1324 Jefferson Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14208
Public Access Computers Available: 39 public access computers and 2 scanners; 2 children's computers; 7 laptops for in-house use (includes 1 Skype laptop); 3 catalog computers. All networked (printing 10-cents B&W per page; 25-cents color) Microsoft Office Applications, Internet Access, Misc. "What can I do at a Public Access Computer?" Black and white photocopies are available at 15 cents each.
Completed in 2006, this impressive, 20,000 square foot facility is located at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Utica Street . The Library is Wheelchair accessible and has 35 parking spaces.
The building features a 150-seat auditorium. Use of the Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Branch Library Auditorium is intended for activities conducted or sponsored by the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and secondarily, for organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual or charitable activities of interest and/or benefit to the community.
PLEASE NOTE: Formal application for the use of the auditorium is made with library management. An individual, 18 years of age or older, responsible for the meeting must complete and sign an application form and return it to the library for review and approval. Applications should be filed with the Frank E. Merriweather Branch not less than 4 weeks in advance of the event. Action on any application will require two (2) weeks for evaluation. Applicants will be notified of confirmation or rejection by mail.
Application and Fee Structure – Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Branch Library Auditorium
This document is the fillable form application to be completed by organizations seeking to use the Auditorium at the Frank E. Merriweather Branch Library.
Application and Fee Structure – Buffalo Branch Library use
This document is the fillable form application to be completed by all organizations seeking to use a facility space / meeting room in any of the Buffalo Library Branches (with the exception of downtown Central Library.)
Architect Robert Traynham Coles' striking circular design, with its interconnected interior spaces, is intended to suggest an African Village . The library features an African American Resource Room, adult and youth reading rooms, a technology training lab, auditorium, parking lot and an African motif in the block facade. The building replaces the nearly 80-year-old North Jefferson Branch Library and has been renamed after Frank E. Merriweather, Jr., editor and publisher of The Criterion newspaper, the oldest minority newspaper in upstate New York.
William A. Miles Center for African and African-American Studies
William A. Miles Center for African and African-American Studies, the largest resource center in Western New York for information on African American history. This unique and outstanding collection was established in 1965 by now-retired B&ECPL Assistant Deputy Director William A. Miles, and in 1975, the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier began to incorporate microfilms of primary source material on the history of African Americans in the Western New York area.
In addition to the numerous books, microfilm and flat pictures, the collection has several specialized databases and has now acquired a new resource that makes Black Studies research more convenient and robust. The microfiche Schomburg Clipping File contains more than 9,000 records that preserve and document important accomplishments in the African American experience.
The Schomburg Clipping File mirrors the black experience, not only in North America, but worldwide. Essentially a periodical and newspaper clipping file, this unique collection also includes typescripts, broadsides, pamphlets, programs, book reviews, menus and various other short publications dealing with black history and culture. An important source for research into all aspects of black activities and accomplishments, the file brings together a huge diversity of material organized by subject and totaling almost a million pages not duplicated elsewhere.
The collection is international in scope including countries in Africa and others not normally associated with black culture such as Italy, Russia and Japan. Easy to use and suitable both for ready reference queries or in-depth research, the Schomburg Clipping File is a valuable and unusual research tool for the study of the African American experience.
The Buffalo Criterion
The Buffalo Criterion is the oldest continuously published African American newspaper in Western New York. Founded in 1925 by Frank E. Merriweather, Sr. and his wife, Camilla Merriweather, the newspaper has been a major voice in recording the history of African Americans with a focus on Buffalo and the Western New York area. Today, the Buffalo Criterion is still published by the Merriweather family, for whom the Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is named.
The Afro American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier works to preserve historical sources that pertain to Afro-Americans in Western New York and to promote research and scholarship that has to do with the life and history of Afro-Americans in New York State. Visit their website at http://aahanf.org/
A fund to provide continuing support for the William A. Miles Center has been established. Donations may be sent to the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Development Office, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203-1887. Please make checks payable to B&ECPL. (Note: William A. Miles Center.) The Library has been granted official tax exempt status [section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code] from the United States Internal Revenue Service. Your tax-exempt donation is gratefully appreciated.
The Library extends a special thank-you to The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation for its generous support of this project. A $250,000 grant awarded by The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation in 2002 has provided furnishings and equipment for the African American Resource Room and technology training lab, as well as the original artwork from Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folk Tales, which is on display in the new library.
The Library also acknowledges donations from the Afro-American Police Association (A.A.P.A), the Black Firefighters' Association, Members of Color Helping All (M.O.C.H.A), and, of course, the continuing contributions of the Friends of the Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library
The Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library is a member of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System.
Effective December 29, 2020, the Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Branch Library will be OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and will continue to offer Curbside and Walk-up Service
To take advantage of Curbside/Walk-up service:
- Call 716-883-4418 between 10:00 am–6:00 pm Monday, Friday and Saturday, 12:00-8:00 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
- Requests must be placed at least 1/2 hour prior to pick up time and must be picked up the same day.
- A staff member will call to notify you when your items are ready for pick up.
- Walk-Up and Curbside (in available parking lot spaces) services will be provided at the parking lot entrance on Jefferson Avenue.
- Please call 716-883-4418 to notify staff of your arrival.
- Pick-up times are 10:30 am-5:30 pm Monday, Friday and Saturday, 12:30-7:30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Thank you for your patience and support during this difficult time.
B&ECPL Reopening and Safety Plan for Libraries located in the City of Buffalo – COVID-19
Handling Materials during COVID-19
Protective Measures to Reduce Risk of Exposure to COVID-19
Pre-entry Health Questionnaire (Questionnaire is for Library employees, vendors and in-house tenants.)
Library System Information on the Board of Trustees
The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System Board of Trustees is the governing body for the downtown Central Library, and the eight branch libraries located in the city of Buffalo. These include: Crane, Dudley, East Clinton, Frank E. Merriweather, Jr., North Park, Elaine M. Panty Branch Library, Isaías González-Soto Branch Library, and the Leroy R. Coles, Jr. Branch Library.
All System Board of Trustee meetings and committee meetings are open to the public
To see monthly board meeting schedules, agendas and minutes, click here.