Puerto Rican Archives Win Innovation Award!

Congratulations to the staff of the Hispanic Research and Information Center for their receipt of the 2019 Innovative Archives Award from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. See press release below.

PRESS RELEASE 5 July 2019 — The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference’s New Jersey Caucus is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2019 Innovative Archives Award is the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center’s Puerto Rican Community Archives of the Newark Public Library. The award is given every year to an organization that has made an outstanding effort to preserve and make accessible archival materials in the State of New Jersey. The Puerto Rican Community Archives (PRCA) was established in 2006 after the Newark Public Library conducted a systematic survey of historical records on New Jersey’s Puerto Rican communities. Archives staff work to collect, preserve, and provide access to the records that tell the story of the state’s oldest Latino group, and they seek to educate the community of the value of preserving its history. In furthering these goals, PRCA staff reach out to families, organizations, and businesses to acquire materials that may otherwise be lost. They also encourage high school and college students to train for careers as librarians and archivists, and foster an active Friends group to support the collection’s mission.  The Puerto Rican Community Archives comprise over fifty collections originating from across New Jersey, including personal and professional papers, community and cultural organizations, and records of newspapers and government agencies. In addition to scholarly use, PRCA materials were highlighted in Diantha Dow Schull’s 2016 publication, Archives Alive: Expanding Engagements with Public Library Archives and Special Collections, and are featured in public programs and travelling exhibitions. In order to expose young people to careers in special collections, the PRCA Archivist developed an eight-week summer program that trains Newark-area teens to identify and inventory records of local organizations.  For these reasons, the MARAC New Jersey Caucus recognizes the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center’s Puerto Rican Community Archives for their innovative approach to documenting the history of the state’s residents. The award will be presented on October 12, 2019, at Archives and History Day at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan; additional details to follow.

Outsider Artz Program (Courtesy Ingrid Betancourt)

Outsider Artz
Newark Public Library, Main Library

The Outsider Artz Project offers weekly art workshops for patrons who are experiencing homelessness. NPL’s social worker participates in the workshops, getting to know the participants informally as they create art together. This connection has led a number of workshop attendees to seek social work assistance.
Outsider Artz supports the library’s values of inclusion, expression and community, and strives to fulfill NPL’s commitment to serving underserved and marginalized patrons.


Program Overview
Inspiration for this program came via a homeless artist at the Van Buren Branch who voiced the need for people who are homeless to have a place where they could come together to learn about, and create, art. At the Main Library two other patrons had shared that they were members of an informal homeless artists’ collective – mostly artists who work with recycled or found objects – and wondered whether the library could support their efforts to exhibit and sell their work. We knew there was an interest in art programming in this community.


Outsider Artz was started in May 2019 as a six-week pilot project. The workshops take place in the Main Library’s Café on Thursday mornings, from 10:30 am – 12:00 noon. Local artist Mansa Mussa was hired to provide art instruction and materials during the initial six-weeks. Art projects have included: healing hands collages, octahedrons, photo frames, book arts, learning how to marble paper, and creating origami sun catchers. Coffee and refreshments are offered during the program.
Attendance: 9-16 attendees per week. (Maximum capacity is 20) We estimate we’ve had approximately 80 participants during May and June.
We have extended the program beyond the initial six-week period – through the end of the summer – with the rest of the workshops being facilitated by project organizers.
Project organizers: Susan Lazzari, Van Buren Branch; Ingrid Betancourt and Nadine Sergejeff, Special Collections; and Jessica Campbell, NPL Social Worker.

Outcomes
Provides programming to a traditionally underserved and marginalized patron population
Connects homeless patrons to NPL’s social worker, Jessica Campbell, for needed social services
Promotes patron wellness through artistic self-expression – enjoyable activities that provide temporary relief from anxieties and worries. “It’s very relaxing. While I’m focused on doing this I am not thinking about all my problems.” “I haven’t done stuff like this since I was a kid. It’s kinda fun.”
Challenges negative stereotypes about, and increases understanding of, community members affected by homelessness. Officers and staff have remarked positively on art produced by patrons, “William made that?!” During the workshops, some participants share their stories and experiences in Newark. Project staff has learned about life in the shelters, and about homeless associates who do not currently participate and what other projects might interest this population.
Builds connections/community among the participants as they often encourage each other in art expression and life situations.
Art is displayed in the café for the enjoyment of all patrons and staff. Artists feel recognized and valued.

Next Steps
Project staff has met with Lisa Duggan, Program Director at GlassRoots in Newark to discuss a possible Outsider Artz collaboration this fall. They are willing to provide monthly, bi-monthly or weekly glass-mosaic programs on-site at the library. We are waiting to receive their proposal.
If we move forward with this partnership, we may propose a mosaic project for the Courtyard.

