Highlights of the Week: Miniature Therapy Horse, Taking Control of Your Retirement, Dependable Perennials & More!

May Storytimes

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.

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A packed house for Tiny Toddlers!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

Intro to Pastels May 2nd Finished Work

 


 

 5/4 | Teen Mindfulness Afternoon with Miniature Therapy Horse

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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

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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 SageHe 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.

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5/8 | X-treme Readers Book Club

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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)

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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

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Sarah Elbell of Smarty ‘Kins led a full house of Sensorimotor, Art & Yoga for toddlers!

 



5/17 & 5/19 | Story Coders

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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.

 

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Highlights of the Week: NJ’s Changing Climate, Mediumship Demonstration, Get Your Woman On & More!

4/18 | NJ’s Changing Climate 

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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:

 

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4/25 | Little Bookworms – Grades K-1

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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

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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

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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.”

 

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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.
  • Go dancing
  • 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

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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!

 


 

5/2 | Little Bookworms – Grades K-1

Miss Gina shared stories about sunflowers, including the gorgeously illustrated Sunflower House by Eve Bunting, the cumulative rhyming tale that takes you through the life of a sunflower, day & night, This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer, and the warmhearted, humorous story, South African tale, Gift of the Sun: A Tale From South Africa written by Dianne Stewart.

The group enjoyed making beautiful sunflower paintings. They used recycled paper towel tubes dipped in yellow paint to create the flower petals and added their creativity to make the art their own.

***This was the final Little Bookworms class of the Spring. Look for another six-week session this Fall!

 

Highlights of the Week: Video Game Design, Springsteen and His Layered Lyrics, Yakety Yak & More!

4/3 | Yakety Yak Grade 2-3 Book Discussion

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To do something different this month, the Yakety Yak members were asked to read and bring their favorite book to discuss at the book club meeting.  Most of the second and third graders chose fiction stories, but one child brought his favorite book, a non-fiction book about the history of flight. To begin the discussion, youth librarian Amanda asked the children to share why the book they brought was their favorite. During the discussion, children rolled a giant dice that had questions printed on each side. They then had a chance to answer questions about their fiction book’s setting, genre, and their favorite character. For non-fiction books, the questions included what the child’s favorite fact from the book was and whether or not this book was a good book about the topic.  

Next month, the group will be reading Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence and will be making mochi to taste.    


 

4/3 | Video Game Design: Ages 9-14

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The Video Game Design program kicked off its first session with a great group of kids (ages 9-14) and some teen volunteers.  These kids will meet every week through April and May to learn about computer programming while creating their own video games.  During the first session, the kids created a simple animation as an introduction to the coding platform, Scratch. Next week, they will be making a racing game.

 


 

4/3 | Xtreme Readers Book Group: Grades 4-5

The group read Tim Federle’s hilarious and heartwarming Better Nate than Ever, a story about a Broadway musical-loving eighth grade boy who is sure his stardom awaits if he could just leave his unfulfilling small Pennsylvania town and dysfunctional family behind, and head to NYC.  The group enjoyed the book and are eager to read the sequel, Five, Six, Seven, Nate!. Youth librarian Gina discussed topics such as families and siblings, best friends, bullying, musicals, and New York City.  She also presented the author’s biography for a look into his own experience in Broadway. Readers enjoyed watching Federle promote Better Nate Than Ever in his interview with the president & producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher as they ate their snacks.

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4/4 | Little Bookworms: Grades K-1

The theme for the second session of Little Bookworms was “You!”. Miss Gina shared Paige Britt’s thoughtful picture book, Why Am I Me?, Todd Parr’s empowering Be Who You Are, and one of Gina’s all time favorite Dr. Seuss books, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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The class enjoys Miss Gina’s stories!

To celebrate uniqueness, Miss Gina taught the children how to create salt painting name art.

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4/5 | Springsteen and His Layered Lyrics

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Facing a crowd of Bruce Springsteen fans, Professor Prudence Jones from Montclair University presented a lecture on Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen’s music, focusing on the lyrics and the folk songs his own music stems from.

Some examples Professor Jones presented were: Blind Alfred Reed’s song “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live” was about the hard times of the Depression, but Springsteen borrowed the last refrain from that song and used it in the context of Hurricane Katrina; Springsteen borrowed from Irish immigrant Patrick Glimore’s song, “When Johnny comes Marching Home” ; and other artists that influenced Springsteen were Woody Guthrie, Curtis Mayfield, Hank Williams Jr,  Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Clarence Clemons, and Bob Dylan.

