Free Public Library to receive funding for renovations

$1 million grant will upgrade this essential community resource

The Bayonne Free Public Library will receive funding from the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act, Assemblyman Nicholas A. Chiaravalloti announced.

Chiaravalloti represents the 31st Legislative District, which encompasses Bayonne and parts of Jersey City.

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“Libraries make significant impacts in our local community,” Chiaravalloti said. “They serve as resources not just for reading material, but also for internet access for many residents.”

Vital funding

Under bill A4942, the legislation would provide a $1,000,000 grant to the Free Public Library and Cultural Center of Bayonne and a $5,000,000 grant to the Jersey City Public Library.

The grants facilitate the construction, redevelopment, and improvement of New Jersey public libraries.

After 129 applications were reviewed by a committee of experts, the libraries in Bayonne and Jersey City were among 38 libraries eligible to receive parts of the $87,444,690 in funding.

The legislation must pass a vote in the state Assembly and Senate before being signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy.

“These improvements are necessary and much-needed, and I couldn’t be happier to see this funding be put to good use,” Chiaravalloti said.

Necessary improvements

“The City of Bayonne would like to thank Governor Murphy, Assemblyman Chiaravalloti and their colleagues in Trenton for supporting this grant to the Bayonne Free Public Library,” Mayor James Davis said.

According to Davis, the funding will enable the library to make significant capital improvements to the building, which plays an important role in the life of the community.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the library has played an essential role. During the stay-at-home order, the digital library remained open to residents, and virtual book readings took place daily on Facebook Live. Now the library has reopened in-person with a limited capacity, again allowing residents access to its wealth of information.

In March, the Bayonne City Council passed a resolution applying for this grant to cover half of the cost of the renovations. Totaling $2 million, the city will match the state grant with $650,000 from municipal bonds and $350,000 from library funds.

The renovations will include upgrading access for the disabled, improving the boiler, repairing leaks and the in-wall drainage system, fixing the facade, expanding the Children’s Room, and modernizing the indoor aesthetics.

“As someone who truly values the impact of public libraries, not just as an educational space but as a community space, I am confident that this funding will be used to make our libraries more efficient, safe, and accessible,” Chiaravalloti said.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at

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