During a brisk October evening this past fall in downtown Newark, NJ, guests came out to attend a fundraising benefit for The Newark Public Library entitled "Booked For The Evening" and to celebrate The Library's 125th Anniversary as one of the city's premiere educational and cultural public institutions.The Newark Public Library has served as an historical landmark anchored in the heart of the community for over 100 years, providing patrons and citizens with free resources and information to serve their needs, ideas, dreams and hopes.Over many decades, the Library has welcomed residents from across the country and the world, serving as a global catalyst to help residents cultivate successful personal and professional lives. Currently, the City of Newark is embarking upon a new millennium resurgence of renewal and growth. With a newly elected mayor in office, The Honorable Ras J. Baraka, the city is undergoing rapid and innovative development. The Library is responding in kind to these progressive advancements. "In this environment, we are conscious of the changing needs of our patrons and we continually strive to grow and evolve to meet those needs..." says Wilma Grey, Director, Newark Public Library.At the Booked for the Evening gala, the Library honored Newark native, Mikki Taylor, for her outstanding professional achievements. Ms. Taylor currently serves as the Editor-At-Large for Essence Magazine and is also an accomplished businesswoman, author and television personality. She is a highly sought after speaker who offers a message of empowerment that encourages women to own their lives, walk in their God-given gifts and honor their purpose. Born and raised in Newark, Ms. Taylor "is proud of this great city where her dreams were nurtured and her purpose began. She is proud to be celebrated by the Newark Public Library where she spent many of her childhood years preparing for her future."The evening's special guest keynote speaker was Arianna Huffington, who is known internationally as the chair, president and editor-in-chief of the online news magazine, The Huffington Post, as well as for her extraordinary success in the field of politics and media. In addition to honoring Ms. Taylor, Arianna discussed her book Thrive, the third metric of redefined success and the need to live a well-balanced life which includes meditating and getting enough rest to prevent burnout so you can live and perform at an optimal level. Guests were gifted with signed copies of the book.In closing out the evening, Newark Public Library Board of Trustees member Timothy J. Crist noted that the generous supporters of the event "give new energy and hope for the work that lies ahead...in continuing the Library's mission of expanding horizons and changing lives."Photo courtesy of Flickr: Left to right: Wilma Grey, Arianna Huffington, Timothy Crist, Mikki TaylorQuotes and citations courtesy of The Newark Public Library Booked For The Evening Gala Program. Click here to read full news..