Harry Potter fans were able to celebrate their wizard love at two Livingston Library events.
Close to 500 fans, some in costume, attended our Harry Potter Family Halloween event. Children went from station to station to create Mini Monster Books, Edible Wizard Hats, Charms Practice (a.k.a. Dementor Bowling) and complete a Riddle Challenge to free Dobby from danger. The night would not be complete without a family photo op on Platform 9 3/4.
Teens had the library to themselves on a Saturday night as they competed in house events, earning points for prizes while the library was closed! Houses Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Slytherin played Quidditch, mixed potions, answered HP trivia questions and conducted a Horcrux Hunt as they searched for the seven pieces of Voldemort’s fragmented soul.
After the House Competition, teens enjoyed snacks of wizard hats and homemade butterbeer while viewing the film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on the big screen.
The winning house members earned special prizes, a few special participants earned door prizes and all other wizard fans reached into the giant cauldron for a goodie bag.
The foam on the butterbeer of the night: the Livingston Library Teen Advisory Board planned, organized and helped run the event.
Have you ever wondered who’s in your family line but don’t know where or how to start?
Here are some of our resources that can help point you in the right direction:
Universal Class offers numerous courses in the subject of family, one of which is entitled “Genealogy 101”.
Gale Courses also offers a great number of courses on family, including “Genealogy Basics”.
These courses can be accessed online from anywhere you have time to do so. First step is to sign up.
To top it off, our Library offers in-house access to Ancestry.com to interested patrons. Just use any of our computer workstations and you’re good to search away in their databases, features, and billions of records.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see who was part of the family, maybe even all the way to the medieval times? Or it could be a nice project to set a trail for the generations down the line.
With the holidays coming, this sounds like small talk that could bloom into great conversations and deeper connections with family.
Here at the Livingston Public Library, we provide a ton of resources that can be used in the pursuit of Lifelong Learning — waiting to be browsed, seeked and availed of.
We are looking for learners.
Young or older. From sunrise to sunset, as in times of day or times of life.
We like encouraging you all to go for any subject that catches your fancy.
Does it really matter what stage of life we are in, what skills we have, or what knowledge we have to begin with — when it comes to learning something new?
It doesn’t. It shouldn’t.
Because Lifelong Learning can be done bit by bit, from a huge spectrum of interests, at all times of the day, at all stages in life. In full intensity, or in light taps. In whatever form or effort works for us.
We just need to want it and be motivated enough. AND take that first step!
Then the rest will come — time that can be scraped up, efforts that can be mustered, resources that can be used, little pieces of knowledge that will come together in the end — with all the fun, connections and reconnections that can be discovered and re-discovered along the way.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Coming up soon, we’ll feature themes plus some of our resources and courses you might want to immerse in and get you started.
We are here to encourage you to… Keep On Learning!
Have you ever had dreams of running your own book club but ended up overwhelmed instead? The Livingston Public Library is here to help! We offer a Book Club in a Bag service that is here to end your book club frustrations once and for all. Book Club in a Bag contains everything you need.. In each bag there are 8 copies of a single title, an author bio and discussion questions. Current titles include Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle, Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project (to name a few). Explore the full selection on our website at https://www.livingstonlibrary.org/book-club-in-a-bag. Just add some friends and get ready to host the book club of your dreams. This service is available to Livingston cardholders, and the bags can be checked out for 28 days.
Check out what the Livingston Public Library librarians are reading on our new book talk Instagram series, LiviLit! In the latest episode of LiviLit, librarians Jessica and Gina discuss this month’s Get Lit book club choice Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas, a memoir about growing up as an immigrant in America. To find out more about the library’s book clubs, check out our website here.
Be sure to follow our Instagram @LivingstonLibrary to be the first to see new LiviLit videos and other fun things that are going on in the library!
When you walk into the library the choices can seem both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Fiction? Non-fiction? How about an audio book or three? Thankfully, the Livingston Public Library’s book jar is here to help make deciding what to read easier than ever!
