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How we deliver words and ideas at the start of our second century


Spring 2010

POETRY Hear it, read it, write it

during National Poetry Month

C.K. Williams on Walt Whitman in the Thinking Allowed series




Williams on Whitman

A personal reassessment of the poet’s work By ANNE LEVIN Connections Staff Writer


.K. Williams was a teenager when he first encountered the poetry of Walt Whitman. It was an inauspicious beginning to a relationship that has now culminated, decades later, with “On Whitman,” Williams’ new book for Princeton University Press.

“I was in high school. I was a big reader, but not of poetry,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning

poet and Princeton University professor, who will speak at the library April 20 at 7:30 p.m., recalls. “I was wandering through a department store in Newark and I saw this book, ‘The Portable Walt Whitman.’ I bought it. I have no idea why. I read it, uncomprehendingly.” In “On Whitman,” Williams demonstrates his current, extraordinary grasp of Whitman’s genius. The book is not biography or literary criticism; rather it is a personal reassessment of Whitman’s work. It is an appreciation by one major poet of the huge influence of another. In the book, Williams attempts to return to Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” as he first encountered it. He explores why the epic poem “continues to inspire and sometimes daunt” him. He also touches on the “music” of Whitman’s poetry, his vast cast of characters, the radical nature of his first-person speaker and his liberating attitude toward sex, among other attributes. It was the sensuality of Whitman’s work that first struck him, Williams recalls. Like many other young poets of the 1950’s, he then began to figure out what Whitman was doing metrically. He has continued to study and revere him. “The most endearing lesson to be learned from Whitman is a sort of cosmic acceptance of everything in the human soul,” he says. “Acceptance and exultation: he makes everything greater than it is.” Before coming to Princeton as a professor of creative writing and translation in 1996, Williams taught writing at Columbia University and literature at George Mason University. In addition to his 2000 Pulitzer for his volume of poetry “Repair,” Williams has been awarded the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Williams’ newest book of poetry, “Wait,” comes out concurrently with “On Whitman.” He will read from both at the library event. On Whitman, he says, “I’d put him up there with Mozart. He has that grand a vision.” C.K. Williams on Whitman / April 20, 7:30 p.m. Part of the Thinking Allowed Series co-sponsored by Princeton University Press

“The most endearing lesson to be learned

from Whitman is a sort of cosmic acceptance of everything in the human soul. Acceptance and exultation: he makes everything greater than it is.” – C.K. Williams

Poetry as an all-ages experience By ANNE LEVIN Connections Staff Writer


Jamie Quirk and other library staff members will lead two poetry workshops for young people in April: Poetry Encounters for Kids and 30 Days to Better Poetry Writing

o the uninitiated, poetry can seem intimidating. But writing and reading poems, in fact, should be just the opposite. Poetry should be among the most accessible of the arts, and Princeton Public Library will celebrate National Poetry Month in April with programs designed to excite patrons, young and older, about its appeal. “We want kids to feel and taste and smell language and learn about the music of language and the richness of imagery,” says programming assistant Jamie Quirk about Poetry Encounters for Kids, a two-session program for children ages 7 and older she is organizing with librarians Martha Perry and Pamela Groves. Quirk, who has a master’s degree in poetry from Sarah Lawrence

College and has led workshops in schools and libraries, is passionate about the power of poetry when introduced to children at a young age. “The thrust of the program is to get kids to experience poetry in a very multi-sensory, visceral way,” she continues, “rather than through rote memorization or repetition. People’s recollections of learning about poetry can be painful. And it’s such a rich art form which is just not being embraced by our younger generation.” The program will give children exercises that allow them to create their own poems in a safe, unintimidating environment. “We want to show them that poems are everywhere,” Quirk •Continued on next page



McCarter Live At The Library

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says. “They can look at things like paintings, and visual props, and then ask questions to get them writing. Our library has such a fantastic collection of poetry, and we want them to know that.” A program geared to slightly older fledgling poets is 30 Days to Better Poetry Writing, with two sessions for teenagers. “This will revolve around certain prompts to get them writing. A different kooky, creative prompt will be on the library Web site every day,” says Quirk, who is collaborating with librarian Susan Conlon on the program, which include two workshops. Another major event marking National Poetry Month is the appearance on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. by C.K. Williams, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Princeton University professor. (See related story.) Williams appears as part of the library’s Thinking Allowed series. “Poetry is a rich, wonderful art form that should never be dry and boring,” says Quirk. “There are so many fun ways to engage and excite people, particularly young people, about it.” Poetry Encounters for Kids (Ages 7 and older) April 16, 23, 4 p.m. 30 Days to Better Poetry Writing (Teenagers) April 14, 28, 4:30 p.m.

