A Pillar of the Community

Our Mission

The mission of the Cliffside Park Public Library is to provide quality services, resources, and lifelong learning opportunities through books and a variety of other formats to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs and interests of its diverse and changing population.

The Library is a forum for all points of view and adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights formulated by the American Library Association.

Staff Directory

Stephanie Bellucci

Library Director

Maria Worth

Assistant Director / Facilities Manager

Caryl Hardigan

Library Assistant

Luke Sushko

Head of Circulation

Andrew Simeone

Adult Services Supervisor

Joseph Rivera

Youth Services Supervisor

Penina Ouda-Onyango


Board of Trustees

Honorable Thomas Calabrese, Mayor

Janet Merrill, President

Therese Sigrist, Vice President

Kathleen Guzman, Treasurer

Simon Bracco, Trustee

Karen Corcoran, Trustee

Shahin Rahvar, Trustee

Michael J. Romagnino, Supt. of Schools

Dana Martinotti, Council Liaison/Mayor’s Alt.

Board Meetings

Pursuant to Chapter 231 Laws of 1975 “Open Public Meetings Act,” the Board of Trustees of the Cliffside Park Free Public Library hereby gives notice that their Regular Public Meetings will be held every second Tuesday of each month, starting January through December (no meetings are held in July and August), at 4:00PM in the Library Conference Room, 505 Palisade Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010.

The Meeting’s date, time and format may be subject to change.
*The April meeting will be held on 4/18/23 at 4pm

Our History


In the late 1890’s it is believed that four prominent, female, residents of Cliffside Park (Miss Cowan, Mrs. Jameson, Mrs. McClave and Mrs. Nutt) would meet in their homes to discuss books. They read books from their homeland in Europe as well as American titles.

1890's - 1911

The Edgewater Library Club serviced the residents of Cliffside Park with free reading materials. However, in 1911 the Edgewater Library Club went out of existence.

Sometime after the closure of the Edgewater Library Club, Mrs. Jane E. Coulter, Principal of School #3, began discussions with local officials and pillars in the community to form support for a free public library in Cliffside Park. Monies were set aside to fund the library at $300 in the first year and $500 each year thereafter.

June 11, 1913

The Public Library of Cliffside Park opened to visitors in one room, on the second floor of Cliffside Park Public School #3. The next day it began circulating its 1,435 books to the residents. The books were donated by Mrs. McClave’s book group, the Edgewater Library Club and by citizens and friends of the Borough. Mr. Robert Morton was the library’s director. In 1915 Mr. Morton resigned as librarian and Miss Nancy Bowman (ret. 1925) took his place.

1913 - 1918

It was deemed necessary that the residents needed to formally vote, via referendum, to own and maintain a free public library and become officially incorporated.

November 5, 1918

The library referendum was on the ballot at the November 5, 1918 General Election (the mid-point of Woodrow Wilson’s second term in office and a key senate race). The vote passed unanimously.

March 13, 1919

In response to the outcome of the referendum, the Trustees of the Public Library of Cliffside Park passed a resolution dissolving the Public Library of Cliffside Park and forming the Free Public Library of the Borough of Cliffside Park. A seven member Library Board of Trustees was appointed (Mayor John C. Cadien, Mrs. Jane E. Coulter, Mr. Warren N. Drum, Dr. E. C. Hellstern, Mr. Patrick F. Kelly, Mrs. Carrie Maude Koch and Mr. Robert H. Nutt).

March 20, 1919

Mayor John C. Cadien and the Library Board of Trustees recorded the library’s ballot results and resolution with the Clerk of the County of Bergen.

May 13, 1919 at 10:43AM
The library's "official" birthday!

Arthur M. Agnew, Master Chancery of New Jersey, recorded the library’s incorporation into the State of New Jersey’s rolls. Miss Nancy Bowman was the Library Director and remained the director until 1925.

