Highlights of the Week: Mindfulness Approach to Stress, Toddler Art Time: Pride Crafts & More!

5/24 |  Understanding Hearing Loss

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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!

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6/6 | Mindfulness Approach to Stress

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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

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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.

 

 

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: Selling Your Home in 2018, Lunar New Year, Paper Mill Playhouse Jr. & More!

2/10 | Paper Mill Playhouse Children’s Theatre on Tour: Alice in Wonderland

The Paper Mill Playhouse Children’s Theatre on Tour returned to the Library to perform Alice in Wonderland, Jr to a full house!
To experience some of the show time magic, enjoy a short clip from the show.

 


 

2/11 | Selling Your Home in 2018

Realtor Suzy Minken spent a good two hours sharing the elements of a “winning strategy” for achieving the highest price when selling your home.

Using a Power Point presentation, Ms. Minken discussed competitive market trends, evaluating a home’s worth relative to other homes on the market, the importance of
“right pricing” home staging and maintenance, and so much more. She even included a series of “before and after” photos of design changes that optimize the value of your home.
Here’s an example of the knowledge she shared:

TOP STAGING TIPS WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME_Feb 2018-page-001

 

 


2/13  | Lunar New Year Celebration 

 

Children and adults were greeted to a festively decorated room for the Library’s first Lunar New Year Tri-lingual Story Time.  

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In celebration of the Year of the Dog, the excited audience listened as Children’s Librarian Amanda Winter read a story in English about a dog who is a loyal friend.  The children also heard a colorful story in Chinese and English about a silly dog who needed a bath.  Librarian Hongmei Liu told the story in Chinese, while Amanda simultaneously told the story in English.  Children and parents loved acting out the songs “The Three Bears” and “Cuteness” as Youth Services Assistant Diane Choi sang the words in Korean.  Attendees learned about some of the different decorations and preparations people make to celebrate while listening to the story, “Bringing in the New Year,” which was told in Chinese and English.  

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Hongmei and Diane each talked a little about how the holiday is celebrated in China and South Korea.  Hongmei brought in a lantern decoration and a qi pao dress to show the children.  Diane shared pictures of foods and activities associated with the holiday in South Korea while dressed in a traditional dress, han bok.

In addition to learning about the holiday, participants learned the Korean words for ‘cuteness’ (gwi gomi) and ‘bear’ (gom) and the Chinese words for ‘dog’ (gou) and the color ‘red’ (hong.)

After the stories and songs, children colored and decorated dragon masks.

 


 

2/13  | Get Lit Casual Book Club 

Our fun, lively group discussed Sherman Alexie’s brilliant, brutally honest, occasionally hilarious memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.  YouDon'tHaveToLoveMeCover
Alexie’s gifted storytelling allowed readers an intimate look into his childhood on and off the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, in addition to the relationships with his family, particularly his mother.  Group members thoroughly enjoyed sharing Alexie’s sorrows, joys, and life stories and comparing his experiences to their own families.  All group members learned many new things about the Indian culture.
As a special treat, one of our steady book discussion members shared big, fluffy, chocolate brownies with our group in addition to the cookies usually served.

For more on Sherman Alexie, listen to his 6/20/2017 interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

 


 

2/13  | Living a Heart Healthy Life

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Cardiologist Dr. Liliana Cohen gave an informative presentation on “Living a Heart Healthy Life” in collaboration with the Summit Medical Group.

Some of the topics she she covered include: an overview of Cardiovascular Disease and its prevalence, symptoms of heart disease and the different symptoms experienced by men and women, risk factors, how to eat healthy , importance of physical activity and weight management, blood pressure, hypertension, and how to lower heart disease risk.

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Audience members had many questions about diet and medications, all of which Dr. Cohen patiently answered. At the end of the program, everyone was given a heart shaped ice pack and an article by Dr. Cohen herself.

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For anyone who wants more information or wasn’t able to attend, Dr. Cohen recommended visiting  the website Life’s Simple 7 to start making seven simple changes to improve heart health.