“Take Flight” This musical, coming to McCarter Theatre April 30-June 6, takes facts about pioneers of aeronautics and melds them with fiction. Take a behind-the-scenes look at this play, which was inspired by the early history of aviation. With a book by John Weidman, music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., the play tells the interweaving stories of Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh and the Wright Brothers. Also along for the ride are German “Glider King” Otto Lilienthal, Commander Richard Byrd and French flying aces Nungesser and Coli. The play premiered three years ago at London’s award-winning Menier Chocolate Factory. April 15, 7:30 p.m.

Readings Over Coffee

Book Launch

Judy Michaels Princeton-based poet Judy Michaels will read from her latest collection of poems, “Reviewing the Skull,” at a book launch by the library’s fireplace. The poetin-residence at Princeton Day School and poet-inthe-schools for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Michaels has twice received poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She published her first book of poems, “The Forest of Wild Hands,” with University Press of Florida. Michaels has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She gives readings with the critique and performance group Cool Women. As a 12-year survivor of ovarian cancer, she participates in Survivors Teaching Students, a program now in more than 60 medical schools around the country. March 8, 7 p.m.

U.S. 1 Poets Invite

Co-sponsored by the library and U.S. 1 Poets’ Cooperative

Poets read their work for twenty minutes each, followed by an open mic session when audience members are invited to read their poetry. Couples Who Write Gina and John Larkin Adele and John Bourne March 24, 7:30 p.m. Ralph Copleman Barbara Crooker April 28, 7:30 p.m. Alicia Ostriker Lucille Lang Day May 26, 7:30 p.m.

“The Oxford Book of Letters” This classic features some of the great letter-writers of all time, from Benjamin Franklin to Ernest Hemingway. We’ll also include some musings on St. Patrick’s Day and pay tribute to the late J.D. Salinger. March 10, 10:30 a.m. “Love Chats and Love Spats” The Poquelin Players look at Shakespeare on the subject of love. With Derry Light, Tom Stevenson and Dick Swain. April 14, 10:30 a.m. Princeton Writers’ Block Led by Mary Greenberg, the group returns with a variety of readings and sketches. May 12, 10:30 a.m.

Book Launch

U.S. 1 Worksheets

U.S. 1 Poets’ Cooperative celebrates the publication of Volume 55 of its long-running journal U.S. 1 Worksheets. The almost 100 poems in this issue were selected from 10 times as many submissions from New Jersey and across the United States, as well as from England and the Philippines. The launch event features readings by poets included in the journal, which has been published continuously since 1972. Founded by Alicia Ostriker and Rod Tulloss, U.S. 1 Poets’ Cooperative offers seasoned and beginning poets opportunities to share and refine their work at weekly workshops and through readings and open mic sessions. The new volume is an eclectic mix of well-crafted poems from U.S. 1 members and from many previously unpublished poets whose work offers new perspectives and humor. March 28, 2 p.m.




Writers Talking The Caroline Llewellyn Champlin Writers Talking Series Alan L. Moss

In his debut novel “Island of Betrayal,” Moss tells the story of a government economist in American Samoa involved in a web of deceit, the black market sale of an untested stem cell cure for diabetes, and the search for men who attacked his family and left him for dead. His intellect, willingness to sacrifice his life and a female detective from Hawaii who has become his ally are what keep him going. Moss has written three books since 2000. He has been chief economist of the federal Wage and Hour Division, adjunct instructor of economics and career decision making at the University of Virginia’s Northern Virginia Campus, and congressional fellow for U.S. Senator Frank R Lautenberg.  He retired from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2002 and lives at the Jersey Shore. April 1, 7:30 p.m.

