Just ask Library Director Andrew Jackson, who has run the library since 1981."The 45,000-volume collection includes a special collection of theses and dissertations on black literature, between 1,200 and 1,500 volumes," he said. "We are the only public library that circulates theses and dissertations. This is not only used by local people, but it also interloans with academic and public libraries throughout the country."The collection also boasts a video and DVD archive of 1,500 items, including biographies, documentaries, popular movies and independent films.And specialized research collections in the research room include a black heritage newspaper collection of over 26 newspapers throughout the country."There's one that goes back to the late 1800s," Jackson said. "Depending on budget, how well we can continue to grow those collections, I think we'll have five or six databases. But those costs get expensive."The library itself was born in the aftermath of the civil rights and black power movements of the 1960s, Jackson said. It opened in 1969 as an experimental program designed to suit the specific needs of the neighborhood."We needed a library," Jackson said. "And this time, we wanted a library that we had control over, that we could operate and staff ourselves, providing job opportunities for the teenagers growing up."The library was a communal effort, with support from radical groups like the Black Panthers, as well as from middle-class professionals living in the neighborho
©2008 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.