While we love our books, the public library is more than just a place where people come to find new novels to take home and read. The Livingston Public Library is also an active community center where people can gather together to learn things by ways of lecture, participate in lively discussions, make crafts, and more. Here are a few Adult Programming Highlights from this month.
We Colored Our Stress Away on Monday evenings and Thursday Mornings. While listening to some relaxing music, we made designs come to life with color, made new friends, and forgot about our worries, even if only for a little while.
We also had lively discussions centered around…you guessed it, books! Our Feminist Fare book club read Ms. Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann M. Ross, Let’s Talk About Books discussed Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, Get Litread Funny in Farsiby Firoozeh Dumas, and the Cook Book Club read Can’t Cook by Jessica Seinfeld.
We also hosted a Sustainable Design Workshop and made upholstery pouches with art instructor Donna Drew! The pouches were made out of a variety of materials including: fabric samples, buttons, ribbon, lace, and cord. They came out beautiful!
Judith Krall-Russon from TeaFoodHistory.com dazzled us during her presentation Food, Fashion, and Tea From Jane Austen to Queen Victoria. Who knew that the Industrial Revolution had such a large impact on tea?
So many things are constantly going on in the library. We also enjoyed programs this month such as:Pruning Your Garden, Diabetes Prevention, a concert of a Musical Journey Through the Decades, a business workshop for Women Returning to Work, and more! You can check out what’s going on next month and register for upcoming events through our calendar.
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.
Vocalist Ellen LaFurn, accompanied by Ron Naspo on bass and Vic Cenicola on guitar, added a jazz vibe to selections from The Great American Songbook. They played their own take of Frank Sinatra’s “It Was a Very Good Year” and treated the audience to songs from the 1930s to the 1950s. Other artists they played songs from included Cab Calloway, Judy Garland, Jo Stafford, Fred Astaire, and many others.
LaFurn also included two of America’s most popular holiday songs, “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” where she then told a touching anecdote about the latter:
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” introduced by Bing Crosby in 1943, held a special place for families with loved ones serving in the armed services. In December of 1965, astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell completed the first U.S. space rendezvous and set a record for the longest flight in the U.S. space program. As they returned to earth aboard their Gemini 7 spacecraft, NASA asked if they wanted any particular music piped up to them. The crew requested Bing Crosby’s recording of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” making it the first song broadcast into space.
12/12 | PAWS TO READ
Back for another great session, kids grades K-2 had the opportunity to practice their reading with trained therapy dogs. Each child was given a fifteen minute time slot, picking their own book and reading aloud to the patient dog sitting next to them.
With a furry friend that doesn’t judge the children for any mistakes, but rather quietly sits or lays next to them while they read, it encourages them to continue practicing. And of course, getting to pet a cute, fluffy pup is a plus too.
12/13 | MUSIC OPEN PLAY | 3 to 23 month olds
The babies came out in the dozens to play! Youth Services Librarian Gina Vaccaro and Library Assistant Diane Choi organized the new furniture in the Children’s Room to accommodate the droves of families that were in attendance for our December Music Open Play session.
Babies from age 3 to 23 months were treated to an open play session where they were introduced to various musical instruments– including a giant sized keyboard for the babies to crawl on– drums, maracas, bells, a triangle, a xylophone, and other percussion toys.In addition to the music, families were also reading books to their little ones, enjoying educational computer games, building with blocks, and having a fun time together.
The library welcomed a few families to the library for the first time and all in attendance were happy to have an indoor event to share with their babies together.
12/7 & 12/14|COFFEE & CRIME
Despite the cold weather and overlap of dates with Hanukkah, the Coffee & Crime Mystery Book Group had a great turnout on both days: fifteen people on Tuesday in the daytime and sixteen on Thursday in the evening. This month, the group discussed Daniel Friedman’s Don’t Ever Get Old, about a cranky old Jewish ex-detective (and WWII vet) and his yuppie grandson Tequila (“It’s a fraternity thing”) who chase down a treasure hoard of Nazi gold.
Both days were full of lively discussions with passages from the book, such as this one: “’I never thought I would hear you expound the virtues of caring about people.’ I frowned. ‘I care about people. I just don’t like them.’”