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Newark Public Library named a "Literary Landmark"
Press Release September 16, 2002

The New Jersey Center for the Book has designated The Newark Public Library as a "New Jersey Literary Landmark." It is the Center’s first such designation since its recent creation by the national Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. 

According to Renee B. Swartz, Chair of The New Jersey Center for the Book, the Center has as its mission to celebrate books, reading, libraries, and the diverse literary heritage of New Jersey. One important responsibility of the New Jersey Center is to draw attention to the state’s authors and literary landmarks. The fact that Newark is—and has been—the home to many authors and others associated with the literary community, coupled with The Newark Public Library’s commitment to meet a diverse and changing population, were instrumental in its selection. 

"We are delighted to receive this honor," stated Director Dr. Alex Boyd. "The library has a long and illustrious history of service to the many communities we serve. Being named a ‘literary landmark’ validates our efforts."

A day of celebratory events in honor of this tribute will be held at the main library, located at 5 Washington Street, on Wednesday, October 2. Among the distinguished persons to be present that day are Dina Matos McGreevey, New Jersey’s First Lady; Dr. Clement Alexander Price, Newark Public Library Trustee and Master of Ceremonies for the day; Dr. John Y. Cole, Director, The Center for the Book, Library of Congress; Norma Blake, New Jersey State Librarian; Amiri Baraka, Poet Laureate of New Jersey; and Renee B. Swartz, Chair, New Jersey Center for the Book. 

A festive ceremony and reception begins at 10am in Centennial Hall (second floor). At that time, Renee B. Swartz will present a plaque marking the "Literary Landmark" designation.

From 11am to 1:30pm, in several locations in the main library, a number of authors will give readings of their works and hold book signings. (Books will be available for purchase.) Among the authors scheduled to appear are Anthony Bruno, Donald Crews, John T. Cunningham, Dr. E. Alma Flagg, Jackie Hardrick, Amy Hill Hearth, Michael Immerso, Richard Koles, Barbara Kukla, Benilde Little, Linda Ripa, Jean-Rae Turner, Valerie Wilson Wesley, and Sharon Dennis Wyeth. 

There will be an "Afternoon of Storytelling" with Julie Pasqual from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. This special event for children and adults will be held in Centennial Hall. 

The Friends of The Newark Public Library will host a reception at 6pm in Centennial Hall that precedes "An Evening With Joyce Carol Oates." The noted New Jersey author will present a lecture and reading beginning at 7pm; a book signing follows. 

Rounding-out the day’s celebratory events in honor of the National Book Festival is an all-day mini-exhibit/photo display of Newark authors. Charles F. Cummings and the library’s New Jersey Information Center staff curated this unique display, which will be on view in selected areas of the main library. 

All of the day’s events are free and open to the public. For more information, patrons may visit the library’s website ( or call (973) 733-7837.


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©2002 The Newark Public Library
5 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07101