Renovations begin for the Vauxhall Branch Library

Library director Kassundra Miller stands in front of the Vauxhall Branch Library of the Union Public Library, located at 123 Hilton Ave., Vauxhall.

UNION, NJ — As of Thursday, Aug. 17, the Vauxhall Branch Library of the Union Public Library, located at 123 Hilton Ave., Vauxhall, began upgrading and will be closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5, reopening on Wednesday, Sept. 6. There will be painting, new flooring and new public computers installed during this time, according to Kassundra Miller, library director. Then, during September and October, there are plans to update display areas and some seating areas.

“The library team has been working diligently to prepare for the upgrades, and our branch manager, Gabriel Ramos, devised a plan to restructure specific areas,” she said. “With all the excitement of our upcoming new main library, and with our move into temporary spaces in 2022, we wanted to focus on updating our Vauxhall Branch. Due to the temporary main library move, funds that were allocated for utilities and running a much larger space were not exhausted, so it worked out that we were able to reallocate those funds. In 2022, the board of trustees passed a resolution to utilize the funds for the Vauxhall updates, with the cost not to exceed $250,000.”

Miller recently celebrated her one-year anniversary working with the Vauxhall Branch. “It’s been such a rewarding year, working with the library team, board of trustees and the township,” she said.
New renovations will mean a lot to library patrons. Miller said, “Our patrons will have new computers, more seating and a visually updated space. In February of this year, the board approved the renaming of the Vauxhall Branch Library’s All-Purpose Room to the Jeanette Shell All-Purpose Room.”

Jeanette Shell was the first black hired to work at the Union Public Library, in the circulation department in 1949. She was later promoted to the Vauxhall Branch. In 1994, Shell retired and was honored for her 45 years of service. The All Purpose Room will have new signage and a plaque dedicated to Shell.

Miller was also excited to share that the Vauxhall Branch received good news. “In July, we were chosen as one of the recipients of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s ‘Reading is Grand!’ grant.”

“Reading is Grand!” is a celebration of the important role black grandparents and older adults play in the lives of children. On Saturday, Sept. 9, at 12:30 p.m., the Vauxhall Branch will be hosting a program through this grant called “Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas, and Mac & Cheese: Connecting Families Through African American Culture — Make Your Own Cookbook!”

Miller added, “We have a great program planned with award-winning author/editor/professor Denise Lewis Patrick, who will facilitate the event and guide participants on how to record their family highlights, including important family events and favorite recipes, into a booklet. Just in time for Grandparent’s Day! (Sept. 10).”
For more information on the event and online registration, which is required, visit

You can also visit the site for information on grand opening events for the Vauxhall Branch. For more information, email [email protected] or call 908-851-5450, ext. 3.

Photo Courtesy of LaRona Jones