Matthew Goodman This young writer’s novel “Hold Love Strong” is set in a New York City housing project, where a boy born to a 13-year-old mother comes of age watching “The Cosby Show” and dreaming about a future as a Huxtable. The novel’s vibrant characters present a portrait of project life, a subject Goodman knows well from work with a community empowerment project in New York that unites community leaders and volunteer partners. Goodman, who will talk about his novel at this appearance, graduated from Brandeis University and earned a master’s degree from Emerson College. He has studied writing at the 92nd street Y, the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, and the Vermont Studio Center. April 5, 7:30 p.m.

Gillian Gill The author will appear in an event co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton Research Forum, a community of independent scholars based in Princeton and an affiliate of The National Coalition of Independent Scholars. Author of “We Two,” an acclaimed biography of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Gill is a member of the Princeton Research Forum’s advisory council. She received her master’s degree and doctorate from Cambridge University and has published biographies of Agatha Christie (1990), Mary Baker Eddy (1998), and Florence Nightingale (2004), as well as a number of works of French translation. She taught at Northeastern, Wellesley, Yale, and Harvard. April 19, 7:30 p.m.

Fiction Book Group

Mystery Group

Lionel Tiger: “God’s Brain”

“Truth and Beauty” by Ann Patchett A bit off the fiction path, this tender but brutal portrait of unwavering commitment shines light on the little-explored world of women’s friendships through the author’s relationship with critically acclaimed author, Lucy Grealy. March 11, 10:30 a.m.

“Mistress of the Art of Death” by Ariana Franklin In 18th century Cambridge, England, Henry II is beside himself over a series of hideous crimes in which four children have been found murdered and mutilated, and the townsfolk are blaming the Jews. The murders must be solved before the monster kills again. March 1, 7:30 p.m.

Tiger, the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University, will discuss the just-published work he has written with neuroscientist Michael McGuire. The authors radically alter the fractious debate on the existence of God and the nature of religion. Taking a perspective rooted in evolutionary biology with a focus on brain science, they explore the perennial questions about religion and why every known culture has some form of it. The book provides key insights into the complexities of our brain and the role of religion, perhaps its most remarkable creation. April 12, 7:30 p.m.

Led by Kristin Friberg. Conference Room, second floor.

“A Gate at the Stairs” by Lorrie Moore Set just after the events of September 2001, Moore’s deft, lyrical novel brings readers up against the heart of racism, the shock of war and the carelessness perpetrated against others in the name of love. April 8, 10:30 a.m. “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout The author binds 13 rich, luminous narratives into a book with the heft of a novel, through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge. May 13, 10:30 a.m.

Led by Gayle Stratton. Conference Room, second floor.

“Finding Nouf” by Zoe Ferraris When 16-year-old Nouf goes missing and is found drowned in the desert outside Jeddah, a desert guide hired by her prominent family to search for her feels compelled to find out what really happened. April 5, 7:30 p.m. “Walking the Perfect Square” by Reed Farrel Coleman In the late 1970s, Brooklyn PI Moe Praeger, forced to retire because of a knee injury, is out to find the son of another cop, who left a party one night 20 years before and hasn’t been seen since. May 3, 7:30 p.m.


Local Independent Author Afternoon More than 20 self-published authors will gather at this four-hour event to read from their books, which will be available for purchase. March 6, noon

Read One/Knit Too

Bring your knitting and join Cynthia Lambert for a lively discussion. Quiet Room, first floor.

“Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. March 9, 7 p.m. “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn New York Times columnist Kristof and his wife, Wu Dunn, a former Times reporter, make a brilliantly argued case for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide. April 13, 7 p.m. “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows The letters comprising this small, charming novel begin in 1946, when author Juliet Ashton writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When a Guernsey farmer finds Juliet’s name in a used book and invites neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, everything changes. May 11, 7 p.m.

Thinking Allowed Author appearances co-sponsored by the library and Princeton University Press

Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life” This new book offers valuable insights into the intricate workings of America’s elite higher education system. Espenshade, a professor of sociology at Princeton University; and Radford, a research associate in post-secondary education at MPR Associates in Washington, D.C., pull back the curtain on the selective college experience and take a comprehensive look at how race and social class impact each stage, from admission to student life on campus. The authors will sign copies of their book at this appearance. March 10, 7:30 p.m.

