The Washington Public Library is the heart of our community that supports and encourages life-long learning, literacy and discovery.


The Washington Public Library (Boro) seeks to preserve the past and provide traditional and new library services for all community members to gather, learn, and grow by providing:

  • A diverse community hub with open accessible services and informational, intellectual and technological resources for the betterment of all who enter our doors
  • Programming for all ages that encourages literacy, love of reading and cultural enrichment and understanding
  • A hometown friendly and knowledgeable staff that will provide professional assistance to library patrons
  • A safe, welcoming, comfortable and well-maintained facility


1983 Dedication of Building. November occupancy.
1984 Julia Meeker Furnishing Fund continues.
1985 Formal Open House, furnishings completed. Janet Davis becomes Director. Library personnel become part of the New Jersey State Civil Service .
1988 The Library becomes a Charter Member of the Region 1 Library Cooperative, part of the New Jersey Library network. Members are from: Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties.
1989 Emma Campbell Groves Collection established: Celebration. Videotape collection begun. New inventory. Alice Bingert, Senior Librarian and former Director retires after 32 years with the Library. Janet Davis resigns. Rosary S. Gilheany becomes Director.
1990 First computer bought for Library Management.
1992 Children’s Area planned. Inspired by the Junior Woman’s Club donation.
1993 Friends of the Library organized in April. Begin Anniversary Year celebration: November: Council proclamation. Children’s Area completed. New lighting in Children’s Area and Periodical Area.
1994 Computerized Readers Guide installed. Library Logo directional signs on Washington Avenue. Anniversary party during National Library Week (April). Computerization in Process: Catalog and Loan System. Regions I and II of the Regional Library Cooperatives merge to become Highlands Regional Library Cooperative, expanding to include Bergen and Passaic counties.
1995 Patrons and Staff began to use computer system. Library won second place in a New Jersey Library Association competition for a Library Service brochure in the category of libraries with budgets under $750,000. Two memorials were given to the Library: a tree in honor of a beloved high school teacher, Tom Spatz; and the other, a memorial contribution in honor of one of the Library’s regular patrons, Eugene Flanagan. Two full-time Library staffers become members of the Communication Workers of America labor union. Several Library Press Releases, which are published in the Star Ledger, led to full articles with photographs: the post-card campaign to the state legislature; the World War II original water color exhibit by Meredith Davis, a veteran who is a Washington resident.
1996 A new memorial fund in memory of Alice Ferguson Bathgate and Frances Ferguson Dryden was set up. The Kiwanis Club of Washington gave the Library a Bulletin/Announcement Board. The Library has no more corporate donors. January through February, the Library hosted a major exhibit from the Canal Society of New Jersey . The thirteen panel exhibit consisted of historical photographs and a variety of maps, all on canals in the state. According to a manual click count, there were 20,476 people using the Library in 1996, with a daily average of 75 people. Reduced summer hours for the second year.
1997 Washington Public Library is one of thirty libraries awarded a grant (Tischler) “to assist public libraries in the provision of new or expanded reference or information or children’s services through access to remote electronic resources via the Internet and the World Wide Web.”
1999 Rosary S. Gilheany retires as Director. Auto-Graphics discontinues support for catalog software. Collection development grant for Books on Tape received.
2000 Barbara Carroll becomes new Director. Mrs. Jesse Devoe Lisowski leaves the library a bequest which the Board decides to use to refurbish the Board Room for further use as an area for library programs. Winnebago Spectrum software is chosen to run the OPAC and circulation systems, requiring a major upgrade of the computer network. Parking lot is repaved. Book Discussion Group is formed. Books on Tape collection enlarged with a grant from the State Library. Washington Historical Society begins meeting.
2001 Poetry Contest is held, partially funded by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Jake’s Carpet donates new carpet to the refurbished Board Room. Plans for re-roofing the building begun. Two new word processing computers are available for public use. Collection development grant for reference collection upgrade received. Collection of items and cards to donate to the 9/11 rescue teams. Kiwanis Club of Washington donated money for staff chairs.
2002 Jesse Devoe Lisowski archival shelving added to the Board Room. Spring photography contest held. Poetry Contest expended to include short essays and is renamed Literary Contest. Spring photography contest is held. Summer Readers read record numbers of books—almost twice as many as the previous summer. Borough funds new roof. Library celebrates 75th anniversary of incorporation. Library joins statewide web-based union catalog “Jersey Cat” to facilitate interlibrary loans. The collection is nearly 45,000 volumes.
2003 Something about Washington, N.J. Yesterday and Today, a joint project of the library and the Washington Historical Society, funded by a grant from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission is published. The new roof is completed. A Tipping Point grant from The Karma Foundation provides new computer furniture and a new Internet computer for the public. DVD movie collection begins as part of Karma Foundation grant, with substantial increases in the books on CD collection.
2004 New ceiling tiles are installed throughout the building as part of the roofing project. Barbara Carroll marries to become Barbara Rose. Publication of the Washington Lineage Project, a joint project of the library and the Washington Historical Society, funded by a grant from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission.
2005 New carpet installed throughout public areas. Bradford pear trees are removed as being dangerous. Boiler is replaced. DSL access to the Internet improves connection speed and computer use rises dramatically. Department of Community Affairs awards grant for new computers.

Nine new DCA grant computers provide Internet and MSOffice access, leaving three for word processing only and one for CD databases for children. WPL catalog records added to JerseyCat. Library joins Open Borrowing with six other counties. Vandalism requires installation of digital video system. Carol McNeil retires after 25 years on the staff. Grant provides wireless Internet connection in and near the building.

The Washington Woman’s Club and the Junior Woman’s Club have been faithful through the years in their support of the children’s section, providing annual donations.

2007 Receipt of the Harpster Collection of photographs, and an oil painting of the Woodcraft factory from the 1950’s. Celebration of 80 years of incorporation by the borough. Last video tapes and books on cassette purchased, in favor of DVD and CD formats.
2008 Washington Woman’s Club donates and plants dogwood tree for front of building. Mr. Alvin Sloan dies at age 96, leaving the library a bequest. Library Board replaces storage shed. In August, begin reduction of hours open due to budget constraints. Library buys the Gale Virtual Reference Library for online use.