Another interesting fact Professor Jones pointed out was Springsteen’s use of Appalachian English in his lyrics, with words such as “we’uns,”  “you’uns,” “y’all,”  “them’s,” “young’uns,” and “hain’t.”

Highlights of the Week: Sleeping Better Naturally, Senior Happening, and St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

3/15 | Sleeping Better, Naturally

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The third in our series of community health lectures in collaboration with the Summit Medical Group, Dr. Mairanna Shimelfarb, MD, who specializes in Integrative Family Medicine, addressed the epidemic of sleeplessness and enlightened the audience about natural ways to get sound, restorative sleep.

Her talk, which was coincidentally held on the eve of World Sleep Day, discussed why you need to sleep, why you cant get good sleep, why it’s important to do something about it, and how to do it naturally!

Dr. Shimelfarb spoke about the stages of sleep, different types of insomnia, causes of sleep trouble, and the different factors that can help contribute to a good night’s sleep, including a healthy diet, and reducing mind noise (disconnecting from electronic devices).
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Along with other ways to relax, Dr. Shimelfarb did a video demonstration of two effective relaxation methods , including a 4:7:8 breathing exercise pioneered by Dr Andrew Weill, and an introduction to the Pranayama breathing technique as shown by Yogi Nora.
Dr. Shimelfarb’s presentation, Sleep Better, Naturally, can be viewed in it’s entirety.

 


 

3/16 | Senior Happening: The Great Lady Songwriters

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Fred Miller performed one of his lectures-in-song, “Great Lady Songwriters,” in honor of Women’s History Month. Guests also got in the spirit of wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Miller explained that many women, including four of the most notable ( Dorothy Fields, Kay Swift, Dana Suesse and Ann Ronnell), were prolific composers and lyricists. Though they never gained as much notoriety as the Gershwin brothers or Irving Berlin, their work was the core of Tin Pan Alley.

As the 1920s brought many changes in American culture, music moved ahead with inventions like the phonograph, radio, and sound movies. Jazz also transformed the music industry. New York City, with its concentration of theaters and publishing houses, became the center of the music world and at the center of the city was a small area called Tin Pan Alley. The musicians of Tin Pan Alley blended ragtime, jazz, and ballads to create a new brand of song that was witty and sophisticated. Fields, who was born in Allenhurst, NJ, brought us “The Way You Look Tonight”, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” — just a few of more than 400 songs she wrote for Broadway musicals and films.

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Carolyn Leigh teamed with Cy Coleman and other songwriters to write songs for Mary Martin in Peter Pan, including “I’m Flying” and “I Won’t Grow Up.” Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett also sang Leigh tunes, such as “Witchcraft,” “Young at Heart,” and “The Best is Yet to Come.” Leigh also wrote “Hey Look Me Over,” for Lucille Ball in Wildcat.

Miller ended the program with another prolific female songwriter, Peggy Lee. Lee may be better known for her smooth and smoky voice, her career as singer, songwriter, composer, and actress spanned six decades. After leaving the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Lee teamed with her husband to write songs in the 1950s, then worked on her own. She wrote for Disney Studios, and sang some of her own songs in Lady and the Tramp. 

Senior Happening is funded by Friends of the Library with a grant awarded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, administered by the Essex County Department of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

 


 

3/20 | The Shannachie of Glendunbun Ballybeg

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Even though it was sleeting, about thirty people attended the program, including one couple who drove all the down from Sussex County.

 

 

 

 

Highlights of the Week: Dynamic Drawing, X-Treme Readers Book Club, The Ballantine Mansion, & more!

