Elizabeth Public Library currently without public elevator access

ELIZABETH –Elizabeth Public Library at 11 S. Broad St. is experiencing multiple difficulties with its elevator. In the interest of public safety, and because of ongoing issues, the elevator has been pulled out of service, Library Director Mary Faith Chmiel said. “When in continual use, the elevator becomes temperamental and unresponsive. Rather than subject any of our visitors to a negative experience, we are erring on the side of caution and curtailing all public access to the elevator.”

Patrons unable to use the library stairs to access materials on the second or third floors are advised to use the library’s new “concierge” service, by requesting materials at the Rahway Avenue Circulation Desk, where a library staff member will take their request and convey it to a reference librarian via telephone.

A special “priority waiting area” has been created on the first floor, across from the stairwell and elevator. There, visitors who have requested “concierge” service can wait while library staff fulfill the request. In addition, patrons may call ahead to the Reference Department, ext. 7203, to request materials to be held for them at the Circulation Desk at the Rahway Avenue entrance.

Patrons unable to use stairs are advised to seek computer access at the Library’s other branches:

  • The Elmora Branch at 740 W. Grand St., open Monday and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To contact the branch call 908-353-4820.
  • The Nicholas S. LaCorte Branch at 408 Palmer St., open Monday and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 pm, Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 11:45 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To contact the branch call 908-820-4298.
  • The E-Port Branch at 102-110 3rd St., open Monday and Wednesday noon to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To contact the branch call 908-289-9032.

The library plans to modernize and upgrade the elevator. Elizabeth is assisting the library in the preparation of bid specs, and a public notice of the bid opportunity is expected to be posted shortly. Once the bids are reviewed and a vendor selected, manufacture of the new elevator is expected to take up to 12 weeks, followed by the installation which will take up to nine weeks.

If adequate elevator service cannot be maintained during the manufacturing period, the library expects to be without elevator service through the summer and into the fall, during both manufacture and installation. “We know that this is very inconvenient to our many visitors, and we apologize for that inconvenience,” said Chmiel.  “We stand ready to assist, whenever we can, however we can.”

The elevator passed an Elizabeth Department of Neighborhood Services Bureau of Construction and Zoning elevator inspection earlier this year, except for an issue regarding lighting in the machine room. All other inspection elements were found to be satisfactory.

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