June 16, 1926

The library opened a branch; the Grantwood Branch, in Cliffside Park Public School #4. The main library and branch were run under the direction of Mrs. Maude P. Koch (ret. 1939).


The Friends of the Cliffside Park Public Library was formed. For more information about the Friends of the Cliffside Park Library, go here.

April 1935

The Friends of the Cliffside Park Public Library was formed. For more information about the Friends of the Cliffside Park Library, go here.


Resident, Bessie Woods passed away. Woods resided at 505 Palisade Avenue; she bequeathed her home, and the land it was on, to the library.


The library had a collection of 30,000 items and 35,000 annual circulations and was outgrowing its main library & branch locations. Mayor James F. Madden, the Borough Council and Library Board of Trustees made the decision to build a library on the site of Miss Bessie Woods’ home. To complete the project, the Mayor and Council issued a bond and solicited for donations from residents and organizations. One such solicitation was a fee-based, concert program, held on Sunday, October 3, 1965 at 8:00pm.


Under the direction of architect Robert J. L. Cadien, A.I.A. there was a groundbreaking for the new library.

October 15, 1967

Mayor Gerald Calabrese, the Borough Council and the Library Board of Trustees formally dedicated the newly built library. Mrs. Assunta Nappo Ferrelli (ret. 1975) was the library’s director.

June 26, 1979

There was a formal dedication ceremony for the expansion of the library, which created a larger children’s room and a meeting room for programs. Miss Jane Galgoci (ret. 1996) was the library’s director.

October 1, 1979

Cliffside Park Public Library joined the newly formed Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS – aka “buckles”) for the purpose of sharing library materials between members to better service the patrons of the individual libraries. *For information about BCCLS, go here.

May 1985

When libraries began to automate, BCCLS, formed a computer consortium to share the costs. Cliffside Park’s library became a member of the consortium in 1988 and remains a member today. Cardholding members of the Cliffside Park Public Library can borrow items from any of the other 70+ BCCLS member libraries including several that are outside of Bergen County.

1996 - 1999

Mr. Robert Pawson was the library’s director. Mrs. Ana Chelariu replaced Pawson and remained director until 2010. In March 2013, Chelariu wrote a children’s book.

November 30, 2009

An early morning fire destroyed much of the library. Much of the collection was able to be restored but sadly, the hardest hit room in the building was the Local History Room. From March 2010 through August 2011, the library operated out of a small temporary storefront location at 781 Palisade Avenue. During that time, the location of 505 Palisade Avenue was being renovated and expanded to 9,000 square feet. The architectural firm for the project was Arcari & Iovino, P.C.

September 25, 2011

The library’s temporary location was across the street from the site of the world famous Palisades Amusement Park. Architects drew on that history and incorporated the park into the new library’s décor as a way to pay tribute to Cliffside’s moment in the spotlight. The park was also honored on newly issued library cards. The library was formally dedicated with a grand re-opening celebration. Camille Valentino Steinfeld (res. 2012) was the library’s director.


Books as Tributes

There are times when we wish to honor a person or to commemorate an important event, and a gift to your library affords an opportunity to do this. Books are fitting tributes to the people or events we wish to be remembered, for ideas in books live on.

Gifts are appropriate on many occasions, such as the birth of a new baby, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, holidays and as memorials. A memorial gift is most often made on the death of a relative or a friend whose memory we wish to make lasting. It is fitting to help interests live on through books which the deceased might have selected. Whatever the interests, they can be promoted and shared through a gift to your public library. Gift books add particular richness to the collection, for volumes selected for tributes as limited to those which meet the library’s needs.

If you would like to make a gift (suggested minimum $15.00), please use the following form: Gift form

All contributions are tax deductible. The library staff will make an immediate thoughtful selection of a suitable book or books and will make the appropriate acknowledgement of the gift. A bookplate with the name of the person honored and the name of the donor will be placed in each book. Books provide lasting tributes which bring pleasure to scores of readers!

Monetary Donations

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