12/4 | THE BALLANTINE MANSION AT THE NEWARK MUSEUM 

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Sue Smith, chairwoman of the Newark Museum’s Speaker’s Bureau, gave an informative presentation on the Ballantine mansion to a room of fifty-two people.
She started off by telling the story of how the house came to be a museum, having been built by Louis Bamberger, which eventually became a National Landmark in 1985. The Museum originally occupied the upper floors of the Newark Public Library, but John Cotton Dana felt that the Museum should be part of a community, so it was moved to its present location of 49 Washington Street in Newark.
The mansion itself was built in 1885 and the Ballantine family lived there until 1919. It once contained a whopping twenty-five rooms and sixteen fireplaces! In addition to the latest in hot air/central air conditioning and five bathrooms, the house had parquet floors, ornamental plaster-work ceilings and stained glass windows. The mansion was then sold to an insurance company for office space, which surprised many people during the presentation.
Sue showed slides of each room, making sure to point out specific details, such as a fireplace in one of the rooms with English pink tiles , or that it contained a stained glass window done by Tiffany that cost $450 (a small fortune back then). One of the more unusual slides was a scene of eight headless figures, dressed in period clothes, seated around an elaborately set dining room table.
For those interested in visiting the mansion, Sue Smith finished off the presentation by mentioning that in January 2018, the lobby will be completely remodeled with floor to ceiling windows.

 

 


 

12/5 | X-TREME READERS BOOK CLUB | Grades 4-5

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The X-Treme Readers Book Club met to discuss the winner of both the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Newbery Medal, Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out and Back Again. The book takes place in 1975 and details a year in the life of 10 year old Vietnamese refugee, Hà and her family’s journey from their home in Vietnam, to refugee camps in Guam and Florida until settling in Alabama.

To help set the story, Gina showed pictures of Vietnam and the natural beauty it possesses.  To help the children understand the journey that Vietnam refugees traveled, the group used Google Maps to chart the expedition across the ocean, from the river in Saigon where the family in the story escaped across the Pacific Ocean to the refugee camps, to Alabama.

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In the discussion, Gina became aware that over half of the group had learned English as a second language and the majority of the group actively speak another language at home.  In all seriousness, the children asked, “Why didn’t  use Google Translate?” It is hard for them to understand a world without the technology that they are growing up with.

As the group enjoyed a snack, Gina played a YouTube video of  author Thanhha Lai reading her book at the National Book Awards Finalists Reading.  The young readers enjoyed the book, however, hearing the author read her written words in her own voice really helped to bring the powerful story to life.

In January, the X-treme Readers Book Club is discussing Sharon Creech’s beloved Granny Torrelli Makes Soup.


12/5 & 12/6 | SEASONAL PRINTING 
Teen Librarian Karen deWilde and Head of Youth Services Anna Coats held three Seasonal Printing workshops this week.  Children in grades K-2, 3-5 & 6-8, created colorful, layered beautiful festive designs using Gel Printing Plates.

 

12/7 | DYNAMIC DRAWING: FUN WITH COMPOSITION

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Fine artist, Sarah Canfield (www.sarahcanfield.com) led this fun workshop where she helped the twenty-five participants understand the creative process that happens before a painting or drawing is started. She discussed the essential lines in a composition that create a basic structure for drawing or painting. One of these ideas was explored through sketching compositions using smartphone photography.

According to Sarah, “photography is a straightforward and spontaneous way to record ideas for your art in addition to preparatory sketches.  When used thoughtfully, it can be a useful tool to incorporate into your repertoire and can save valuable time in the planning process.”
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After covering the fundamentals of composition using images of paintings from her iPad, Sarah had everyone take pictures with their phones of the three still-life arrangements she had put up on the center of the work tables.  She then asked them to pick an image or two, crop or edit them as needed, and use the image to start composing a sketch of the still life using the newsprint sheets, compressed charcoal sticks, and soft graphite pencils provided.
Participants appeared very involved in their sketching and produced some great drawings/sketches, which were shared at the end in a critique session. Many attendees mentioned that they hadn’t sketched or drawn in years, and this workshop made them realize how much fun it is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights of the Week: Get Lit Casual Book Club & Understanding Your Thyroid

 

11/28 | GET LIT CASUAL BOOK CLUB

What gives life purpose?  What brings meaning to one’s existence? How does one go from being a doctor healing the sick to becoming a patient overnight? How can one live fully knowing that death is right around the corner?  These are a few of the questions the group tackled as they discussed Paul Kalanithi’s incredibly moving, thought provoking memoir, When Breath Becomes Air.  

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Paul spent years studying to become a neurosurgeon, followed by years of tending to patients before he, at the age of 36, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.  He continued to live his life to the fullest and had to decide what makes life worth living in the face of his own imminent death. Ultimately, he came to the realization that living fully means accepting suffering. Get Lit group members were so touched by Paul’s courage that they felt comfortable enough to share their own personal trials and lessons learned.  As the group’s moderator, librarian Gina Vaccaro states, “There were tissues on the table, but group members handled the serious, somber topic with humor and grace, making this discussion one that will not be forgotten soon.”


