A Little Bit Further

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Are you one of the 1200 visitors who came to the Library’s eclipse program in August? Good news! We have more opportunities to share the starry workings of the universe with you and the children in your life. Our three-part “Stargazing at the Library” series began in September, and this Tuesday, the 21st, reservations open for our final event on November 28th. Once again, the Morris Museum Astronomical Society will be here to help us spot planets, stars, and constellations, in the night sky above the Oval, and we'll be providing telescopes, tablets with astronomy apps, and instruction. All you need to bring is a sense of wonder.

Because at the Livingston Library, we bring the world to you. And sometimes we take you a little bit further!


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

 

 

So it goes.

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Yesterday was Veterans Day, and I’ve been thinking about one of my all-time favorite authors, the late Kurt Vonnegut. In fact I love his Slaughterhouse-Five so much that I had its philosophical catchphrase of impermanence tattooed on my arm (see below).

Born out of Vonnegut’s own hellish tour of duty in World War II, Slaughterhouse-Five tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, a mild-mannered optometrist who comes “unstuck in time” after the firebombing of Dresden. Slaughterhouse-Five is a famous indictment of war. But re-reading the book, it’s clear that as much as Vonnegut hated warfare, he loved and admired his comrades at arms: “The nicest veterans...the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought.”

AmyBsTat_SoItGoes.JPG

Oddly enough, Vonnegut did not approve of Veterans Day. He longed for its precursor, Armistice Day, from his youth, which commemorated the sudden end of fighting in World War I with a moment of silence at 11:11 AM on November 11th. And even more oddly enough, it turns out that November 11th was also Vonnegut’s birthday.

So won’t you join me in a belated moment of silence to remember Vonnegut, Armistice Day, and all the veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country?


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

 

 

Tea & Tai Chi

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Are you curious about authentic Chinese methods of relaxation? The Library is proud to present a free public presentation, "Tea & Tai Chi," on Sunday, November 19th.

"In China, people use both the tea ceremony and the practice of tai chi to promote mindfulness," says Hongmei Liu, our World Literature Librarian, who grew up in China. "Our presenter Angel Li will show that every step of preparing tea involves choices: selecting the kind of tea, the temperature of the water, how many seconds you steep it, enjoying its aroma--it's all deeply meditative when it's done correctly." Chuantong Lin, an award-winning tai chi master from the Shaolin Kung Fu & Tai Chi School in Warren, will demonstrate the graceful, flowing sequence of tai chi, "which is often referred to as 'meditation in motion,'" Hongmei explains. "It's very popular in China; every park is crowded with people practicing tai chi."

Don't miss this wonderful chance to experience the heart of traditional Chinese culture! The program is free and open to everyone; no reservations are required, but please come early to find parking.

Remember, at Livingston Library we bring the world to you.


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

 

 

Trick or Treat

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Halloween is almost here.  And though our Youth Services Department already held a great drop-in pumpkin decorating event two weeks ago,  we just can't get enough Halloween at the Library!  Come in costume anytime on October 31st,  say "trick or treat" at the Children's Desk, and receive a fun treat! (While supplies last, of course.)  We're looking forward to a steady stream of ghosts,  witches,  supervillains, and more.  Shakespeare once said "Clothes maketh the man";  and we'll go a step further:  "Costumes maketh Halloween!"

We hope to see you here!


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

 

 

BookFEST!

Dear Livingston Library Community,

The rest of the world may celebrate Oktoberfest. Here at the Library, we have BookFEST!  Yes, it’s that time of year when our amazing Friends turn our program room into a bountiful bazaar of used books at bargain basement prices—from October 26th through the 29th.  If you’ve been thinking of joining the Friends of the Library, now’s a great time to do it and gain access to the Friends-only pre-sale day of BookFEST on October 25th.

If you’re reading this, you probably need no excuse to add books to your collection or give them to those you love, but by patronizing BookFEST you’re also helping to fund all of the many wonderful free programs we enjoy all year at the Library.  The township funds our operating expenses; the Friends pay for everything from Nursery Rhyme Time to Senior Happening, including teen SAT prep, public lectures and performances, adult creativity workshops, book clubs-- and so much more.

