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About the Plainfield Public Library


PPL in bloom The award-winning Plainfield Public Library serves Plainfield's residential, educational, and business communities through a central 45,000sf facility that is open six days and four evenings a week. Through inter-local agreements, the Library also serves residents of many neighboring towns. The Library houses approximately 310,000 volumes, including 150,000 special collection items, and employs approximately forty full and part time staff members; fifteen of whom hold M.L.S. degrees.

Centrally located with free parking, the Library is heavily used as a community meeting place. Meeting rooms of various-sizes are available to the public for programs, meetings, tutoring, and private study. Special events, such as town-hall meetings and awards programs, are regularly sponsored by community organizations. The Library itself presents a variety of special events, such as exhibits by local artists and photographers, thematic local history exhibits, lectures, candidate forums, computer training, and children's activities. The basic services of the Library are funded by the City of Plainfield. Grants from private and government agencies provide funds for upgrading and enhancing services.

In accordance with the legal requirements of the State of New Jersey, the Library is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees. Five community members, who serve five-year rotating terms, are appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the City Council. The Mayor and Superintendent of Schools, or their appointed delegates, also sit as Trustees for the length of their terms.

(updated 2/2015)

Our Vision

To be the center of cultural enrichment and information for lifelong learning for the Plainfield community.

Our Mission

The Plainfield Public Library will provide all citizens of Plainfield full and equal access to information resources, technologies, and programs for a lifetime of learning and cultural enrichment, by promoting literacy, preserving the history of the community, and serving as a community center.

Our Key Services

The Library offers many award-winning services:

  • Children's Services for all ages are conducted in the unique "Reading Rainforest," a magical space for children and parents. Popular programs include storytime, craft day, game day, school class visits, Friday films, the annual Summer Reading Club, and Reading Is Fundamental™.
  • Volunteers are an important resource of the Plainfield Public Library, with approximately 125 volunteers assisting in the delivery of library services. Opportunities are available in nearly every department:

    • Adult Literacy trains volunteers to be tutors and/or office assistants.

    • Children's Library seeks adults and teens to help with crafts, after-school homework assistance to elementary students and to help with large summer programs.

    • Local History trains for a variety of fascinating archival projects from indexing to conservation.
  • User Services include a variety of services residents find useful: fliers about community events, self-service fax machine, and self-check-out borrowing and return.

Our Award-Winning Library

Year Awarded
Name of Award
Awarded By
2024 NJDAR Volunteer Genealogist of the Year Library DIrector, Mary Ellen Rogan received this award for her expertise and willingness to assist prospective member and chapters in need. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution - New Jersey State Society
2024 Women's History Month Award Library DIrector, Mary Ellen Rogan received this award for her outstanding contributions to the Plainfield community. Plainfield Public Schools
2024 Women In NAACP Award Rosa Nicks from the Library's Adult Literacy Department received this award in recognition for being a Phenomenal Woman and the amazing work she does for the library and throughout the community. The Plainfield Area NAACP
2021 D.A.R. Americanism Award Luz (Stella) Segura from the Library's Adult Literacy Department received this award, which recognizes a naturalized United States citizen who has demonstrated the outstanding characteristics of integrity, trustworthiness, and patriotism. Francis Hopkinson Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution
2019 Library Champion Award Plainfield City Councilman Barry N. Goode Sr. was honored as a Library Champion for his continued support of the Library. New Jersey Library Association
2019 Puertorriqueño Ilustre Jailene Betancourt, Childrens Library Assistant, was honored as the 2019 Puertorriqueño Ilustre for her positive impact on the community. Comite Patriotico Cultural Puertorriqueño
2018 Elected Official of The Year

In October 2018, Plainfield Councilor Barry Goode was honored as the "Elected Official of The Year" for his popular monthly storytimes for young children in the Library's Children's Room.