David Farber “The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism” May 2010 is the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s “Conscience of a Conservative.” Commemorating that date, Princeton University Press will release this new book by Farber, a professor of history at Temple University. Farber paints vivid portraits of noted conservatives Robert Taft, William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, Phyllis Schlafly, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush and writes about the movement and its leaders. May 12, 7:30 p.m.

Talking Politics

Circulo De Lectura

Discussions led by Joan Goldstein of Mercer County Community College. Quiet Room, first floor.

Moderado por Lucia Acosta. Sala de Coferencia, Segundo piso

“Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America” by Thomas L. Friedman Friedman shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the U.S. with an opportunity not only to rebuild our economy, but to lead the world clean-energy innovation. March 10, 7:30 p.m.

“La novella perfecta” por Carmen Boullosa Un escritor está a punto de crear la novela perfecta con la ayuda de un artefacto y un software que posibilitan el paso directo de la imaginación a la realidad, sin pasar por la escritura. Pero esta Utopía es imperfecta como pronto descubrirán el escritor y el lector. 10 de marzo, a las 7 p.m. “La contadora de películas” por Hernán Rivera Letelier Esta es la historia de María Margarita, una niña con el extraño don de contar películas. Junto a las peripecias de la niña, Rivera Letelier va narrando la historia mágica de los cines en la pampa, en sus tiempos de esplendor y decadencia. 14 de abril, a las 7 p.m.

“The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care”by T.R. Reid Washington Post correspondent Reid explores health care systems around the world in an effort to understand why the U.S. remains the only First World nation to refuse its citizens universal health care. April 14, 7:30 p.m. “Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment” by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella This book offers insightful analysis of the evolution of the conservative media establishment, from talk radio to Fox News to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. May 12, 7:30 p.m.

“Los informants” por Juan Gabriel Vásquez Un magnífico y aterrador estudio sobre cómo el pasado puede invadir el presente, y una fascinante revelación de un rincón poco conocido del teatro de la guerra Nazi en Colombia. 12 de mayo, a las 7 p.m.

Gente y Cuentos In discussing Latin American short stories in Spanish, participants recount their personal experiences and how they relate to the characters in the story. May 6, 13, 20, 27, 7 p.m. Conference Room, second floor

Book discussion “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn This special book discussion is designed as a follow-up to the April 22 film screening of “Reporter,” about Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times columnist Kristof and his extraordinary reporting from Congo. (See Page 9.) In this discussion group, librarians Susan Conlon and Janie Hermann will focus on the book written by Kristof and his wife, reporter and fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner Sheryl Wu Dunn. The authors lead readers on a chilling odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, including a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope. May 10, 7:30 p.m.




The changing face of the library As Princeton Public Library celebrates 100 years, we’re embracing a variety of methods to deliver words and ideas By ANNE LEVIN Connections Staff Writer


rinceton Public Library is celebrating its centennial at a time of unprecedented change. Not since the invention of the printing press has there been such sweeping transformation in the delivery of intellectual content. The options for reading books, listening to music, and watching films have never been so constantly evolving. Where the library once offered printed volumes, CDs and DVDs, there is now an expanding array of devices to borrow, offering everything from the latest bestseller to the newest video game. In the Tech Center, 14 new computers and two new scanning stations have been installed. The center’s new products and gadgets include Sony E-Readers, Flip Cameras, Kindles and Kill-a-Watts. An iPad is among the future purchases planned. Among the newest offerings for cardholders are movies on flash drives, Blu Ray discs and free downloads from the Sony music catalog. Movies loaded on USB drives will be available, for play on laptops. About 40 titles, all from Paramount/Dreamworks, will be offered, including “Star Trek,” “The Godfather,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “School of Rock,” to name a few. “This ‘movie stick’ is a product strictly for the library market, and we are among the first to have it,” says Media Librarian Barbara Silberstein. “It’s portable, it’s convenient, and it can be put into different laptops. No additional software is required.” Silberstein is also enthusiastic about Freegal Music, which will allow access to the Sony music catalog. “These are all new releases – pop, rock, country, classical, Broadway and jazz, all on the Sony label,” she says. “To begin with, we’ll have 500,000 songs. Every week, we’ll add

