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A State House Tour for the Visually Impaired

NJ State Library - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 9:36am

On March 28, a small group of patrons of the NJ State Library’s Talking Book and Braille Center participated in a pilot program for a tour of the State House for those with visual impairments. Conceived by David April, tour program coordinator, and Jennie Leibert, tour program educator, the tour received rave reviews from the participants.

David April, tour program coordinator, describes State House Dome using model.

Beginning in the Rotunda, participants were given a description of the area and then were able to touch a model of the State House Dome and the State Seal. Next stop was the Governor’s Outer Office where they all had the opportunity to step behind the podium where governor’s have given many press conferences. At the entrance to the Legislative Chambers, the Boehm porcelain figure, featuring official NJ flora and fauna, was described. Noted was the reason for the presence of one ladybug.

Jennie Leibert, tour program educator, describing State Seal.

Participants then got to sit in the seats of legislators in the Assembly and Senate chambers, learn how voting takes place and got to hear a few minutes of a recorded meeting.

Participants were enthusiastic about the program continuing. Some of the comments were: “wonderful tour,” “I liked being able to touch things in the rooms,” “I liked being able to touch the seal and the dome model.” All said they would recommend the tour and would promote it in their groups.


To see all the photos, go to:

The post A State House Tour for the Visually Impaired appeared first on New Jersey State Library.

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United for Libraries to host April 25 webinar on working effectively with Friends groups

ALA United for Libraries - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 4:28pm

BRYN MAWR, Pennsylvania — United for Libraries will present a webinar on working with Friends of the Library groups, “With Friends Like These,” at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, April 25.

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Makers Day Fun at NJSL

NJ State Library - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 9:35am
From left: Cindy Warrick, Warren Spengler, Mary Chute, Ben Saracco driving a toy car with fruit.

Makers Day 2017 at the NJ State Library was held on Friday, March 24, from noon to 2 p.m. and attracted quite a crowd of state employees and other visitors making everything from sock snowmen to driving a toy car with fruit.

New Jersey Makers Day began in 2015 to enhance community engagement and develop connections among New Jersey residents by collaborating with multi-type libraries, museums, small businesses and others to promote and explore new opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation and hands-on learning experiences.

In 2016, New Jersey Makers Day was expanded to be a two-day event, which allowed sites not able to host events during the weekend (like schools, colleges and universities, manufacturers, local businesses, etc.) to still be able to provide programs, demonstrations and other events for their communities. The ultimate goal of NJ Makers Day is to enhance community engagement and facilitate connections among New Jersey residents by exploring new and interesting opportunities for community-wide education, entrepreneurship and hands-on learning experiences.

See all the photos from the State Library’s Makers Day at:

The post Makers Day Fun at NJSL appeared first on New Jersey State Library.

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United for Libraries to dedicate Manila House a Literary Landmark

ALA United for Libraries - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 1:44pm

Washington, D.C. – United for Libraries, in partnership with the Philippine Arts, Letters and Media Council (PALM); the Philippines on the Potomac Project (POPDC); the Rita M. Cacas Foundation, Inc. (RMCF), and the Toribio Family, will dedicate the fourth Literary Landmark in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 6 (3-5 p.m.), at the original site of the former Manila House (2440 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C.).

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Federal Budget Cuts

NJLA News - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 5:24pm

Update on Federal Budget Cuts

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Ten Libraries Selected to Host Children’s Math and Science Story Time (MASST) Series

NJ State Library - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 9:55am

The NJ State Library and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University partnered to offer 10 public libraries the opportunity to participate in the Math and Science Story Times (MASST) Series: Bringing math and science to life through reading and art for preschoolers in a community-based setting, a STEM initiative that serves the Spanish-speaking community.

The public libraries selected to host this series are:

  • Elizabeth Public Library
  • Fairview Free Public Library
  • Palisades Park Public Library
  • Summit Free Public Library
  • Twin Rivers Branch of the Mercer County Library System
  • Union Public Library
  • Van Buren Branch of Newark Public Library
  • Nilsa Cruz-Perez Branch of Camden County Library System
  • North Plainfield Memorial Library of the Somerset County Library System
  • Sadie Pope Dowdell Library, South Amboy

The libraries will receive resources kits, training, and be provided with a Spanish-speaking presenter, if needed.