Prospective readers can visit our display located between the fiction collection and cafe to have their next read magically selected. Genres are color coded as follows: Purple– Fiction, Blue– Non-fiction, Yellow– Graphic Novel, Green– Young Adult, Pink– Audio Book, and Orange– Biography. So whether you’re looking for a suggestion in a specific genre or two, or prefer to close your eyes and dive right in, deciding what to read has never been easier.
Not interested in the book jar? If you’re more of a browse and choose reader, we have many of other book displays that might pique your interest such as: No Shave November, Aviation History, Books About Book Lovers, and Fall Themed Reads! Check out some of our display photos below.
So come on down to the Livingston Public Library, and check out our displays. You may just walk home with your new favorite read!
P.S. Don’t forget to tell us what you thought of your book the next time you stop into the library!
In collaboration with Summit Medical Group, an educational community lecture on “Understanding Hearing Loss” was presented by Jed A. Kwartler, MD, Director of Summit Medical Group, Otology/Neurotology, and Audiologist Mary-Kate Vaughn. Recognized as a leading ear surgeon in the New York metropolitan area, Dr. Kwartler performed New Jersey’s first cochlear implant in a child in 1993. His talk focused on basic ear anatomy, disorders of the outer ear, external ear care, functions of the middle ear, common disorders and diseases of the ear.
Audiologist Marykate Vaughn spoke of the importance of hearing tests, signs of hearing loss, types of hearing aids, and advances in hearing assistance technology,
communication strategies for those affected by hearing loss, and ways to protect your hearing.
The audience received a good deal of authoritative and well presented information on this critical topic of hearing loss– one that can have far reaching impact on the lives of those affected and those around them –and a closed caption service company was employed to transcribe the speakers words onto a screen to aid any hearing impaired members in the audience.
6/5 | Toddler Art Time: Pride Crafts
Pre-schoolers ages 2-5 created colorful rainbow crafts in celebration of Pride month!
6/6 | Mindfulness Approach to Stress
The Library’s presentation on “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction,” in collaboration with the Summit Medical Group, attracted a lot of interest and brought in over 100 attendees. The presenter, Nicole Swain LPC, NCC, ACS, ACT, is a Diplomat of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and provides Ccognitive Bbehavioral Ttherapy (CBT) services to individuals and couples for a variety of disorders. In addition, she has specialized training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to help patients dealing with chronic stress.
Nicole started with a general overview of MBSR, which was conceived by Jon Kabat – Zinn, PhD, and is based on the principle in Eastern Philosophy of “paying attention with purpose”. Three decades of research, Nicole said, “demonstrates clinically relevant reductions in both physical symptoms and psychological distress for those who have training in mindfulness and MBSR”. Cultivating awareness of the mind and body in the here, and now and being non – judgmental, are two of the important premises of the method.
She addressed that MBSR has two forms of practice: Formal (this includes various meditation practices including concentration and insight meditation), and Informal (bringing mindful awareness to daily activities such as eating, chores, exercising, and so on).
At the end of her talk, Nicole had the audience participate in a 15-minute mindful breathing meditation that was very calming.
6/12 | Play ‘N’ Learn
Toddlers had a fun and educational time with their parents and caregivers as they strengthened their pre-reading skills playing with homemade toys made from everyday objects. The toys were constructed from paper towel tubes, cardboard, tissue boxes, and cereal boxes. As they played, parents and caregivers added to their toddlers’ vocabulary by talking about the bright colors and different textures of the pompoms that the toddlers dropped down the paper towel tubes. They counted ducks and named animals whose photos were taped to the cereal box blocks and built towers with the blocks.
For May’s Nursery Rhyme Time, Gina shared stories, songs and sign language to introduce language patterns, body parts, colors, and nature.
In Tiny Toddlers, Anna shared stories and songs based around Early Learning Concepts to hone concentration skills in addition to science concepts to recognize patterns.
For Little Listeners, Amanda shared stories and songs that helped to build math skills and self-confidence.
5/2 & 5/14 | Intro to Soft Pastels
Under the competent direction of artist and instructor, Sarah Canfield, thirty participants learned to paint using soft pastels. Sarah began with a thorough overview of the medium, explaining the varieties/types of pastels, the unique qualities of pastel, and their drawbacks.