The Get Lit Book Club is discussing Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for their December meeting.


 

11/30 | COMMUNITY HEALTH LECTURE: UNDERSTANDING YOUR THYROID

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Met by a full house, Dr. Tess Jacob from Summit Medical Group gave a talk on thyroid health in which she used a slide presentation to examine all the implications of the thyroid on our physiology, deeper looks into thyroid problems, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules, how problems are diagnosed through blood tests, and finally, common courses of treatment.

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Tess Jacob, MD is a member of Summit Medical Group’s Endocrinology team. Dr. Jacob treats patients with endocrine disorders and has particular interest in thyroid, pituitary, diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. She is specially trained to perform in-office fine needle aspiration biopsies of thyroid nodules and also performs thyroid ultrasounds.

 

Register for the second community health lecture, Sleeping Better, Naturally, on December 14th.  Dr. Marianna Shimelfarb will explore natural ways to promote healthy, sound, restorative sleep.

Highlights of the Week: Cookbook Club, Adult Paint Night, A Carole King Tribute & More!



11/12 | ONE FINE TAPESTRY: A CAROLE KING TRIBUTE

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You could feel the electricity in the air as the husband and wife duo, Diane and Gerard Barros,  performed One Fine Tapestry: A Carole King Tribute to a full house!

Gerard and Diane performed many of the hits off of Tapestry, Carole’s second album, which has sold over twenty five million copies and remains popularly downloaded today. Sing-along classics like Feel the Earth Move, So Far Away, It’s Too Late, Beautiful, You’ve Got a Friend, Where you Lead, and Natural Woman lit up the room as the audience danced and sang along.  The fun music drifted out of the Program Room into the Library which attracted many visiting families to join in.

During the program, the musicians provided interesting bits of history on Carole’s life, such as when Carole’s demo tape of Bobby Vee’s Take Good Care of My Baby was accidentally played on the radio and later became a huge hit. Other stories revolved around Carole writing many songs together with her husband, Gerry Goffin, which were recorded by big names such as The Drifters, The Shirelles (Will You Love Me Tomorrow), The Chiffons (One Fine Day), Aretha Franklin (Natural Woman), James Taylor (You’ve Got a Friend), The Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Everly Brothers, Herman’s Hermits, Linda Ronstadt, The Bee Gees, and The Monkees.  Pleasant Valley Sunday was actually written by Carole and Gerry when they lived in West Orange, NJ.

Thank you so much for organizing this!” “They were wonderful!” “Fantastic!” “That was so much fun!” “I’m happy I came out in the cold for this today!” These are just a few of the comments made to our librarians as the crowd exited the Program Room.

It’s not “too late” to see a video from our show!

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11/13 | COOKBOOK CLUB

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This meeting’s dishes came from the book Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix. Club members who attended chose a recipe they enjoyed from the book and brought their finished dish to the club, setting out each one for everyone to taste.
While eating, the club members discussed how they felt about the recipes in the book, most of them expressing that they enjoyed them, but others felt that the recipes were lacking, choosing to tweak the recipes to their liking. The biggest complaint about the book was that there were almost too many choices and that there were little to no measurements of ingredients. Another complaint was that there were recipes that either didn’t mention adding salt and/or pepper for taste. Even with some downsides encountered in the book, there were many delicious dishes found on the menu for the night!

 

Menu:

  • Lentil Salad
  • Curried Cauliflower Soup
  • Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Peanuts
  • Pommes Anna
  • Classic Deviled Eggs
  • Egg Salad with Dill Pickles
  • Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans and Chile Dressing
  • Pasta, Beans, and Tomatos
  • Crisp Quinoa Cakes with Almonds, Rosemary, and Dijon
  • Chechin-Thigh Kabobs
  • Persian Salad
  • Basic Dough that was also used to make Pecan Pie Squares
  • Knafeh a La Creme
  • Cream Puff Pastries
The next meeting is on January 17th at 7 PM and the book will be Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make by Melissa Clark. If you’re interested in joining the next meeting, pick up a copy of this cookbook at the Circulation Desk!


