About PALS Plus

PALS Plus is a library consortium comprised of 29 public and academic libraries in 21 communities across Passaic, Essex, and Hudson counties.  Library card holders from PALS Plus libraries have access to over 1.2 million books, 100,000 movies, 27,000 audiobooks, 26,000 CDs, and over 1,000,000 digital titles including ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and television shows.  

Additionally, residents of PALS Plus libraries have in-person borrowing privileges at over 75 other libraries throughout New Jersey through Open Borrowing.

Our History

December 1991
Clifton Public Library, Totowa Public Library, & Wanaque Public Library
The Early Days

Representatives from the Clifton Public Library, the Totowa Public Library, and the Wanaque Public Library are the first Passaic County libraries to agree to participate in a shared resource model that would eventually become PALS Plus.

April 1992
PALS Plus is Incorporated
PALS Plus, Inc.

With five members, the group decides to make it official.  In April of 1992, PALS Plus, the Passaic Area Library System, is officially incorporated as a 501(c)3 in the state of New Jersey.  The consortium is established with five original members: Clifton, Pompton Lakes, Totowa, Wanaque, and West Milford.

April & May 1992
Pompton Lakes Public Library & West Milford Public Library
The Early Days

In April of 1992, the Pompton Lakes Public Library, quickly followed in May of 1992 by the West Milford Public Library sign on.

October 1993
Claire Houghton-Kiel

In October 1993, PALS Plus hires Claire Houghton-Kiel as the Executive Director to oversee the system, network infrastructure, and governing and financial policies of the consortium. Claire remains with PALS Plus until August 2007.

November 1993
PALS Plus is live
The Early Days

In November of 1993, PALS Plus is officially live on a shared integrated library system and expanding access to library collections across the 5 members.

May 1995
Open Borrowing - Reciprocal borrowing
Open Borrowing

In May of 1995, representatives from neighboring consortia including PALS Plus meet to discuss an idea of expanding shared in-person access to physical collections across libraries in the region. This idea would eventually become Open Borrowing, a program that provides residents of participating systems and consortia access to over 75 libraries across northern and central New Jersey. This program exists to this day and is a model of resource sharing and reciprocal borrowing in the state of New Jersey. See to learn more.

February 1996
North Haledon Public Library
North Haledon

In February of 1996, the North Haledon Public Library becomes the 6th member of PALS Plus.

June 1999
Passaic County Community College
Passaic County Community College

In June of 1999, PALS Plus welcomes the libraries of the Passaic County Community College as its 7th member and first (and currently only) academic library.

October 1999
Paterson Public Library

In October, the Paterson Public Library and its multiple branches become the 8th member of the consortium.

June 2000
Little Falls Public Library
Little Falls

The new century brings the Little Falls Public Library as the consortium’s 9th member in June of 2000.

July 2001
Ringwood Public Library

Just over one year later, in June of 2001, the Ringwood Public Library is welcomed as the 10th member. Finally, double digits!

February 2002
Bloomingdale Public Library

The Bloomingdale Public Library joins in February of 2002, becoming the consortium’s 11th member.

March 2002
Alfred H. Baumann Public Library
Woodland Park

The Alfred H. Baumann Public Library of Woodland Park quickly follows Bloomindale’s lead and becomes the 12th member in March of 2002.

April 2002
10th Anniversary

In April 2002, PALS Plus celebrates it’s 10th year as a consortium.

April 2003
Wayne Public Library

A little over one year passes before the Wayne Public Library joins PALS Plus in April 2003, becoming its 13th member.

March 2004
Cedar Grove Public Library
Cedar Grove

2004 will prove to be a busy year for PALS Plus as three libraries become members. In March of 2004, the Cedar Grove Public library becomes the 14th member. Cedar Grove, a community in Essex County, is also the first to be represented in the consortium from outside Passaic County.

September 2004
Haledon Public Library

September of 2004 bring the Haledon Public Library as the 15th member.

October 2004
Caldwell Public Library

Quickly followed in October of 2004 by the addition of the Caldwell Public Library as the 16th member.

January 2007
Passaic Public Library

Half a decade passes before the membership of the Passaic Public Library in January of 2007 as the 17th member.


May 2008
Ruth Bogan

In May of 2008, Ruth Bogan takes the helm as the second Executive Director of PALS Plus. A position she’ll hold until July 2015.

April 2012
20th Anniversary

In April of 2012, PALS Plus celebrates 20 years of services to the residents of PALS Plus libraries.

July 2015
Robert White

In July of 2015, Robert White, retired Executive Director of BCCLS and a visionary in establishing library consortia in New Jersey, begins his retirement stint as Interim Executive Director which will keep him busy through March 2016.

November 2015
Verona Public Library

A half decade passes before the Verona Public Library is added as the 18th member in November 2015.

March 2016
Luca Manna

In March of 2016, Luca Manna begins his tenure as the third Executive Director of PALS Plus. He’s yet to be released from his duties.

February 2019
Belleville Public Library & Information Center

The decade ends with two members, the first being the Belleville Public Library and Information Center as the 19th member, but due to some delays Belleville doesn’t go live until the summer of 2021.

July 2019
Union City Public Library
Union City

The Union City Public Library becomes the 20th member in July of 2019. Union City is the first library from Hudson County to be represented in PALS Plus, joining Passaic and Essex counties.

January 2021
Kearny Public Library

The 2020s begin with the membership of the 21st member.

June 4, 2022
Passaic County Book Festival
Inaugural Passaic County Book Festival

PALS Plus partnered with the Passaic County Department of Cultural and Historic Affairs for the inaugural Passaic County Book Festival.

The book festival was held at Weasel Brook Park in Clifton, NJ and over 600 attendees enjoyed meeting over 50 authors and listening to panels and discussions on a variety of topics.