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connecting people with information through libraries
Updated: 58 min 22 sec ago

State Library Hosts Naturalization Ceremony

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 1:21pm

On June 22, 2017, the NJ State Library hosted a naturalization ceremony for 48 new citizens of the United States at the War Memorial Building, Trenton.

Keith Dorr, Tamika Gray, Mary Chute certificate presentation

Attendees were welcomed to the event with patriotic music played by the Old Barracks Fife and Drum Corps.
Presiding at the ceremony were Keith Dorr, USCIS, Tamika Gray, acting USCIS Newark district director, and Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian.

One of the new citizens, Birgit Grimm, said a few words. Isabelle, Andrew and Natalie Garcia helped lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Their father took his oath as a new citizen.

See the photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/njlibraryevents/albums/72157682419917544

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Categories: Library News Feeds

Digital Public Library of America Hub Planned for NJ

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:50am

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) was launched on April 18, 2013, to bring together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums making them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science.

Kelcy Shepherd, DPLA network manager

The DPLA hubs model is establishing a national network out of over forty digital libraries and major digital collections in the U.S., bringing together digitized and born-digital content from across the country into a single access point for end users, and an open platform for developers. New Jersey’s cultural heritage organizations are working together to establish a Service Hub for New Jersey to aggregate New Jersey’s digital content into DPLA. Planning for the Service Hub included a statewide digitization survey and a symposium, which brought together representatives of over 100 institutions on June 14 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters, Manalapan, to assist in the state’s planning for the Digital Public Library of America Service Hub for New Jersey. The symposium was sponsored by the NJ State Library and LibraryLinkNJ.

According to Kelcy Shepherd, DPLA network manager, DPLA is a catalyst for getting things done that people have wanted to do for a long time. The platform provides one stop shopping for people to review data. It connects users with incredible collections from diverse places, such as museums, historical societies, libraries and all types of material such as books, photos, video and audio files. There are currently 19 Service Hubs serving 21 states, with three more expected to go live this summer. New Jersey is looking to work with Delaware to establish a Service Hub in about a year.

Tom Clareson, Liz Bishoff, Kelcy Shepherd

Some of the benefits of the platform include adding value to curated content; providing interfaces and tools many organizations may not be able to afford or have the capacity to do on their own; a curation team that can create exhibits; and it provides the opportunity to be a part of a larger community to solve problems they would not be able to solve alone. The Service Hub model increases capacity for the greater good.

Joe Lucia, from Temple University, was interested in the DPLA concept from the very beginning and was a key figure in developing the Pennsylvania Service Hub. “Libraries stand as a counter to the commercialization of information,” he said. “DPLA’s mission to keeping knowledge and culture open to everyone calls libraries together regardless of socioeconomic, political means or status. Cultural memory institutions of all sizes can be part of this. DPLA provides the opportunity for larger institutions to work with smaller ones to gather, bring together and expose information for the community.”

Tom Clareson and Liz Bishoff reviewed the data collected from a survey they created which had been sent to NJ cultural institutions. Ninety percent of the 109 respondents said they had digital collections, but how many of them were ready to participate was the primary focus of Bishoff’s presentation. She noted especially that training was needed on digitization, metadata harvesting, rights management, donor agreements and other topics. According to Bishoff, this is a long-term project for New Jersey, which could take about a year to implement. NJ would need 50,000 items to start.

One of the challenges indicated by the survey is that 50 percent of the respondents did not have in their donor agreements the rights to digitize and distribute, which would be necessary. DPLA has a standardized rights statement that is included in the metadata field.

At the end of the symposium, participants agreed that the State Library should move forward with this initiative.

For more information about the Digital Public Library of America, go to https://dp.la/info/.

For more photos, go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/njlibraryevents/albums/72157684989691036

 

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Categories: Library News Feeds

Summer Reading Programs Building Across NJ

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 9:46am

The New Jersey State Library is teaming up with its more than 450 public library locations to kick off its 2017 Statewide Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme and slogan for all ages is “Build a Better World.”

