Summer is in full swing, and Makrisha Edwards, 14, is at the Newark Public Library's Vailsburg branch nearly every day, working her way through her summer reading list and conducting research for a school project.
But cuts in public funding, which are crippling libraries across the country, including Newark, are making it harder for students like Makrisha to continue learning at their local libraries.
"I'm mad they're trying to take this library," said Makrisha, who was so upset about the cuts that she brought her mother to a community meeting on the issue. "I have a school project. I have books to read all summer."
The City of Newark is proposing to reduce funding to the Library by 20 percent in 2010. The cut, which amounts to $2.45 million, will have devastating effects on the Library, which relies on the city for 95 percent of its funding.