About Us

Chester Library is a member of M.A.I.N., Inc. a consortium of 37 public libraries and the Morris County Library.

At the Chester Library, we lend books, magazines, large print books, audiobooks, DVDs, Blu-rays, music CDs, video games, museum passes, e-books, and downloadable audiobooks. We borrow materials from libraries across the USA upon request. We also offer a multitude of library programs for residents young and old.

Our staff will help you find the information you seek, either in person or by phone. Use our online catalog and online resources either in-person or from your home or office computer. With your Chester Library card, you have instant access to full-text periodical databases, research materials, literary criticism, language learning resources, and more. Additional databases are available in the Library.

The library has one large meeting room and 2 group study rooms that can be reserved by going here. Additionally, there is a quiet study room with study carrels for use by those patrons who need absolute quiet to study or work. There are many large tables and study carrels on the main floor of the library for your use as well.

The Chester Library was formally opened on Labor Day, September 4, 1911, in rented quarters ($4.00 per month) above a metal shoe-support factory on the corner of Main and Warren Streets. Though there was initial hope of having the Library open one afternoon and two evenings a week, the Library was open only on Saturdays, from 2:30-5:30 and 7:00-9:00 PM. In 1954 an additional evening was added. Hours were added gradually through the ’60′s, ’70′s and ’80′s, to bring Library service to its present total of 68 hours per week.

The Library moved from one rented place to another over the years. In 1922, it moved from the factory to the Drake house at what is today 127 Main Street. In 1957, it moved into the rear of 107 Main Street (corner of Hillside Avenue). For many years the post office was located in the front of this building. In 1964, the library moved again, this time into a Quonset hut adjacent to the Borough Municipal building, where it stayed until the present building was occupied in 1981.

In 2004 major renovations were completed which increased the library’s size to its current configuration. The Children’s Room was moved to the new section of the building. The Larison Program room was added, giving the library and the community a much needed public meeting room. The Larison Room, as well as 2 group study rooms are available to local non-profit groups. These rooms may be reserved with a Chester Library card either by calling the Library or by clicking on the Reserve A Meeting Room link in the Quick Links box.

Guaranteed funding for the Library did not come until the voters approved a referendum in 1975 making the Library “municipal.” Early records indicate that the Library began with an income of $165, and during the period of 1930-1947 operated on approximately $650 per year. The 2016 budget is $811,230.

In August 2011 the Library celebrated its centennial with an open house featuring speakers, music, performances and food. More than 300 residents participated in the day of celebration.

  • Jean Farley – President
  • Heather Ronco – Vice President
  • Kathleen Torgersen – Treasurer
  • Sharon Hansbury – Secretary & Twp. Mayor’s Alternate
  • Mike Macias
  • Dan Spicehandler
  • Katie Persechino
  • Lynda Rybka – Borough Mayor’s Alternate
  • Janet Aaronson – Superintendent’s Representative

The Board of Trustees meets on the third Wednesday each month at 7:00 PM at the library. No meetings are scheduled for July and August.

Meeting dates for 2019:

January 16
February 20
March 20
April 17
May 15
June 19
September 18
October 16
November 20
December 18
January 15, 2020 – Annual reorganization meeting

  • Lesley Karczewski – Director
  • Terry Ferri – Assistant Director
  • JoAnn Ullrich – Office Assistant/Bookkeeper
  • MaryAnn Burden – Youth Services Librarian
  • Donnella Tilery – Adult Programs / Library Communications
  • Local History Librarian
  • Amy Wierzbicki – Library Assistant
  • Christine Storcks – Library Assistant
  • Diane Parsons – Library Assistant
  • Kristine Horton – Library Assistant
  • Maureen Davidson – Library Assistant
  • Mirta Ryan – Library Assistant
  • Patti Lorenz – Library Assistant
  • Sally Marinelli – Library Assistant
  • Andy Gau – Shelver
  • Alex Blin – Page
  • Erin Collier – Page
  • Alyssa Weippert – Page

Year 2017 statistics

Hours of service: 3,536
Registered borrowers: 5,231
Reference questions answered: 4,807
Material borrowed: 136,734
Visits: 110,115
Programs: 528
Attendance at programs: 8,145

Local tax support:

  • Borough: $132,994
  • Township: $630,289

State tax support: $4,113