The Newark Public Library (NPL) system is more than just a group of buildings that you can get books, DVDs, CDs, and other educational material; it is an institution of community development. Since the beginning of the history of libraries in the United States, libraries have been viewed as opportunities for people to better themselves. Libraries have also been a location for holding records of the events in the area. Many libraries, maybe including the library back in your home town, might have a section of the library dedicated to holding some historic items of your town.
Newark was founded on October 31, 1693 by Robert Treat. He was a Puritan from the New Haven Connecticut Colony and received a Royal Charter from the King England in April 27,1713. It was until 1847 that Newark Library Association (NLA) was founded and eventually became the Newark Public Library (NPL). In 1899, the NLA built their first library on Washington Street and since then, the library has been home to educational material, historical achieves, cultural events and community development. Today, they serve approximately 10,000 patrons per week and play a key role in the development of Newark.
According to the current Newark Pubic Library Board President, Timothy Crist, nearly one-third of all Newark city residents are living below the poverty line and 52% of adult residents are illiterate. This means that the city of Newark needs a great library because to many residents of Newark the NPL will be the only institution where they can get their tools and resources to learn.
That is why the Carnegie Corporation of New York has stepped up and awarded the Newark Public Library Foundation a $1 million grant to support family literacy, digitize historic materials, and stimulate future fundraising efforts. These three areas are important because family literacy allows people to learn on their own.
Digitalization of historic materials allows the rich history of Newark to be preserved for generations to come and greater access to this rich history and stimulates future fundraising efforts by priming the pump to acquire more money from philanthropic minded people and corporations that might fund the writing of proposals for more grants from government and corporations.