Mission Statement and Library History

Mission Statement

The West Caldwell Public Library nurtures and builds community by providing access to materials that foster life-long learning, a love of reading, and a spirit of exploration for all.   


In 1915, Julia H. Potwin, daughter of Nathaniel Crane, bequeathed to West Caldwell funds and land at the merge of The Turnpike (now Bloomfield Avenue) and Old Road (now Clinton Road) to erect a library to be called The Julia H. Potwin Memorial Library. She mandated that at least one of the trustees should be a woman.

In 1969, with the consent of Julia Potwin’s heirs, The Julia H. Potwin Memorial Library became the West Caldwell Public Library so that the town could finance the library with municipal funds.

In 1975, to meet the need for both larger municipal offices and a larger library, the Mayor and Council purchased the building at 30 Clinton Road to be occupied on the first floor by the library and on the second floor by the township.

In 1991, West Caldwell Public Library joined the Bergen County Cooperative Library System. BCCLS is a consortium of 77 public libraries in Essex, Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties which share a wide range of services and materials. The library became automated with public computers for adult and youth services departments.

In 2003, “A New Chapter” project raised funds to construct a community meeting room, kitchenette and separate entrance. The Reiher Family Meeting Room honors a retired Mayor and member of the Board of Trustees. The floor plan was reconfigured to meet patrons’ needs. New carpeting, lighting and furniture were purchased and a bow window with seating was added to the Children’s Room.