Participants brought an original color photograph: their first step was to sketch out their drawing using pencil or a light pastel. The group then gathered around a table and Sarah demonstrated how to apply the pastel color, including how to blend and layer color that are unique to the medium.
Intermittently, Sarah spoke of different tips and tricks , the various papers that can be used, and the challenges of the medium. She patiently helped participants and answered questions. A few participants tried to copy pictures from their phones or tablets, a few used pictures from books, and one had a pic of her pet dog that she was painstakingly trying to recreate.
Everyone had a good time, were engaged in their work, and several said this was the first time they tried this medium but were sure to go back to using it again.
5/4 | Teen Mindfulness Afternoon with Miniature Therapy Horse
Our Teen Librarian organized an afternoon of mindfulness. Teens had a place to write out stressors as they entered, then made squishy stress-relief balls, enjoyed refreshing mindfulness tea with fruit juices, and had a chance to bond with Noble, a mini therapy horse!
5/6 | 12 Dependable Perennials
Horticulture professor and expert, Marc Zukovich gave an excellent presentation on some dependable perennial plants and shrubs that we could plant in our gardens for year round beauty and enjoyment.
Some of the topics Professor Zukovich discussed were:
—Deer resistant plants (A useful title he suggested is called “50 most beautiful deer resistant plants”).
–The criteria for dependability for perennials, which are long blooming, tolerate less than perfect conditions, require low maintenance, are disease and insect resistant, and not invasive.
Marc’s dependable perennial plant list included: Lady’s Mantle, Echinacea, Hosta, Shasta Daisy, Salvia, Stonecrop, Lamb’s Ear, Catmint, and Russian Sage. He also included perennial shrubs like Abelia, Barberry, Buddleia, Spirea, and Weigela.
One patron remarked that she came expecting the presentation to be boring after a while, but Marc made the session both informative and fun.
5/8 | X-treme Readers Book Club
Miss Gina’s 4-5th grade book club read Katherine Applegate’s touching novel, Wishtree. They enjoyed discussing the themes of the book outside in the warm Spring air.
Children wrote their wishes down and hung them on our tree, creating our very own “Wishtree” on the Grace Chen Children’s Terrace!
5/12 | The Missing Stories with the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)
Samip Mallick, Executive Director of SAADA, explained the work that SAADA does preserving South Asian American history. Mallick explained that 1 in every 100 Americans traces their roots to South Asia, yet South Asian American history is rarely preserved. He went over some stories in the archives, such as Dilip Singh Saund, who became the first Asian American elected official in 1952, and Bhagwan Singh Gyanee, whose name was recorded incorrectly by Congress as “Bhagwarr,” so SAADA had to do investigative work to piece together his identity. All participants were excited to learn about SAADA’s work and asked both for help preserving their families’ histories and also to be added to SAADA’s mailing list.
5/17 | Toddler Yoga
Sarah Elbell of Smarty ‘Kins led a full house of Sensorimotor, Art & Yoga for toddlers!
5/17 & 5/19 | Story Coders
Second and third-graders, along with their parents, enjoyed learning about basic coding concepts using the Finch Bot and ScratchJr. For both activities, Amanda and Joseph demonstrated how one character can be used to control another. Joseph demonstrated how the Finch Bot could be coded to send a message to the character or object on the screen. A different message was sent depending on how the person held the Finch Bot.
The children took turns using the Finch Bot to control the paddle on the screen to play the game Pog. Amanda also demonstrated how one character can control another using the ScratchJr App. She led the children in selecting one character for each direction that they wanted to have the Cat on the screen move. Amanda explained how to code each character to send a message when tapped to the Cat and have the Cat move in a particular direction. The children then chose a background, an object to have the Cat move toward, and a story to create their very own game. To test their logic skills, children and parents worked together on two puzzles from the game Rush Hour Jr.
Dr. David Robinson was met with an incredibly interested audience for his informative and engaging talk on NJ’s changing weather. He touched upon potential climate change impacts on health, agriculture, water and other natural resources, species, and other areas. Dr. Robinson spoke about different factors affecting climate change, saying, “Preponderance of evidence suggests climate change is occurring and humans are responsible for a significant portion of recent changes.”