Young people and adults have the opportunity to access the vast resources of New Jersey’s public libraries and enjoy activities for all ages in the public libraries throughout the summer. Each library received summer reading manuals for all ages filled with programming ideas and promotional items to help them publicize this year’s program. The artist for the early literacy and children’s program is Caldecott-Award winner David Macaulay, illustrator of many books, including the Caldecott-Award winning Black and White and The Way Things Work Now. The artist for the teen program is Scott Sosebee, a freelance graphic designer, and graphic artist Larry Jones is the illustrator for the adult program

In 2016, over 173,000 people of all ages participated in the statewide summer reading program and read nearly 2 million books. There were over 30,000 activity programs offered, with over 635,000 young people and adults attending these programs.

“Public libraries offer great resources for kids and adults throughout the summer, and the New Jersey Statewide Summer Reading Program offers ways for people of all ages to enjoy reading and having fun at their local libraries,” said Sharon Rawlins, youth services consultant at the State Library and project manager of the Statewide Summer Reading Program.

Participating in reading and literacy activities in their libraries helps young people keep up their reading skills throughout the summer, preventing them from experiencing “summer slide” or the loss of reading comprehension over the summer break.

Public libraries are encouraged to partner with local schools and other local afterschool organizations to promote the summer reading program to the young people in their communities. Resources are available for public librarians to share with parents, educators, and children and teens on the NJ Summer Reading Program’s website, http://www.njsummerreading.org under the educator tab.

All of New Jersey’s public libraries are members of the national Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP). Volunteers from CSLP participating public libraries across the US produce a unified summer reading theme along with professional art and evidence-based materials for all its member libraries to use.

The New Jersey Statewide Summer Reading Program is funded by the New Jersey State Library, which is responsible for the coordination, promotion, and funding of the New Jersey Library Network.

For more information contact Sharon Rawlins at srawlins@njstatelib.org, 609-278-2640 ext. 116.

 

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Unsung Heroes of the American Revolution Topic of Author Talk with David Price

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 1:35pm

On the anniversary of another battle that changed the course of a war -D-Day- author and historical interpreter David Price shared the stories of nine men and one mysterious woman who helped change the course of the American Revolution between December 25, 1776, and January 3, 1777. Drawn from his book, Price described how those ten helped Washington’s army gain the foothold they needed in New Jersey to set the colonists on the track to independence. Five were colonels, two captains, one sergeant and two civilians; they came from seven of the 13 colonies and one, John Haslet, was killed in battle.

Contributions ranged from managing Washington’s crossing of the Delaware on Christmas Eve by Captain William Blackler and saving James Monroe’s life by Dr. John Riker to the staunch defense at the Battle of Princeton and the Assunpink Bridge by Charles Scott, John Haslet and Joseph Moulder on January 3, 1777.

As an historical interpreter for the Friends of Washington Crossing Park, Price leads guided tours focusing on the “Ten Crucial Days” of the American Revolution and other historical aspects of Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Crossroads of the American Revolution Association, the Museum of the American Revolution, the Old Barracks Association and the Princeton Battlefield Society. Price is a magna cum laude graduate of Drew University and holds an M.A. in political science from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where he was an Eagleton Fellow. Formerly he worked for 31 years as a nonpartisan research analyst in the Office of Legislative Services of the New Jersey State Legislature.

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Disaster Planning and Recovery Workshops

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 10:34am

The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, and the New Jersey Cultural Alliance for Response (NJCAR), will present a series of disaster preparedness training for libraries and humanities-collecting institutions. Each two-session workshop will take place in three locations in the state.

The workshops will focus on risk assessment, disaster plan development, salvage priorities and salvage methods, and wet material recovery. At the conclusion of the first session, workshop attendees will have learned the tools necessary for their “homework” of creating draft disaster plans or revising old plans for their institutions. At the second session approximately six weeks later, attendees will review their plans together with the workshop leader, Thomas Clareson of LYRASIS, and continue their training.