about 2,500 new releases. You’ll be able to download a track. This is DRM (digital rights management) free and compatible with all devices.” The library also has an expanding collection of Blu Ray discs for patrons to borrow. The question that strikes fear in the minds of some readers, particularly those of a certain age, is this: Are print books going to disappear? No one really knows. Here at Princeton Public Library, one thing is clear. Books are still the foundation, but at the same time, library customers can expect an ever-increasing availability of digital tools. “We are prepared for a future in which intellectual content continues to be delivered by a variety of means,” says Executive Director Leslie Burger. “A hundred years ago, we offered one primary content delivery system: the book. Today, our staff has the ability and expertise to bring our customers ideas in many ways, including at our free programs. “We see ourselves as a filling station for the mind,” she continued. “In the same way you need to stop and get your vehicle fueled, we are the place where you stop to fill your brain’s tank with a lot of different fuel.”

What’s new in the Tech Center? See Page 14

Asked and Answered

“Will technology replace the book?”

“We are entering a hybrid culture in which books will coexist in print and digital formats. On the digital front, different kinds of books — novels, non-fiction, textbooks, reference books, scholarly monographs — will be featured on a variety of devices depending on what works for the differing needs of readers, from students through scholars through fiction enthusiasts through business travelers. This mingling of genres and devices will yield newly interactive forms of reading and writing; forms that remain to be defined. Meanwhile, print books will continue to be popular because serious readers enjoy the look and feel of actual books, because they serve as a stable record of the written word in book-length form, and because the interest generated in books by the digital transition will lift the interest in books across the board.” — Peter Dougherty Director, Princeton University Press

“This is a really personal issue for me. I have spent much of the past several years prioritizing public writing in venues like online blogs, magazines and newspapers. I made this a priority over finishing an academic book I have worked on for several years. The choice for me was clear, it is about the sense of urgency in today’s political environment and the immediacy with which these more-public venues deliver information and offer opportunities for directing the national conversation. “Still, I love books with a special passion. I write online, but I don’t read much there. I read books. All the most valuable and lasting contributions to my political and intellectual life have been made by books.” — Melissa Harris Lacewell Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies, Princeton University

“Amidst the hyperbole it is good to remember what words mean. First, technology has at its root the Greek word ‘tekhne,’ which means art or craft: it pertains to things people make. Second, when most people say ‘book’ they are referring to the codex: a set of printed pages bound together between covers, and itself a marvelous piece of technology. As for content: it really means nothing more than ‘things contained.’ A book is simply an artificial container of text. Final piece of etymology: replace is not synonymous with displace, supersede, or supplant. So the question so often asked, ‘Will technology replace the book?’, is a nonsensical one: the book is technology, and as it is not inoperative it is in no need of replacement. Generally speaking, newer technology does supersede older technology, but that doesn’t mean the older technology disappears. Books long ago supplanted manuscripts (and scrolls), but people have continued to write by hand.  The real question being asked here has little to do with text containers. Computer-based technologies are rapidly superseding countless older technologies of representation and control, producing as they do a range of cultural responses, from exhilaration to dread. Those who ask ‘Will technology replace the book?’ are more often than not experiencing the dreadful end of that spectrum and are seeking reassurance that the new will not displace the old. Such reassurance in this case, as in all cases, is not forthcoming, but I think it is safe to say that the emergence of computer-based technologies for the representation and dissemination of text will be a far more complex and nuanced affair than many realize.” ­— Clifford Wulfman Coordinator of Library Digital Initiatives, Princeton University Library




Na’Bodach This high-octane Celtic band based in Philadelphia and Trenton will help us celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The 11-yearold band began with three friends who recognized that songs known by Irish and Scottish soldiers and the Celtic music that evolved in America were rich repositories worth exploring. Casey Jones, George Zienowicz and Andy Redmond have since been joined by Bud Osthaus and Glenn Owens. All of the members are now a bit older than their garage band days and chose the name “Na’Bodach,” which is Gaelic for “not old men.” The group plays electric bagpipes, fiddle and other electric and acoustic instruments. March 15, 7 p.m.