Dr. Robinson ended the presentation by providing information and brochures on how interested individuals of all ages can contribute to the monitoring of weather/climate conditions in the local region by participating in the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network (Cocorahs is a community based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation).
He also gave a list of useful websites to check out for anyone interested in learning more:
We all know that with April, comes the rain. After sharing stories about clouds, Miss Gina taught the class the science behind rain clouds. See the cloud rain!
4/26 | Mediumship Demonstration
Ordained Spiritual Medium and author of the book Speaking From Spirit, RoseMarie Rubinetti Cappiello gave a talk on mediumship to a crowd of ninety-eight people.
A professional in her field, Rosemarie conducts classes at different locations on various spiritual, psychic and energetic topics. She has done thousands of private medium readings and demonstrations throughout NJ, NY, and Conn. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University, teaching yoga in the Phys. Ed. Dept.
For the demonstrations, Rosemarie asked the audience if anyone had ever gone to a medium, and several in the audience raised their hands. She passed the microphone around to a few people who then briefly relayed their experiences. After, she began to tune into the energy around her and said she felt that someone named Daria was speaking to her. One woman responded that it was her deceased aunt.
Another instance of this was when a Chinese woman stood up and asked if Rosemary could sense anything about her. Rosemary said that either she or someone in the family was artistic. The Chinese woman then exclaimed that her brother did calligraphy, and in the eyes of her parents, was “the perfect son.”
4/30 | Get Your Woman On
Did you know that isolation can quickly turn into loneliness? Doctors, scientists, researchers and educators are paying close attention. In fact, loneliness has been penned “the next epidemic”, and is directly linked to a whole host of health issues, including dementia and mortality. This inspirational talk by Carol Kasperowitz, a renowned motivational speaker, Founder of Retreats Women Want, Life Coach, and Teacher of the Year, mainly focused on how women in their 50s and beyond can avoid the mistake of being afflicted by loneliness in their later years.
Carol spoke about how being alone, or a “homebody,” can be dangerous for women as they get older. She has found that when women age, their motivation, desire, ability and confidence to meet new friends and form connections, wane.
In her own words: “The older people get, the more isolated they become. The physical changes are just a part of it. Children and grandchildren move on, friends can no longer be relied on for connection, because they too, are transitioning to changes. Spouses pass away, or there may be conflict with children.”
Carol encouraged the women in attendance to become “doers”:
They’re patient: Friendship takes time and effort!
Avoids watching TV during the day.
Notices patterns in journal when bored.
Phones at least 1 person a day. Avoids texting.
“Comments,” Doesn’t “like” (on FaceBook).
Volunteers, gets involved and feels needed.
Schedules friendship dates on calendar.
Goes outside, exercises at least once a day.
Has courage to be imperfect.
Her tips for being physically and socially active:
Walk outside every day
Wave to your neighbors
Join a gym/yoga/meditate
Go to the local pub
Volunteer. Donate. Cook something for someone.
Host a fundraiser event
Have a girlfriend sleep-over
Go hiking, camping, trailing
Sign up for a class/event/retreat
Look at a stranger, smile, and hold it
Plant flowers, vegetables, herbs
Work that core and exercise!
Join a book club
Meet with congregation after church
5/1 | Yakety Yak
Eleven second and third-graders enjoyed discussing Debbi Michiko Florence’s Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen. In the story, Jasmine is determined to help pound the sweet rice so that it can be used to make a dessert called mochi, even though her family tells her that she is too young.
Amanda and the children discussed rules and whether or not they agreed with Jasmine that this rule was unfair. Half the children felt that it was okay to limit some activities for certain ages, while others thought there should be no age limits. Amanda and the children compared how Jasmine imagined mochi pounding to be to what actually happened when she was allowed to pound the mochi. For the activity, Amanda guided the children in using mochi flour (no mochi pounding!), sugar, and water to make the recipe found at the end of the book. Everyone agreed that it was delicious!