Statewide organizational members of NJCAR (who comprise its Steering Committee) will provide in-person follow-up with workshop attendees three months after the training.

The workshop and follow-up activities will help New Jersey’s small and mid-sized institutions improve their ability to preserve their humanities collections and addresses the significant risk to New Jersey’s cultural heritage materials from natural disasters and other types of emergencies. 

These workshops are supported, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

BOTH SESSIONS OF THE WORKSHOPS MUST BE ATTENDED!

$50 for both sessions for continental breakfast and box lunch on both days.

Deadline to register is May 22

Register Now

Group I

First Session – 6/6

Paterson Free Public Library
250 Broadway
Paterson, NJ 07501

Second Session – 8/7

Wall Township Police Department
2700 Allaire Road
Wall, NJ 07719

Group II

First Session – 6/7

Haddonfield Public Library
60 Haddon Ave.
Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Second Session – 8/8

Camden County Fire & Police Academy
420 Woodbury-Turnersville Road
Blackwood, NJ 08012

Group III

First Session – 6/8

Plainfield Public Library
800 Park Ave.
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Second Session – 8/9

Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute
281 Campgaw Rd
Mahwah, NJ 07430

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C-Span visits the State Library

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 2:22pm

Recently C-Span visited the State Library as part of their Cities Tour series. The feature for this episode is Trenton. The Cities tour series looks at the literary life and history of a selected city. Pictured is C-Span Video Journalist Tiffany Rocque (left) and the State Library’s New Jersey Collection Librarian Deborah Mercer (right) who is explaining the history behind some of the State Library’s rare books and documents.

The C-Span Trenton feature will be aired on C-Span 2 on May 21 & 22. Please check your local listings to see what time it will be aired.  You can also view the episode after it airs by clicking here and looking through the video files of the Cities Tour series.

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Long Branch Public Library Receives Innovative Partnership Award from N.J. State Library

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 10:27am

New Jersey State Librarian Mary Chute presented the 2017 Innovative Partnership Award to the Long Branch Public Library for its Fade to Books program during a breakfast at the New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference, on April 26. The library received a $1000 award.

The Innovative Partnership Award, presented by NJ State Librarian Mary Chute (4th from left) was accepted by Tonya Garcia, library director, (3rd from left) and representatives of the Bridge of Books Foundation and participating barbers.

Read about the award at: http://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/2017njstatelibraryawards.pdf

 

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NJ State Library Recognizes Four Libraries for Multicultural Programming

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 10:14am
Bergenfield Library from left: Mimi Lee, State Library Diversity & Literacy Services Consultant, Louise Moroses, Allison Moonitz,, Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian.

New Jersey State Librarian Mary Chute honored four New Jersey libraries for conducting outstanding multicultural programs to engage cultural and ethnic communities in meaningful and effective partnerships during a breakfast at the New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference, on April 26.

“As State Librarian, I am extremely pleased to recognize our award recipients,” said Chute. “These programs are exceptional examples of libraries developing partnerships and delivering exceptional comprehensive cultural programming and promotion to their communities.”

Metuchen Library from left: Mimi Lee, State Library Diversity & Literacy Services Consultant, John Arthur, Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian.

Winning libraries were:

Bergenfield Public Library – One Town, Many Stories

 Metuchen Public Library – Lunar New Year Celebration

 Newark Public Library – The Rhythm and the Beat: Drums and Percussion in Latin America

Nutley Library from left: Mimi Lee, State Library Diversity & Literacy Services Consultant, Kiran Patel, Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian.

 Nutley Public Library – International Day

 

Each library received a $1000 award presented by Chute and Mimi Lee, Diversity and Literacy Services Consultant for the NJ State Library.

Newark Library from left: Mimi Lee, State Library Diversity & Literacy Services Consultant, Yesenia Lopez, Ingrid Betancourt, Heidi Cramer, Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian.

