NEWARK, New Jersey, is an industrial city with a population of about 500,000. When I became librarian of the Newark Free Public Library twenty‐five years ago, the population was much smaller than that—about half of the present number, in fact. But the interests and activities of Newarkers were then, as now, chiefly mercantile and industrial. It was my belief that a library, supported by citizens with these interests, should be not only a cultural institution, but also a useful bureau of information for merchants and manufacturers. The conventional city library, as it was organized and functioning at that time in the great business centres of the United States, seemed to me to be defaulting in service to the largest contributor to its support—the business man.
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