Breath in…hold…breath out. Miss Gina shared stories about mindfulness in this week’s Little Bookworms Elementary Enrichment class. Gina shared the enchanting story, Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver and the inspiring tale, What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada.
To help children relax and calm their minds, Gina taught the children how to make “Mindful Jars.” She used recycled water bottles, clear glue, water, food coloring, and some glitter to create beautiful jars for the children to use to help them relax before bedtime, or whenever they need to take a mindful minute.
4/12| Raw Food Workshop
With the assistance of raw food nutrition author, coach and chef Karen Ranzi, M.A, thirty-five eager attendees learned how they could incorporate the raw foods lifestyle into their routines and eat their way to healthier, energetic, and more vibrant selves.
Karen Ranzi is an award winning author, internationally renowned speaker, raw food coach, certified raw food chef, speech and feeding therapist, and the creator of SuperHealthyChildren.com and the NJ Raw Food Support Network. She became a passionate advocate for the raw food lifestyle when she saw that a plant based diet helped heal her family members from life threatening-illnesses.
During the workshop, Karen spoke about the general poor health that afflicts our families, including problems caused by processed and refined foods (with the consumption of acrylamide ), as well as nutrient loss. Karen explained that a whole plant nutrition is beneficial due to healthy protein sources, drinking more water, and fiber-rich foods that are dense in various nutrients and minerals. According to Karen, fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables offer many health advantages such as increased energy, stamina, resistance to illness, increased attention span, improved digestion, better sleep patterns, preventing diseases, feeling younger, and more.
4/14| Cell Phone Photography Workshop
The two hour session led by Heidi Sussman, an exhibiting photographer, instructor and mixed media artist who combines natural and digital media with her images, began with a slide presentation covering the cell phone as a photographic tool.
Discussing the elements that constitute a strong photo, Heidi explained that “Your cell phone is just another tool to create photos; you need to understand the rules of photography to create good images.” To help with this process, she went over the basic elements of a good photo, such as lighting, composition, contrast, and a focal point.
Heidi shared some important guidelines for taking better cell phone pics including keeping its simple, showing depth, shooting from a low or high angle, aligning subjects on a diagonal, and capturing close up detail. The second half of the workshop covered apps that can be use for the photo editing process to enhance images, or for creative and artistic results. Utilizing one of her favorite apps, Heidi ended with a hands-on session with the app Snapseed.
4/17| Get Lit Adult Book Club
“What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “mud?””
That’s how Librarian Karen deWilde kicked off our compelling Get Lit book discussion of Hillary Jordan’s Bellwether Prize winning debut novel, Mudbound.
Organic Granny Smith apples, organic sunflower seed butter, and sunflower seeds were used to create silly edible creepy creatures. Teen volunteers washed and cut the apples while Gina was reading, then the children used their imaginations to put their creepy creatures together. Various candies attached with the sunflower seed butter helped decorate and give the creatures some character. The children enjoyed eating their masterpieces and parents were happy it was (mostly) healthy.
4/18| Senior Happening: The Stephen Fuller Quartet
Over 120 attendees were treated to an afternoon of entertainment when the talented Stephan Fuller Quartet performed crowd favorites, such as Love is Here to Stay and Send In The Clowns. Composed of Nick Scheuble on drums (Rockaway, NJ), Belden Bullock on bass guitar, and Tomoko Ohno on piano, the quartet was a hit, with people remarking how wonderfully talented they all were. One woman reminisced with tears in her eyes as the band played Stardust, explaining that it had been her wedding song many years ago.
Enjoy a short clip from the performance, as the quartet plays their version of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon.
***Senior Happening is made possible in part by Funds from the NJ State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.
4/22| DIY Earth Day Terrariums
Teens had a wonderful time making terrariums with recycled jars, living plants, and cute animal figures. It was a beautiful spring day, so Teen librarian, Karen Dewilde, took the group outside to gather suitable plants. Karen used her knowledge of gardening to talk about the precautions necessary when gathering plants from nature. Each participant chose their plants and added layers to the terrarium to create a unique little world.