NJ Public Libraries and Newark Public Schools: ‘We are going to stay’

NEWARK — The New Jersey Public Library’s public schools are not going to close, a school board official said Tuesday, but they’re taking steps to avoid the kind of disruption that has forced other libraries across the state to shutter.

The NJPSB is looking at possible closures at a number of Newark public schools and public library branches, including one in Newark’s Little Italy neighborhood, said the director of the board’s regional library system, John Bouchard.

He said NJPSBs staff are meeting regularly with NJPSS staff to discuss the possibility of closings at Little Italy, but he said the NJPS Board has no control over the situation.

The district’s Board of Education is reviewing the library situation and is considering whether it should shut down the library in Little Italy to avoid disruptions, he said.

He did not give an exact number.

Bouchard said the library has more than 2 million books and more than 300,000 DVDs.

He said the district expects to continue providing free and discounted library services to students, as well as to staff, but did not provide details about when that might happen.

He did not answer questions about whether NJPS would be willing to sell or rent space at the library, citing privacy laws.NJPSS is also exploring the possibility that its district libraries in Newark, Newark Township and Newark City Schools could be closed, he added.