11/14 & 11/16 | COFFEE & CRIME MYSTERY BOOK CLUB

Our long-running Coffee & Crime Mystery Book Club meets twice a month, on Tuesday at 12:30 PM, and on Thursday at 7:15 PM, to accommodate all of Livingston’s mystery lovers.  This week a total of 27 members turned out to discuss The Indian Bride by Karin Fossum, about a Norwegian bachelor who makes an unlikely love-match on a short trip to India only to have his new wife disappear on her way to his small town in Norway. The ambiguous ending had both groups buzzing (some indignantly) over a snack of Jarlsberg cheese and flatbread crackers chosen in honor of the setting.  Ariel Zeitlin, one of our reference librarians and the book club’s facilitator, also showed clips from a BBC documentary, Time Shift: Nordic Noir, including an interview with Karin Fossum about her personal experiences with murder.
This week Ariel also unveiled her brand new line-up of  Coffee & Crime selections and meeting dates for 2018, as well as a list of all the books the group has read since 2012.

 

11/15 | JR. JOURNALISTS

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Children grades 3-5 learned all about what it takes to be a reporter in Livingston Library’s four-week enrichment course, “Jr. Journalists.”

In week one, Anna read the group three versions of The Three Little Pigs and led a discussion on the 5Ws+1H (Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How), Fact vs. Opinion, Subjectivity vs. Objectivity, and Reliable vs. Unreliable Narrators, to decide which of the three versions was the REAL Three Little Pigs story. After a debate, the majority of the group voted that Jon Scieszka’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs was the most true version of the story.

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During weeks two and three of Jr. Journalists, Anna assigned groups a fairy tale to research and decide which of the six books was the most true version. Each group used critical thinking skills to determine which books they found to be biased or had unreliable narrators, and which book they found to be most objective and true.

During the fourth and final week, all four groups presented their articles to the class while their parents attended.

 


 

11/15 | ADULT PAINT NIGHT

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Over twenty-five participants had a fun, engaging time recreating vibrant colored hearts in the signature style of American pop artist, Jim Dine, using small canvases, acrylic paints, and a variety of brushes.
Brandon Dorney of Art Kids Academy gave a quick demonstration of Dine’s style and then let the participants follow their own hearts to come up with very unique depictions of the “heart” theme; one participant even painted a broken heart.
To quote some of the attendees, this program was “great fun,” and ” a creative time away from the TV and computer at home.”
Participants included three retired Livingston teachers who seemed to love every minute of it!

11/16 | MARTY SCHNEIT TALK: “NEW YORK CITY DURING WORLD WAR II”
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Historian Marty Schneit gave an entertaining and engaging talk on New York City During World War II to a full house of ninety-two attendees.

Utilizing pictures and slides in conjunction with his discussions, Marty talked about many interesting things such as the important role of women in the war: Women were encouraged to donate their nylon stockings to be re-spun for parachutes, and the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter developed from women working in “men’s labor,” such as welding.  There was even a program called W.A.V.E.S., or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, that was started up by the Navy.  Other interesting facts included the Mafia where the State of New York and the Navy struck a deal to let out “Lucky” Luciano from prison so that the Mafia could provide intelligence to the Navy.  That’s definitely not something you learn in history class!

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This wonderful program attracted many people that were either children during this time, served in the war themselves, or had family members that lived during it.  Marty made the talk as interactive as he could, maintaining an ongoing Q&A as people shared their stories and experiences on topics such as food rations, black outs, covering up windows, and meatless Tuesdays.  It was a trip down memory lane for the attendees that lived during the time, many of them reminiscing with each other.

This program was funded by the Friends of the Livingston Library.


 

 

 

 

 

Highlights of the Week: BookFEST!, Trick or Treat, Nature Heals Workshop, and More!

10/26-29: BOOKFEST 

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Run by the Friends of the Library, BookFEST! is our biggest sale of the year. Just like last year, crowds filled the room each day of the event.  The program room was arranged with tables full of books, puzzles, toys, video games, dvds, art, and other miscellaneous items.  BookFEST! may be centered around books, but there was definitely something for everyone!

Although it was raining, our most popular day was Bag Day on Sunday: customers could buy a Friends bag, fill it up with books instead of purchasing the individual items.  Talk about a good deal!

Proceeds from the sale support great library programs for children and adults all year long.



