THE HISTORY OF THE JOSEPH AND CATHERINE MARJANCZYK LIBRARY
In 1973, soon after the Polish Cultural Foundation (PCF) acquired a storefront information office in Irvington, NJ, a donated storage rack was installed and, with a few donated books, the Foundation Library was created. Additional gifts of books from members and well wishers grew the collection to about 100 volumes.
Later, with the acquisition by gift from the estate of Kazimierz Kolodziejczyk of books, periodicals and storage racks, the holdings increased to about 15,000 volumes with a very large number being bulk amounts of individual items. These holdings were from the former Polish Book Importing Company located in Union Square in New York City.
The holdings were placed in paid dead storage until the Foundation acquired its facilities in Clark, New Jersey around 1983. The print materials were transferred to the new facilities in Clark and stored in the room now known as the Banquet Hall. As time went on, the books were processed by first removing them from wooden storage crates, disposing severely damaged or mildewed items and distributing the rest throughout the entire facility to await further processing. To reduce duplicates, some items were sold retail and others in bulk.
As time went on, space was designated for the library (in place currently known as the Marjanczyk Library) and donated storage shelving was mounted and secured. Slowly, print materials were retrieved from all parts of the newly acquired buildings and placed on the racks. Then, books were placed in some order and a modified Dewey decimal system was slowly implemented to identify the materials.
When the Board of PCF Board of Trustees reached a final decision to retain the Clark property, a generous monetary gift was received from Msgr Joseph A Marjanczyk in honor of his parents to relieve the financial burden of maintaining the library. In gratitude, the library received its present name: “The Joseph and Catherine Marjanczyk Library”.
The Marjanczyk Library has served the Polish community for several years, but the library has suffered from lack of resources to staff it and to keep it open during regular hours. The library’s physical plant has become outmoded and is showing some signs of deterioration even though the books remain in excellent condition. As a result, fewer and fewer people are taking advantage of our great collection of books.
Over the last several years, many well intentioned individuals have attempted to renovate and modernize the library. In 2002, the first Library Improvement Committee was created, consisting of the following members: Caesar T. Gaza, Veronica Gadomski Leonard, Peter Magierski, Maria Puszkar, and Barbara J. Sikora as chairperson.
On April 22, 2010, Dr. Caesar T. Gaza asked the current Marjanczyk Library Chairman Arkadiusz Kazimierski to create a new Library Committee that would be willing to provide major support to renovate the Marjanczyk Library. Such a committee was formed in the second half of 2010, with the following members: Dr. Jolanta Cholon, Eugenia Anisko, Jerzy Prus, Stanislaw Sliwowski, M.D., Adam Janczuk Ph.D., Magda Rudnik-Nieroda, Artur Kowalski Ph.D., Małgorzata Stępień; Danuta Burzynski; Tomasz Szybowski; Piotr Magierski and Arkadiusz Kazimierski Ph.D. This still existing committee has been able to renovate the library and put it in the current state as of November 2014.