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Fernando Ferrer to speak at library
Press Release January 30, 2002

Fernando Ferrer, former Bronx-Borough president and 2001 New York City mayoral candidate, will be the keynote speaker at The Newark Public Library on Wednesday, February 6. The program inaugurates a new Latino lecture series organized by the library's New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center (NJHRIC). Mr. Ferrer has donated his time for this fundraising event in support of the NJHRIC. The program begins at 6pm in Centennial Hall, located on the second floor of the main library, 5 Washington Street. Although the event is free and open to the public, contributions to the NJHRIC fund will be accepted at the door.

Mr. Ferrer served as Bronx Borough President for fourteen years. There he implemented the largest rebuilding effort in the country. He took what was once considered a decaying community and revived it with housing and small businesses to create jobs. Ferrer also fought to keep Yankee Stadium in its original home-- the Bronx. His successes over the years earned the Bronx Borough the National Civic League's All-American City Award in 1997. At the February 6 program, Mr. Ferrer will speak on the recent New York City mayoral race. Please call La Sala Hispanoamericana, 973-733-7772, for more information on this event.

Recognizing the importance of the state's large, growing Hispanic community, The Newark Public Library announced the establishment of the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center in February 2001. The three-tier project includes:

  1. The continued development of the Sala Hispanomericana, which already has a collection of over 40,000 Spanish-language books, magazines, videotapes, and is staffed by bilingual personnel. 
  2. The creation of a research collection aimed at the special needs of students, scholars and other members of the community, making it possible to conduct in-depth research into New Jersey's diverse Hispanic community. 
  3.  The establishment of the first New Jersey-based archive of the history of New Jersey's Puerto Rican community, the state's largest and longest-established Hispanic group. The archive will incorporate a vast wealth of important historical materials collected directly from the community -rescuing vital documents and items that would otherwise be lost: diaries, letters, oral histories (audio tapes and videotapes), photographs, documents from government agencies and community organizations. Dr. Olga Jimenez-Wagenheim of Rutgers University's Newark campus is chair of the project's organizing committee. Dr. Jimenez-Wagenheim, a specialist in Caribbean and Latin American history and author of several books and articles, has directed the Puerto Rican Studies Program at Rutgers-Newark for more than 20 years.

For questions or comments on the NJHRIC, interested persons may phone Ingrid Betancourt at (973) 733-3637 (, or George Williams, the library's director of development, at (973) 733-5697 (e-mail For information regarding the NJHRIC organizing committee, please call Dr. Olga Jimenez-Wagenheim at (973) 353-5410 (e-mail:


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