About the Author

A distinguished librarian, Mr. Jeffrey Trzeciak has spent his entire career in urban library settings and joins the Library from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as University Librarian. Over- the course of his 30-year career, marked by innovation and collaboration, Jeffrey has been a champion of civil rights and social justice, particularly in the African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ communities.

NPL proudly partners with the Mayor’s Office to address literacy in Newark.

Beginning on Monday, June 17th
Books may be picked up at your local library branch!

The Mayor’s Book Club is the first initiative of #NewarkReads, a city-wide partnership to address literacy in Newark. In Summer 2019, there are two book selections at a 6-8 grade reading level. We encourage all who would like to be a part of the Mayor’s Book Club to sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/#NewarkReads. There will be a number of events surrounding the books being held at each of the library branches. There will also be a culminating event at end of the summer for all those who participated, please be sure to check back here for more information regarding all of these Mayor’s Book Club events.

This summer’s book selections are I am Malala (young readers edition) by Malala Yousafzai and The Crossoverby Kwame Alexander. Throughout the summer there will be events held at each of the branch libraries surrounding the summer books.

If you ever have any questions, please reach us at nwkliteracy@ci.newark.nj.us

Sign up for your book here

About the Author

A distinguished librarian, Mr. Jeffrey Trzeciak has spent his entire career in urban library settings and joins the Library from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as University Librarian. Over- the course of his 30-year career, marked by innovation and collaboration, Jeffrey has been a champion of civil rights and social justice, particularly in the African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ communities.


A Free Public Library: Interview and Conversation with Jeffrey Trzeciak

The Newark Public Library Director, Jeffrey Trzeciak, spoke on the Pod & Market Podcast. “A Free Public Library”: Interview and Conversation with Jeffrey Trzeciak

This podcast episode celebrates Pride Month in Newark by highlighting the achievements and stories of the LGBTQI+ members of the Newark community. Jeffrey Trzeciak, the current director of The Newark Public Library seeks to continue this mission by furthering the library’s programming and amenities to be more accessible to a wider swath of the Newark community.

https://www.podandmarket.com/podcastepisodes/2019/6/9/a-free-public-library

About the Author

A distinguished librarian, Mr. Jeffrey Trzeciak has spent his entire career in urban library settings and joins the Library from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as University Librarian. Over- the course of his 30-year career, marked by innovation and collaboration, Jeffrey has been a champion of civil rights and social justice, particularly in the African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ communities.

United Hemispheres featuring cover photo of the Newark Public Library

Thank you United Airlines for featuring the Newark Public Library on the front cover of your in flight magazine, Hemispheres! http://www.unitedmags.com/three-perfect-days-newark

About the Author

A distinguished librarian, Mr. Jeffrey Trzeciak has spent his entire career in urban library settings and joins the Library from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as University Librarian. Over- the course of his 30-year career, marked by innovation and collaboration, Jeffrey has been a champion of civil rights and social justice, particularly in the African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ communities.

Hip Hop Exhibition kicks off Black History Celebration

Thank you Brick City Live for promoting our Black History Celebration!

https://brickcitylive.com/features/manny-faces/new-hip-hop-exhibition-lead-newark-librarys-black-history-month-celebration/?fbclid=IwAR1pMtGc4CFQ50cOGhupSo9dBmfXxReR8Fcoyio3rwfd-cfiEM8-94CvT_o

About the Author

A distinguished librarian, Mr. Jeffrey Trzeciak has spent his entire career in urban library settings and joins the Library from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as University Librarian. Over- the course of his 30-year career, marked by innovation and collaboration, Jeffrey has been a champion of civil rights and social justice, particularly in the African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ communities.

Newark Public Library Leadership Team

The Newark Public Library Leadership Team. Rod Jefferson, Ingrid Betancourt, Jeffrey Trzeciak, George Williams, Leslie Colson and Spencer Scott.

 

About the Author

A distinguished librarian, Mr. Jeffrey Trzeciak has spent his entire career in urban library settings and joins the Library from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as University Librarian.  Over- the course of his 30-year career, marked by innovation and collaboration, Jeffrey has been a champion of civil rights and social justice, particularly in the African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ communities.

Caucus: New Jersey

Thank you Steve Adubato for inviting me to appear on your show.    https://www.pbs.org/show/caucus-new-jersey/

About the Author

A distinguished librarian, Mr. Jeffrey Trzeciak has spent his entire career in urban library settings and joins the Library from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as University Librarian.  Over- the course of his 30-year career, marked by innovation and collaboration, Jeffrey has been a champion of civil rights and social justice, particularly in the African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ communities.