.
The community will be enhanced and enriched by the library’s resources, spaces, and programs which support community organizations, local businesses, and lifelong learners - from the earliest learners, to academic students, to community members pursuing individual interests & aspirations.
The library will provide resources & spaces which encourage & support creative endeavors.
The cultural and artistic richness of the community will grow in depth and range through opportunities for individual and collaborative exploration and communication; the currency of invention & imagination will be freely and readily available at the library.
The library will support all kinds of literacy & assure access to evolving forms of information & diverse materials.
The community will be enriched with access to a broad range of resources spanning health, e-government, business, and recreational & cultural topics and issues. Evolving technologies & shared expertise will extend value & timeliness to the community.
The library will provide & nourish a unique collection of materials and resources that chronicle the life, culture, & times of South Orange and environs.
Community members will become active participants in building an ongoing, unique and living collection. The community will be enlivened through the revitalization and expansion of historic and re-imagined spaces - spaces which support flexibility and excellence in the library service responses to diverse and changing community needs.