 

 

 

Read about the awards at: http://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/2017njstatelibraryawards.pdf

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NJ State Library Recognizes Three Libraries for Best Practices in Early Literacy

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 9:57am
Camden County Library, from left: Linda Devlin, David Lisa, Lisa Brandenburg, Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian, Christen Orbanis, Sharon Rawlins, State Library Youth Services Consultant.

New Jersey State Librarian Mary Chute honored three New Jersey libraries for conducting outstanding early literacy programs on behalf of their youngest library users and their families during a breakfast at the New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference, on April 26.

“As State Librarian, I applaud these public libraries on their exceptional programs that highlight some of the best early literacy programs being offered around the state,” said Chute. “All show that it’s not the size of the budget of the library that counts, but the desire of these libraries to encourage young children to experience the joy of reading.”

Gloucester County Library, Logan Branch from left: Carolyn Oldt, Anne Wodnick, Heather Marquette, Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian, Sharon Rawlins, State Library Youth Services Consultant.

Winning libraries were:

Camden County Library – First Visit Kits

Gloucester County Library – Logan Branch – Library Children’s Garden

Sussex County Library, from left: Jenise Sileo, Rachel Burt, Heather Lubchansky, Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian, Sharon Rawlins, State Library Youth Services Consultant.

Sussex County Library – The Read and Play Program

Each library received a $1000 award presented by Chute and Sharon Rawlins, Youth Services Consultant for the NJ State Library.

 

Read about the awards at: http://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/2017njstatelibraryawards.pdf

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Spring Taxation University Classes Will Aid Small Business Entrepreneurs

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 1:42pm
Joyce Olshansky teaches the Taxation University class at the Old Bridge Public Library.

The New Jersey State Library in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Treasury’s Division of Taxation was able to connect local small business owners and entrepreneurs with vital information through classes taught at 18 local libraries this past autumn. A new round of classes will begin in February at 23 more libraries across the state. Morning, afternoon and evening classes have been scheduled. The half-day Small Business Workshops will be taught by staff from the Taxation University, an outreach and training unit within the Division of Taxation.

The free workshops cover the twists, turns, nuances and basic information about starting and running a small business, including:

  • Developing a business plan,
  • Choosing a business structure with licensing and tax filing requirements for each,
  • Using the free resources from Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and Small Business Administration (SBA),
  • Where and how to register a business,
  • Meeting employer responsibilities, such as how to calculate federal and state withholding taxes and filing the New Hire Reporting form,
  • The difference between an employee and a contractor (this is determined by the Dept. of Labor & the IRS),
  • Understanding sales and use tax.

Deborah Hodge of Middletown attended the workshop at the Middletown Public Library in December. “I looked at starting a consulting business last year,” she said “but everything was very confusing. I needed a step-by-step guide to make things clear and this class does that.”

The size of the workshops is being kept small to enable attendees to ask questions about their specific situations and get the answers they needed. Such was the case with Ben Cole of Red Bank and Taharka Sankara of Long Branch. Both have established small businesses, but had specific questions about changes they wanted to make. Cole is looking at changing his Partnership-type of business to an S-Corporation for tax purposes, while Sankara was ready to start hiring employees for his successful three-year old business and needed to know what to do.

“This class gave me the pieces of information I need to change my business structure,” said Cole. “It is very helpful; answered my questions,” said Sankara.

“Acquiring the knowledge to start and run a business is a primary criterion for success,” said Andrea Simzak Levandowski, project manager of Small Business Development & Technology at the New Jersey State Library. “These workshops have provided new and aspiring small business owners with vital information on how to get their business started and navigate their tax requirements.”

