Vailsburg Branch - Newark Public Library

Vailsburg Branch

About the Branch

The Vailsburg Branch Library is located at 75 Alexander Street, between South Orange Avenue and Lindsley Avenue. It is on the same block as North Star Charter School, formerly Alexander Street School.

The first library in Vailsburg opened in 1906 as a deposit station in the store of William Fisher on the southeast corner of South Orange Avenue and Sandford Avenue. Two hundred fifty to three hundred books were housed in a revolving case. The branch was closed in 1914 due to a lack of funds. Later, The Newark Public Library placed 3,000 books in the three schools in the area.

The idea of a Vailsburg Branch Library was discussed several times in the following years, but it was not until November 1924 that the library Board of Trustees decided to place a branch in the Vailsburg area. In October 1927 the Vailsburg Branch Library opened at its present site on Alexander Street. The building was red brick with white trim, designed in a modified Georgian style.

In the 1970s the branch was improved with air conditioning. But it was not until 2002 that the branch received a real modernization. The interior of the branch was almost completely removed and replaced with modern equipment. Three outside walls were kept to preserve the flavor of the original building. A split addition was added to the back of the branch to house the children’s room and enlarge the adult area.

The new Vailsburg Branch was opened to the public on May 20, 2003 with an official dedication ceremony on May 28th of the same year.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the branch is handicapped accessible.


There is no onsite parking. Generally, there is room on the street to park, with the exception of Monday and Tuesday mornings when there is one-side parking due to street cleaning. Click here for a local map.

Public Transportation

New Jersey Transit #1 stops at 18th Ave. at Alexander St.
New Jersey Transit #94 stops at S. Clinton St. & S. Orange Ave.
Coach USA #31 eastbound bus stops at S. Orange Ave. and Alexander St., and westbound stops at S. Orange Ave. and Hillcrest Terr., across from Alexander St.


Did you know?

Daycare centers are encouraged to bring children to the library for story and craft programs, and library tours. Special programs can be done upon request.

Collections and Services

For Adults

For Young Adults

For Children

Books and Magazines

  • Strong collection of new African-American novels for adults
  • Diverse collection of nonfiction books
  • Diverse collection of fiction books
  • Collection of African American videotapes
  • Popular video and DVD collection

DVD’s and Movies

  • Popular video collection


  • Word processing
  • Internet
  • Access to the library’s electronic resources

Community Meeting Room

  • A large meeting room is available for both adults and children during library hours. The capacity is 80 people. It is used for the homework club, various library programs, and as a meeting place for community groups such as the Tri-Block Association. To make a reservation to use the room please call 973-733-7755. There is also a small room available for tutoring.

The Young Adult Collection and Services are available:

  • Fiction, non-fiction, and paperback books
  • Books for high school assignments and papers

Parents, teachers, preschools, and students from grades K – 8 can benefit from our services.

  • Help finding materials for homework assignments
  • Books, book and cassette sets, and magazines to read for fun
  • Picture books for the early readers
  • Movies
  • Computers for:
    • Word processing
    • Internet
    • Access to the library’s electronic resources

Special activities are held throughout the year, including the popular Summer Reading Challenge. Preschool and kindergarten classes can visit and enjoy stories, films, and other fun activities. Teachers in elementary and middle schools can schedule visits to do research using the library’s wide array of resources.

Please call the Children’s Room at 973-733-7749 for seasonal programs.