Well, the blog has been quiet lately, I hope that means we’re writing. I have been on a research kick related to a story idea I had. I’ve found a couple of great resources on this, but I thought I’d just write about the most prominent, the Newark Public Library. Be prepared, I get excited about books.
The Newark Public Library is pretty great. The main branch is very close by (on Washington Street, blocks from campus), and its stacks are formiddable. They have an African American reading room and a Spanish language reading room, which reflects the attention that the librarians give to those collections. Beyond that, I’ve also seen many titles in Chinese and Hindi. The library really supports community outreach, and what is better is that the MFA program has been able to be a part of that. This last year, Chidi Asoluka, MFA ‘09 led a great book group at the Newark Public library that brought the community in contact with the Writers At Newark series that our MFA program sponsors.
On the third floor, they have a research room for New Jersey-related materials, where you can look at old newspapers that have not been digitized yet. On the second floor, they usually have some sort of exhibit, when I went yesterday it was concerning the history of the old Weequahic neighborhood in Newark, which used to have a prominent Jewish population, and is the childhood home of Philip Roth.
Finally, they have a large computer lab on the third floor, and WiFi within the building for those who bring their laptops. Once you get connected to their catalog, you’ll find that the catalog searches a number of New Jersey collections, not just the NPL’s, which is a great plus. And they have a facebook page. I love it.