So please do drop by BookFEST!  Because at the Livingston Library, we get by with a little help from our Friends.


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

 

 

Teen Night at the Library

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Do you know teens who are passionate about Hamilton, treasure, puzzles and escape rooms of all kinds?  Then don’t let them miss the Library's great new teen after-hours program coming up on November 18th!  "This is another fun, safe opportunity for Livingston teens to get the Library all to themselves for a night,"  explains Karen deWilde, our teen librarian.  This year Karen and her dedicated teen advisory board were inspired by “National Treasure” with Nicolas Cage, about the search for a mysterious chest full of medieval treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers.  "As usual, teens will be testing their wits, practicing teamwork, and solving puzzles against the clock for fun and prizes, as well as watching a movie and enjoying snacks."

Wow!  Tragically, no adults are allowed.  But registration opens on October 16th (and is strictly required).

Because at Livingston Library, we help you give your children the world.


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

 

 

Just Add Friends

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Are you a town resident who wants to start your own book club but are daunted by the work involved?  Are you already in a book club but dreading your turn to lead?  Then we've got the perfect new program for you launching by the end of the month: Book Club in a Bag!  Each bag contains eight copies of one book and all the background information about, compiled by one of our own highly trained librarians.  You can keep the bag and its contents for up to 28 days. All you have to add is the friends!  View our first selections for Book Club in a Bag below, and for more information about the program, or about the Library's own four adult book clubs, please check out our website at livingstonlibrary.org or stop by the reference desk.

Remember, at Livingston Library, we bring the world to you.


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

 

 

Hispanic Heritage Month

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Hispanic Heritage Month is almost over, but there’s still time to enjoy a wonderful, free live musical program at the Library on Thursday, October 12th. “The Viva Vallenato! Cumbia Band features the lively, unique sounds of timbales, bass, and above all, the button accordion which is so characteristic of Colombian music,” explains Christine Demidowich, our programming coordinator. "Don't miss it!"

And if you're looking for other ways to explore Hispanic music and culture, check out the Library's World Language collection, our many Spanish-language films and magazines both in the Library and online through Hoopla! and Zinio, as well as our great online language learning programs, Mango and Rosetta Stone. Just ask one of our highly trained librarians for more information.

Because as St. Augustine once so memorably said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” At Livingston Library we bring the world to you.


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

Fake News

Dear Livingston Library Community,

With all the talk about "fake news" across the political spectrum, have you been wondering about the history and hallmarks of this crucially important trend? Then don't miss veteran Daily Record reporter Bill Westhoven's free public presentation at the Library on Thursday, September 28th!

"'Fake news' has always been with us in one way or another, and the conventions of reporting were once very different," Westhoven explains. "No one ever wrote about FDR's wheelchair or Babe Ruth's drinking and womanizing." He'll be talking about how the internet blurs the lines between traditional journalism, prime-time punditry and outright propaganda; and discussing how to separate fact from fiction by identifying common components of each.

Best of all, Westhoven prides himself on maintaining the civil, non-partisan atmosphere so crucial to public discussion. Because as Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, "Don't raise your voice, improve your argument!" And there's no better place to do that than the Library.

We hope to see you there!

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

Food for Fines

Dear Livingston Library Community,


Here at the Library we hate to say no. We always want to give you the book, magazine, movie, album, or piece of information you are seeking, and we hate it when fines get in the way. That’s why we introduced our "Food for Fines” program last year—and part of why we were so thrilled by its success. Last year, our Food for Fines program restored borrowing privileges for 173 residents, wiped out $2,756.64 in late fees and, best of all, brought in 957 individual food items for CHOW, Livingston's local food pantry. Talk about a win-win-win! No wonder we can't wait to do it again. This year Food for Fines Week will take place from September 23rd to September 30th. Once again we'll be accepting non-perishable, unexpired food items at the circulation desk in place of late fines (sorry, lost item fees are not eligible). So get those jars of peanut butter and boxes of spaghetti ready, and let the donations to CHOW start rolling in. We're proud to partner with you in such a worthy cause!