10/30: CODERGALS 

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An exceptional program led by LHS female coder volunteers, Codergals started on October 16th, and continues on until November 6th. In this program, girls in grades 3-5 learn new coding techniques each week, such as creating their own emojis, opening their own blogs using WIX, exploring objects & variables in coding with the dancing Yeti project, and this most recent week, in the spirit of Halloween, the group practiced their coding skills with a zombie game.  They also began learning about app coding using the bitsbox system.

On the last day of the class, they will present their completed blogs containing all of their work.  With the technical field expanding and growing every year, this is a fun opportunity for girls to learn about some of the latest programs, apps, and pages used for coding.



10/31: TRICK OR TREAT AT THE LIBRARY

If you were looking for a fun place to visit on Halloween, the library was it. Our librarians dressed up for the occasion, many donning traditional witch hats to celebrate the day.  Hundreds of kids showed up in costume, said the magic words– “trick or treat”– and received candy either at the circulation or the children’s desk.  Kids with allergies and food restrictions were given non-sweet treats.  Make sure to keep the library in mind when planning your Halloween adventures next year!



11/1: NATURE HEALS WORKSHOP: SEASONAL EATING AND HERBS FOR IMMUNE SUPPORT 

 

 

Run by herbal specialist Jenna Henry Hansen and yoga instructor/nutritional therapist Jenn Dorney, this incredibly informative workshop focused on the ideas of ancient eating, specifically the practices of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.  Jenna and Jenn went over specific grocery items to purchase based on the season, including sample recipes for everyone to take home with them and sample foods and drinks to try at the event itself.  There were also many packets handed out with information on the properties of many foods and herbs with information on how they help strengthen the immune system.

Here is an immune boosting recipe from last night’s program that you may find useful as we head into the colder months.  Be sure to let us know if you try it out!

ZESTY IMMUNE-BOOST ELDERBERRY SYRUP

Take 1 tsp 3-4x daily at the first sign of a cold.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Cup fresh or 1/2 Cup dried elderberries
1/4 Cup rose hips
1 Cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 Whole cloves
Zest of one orange
3 Cups water
1 Cup organic raw honey

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Place the berries, rose hips, cinnamon, orange zest, clove and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and mash up the mixture.
4. Strain the mixture though a cheesecloth or strainer, making sure to squeeze out all the goodness from the herbs.
5. Stir in honey. Add more or less to taste.
6. Bottle the syrup and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.



11/2: TEEN ADVISORY BOARD

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Did you think that those awesome teen programs happen by themselves?  Of course not! That’s why we’re giving you an inside look into a planning meeting of the Teen Advisory Board.  They are working to finalize the plans for Night at the Library: National Treasure.  The group tested the puzzles, worked on the clues and ensured that the event will be fun for all!



11/2: MARTY SCHNEIT LECTURE – THE BORSCHT BELT

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Historian Martin Schneit lectured to a packed house about the Borscht Belt, the  nickname for the summer resorts that existed in the Catskill Mountains in parts of Sullivan, Orange and Ulster counties in New York.  He displayed many colorful slides of Grossinger’s Hotel, with its grand dining room and indoor swimming pool.  Marty shared stories from his time as a busboy at Grossinger’s;  displaying a photo of Bess Myerson,  the 1st Jewish “Miss America,” being crowned in 1945, sitting at one of the tables.  He dazzled the crowd with interesting facts, such as basketball player Wilt Chamberlain worked as a bellhop at Kutsher’s Hotel.  The crowd enjoyed musical clips of Eddie Fisher singing “Sunrise, Sunset,” and of Jimmy Durante singing “Make Someone Happy.”  Marty had the audience heartily laughing along to jokes originally told by Rodney Dangerfield and George Burns.

This fantastic trip down memory lane was made possible by the Friends of the Livingston Public Library.

Don’t miss Marty Schneit’s next lecture on November 16th, about New York City During World War II, also sponsored by the Friends.


11/3: ONLINE BUSINESS & NJ TAX

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Representatives from the New Jersey Division of Taxation, as part of the Taxation University Series, in cooperation with the New Jersey State Library presented Online Business & New Jersey Tax to small business owners.
They explained the NJ Sales and Use Tax, how to properly report and pay taxes, helpful publications and useful contact information.  Participants were able to ask questions and both representatives provided useful information.

This is the first in the It’s Your Business Series of business and personal finance programs. Registration is open for the next program in the series, Fundamentals of New Jersey Sales Tax.