Princeton Public Library set to celebrate opening of renovated second floor this Saturday

The Princeton Public Library will hold a grand opening ceremony this Saturday, March 25, unveiling the renovated second floor.

A full day of events begins with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at the top of the stairs on the second floor. Author and artist appearances and other events will take place throughout the day.

Library design firm Andrew Berman Architect redesigned the second flood with advice from focus groups of library users.

The redesign features a glass-enclosed quiet reading room, a technology center for instruction, and a technology commons with desktop computers for public use. There is also the newsroom, a newspaper and magazine reading room that converts to a 50-seat programming area. Five of the nine new study rooms are equipped with audio-visual equipment and software. The redesign also includes a discovery center for talking with library staff and a business center equipped with scanning, printing and copying capabilities. The WiFi system has been upgraded to 500mps capability.

“Now that our 2Reimagine project is complete, we’re excited about sharing it with the community,” Princeton Public Library Executive Director Brett Bonfield said. “Everything about the redesign, from the more browsable collection to the additional study rooms, to the technology upgrades, is intended to enhance the experience of visiting the library. We are very grateful to the donors who made the project possible, and look forward to all the new ways the redesign will allow us to exceed the expectations of all who come through our doors.”

Schedule of grand-opening events

10:30 a.m. – Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Reading Room
Meet artist James “Jay” McPhillips, whose paintings of scenes of Princeton are on display in the
Reading Room gallery. McPhillips will have copies of his art book available for purchase and signing.

11:30 a.m. – Newsroom
Acclaimed science writer and Princeton resident Michael Lemonick discusses his new book, “The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory and Love.” The book is the story of Lonnie Sue Johnson, a renowned artist and Princeton resident who was left amnesic after an illness and now lives in a present that rarely progresses beyond 10 to 15 minutes. Through the drama of Johnson’s everyday life,
Lemonick provides a nuanced and intimate understanding of the science that lies at the heart of human nature. A book signing will follow the talk. Labyrinth Books will provide books for sale.

11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Technology Center
Budding filmmakers 25 and younger, working individually or in teams, will be challenged to write, shoot and edit a short film, two minutes or less, in just six hours as part of the Whiplash Smartphone Film Challenge. Participants should meet in the technology center at 11:30 a.m. for a list of challenge guidelines and to receive tips for creating and editing their films using their phone and the library’s new iMac computers. At noon, the secret element that filmmakers will be asked to incorporate into their film will be revealed. Films will be screened on Saturday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the library, and a panel of judges will award prizes in consideration of technical skills, storytelling, creativity and originality of concept. First prize is $100.

Noon – Discovery Center
Members of the Princeton Macintosh Users Group answer questions about Apple devices during a two-hour session called Ask the Mac Pros.

1 p.m.  – The Fireplace
Princeton Children’s Book Festival favorite Ame Dyckman leads a special family story time featuring a reading of her newly published book, “You Don’t Want a Unicorn.” A book signing will follow the reading. Books for sale will be provided by jaZams.

2 p.m. – Newsroom
Author Hester Young reads from “The Shimmering Road,” the second book of her Charlie Cates trilogy. The reading will be followed by a book signing. Labyrinth Books will provide books for sale.

3 p.m. – Technology Center
Photographer Oleg Moiseyenko, whose works are on view in the technology center, shows visitors the vintage (1950s and ‘60s) cameras he uses to create his photographs that often take many hours to set up and capture. He will also answer questions about traditional photography and darkroom techniques. A slide show of Moiseyenko’s work will also be on view.

3:30 p.m. – Discovery Center
The all-female Robotic Rockettes  group of local middle school students that focuses on maker projects to promote STEM demonstrates its award-winning robot.

4 p.m. – Newsroom
Mimi Omiencinski of Princeton Tour Company invites participants of all ages to test their knowledge of all things Princeton in an interactive trivia contest.

5 p.m. – At the Fireplace
Princeton High School-affiliated vocal groups Around Eight and The Cat’s Meow perform a mix of standard favorites and popular songs.


  1. We have secured some really terrific prizes for the Princeton Trivia Contest thanks to the generosity of the Princeton Tour Company.

    In addition to the second floor happenings, we have other major events going on that day. In the community room it is our annual Local Author Day with 2 workshops for writers in the morning (open to all) and an author fair in the afternoon with 30+ authors.

    On the third floor we will be taking part in the statewide NJ Makers Day with a variety of make and takes for grade school kids between 2-4 pm.

    Visit for all the details …

  2. I’ve no doubt the new 2nd floor will be terrific.. but it always was.
    Any given PPL floor vs. nearly any given library floor on the planet would be amazing, before or after renovation.
    Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not against good research and technology. But I do have to wonder how much is keep up with the Joneses of Scarsdale and New Canaan, and less about solid community results. Many of us are hip deep in taxes, and if the end result is not much quantifiably better… I’ll reserve judgement until I see, but this is an issue I’ve been thinking about.
    Anyone who can rebut me, please, delighted to change my opinion if my knowledge of the facts change.

    1. I felt the same way, but I was impressed once I saw it. I’d guess more people will use the new spaces, but we’ll see. Re taxes, they say the renovation was paid for almost entirely from private donations.

      1. Correct, according to the Princeton Packet: “The “2Reimagine” renovation, as the mostly privately financed project was dubbed, was conceived of during the tenure of former library director Leslie Burger.”

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