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

Meet An Author

Dear Livingston Library Community,

There's no better way to celebrate back-to-school season than meeting a real live author at the Library!  So don't let the 3 to 7-year-olds in your life miss our visit from Mike Malbrough, writer and illustrator of Marigold Bakes a Cake, on September 13th.  Not only will Mike will be reading aloud from his wacky, charming book and signing copies, he'll be leading a fun, related art project (while supplies last).  No reservations are required, but do come early for parking and get ready for a great experience.

 

Because at Livingston Library, we help you give your children the world.

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

What We Give

Dear Livingston Library Community,

It’s Labor Day, and what better time to give a shout out to my staff at the Library?  Without their amazing and varied talents, top-notch training, hard work, and, most of all, heartfelt dedication, we could never live up to our mission statement: "The Livingston Public Library, the place where reading, learning, and ideas converge to transform lives."  For as Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."  And if you agree that our team provides extraordinary service, the next time you see a library team member, please join me in thanking them for their good work.

Happy Labor Day!

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

Try a Weekend Classic!

Dear Livingston Library Community,

It’s the end of August.  Are you one of the many who haven’t finished War & Peace, Infinite Jest, or Game of Thrones this summer despite your best intentions?  Give yourself a break and enjoy a novella, or what we at the Library call a “weekend classic”: a highly readable work of literature of 200 pages or less.  A weekend classic is short enough to read in a few days even if unexpected houseguests turn up, and powerful enough to give you a glimpse into another world.  For a few ideas, see the illustration below.  Or ask any one of our highly trained librarians for suggestions.

Because as the poet Emily Dickinson once said,  "There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away”…and the most satisfying voyages are not always the most lengthy.

Here’s to books, both short and long!  And here’s to the last delicious, golden days of August, however you choose to spend them.

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

Meet a Teen Volunteer!

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Could you use a little good news?  Of course you could.  So meet 15-year-old Tammy Cheng, a rising sophomore at Livingston High and our most active teen volunteer this summer.  She worked as a reading mentor with Book Buddies, shelved yards of books, helped plan and staff the Teen Murder Mystery, served as an online Game Administrator, and taught chess. Tammy says: “I love to be around books and I actually maxed out my library card the other day, I took out so many!”

Which would be 50 items.  Go Tammy!

Tammy’s recent favorite read was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. “The book was so much better than the movie because it had more details,” Tammy comments.  “I always feel that way.”

We do too!

During the year, Tammy also volunteers as manager for girls’ lacrosse and field hockey at LHS, and serves on our Teen Advisory Board, helping our teen librarian, Karen deWilde, plan and run programs.  “The Library is my safe spot, my favorite place to hang out,” explains Tammy.

Tammy, we’ve got to say the feeling is mutual!

Because at the Livingston Library, we get by with a little help from our Friends. Thank you, Tammy—and all the other 112 teen volunteers who worked so valiantly and accomplished so much this summer!

 

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

Solar Eclipse

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Are you searching for the right place to view the amazing solar eclipse coming up on August 21st? Well, look no further than your Library!  “We’ll be witnessing a rare phenomenon that illuminates the workings of the natural world,”  says Joseph Emery, our Technology Librarian, who is running the program.  “I’ll be explaining how the eclipse fits into our current understanding of astrophysics and making sure that everyone does their viewing safely.”  The program is free and open to all, no registration required, and we'll be giving away free safety glasses to all participants while supplies last.  The solar eclipse program is part of the Library’s astronomy initiative, which began with the family planetarium program earlier this summer, and will be continuing with another star-gazing session in September.  Don’t miss it!  For as astronomer and writer Carl Sagan once said,  “Our feeblest contemplations of the cosmos stir us—there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, or falling from a height.  We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries."  

Remember, at the Livingston Library, we bring the world to you. And sometimes together we travel beyond.

 

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

Summer Picnics

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Is there anything more deliciously seasonal or more seasonally delicious than a summer picnic?  We at the Library think not.  But if you're sick of your regular menu ideas, you can always find inspiration in our extensive cookbook collection, in the Library or online at eBCCLS.  “I love to mix and match cuisines for a tapas-style picnic,” says Ariel Zeitlin, one of our reference librarians.  “For a serious al fresco feast, you could make Thai chicken satay, Tuscan tuna-bean salad, mushrooms vinaigrette, cold sesame noodles, and Barcelona-style potato omelet.  Just make them ahead of time and bring them along in a cooler.”  Yum!  Check out Ariel's recommended cookbooks below.