Shakuhachi Zen

An Evening of Traditional Bamboo Flute Music


lenn Swann, a musician

who performs and teaches throughout the area, will play a concert on the shakuhachi flute. This end-blown,

The Great American Songbook Soprano Jean McClelland and pianist Bill McClelland present a lively program on the birth of the American song. The couple touches on the popular songs of Stephen Foster, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin; the Broadway music of Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, the Gershwins and Stephen Sondheim; and the art songs of Charles Ives, Aaron Copland and other American classical composers. April 25, 3 p.m.

five-holed bamboo instrument is simple in construction, but able to express a huge range of naturalistic sound. The zen repertoire (or “honkyoku”) is a rich tradition of meditative music, played historically by a sect of priests called “komuso” or “priests of nothingness.“ Swann will play these zen pieces (some up to 700 years old) as well as some modern compositions, and also will speak on the history and aesthetic appreciation of the instrument. March 29, 7:30 p.m.

Eric Mintel Quartet Celebrate Mother’s Day with this popular jazz ensemble, which returns to the library having released a new CD, “50 Years After…A Tribute to Dave Brubeck.” Mintel, the group’s pianist, formed the quartet in 1993 and is known for composing jazz, choral and orchestral music. He has played at The White House for President Clinton and recently opened for Brubeck at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center. May 9, 3 p.m.




Screening and discussion “Morristown: Where America Survived”


n the brutal winter of 1779, George Washington brought 10,000 troops to Morristown to fight in the American Revolution. Their struggle to survive the worst winter in recorded history is the subject of this documentary by New Jersey Network, narrated by Edward Hermann. In a densely wooded site called Jockey Hollow, the army built a small city of log huts, only to suffer through five months of freezing temperatures, a woeful lack of supplies and near-starvation. Washington’s army not only survived, but prevailed against a sweeping British attack in the spring. Morristown’s pivotal role in the Revolution, long overlooked, is explored here. March 4, 7 p.m. A post-screening discussion will feature producer Bob Szuter, and Steve Santucci, who coordinated the re-enactors in the film.

Screening and discussion “Traces of the Trade”

Screening and discussion “Standing On My Sister’s Shoulders”

Co-sponsored by the library and Not In Our Town

This award-winning documentary takes on the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi in the 1950s and ’60s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it and emerged as its grassroots leaders. These women stood up and fought for the right to vote and the right to an equal education. They not only brought about change in Mississippi, but they altered the course of American history. The screening, which will be followed by a discussion led by the film’s producer Joan Sadoff, marks the library’s celebration of Women’s History Month. March 17, 7 p.m.

This Emmy-nominated film by Princeton University graduate Katrina Browne reveals a national secret: the complicity of the North in the 200-year U.S. slave trade. A family retraces its slave-based enterprise from their Rhode Island homestead to a castle holding-prison in Ghana to plantations in Cuba and back. With them, viewers discover the penetrating extent of white privilege and take time to reflect on the transformation needed to heal the tragic racial divide we experience today. This screening will be followed by a discussion led by Daphne Hawkes, New Jersey’s first woman Episcopal priest. March 11, 7 p.m.

Screening and discussion “Good Hair” Comedian Chris Rock’s hilarious expose of the beauty shop business visits salons and hairstyling battles, scientific laboratories and Indian temples to explore the impact hairstyles have on the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships and self-esteem of the African-American community. Director Jeff Stilson follows Rock on this raucous adventure prompted by Rock’s daughter approaching him and asking, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” Hair-care professionals, beauty shop and barbershop patrons, as well as celebrities including Ice-T, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven Symoné, Maya Angelou, Salt n Pepa, Eve and the Rev. Al Sharpton all candidly offer their stories and observations to Rock while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter’s question. A discussion will follow the screening. March 18, 7 p.m.


Films For Foodies In this series co-sponsored by Mediterra Restaurant, come for the film at 6 p.m., then dine at Mediterra, where special menu items based on the theme of the movie will be available at discount prices.

Nicholas Kristof in a scene from “Reporter.”