Libraries of Union County Consortium (LUCC)
2017 Susan G. Swartzburg
Preservation Award
Sarah Hull, Head of Local History, Genealogy & Special Collections, for recognition of her statewide leadership and dedication to the preservation of archival, library, and historical materials. New Jersey Library Association
2015 Award of Recognition The Local History Department received this Award of Recognition for significant contributions to the history of New Jersey.  New Jersey Historical Commission
2014 Multicultural Program Award

The Plainfield Public Library's "Los Amigos ESL Club" run by Luz Stella Segura received a mention as a Runner-Up.

New Jersey
State Library
2014 Your Beautiful Library
Photo Contest
Honorable Mention for "The Reading Rainforest" as Coolest Internal Space. GALE
Cengage Learning
2012 Roger McDonough Librarianship Award Awardee: Library Director Joe Da Rold, for excellence in service to the New Jersey history research community and the general public. New Jersey Academic Alliance
2011 Trustee Recognition Award Awardee: Anne E. Robinson, President of the Plainfield Public Library Board of Trustees, was recognized for her successful advocacy efforts to restore the library's hours. New Jersey Library Association
Gail Stern Award
Awardee: Library Director Joe Da Rold, for outstanding achievement in service to New Jersey community history, with an emphasis on cultural diversity.
Advocates for
New Jersey History
Librarian of the Year
Awardee: Library Director Joe Da Rold
New Jersey Library Association
Awardee: Library Director Joe Da Rold, for services to the Hispanic Community of New Jersey
RAICES, Hispanic Cultural Association
Community Change Award
For development of the library's Diversity Studies Collection.
New Jersey Black Issues Convention
Excellence in Leadership Award
Awardee: Library Director Joe Da Rold
The Nubian Union
Alice M. Leppert Award
For outstanding achievement by the Adult Literacy Program of the Plainfield Public Library.
LVNJ - Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey
Library Service Award
to a Group
Awarded to the Literacy Advisory Committee of the Literacy Volunteers, Plainfield Public Library.
New Jersey Library Association
Public Relations Award
Service Brochure
Awarded to Plainfield Public Library.
New Jersey Library Association
Public Relations Award Program Announcement
Awarded to the Plainfield Public Library & Paul Pinkman for the promotion of the Helen Stummer photography exhibit.
New Jersey Library Association
Journalism Award
Coverage of Library
Services & Programs
Awarded to Bernice Paglia of the Courier News for her article, “Librarian donates 1,881 books to Plainfield library,” describing a large gift to our diversity collection.
New Jersey Library Association
Susan G. Swartzburg
Preservation Award
Awardee: Library Director Joe Da Rold, for leadership and accomplishments in the field of history and preservation.
New Jersey Library Association
19th Annual New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH Book Award Collection)
Thirty-six book titles will be awarded, including non-fiction humanities works by New Jersey authors or on a New Jersey subject.
New Jersey Council for the Humanities
MARAC NJ Caucus Institutional Service Award
For furthering the cause of archives and history in the state, in particular for outstanding progress in acquiring, processing, describing, and preserving local history archives.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference - New Jersey Caucus
Award for Achievement by a Community Organization
For fostering human rights and relations among the people of Union County and for promoting and
advancing the understanding, acceptance and appreciation of cultural diversity.
Union County Human Relations Commission
Public Relations Award
For best library website.
New Jersey Library Association
Award of Recognition

Awardee: Library Director Joe Da Rold, for outstanding service to public knowledge and preservation of the history of New Jersey.

New Jersey Historical
Community Distinction Award
In recognition for the significant improvements brought to the lives of the citizens of Plainfield.
Plainfield Chamber of Commerce
Best Service Brochure
For development and publication of "A Kid's History of Early Plainfield".
New Jersey Library Association
Alice M. Leppert Award
In recognition of outstanding achievement by the Adult Literacy Program of the Plainfield Public Library.
Literacy Volunteers of America - New Jersey
Access Union County Award
For outstanding commitment to improving access for people with disabilities.
Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders

The Adult Literacy Department has received additional awards for their programs and services.

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