Highlights of the Week: How-to Houseplants, Non-Alcoholic Mixology & More!

1/28 | How-to: Houseplants (Know Your Garden Series)

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The first program in our planned “Know Your Garden” series was a success!  We had a very interested audience of forty people who peppered the presenter, Mr. Marc Zukovich, with questions right from the start. 

Marc shared his vast knowledge in an engaging and interactive full two hour session. He gave a lot of handy tips and recommendations on indoor plant care, both of the flowering and non flowering kind. Topics covered included watering, fertilization, re-potting, lighting and temperature control, and so on. 

Marc brought handouts (we had to make more copies!), patiently answered all questions, and even distributed some candy. At the end of the program, he gave out his number and said he would be more than happy to give gardening-related advice to anyone with more questions.

 

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Members of the audience found the program to be very educational, stating that it would help them take better care of their indoor plants.  One participant mentioned that this session with the colorful slides had “rekindled [her] interest in having plants inside the house again.” 

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Marc’s next program is scheduled for March 11th on Eco-friendly Lawn Care.

 


1/29 |  Dr. Michael Sunga’s LHS’s Class Visit

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The Library welcomed Livingston High School teacher Dr. Michael Sunga’s Public Speech & Debate class on Monday morning.  Dr. Sunga assigned students the task of selecting a picture book to read out loud with a Kindergarten ESL ‘book buddy.’  Youth Services Librarian Gina Vaccaro gave the students a tour of the Children’s section of the library, guided the students to the picture book section, and helped the class find fun, age appropriate books to read aloud.

 


1/29  | Mocktails – Non-Alcoholic Mixology

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Vanessa Young, founder of the Thirsty Radish, talked about how to spice up non-alcoholic drinks. She encouraged attendees to explore their own family history and traditions with food. She also pointed out certain ingredients to be creative with when experimenting with mocktails in order to keep them fresh and festive.

The audience was treated to delicious samples of Vanessa’s Vanilla Cider Punch and Candied Orange Margarita mocktails.


1/30  | X-Treme Readers Book Club for grades 4-5

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The inter-generational Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech was the group’s topic for discussion this month. The X-Treme readers talked about friendships and conflict resolution, food, cooking with family, and what foods they suggest eating as comfort foods (chocolate ice cream was a favorite).

For our snack, the group enjoyed one of Miss Gina’s favorite winter comfort foods, her homemade vegetable soup with pastina!

 

Highlights of the Week: Night at the Library, Tea and Tai Chi, and Little Listeners

11/18 | NIGHT AT THE LIBRARY: NATIONAL TREASURE

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Seventy-six teens in grades 6-12 had the library to themselves for an after-hours treasure hunt inspired by the popular movie, National Treasure. The movie focuses around a historian searching for the legendary treasure left behind by the Knights Templar and in order find it, he has to follow clues created by the Founding Fathers. 

Much like the movie, teen players had to work in teams in order to find pieces of the Declaration of Independence hidden around the library. Each piece contained a clue written on the back, leading players closer to the elusive treasure.

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To make things more difficult, players also needed to get past the Knights Templar– volunteers from the library’s teen advisory board– who guarded the clues and challenged the teams to duel before they could have access to the pieces.

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After successfully completing the events, participants got to relax and enjoy snacks while they watched the movie National Treasure

11/19 | TEA AND TAI CHI

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Led by Chuantong Lin, an award-winning Tai Chi master, and presenter Angel Li– both teachers at the Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi school in Warren, NJ– it’s no surprise that this program held a full-house of one-hundred and twenty-eight people. There were people of all ages ranging from pre-teens to a few people who identified themselves as “past 80.”
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Master Chauntong began the program with a few Kung Fu moves before switching over to a recorded presentation with an explanation of  various physical and calming benefits through Tai Chi movements. To better explain his points, he had the audience stand up and go through specific moves.

 

Some audience members were already experienced in Tai Chi with one woman commenting that “he is a very patient teacher.” Following the Tai Chi demonstration, Angel Li spoke about the history of tea, including the legend of Emperor Shen Nung and the story that he discovered tea over 5,000 years ago when leaves from a wild tree blew into his pot of boiling water.
She performed a traditional tea ceremony, joined by several audience members who got to taste six varieties of Chinese tea: green, black, yellow, oolong, dark tea, and white. The rest of the audience was invited to tastings at the tables set along the side of the room with Master Chauntong serving and talking with people.

 

Our librarians, Hongmei Liu and John Sitnik, as well as some library assistants at the Circulation Desk, commented that they found the program educational and entertaining. A woman that attended the program even called the next day to add her thanks and tell us that the library is a “real treasure for Livingston.”

 

*Photos courtesy of Youxian Zhao, husband to Livingston librarian, Hongmei.

11/20 | LITTLE LISTENERS

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This week’s Little Listeners story-time session was the last of a six-week program for the Fall.  Preschoolers ages two to five years old, along with their caregivers, enjoyed stories told using books, puppets, flannel board, folders, and music.

The Listeners enjoyed new versions of old favorites, such as “The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk” and a folder story called Old MacDonald Buys a Truck.  They also had fun singing along while Joe O’Brien, a member of the Youth Department, played Little Listener favorites, “The More We Read Together” and “The Library is the Place for Me”.  

 

To incorporate education with entertainment, Amanda included both fact and fiction stories, teaching the kids that squirrels have only four teeth and chew branches to keep them clean, and also teaching them how pumpkins are grown through the story One Child One Seed.

The children loved participating as they used rhyming clues to guess the different truck colors in Old MacDonald Buys a Truck and acted out the different parts of The Little Old Lady who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything.  Using finger puppets and flannel board pieces, Amanda helped the children practice their subtraction and addition skills as they counted turkeys, apples, and trucks.  

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To end the program, the Listeners learned about all of the different things to be thankful for as they listened to Amanda read Thanks for Thanksgiving and the flannel board story, The Thankful Turkey.  

***The Little Listeners program will return in January.