Screening and discussion



ilmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar returns to the library and visits Princeton High School to speak about his newest documentary, which follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof to the Congo. Through his reporting, Kristof almost singlehandedly put the crisis in Darfur on the world map. This film, produced by Ben Affleck, puts the viewer in Kristof’s pocket. “Reporter” reveals the man and his methods, and just how and why real reporting is vital to our democracy, our world-awareness, and our capacity to be a force for good. But “Reporter” has a second agenda. By tracking a newsman, we track his news. In the summer of 2007, Kristof traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to shine his light into the darkest pockets of conflict and poverty. On this trip, Kristof brought with him two young Americans, a student and a teacher. Their reflections of the heart-wrenching journey were posted alongside Kristof’s bi-weekly columns. Metzgar, who wrote, shot and directed “Reporter,” spoke at the library last year following the screening of his film “Life.Support. Music.” He will talk about his experiences with Kristof and the making of the film following the screenings at the library and Princeton High School. April 22, 7 p.m.

“Ratatouille” In this 2007 Pixar film, Remy is a rat who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy. A critical and box office success, the film won the Academy Award for Best Animated feature, among other honors. March 16, 6 p.m.

“Julie and Julia” Meryl Streep and Amy Adams star in a 2009 Nora Ephron film that takes viewers back and forth between the lives of famed food writer Julia Child and aspiring writer-cook Julie Powell, who undertakes every recipe in Child’s most famous cookbook. The film jumps between Paris in the 1950s and Queens, N.Y. several decades later. April 14, 6 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the library and Princeton High School, with funding from the Princeton Education Foundation.

Screening and discussion “Apollo 13”

“No Reservations”

This 1995 drama, which chronicles the ill-fated 1970 lunar mission, stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise and was directed by Ron Howard. Adapted from the book “Lost Moon” by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger, “Apollo 13” received critical acclaim and was nominated for nine Academy Awards. April 13, 7 p.m.

Catherine Zeta Jones stars as a buttoned-up, workaholic New York chef whose life changes dramatically when her dead sister’s daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, comes to live with her. Aaron Eckhart co-stars in this adaptation of an original script that was the basis for the 2001 German film “Mostly Martha.” May 18, 6 p.m.

Post-screening discussion to feature entrepreneur and scientist Greg Olsen, the third private citizen to make a self-funded trip into space.


Princeton native Ben Saltzman, a veteran of the Princeton Student Film & Video Festival who is familiar to library audiences for the 2008 screening of “Juggling Life,” shot this feature last summer right here in town. This is a coming-of-age movie involving three recent high school graduates who find a black hole with some very interesting transportation properties in, of all places, a swimming pool. May 14, 7:30 p.m.



A big success story for small businesses

In its second year, SCORE’S Small Business Fair grows


he success of Princeton Public Library’s first Small Business Fair last spring has prompted the library to make this day of dispensing free business advice an annual event. On May 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the library, partnering with the Princeton chapter of SCORE (America’s Counselors to Small Business), hosts the

second Small Business Fair. With an increase in exhibitors and attendees expected, this year’s gathering will extend from the Community Room into the Albert Hinds Plaza adjacent to the library, rain or shine. “Last year was the first time we did this, so we didn’t really know what to expect,” says Catherine Harper, a PPL librarian who specializes in business services. “But we had 21 exhibitors and more than 500 people wanting to know more about what’s involved in starting a small business. People were very grateful to have this opportunity. Many had been recently laid off from their jobs, and were thinking of starting new businesses.” Last year’s fair included experts in financing, Web design, marketing, franchising, and more. Representatives from the Small Business Administration, banking, local newspapers, the Small Business Development Center and the Trenton organization Isles were on hand. Additional exhibitors will attend this year, and greater interest from the public is expected. SCORE has been giving free business advice at Princeton Public Library for the past five years. Since last year’s Small Business Fair, SCORE has added counseling sessions to its already busy schedule. Counselors are now available five days a week. In addition, the number of seminars held at the library by SCORE has doubled. “Even though the economy seems to be picking up in some ways, there is obviously still a need for this kind of thing,” says Harper. “And the Small Business Fair will address that need.” Small Business Fair / May 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hinds Plaza and the Community Room

SCORE Counseling and Seminars Counseling Service

The 27 mostly retired executives and small business owners of the Princeton Chapter are available three hours each weekday for by-appointment counseling sessions for individuals who are considering starting a new business or are in business and are seeking advice. All counseling is free and confidential. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. Tower Room, second floor. Call 609.393.0505 to schedule a session.

