Highlight: Amy Liss

This entry has been published on July 17, 2022 and may be out of date.

Each month, we will highlight the different namesakes of the rooms within the library. These individuals have contributed greatly to make our institution what it is today, and we are deeply grateful for their commitment.

Amy Cohn Liss (1930-2021) was a dedicated supporter and long-time patron of the Summit Free Public Library. She helped establish the Summit Free Public Library Foundation and was its first president, and remained a member of the Foundation from 2013 until 2020.

Amy grew up in New Jersey. She graduated from Antioch College in 1953 and in 1954 married Dr. Henry Robert Liss. She worked for a time as an administrator and academic advisor at New York University’s School of Continuing Education.

Her father, Julius Cohn, was founder of the prominent accounting firm CohnReznick. He was involved in many philanthropic causes, many of which were focused on helping the Jewish community.

Amy took after her father as someone who was dedicated to philanthropic causes, and in 1982, Antioch College presented her with the Arthur Morgan award for service to the community. This award was designed to recognize individuals who possess the traits of good character, vision, entrepreneurship, and love of the community.

Amy’s volunteerism became her life’s work; she took her philanthropy seriously and didn’t just give, but was actively involved. While raising her family in Summit, she dedicated herself to helping organizations such as the Overlook Hospital Foundation and the Summit Free Public Library. She was a leadership sponsor at the Newark Museum, and was active in NJPAC and the Newark Symphony Orchestra. She also contributed to the Ms. Foundation for Women. Amy was an avid reader who received great joy from reading. She was a great believer in literacy and in the mission of the public library.

When Amy passed away in 2021, the Summit Library Board of Trustees decided to honor her service to the library by naming the public meeting room on the lower level the “Liss Meeting Room”. The plaque outside the room reads, “Named in honor of Amy Liss, a true friend of the library.” The Board of Trustees plans to have a ceremony in October 2022, which will be the one year anniversary for the naming of the room.

Many thanks to Adult Services librarian Rebecca Cohan for researching the contributions of Amy Liss to the Summit Free Public Library and the Summit community.