MASST is a story time series focusing on children ages 3-6 and their families in the Spanish-speaking community and includes 8 sessions, each focused on a different area of science or math. Session kits include lesson plans, books, and materials. Sessions involve reading, gross motor activities, singing, and hands-on creative projects that link to the focal topic. Children attend one or more MASST sessions with their family members or caregivers, and related handouts encourage families to extend learning into the home.

MASST was a co-developed between the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University and the New Brunswick Free Public Library (NBFPL) in 2012 to serve the Spanish-speaking population. MASST has been a part of NBFPL summer programming each summer since. Program evaluations have shown participation to increase awareness of library programming among patrons, to increase knowledge of parents about books and STEM activities to do with their children, and to increase children’s knowledge of key STEM concepts. The program expanded in 2016 to four libraries across two states. NBFPL has also been piloting a preschool version in which preschool teachers bring their classrooms to the library to participate.

The post Ten Libraries Selected to Host Children’s Math and Science Story Time (MASST) Series appeared first on New Jersey State Library.

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Telling the History of NJ through Images

NJ State Library - Tue, 03/07/2017 - 2:09pm

If you were putting together a book on the history of your family using only pictures, newspaper clippings and other documents now stored in boxes in your closet or attic, what would you choose? Of those thousands of images, what would you select to pass on to your grandchild to explain the family’s genealogy? Now, imagine doing that for a state, albeit a small one. That was the undertaking of Maxine Lurie and Richard Veit in compiling their book Envisioning New Jersey. The enormity of their task and the result was the topic of the March 7 author talk at the NJ State Library.

Richard Veit and Maxine Lurie answer questions about their book following their Author Talk presentation.

“We thought this was going to be easy,” said Lurie, who was one of the first authors to participate in the State Library’s Author Talk series back in February 2010. “But it took four years; it as quite an adventure.” The duo had to find high quality images, get permissions for use and whittle the enormous amount of material down to 654 images.

Veit, another returning author from February 2012, and Lurie alternated giving the very informative narrative of the selected images they presented. The related stories gave interesting perspectives to incidents and personalities of the state. Images showed New Jersey’s first Royal Governor Lord Cornbury; an article on Aaron Burr’s indictment for “murdering” Alexander Hamilton; a photo of a WPA painting of a Revolutionary War scene done in 1939 on the wall at the New Brunswick Post Office; World War II German Prisoners of War working farms in south Jersey; and what history of NJ would be complete without a photo commemorating the day aliens landed in Grover’s Mill?

The first illustrated book on New Jersey that covers its complete history, Envisioning New Jersey shows the transformation of New Jersey over time. Lurie and Veit, leading authorities on the history of New Jersey, present 654 images along with narrative which show and tell New Jersey’s history from prehistoric times to the present. The images used include paintings, photographs, documents and maps, and were located by looking through the collections of 150 institutions and individuals.

Lurie is professor emerita of history at Seton Hall University and chairs the New Jersey Historical Commission. She also collaborated with Veit on New Jersey: A History of the Garden State and is co-editor of The Encyclopedia of New Jersey and Mapping New Jersey, as well as the editor of two editions of A New Jersey Anthology.

Veit, is professor of anthropology and chair of the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University where, in 2007, he was the recipient of Monmouth University’s distinguished teacher award. As a North American historical archaeologist, his research focuses on the Middle Atlantic Region between the late 17th and early 19th centuries.

Veit has authored or co-authored numerous articles, reviews and six books including Digging New Jersey’s Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State, New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones History in the Landscape (co-authored with Mark Nonestied), and New Jersey: A History of the Garden State (co-authored with Maxine Lurie). He also regularly presents on topics relating to historical archaeology and New Jersey history and has been a TED speaker.

The post Telling the History of NJ through Images appeared first on New Jersey State Library.

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