HPL Mission Statement & History
Hopewell Public Library is the cultural heart of the community. Through its collections, programs, and services, the library is a welcoming center for information, discovery, enrichment, and life-long learning for people of all ages.
Over the last 100+ years, the services provided by Hopewell Public Library have greatly expanded. While the library continues to offer fiction, biography, non-fiction and reference books, plus periodicals and daily newspapers, it now provides an impressive local historical collection; a vast collection of children's books and DVDs; audiobooks on CD; E-books; free WiFi internet service; computers and laptops; and a delivery service to those who cannot leave their homes.
The Hopewell Public Library also offers programs for all ages; access to copier, scanner, and fax machines; and a community bulletin board.
A Brief History of the Hopewell Public Library
Hopewell Public Library was founded on March 14, 1914 when members of the Roundabout Club, an organization dedicated to social and intellectual pursuits, invested $200 to open a Borough Library in the old harness shop on West Broad Street at Mercer Street. A year later it moved to the second floor of Fireman's Hall on Seminary Avenue. In 1917, the library became a municipal library through a public referendum, and began receiving funding from the Hopewell Borough Council.
The library was extraordinarily popular: As of October 1916, with a Borough population of 1,200, the library had 680 active patrons and owned more than 1,300 books, and had circulated 10,127 books over the past year. The library quickly outgrew its new space and moved to 28 East Broad Street in 1924 and shared this new space with the Hopewell Museum. In 1965, the library moved to its present location in the former National Bank building.
March 17, 1890: Hopewell National Bank is founded at 13 East Broad Street, the future site of the Hopewell Public Library.
March 14, 1914: Hopewell Public Library opens in the former harness shop of Joseph Harrison, 64 West Broad Street at Mercer Street.
1915: Hopewell Post Office replaces Hopewell National Bank at 13 East Broad Street.
Spring, 1915: Hopewell Free Public Library moves to Fireman's Hall, 15 Seminary Avenue. Children help by carrying books in wagons.
Feb. 1922: Hopewell Free Public Library and Museum Funding and Building Association incorporated, separate from the library, to solicit funds for a combined library and museum.
Jan. 22, 1925: Hopewell Free Public Library moves to the Stout House (the current Hopewell Museum), 28 East Broad Street, and shares the building with the museum.
Feb. 13, 1965: Hopewell Public Library moves to its current location in the old Hopewell National Bank building, 13 East Broad Street.
2009: Hopewell Public Library "automates". Patrons are issued HPL bar coded library cards and all items now have HPL bar coded labels. An online catalog replaced the physical card catalog. The online Catalog can be searched by Patrons in the Library and from home. We believe HPL was the last Public Library in New Jersey to automate; but, one of the first in New Jersey to use an Integrated Library System that is "open source" (Koha) --- a new direction for libraries.
2014: Hopewell Public Library celebrates its 100th anniversary with an eye to the future and continuing to expand and improve our offerings and environment.