Because at Livingston Library, we put the world at your fingertips.

 

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

Be Prepared to Swing!

Dear Livingston Library Community,

There's nothing like hot weather and cool jazz to make a summer day sizzle. That's why we're so excited to host our second free WBGO Kids Jazz Concert. On Saturday,  August 5th at 1:30 pm, we'll be welcoming Jerome Jennings, a drummer who's jammed with jazz royalty like Sonny Rollins and Ray Charles.  He'll be introducing young listeners to the joys of free-wheeling improvisation and 100 percent live musical collaboration right here at the Library.  The program is free, no reservations required, and open to all, but we suggest arriving early for parking.  

Bring your family and be prepared to swing!

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

You've got to have Friends!

Dear Livingston Library Community,

This is the great paradox of library service: it’s worth nothing if we can’t give it away. In so many ways, it’s all of you who make the Library what it is.  And that’s especially true of our wonderful Friends of the Library, who work so hard to fund our award-winning programs.  If you’ve been meaning to become a Friend or renew your membership, why not do it now before the Friends of the Library Social on August 7th?  “This year the Friends set a record for memberships and funds raised,”  says Barbara Bye,  a longtime Library trustee and director of membership for the Friends.  “It’s also the second year we’re doing the Social as a thank you to all of our members.”  The festivities start at 7 and include both a live performance by the Jane Stuart Jazz Quartet, and a chance to socialize over beverages and dessert.  To attend, please RSVP by July 31st to Barbara Bye at friends_livlibrary@verizon.net or (973) 992-4600 x505 or ask at the Circulation Desk.  And if by chance you can’t make it to the Social, you can still renew or make an additional donation at any time in person or online.  The Friends will also be sending out notices of our annual membership drive after Labor Day.

Why do we try so hard to stay connected to you?  Because at the Livingston Public Library, we get by with a little help from our Friends.

Happy summer and happy reading!

All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library

 

 

"Why Should Children Have All The Fun?"

Dear Livingston Library Community,


Oh, for the golden summers of childhood!  Fresh watermelon, blueberries, and corn, long days of swimming and playing ball outdoors...and summer reading programs at the Library!   "We figured, 'why should children have all the fun?'" says Melissa Brisbin, our spirited supervisor of patron services who is spearheading our new Adult Summer Reading Program this year till Aug 6th. Here's how it works: When town residents aged 18 and older check out adult reading materials--books, audiobooks, and eBooks—they earn the chance to win weekly prizes including literary-themed tote bags and free coupons to local eateries. Winners will be chosen randomly each week.  Weekly participants can enter a raffle for two Kindle Fires in the final week.  Just ask at the reference desk or the circulation desk for more details or sign up online.

Because at Livingston Library, we bring the world to you. All year round.

All the best,

Amy,
Director, Livingston Library

 

"My Kind of Role Model"

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our Library, and no one has given more consistently than our longtime trustee, Judi Nudelman, who is stepping down after 42 years of service.  In an age of sound bites and disposable products, Judi's longstanding commitment to literacy and public service seems even more notable, spanning several eras in librarianship.  Judi was deeply involved in our earliest fundraising and logistical efforts to computerize the Library and actively worked to fund the Library’s renovation and expansion both in 1977 and 2007.  She was president of the Board for 24 years.  And she did it all with her customary enthusiasm and vigor.  My favorite Judi story is embodied in this photo of the ceremony beginning the Library's first expansion.  She's the one in jeans, standing next to a woman in a proper skirt and coat.  "That was Councilwoman Carol Beck, and oh, she was mad at me!"  Judi remembers.  "But it was a groundbreaking!  I thought they might hand me a shovel!"  Judi adds, laughing, "For years she called me up before every event to remind me to dress properly."  Now that's my kind of role model!

Thank you, Judi...for everything. Because at the Livingston Library, we get by with a little help from our friends. Or in your case, more than a little.

All the best,

Amy,
Director, Livingston Library