For the first time, a library history is focused on the way in which libraries of all kinds have developed within a single state. The growth of public libraries, the state library, school libraries, academic libraries, and special libraries are all considered in this one volume. New Jersey's library history stretches back into the mid-eighteenth century with the development of a small book collection by the colonial government. In addition to the local events that shaped the growth of libraries in New Jersey, this history also touches on the strong national trends that were at work, which link New Jersey's development to similar occurences in other states. Thus, to read the story of libraries in New Jersey is also to begin to understand the growth of libraries throughout the nation.
Edwin Beckerman is a library consultant in the areas of library construction, organization, and management. He served as president of the New Jersey Library Association (1971), and served as a member of council for the ALA from 1973-1976.