Upcoming sessions:

Library City Date Time Library Link to Register Edison Public Library Edison, NJ February 6 1:00pm – 4:00pm Register West Orange Public Library West Orange, NJ February 9 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register Maplewood Library Maplewood, NJ February 13 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Parsippany Troy Hill Library Parsippany, NJ February 16 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Johnson Public Library Hackensack, NJ February 23 1:00pm – 4:00pm Register Burlington County Library System – Cinnaminson Branch Cinnaminson, NJ February 27 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register Willingboro Public Library Willingboro, NJ February 28 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register Sayreville Public Library Parlin, NJ March 2 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Piscataway Public Library Piscataway, NJ March 10 1:00pm – 4:00pm Register Burlington County Library System Westampton, NJ March 15 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register New Brunswick Public Library New Brunswick, NJ March 16 1:00pm – 4:00pm Register Atlantic County Library – Mays Landing Branch Mays Landing, NJ March 22 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register Burlington County Library System – Bordentown Branch Bordentown, NJ March 23 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register Washington Township Public Library (Morris County) Long Valley, NJ April 10 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Maurice M. Pine Free Public Library Fair Lawn, NJ April 19 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register Phillipsburg Library Phillipsburg, NJ April 24 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register Livingston Public Library Livingston, NJ April 27 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register Long Branch Free Public Library Long Branch, NJ April 28 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Burlington County Library System – Evesham Branch Marlton, NJ May 2 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Montclair Public Library Montclair, NJ May 8 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Fort Lee Public Library Fort Lee, NJ May 10 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Camden County Library – Voorhees Branch Voorhees, NJ May 16 10:00am – 1:00pm Register Edison Public Library – North Edison Branch Edison, NJ May 18 4:30pm – 7:30pm Register

Please visit the Taxation University’s website for additional training locations.

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Categories: Library News Feeds

Update from the New Jersey State Library on Proposed Federal Budget Cuts

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 1:01pm

In recent weeks the White House announced the President’s budget proposal which calls for the elimination of the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding.  NJ residents and the library community have reached out to express concern about this development, so in response we’d like to provide the following information about the current use of federal funding for libraries in NJ. It is important to note that we are at the beginning of the federal budget process.  In the coming weeks we will also see budget proposals from both the House and Senate.

Libraries in every state in the nation benefit from funds allocated by Congress for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the only federally funded program specifically dedicated to supporting libraries. Last year, libraries received just under $183 million in LSTA funding, about $156 million of which flowed to states as matching grants.

Libraries use these funds to, among other things, build and maintain a 21st century library that facilitates employment and entrepreneurship, adult and early literacy, digital literacy, community engagement, and individual empowerment.

Last year, New Jersey received approximately $4 million in LSTA funding and this money was used to benefit New Jersey’s residents in many ways, including:

  • The NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center – the State’s library for blind and print-impaired residents, or those not able to hold a book due to a physical injury or impairment, or those who suffer from a reading disability or brain injury. (Read more about TBBC’s support for veterans here.)
  • Jersey Connect – provides the technology backbone for over 300 libraries in the state.
  • JerseyClicks Statewide Electronic Resource Licensing – provides access to quality information resources not available for free on the Internet to all NJ residents through NJ’s multi-type libraries (public, school, academic, and special).
  • Sub-grants were awarded (using federal funds) to public libraries to support various adult literacy programs in local communities across the entire state.

The New Jersey State Library recently completed an independent evaluation of our activities supported with LSTA funds, which is now available on our website.

While the projects and services listed above are those currently funded through federal support, we must keep in mind that these are not necessarily the projects and services that would go away if we lose our federal funding.  With this kind of a seismic shift, all library programs and services would have to be reprioritized – including those that are not currently supported by federal funds.

The following link to the current NJ profile on IMLS’s website provides the most complete picture of how our work accomplished through federal funding is used: https://www.imls.gov/grants/grants-state/state-profiles/new-jersey

ALA’s press release regarding the President’s proposal may be found at this link.

Additional information about how the NJ library community is responding to this matter can be found on the New Jersey Library Association’s website: https://njla.org/content/federal-budget-cuts.

 

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A State House Tour for the Visually Impaired

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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/njlibraryevents/albums/72157680236673900

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Makers Day Fun at NJSL

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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/njlibraryevents/with/32867139173/

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

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.

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Telling the History of NJ through Images

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.

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