Seminars DREAM: Five Steps to Start Your Business Speakers Donna DiDomenico and Cheryl Patrick will describe their five-step process for getting the idea of a business from concept to paper to business plan to implementation. March 9, 6:45 p.m. Angel Investing, Venture Capital and Private Equity David J. Plucinsky will discuss the differences between angel investing, venture capital, and private equity, and how to secure these types of funding. Plucinsky is a private investor and business consultant with 35 years in corporate finance, investment banking, and small business consulting. He has raised in excess of $50 million for public and private companies. April 27, 6:45 p.m. Financial Management for Small Business Owners Saleem Sufi will provide a basic understanding of the financial statement and discuss how to manage cash and sources of funding for a startup business. A discussion on financial planning techniques will follow. Sufi has 20 years of international experience in finance and strategic cost management with top Fortune 500 and private equity companies. He was most recently CFO of a $400 million global consumer goods company. May 19, 6:45 p.m. Creating and Running a Business from Home Janet Pickover discusses the basics of creating and running a business from a home environment. Answers to the following questions will be discussed: Do I have what it takes to run a business from home? What are my space and personnel requirements? What about my family? What professional issues do I need to address, including zoning, insurance, incorporation, etc.? How much money do I need? Pickover created a business that she ran from her home for more than 25 years. May 11, 6:45 p.m.

Last year, people made more than 835,000 visits to Princeton P

This year, while celebrating our Centennial, we want that n

So visit oft


Powering Up for Peak Performance


r. Gisele Hruzek, who spoke at the library last fall on stress management, returns by popular demand in a talk geared toward those who want to maximize their personal

and professional performance. In her new program, Dr. Hruzek will introduce the most effective and empowering energy boosters she prescribes to refuel your body, energize your mind and help you sleep better. Her regimen is designed to build a foundation for outstanding performance and success in all aspects of life. April 29, 7:30 p.m.

Engaged Retirement Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton Senior Resource Center, these seminars are designed to help make the transition to retirement or another major life change easier to navigate. Conference Room, second floor.

Volunteering: Building a Resume for an Encore Career

Adrienne Rubin, executive director of VolunteerConnect, will explain how volunteering can help develop new skills and expand networks. March 9, 7 p.m.

What Do I need to Know about Medicare?

Deborah Breslin, program director of the State Health Insurance Program will talk about the basics of Medicare: eligibility, enrollment, Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare Advantage (Part C), and Medicare prescription drug coverage and costs. March 11, 7 p.m.

Wills and Estate Planning

Attorney William Isele of the firm Archer & Greiner will talk about the need for a will and other planning documents, and some of the aspects of estate planning that you might not have considered. April 8, 7 p.m.

Job Search Strategies for Older Workers

Carol King, director of engaged retirement and encore careers at Princeton Senior Resource Center, will present strategies for competing in the new work place, updating skills, networking and dealing with ageism. April 13, 7 p.m.

Intro to Your Retirement

Carol King presents this single-session introduction to planning for retirement or a major lifestyle change. May 11, 7 p.m.

Caring for Older Parents

Susan Hoskins, executive director of Princeton Senior Resource Center, will discuss balancing work, family, and the care of aging parents. She will examine some of the challenges of being a working caregiver and offer strategies for coping as well as available community resources. May 13, 7 p.m.

Free Tax Preparation Volunteers from the AARP Tax-Aide program will be on hand for one-hour counseling sessions geared toward, but not limited to those 60 and older. The library is now an official AARP Tax-Aide site. The program is the nation’s largest free, volunteer assistance and preparation service available to low-and-moderate income taxpayers. Get help with filing the 1040 Form and the more standard of the schedules, including A and B. March 15, April 9, 9 a.m. Register for appointments by calling 609.924.9529, ext. 220.

Citizenship Workshop

This four-hour workshop will gather in one place all the necessary resources to begin the application process for U.S. citizenship. Immigrants who have been legal permanent residents for at least five years (three if married to a U.S. citizen) and meet other requirements can qualify for citizenship. For those who may not meet all the requirements yet, or are unsure about whether they want to take the step, there will be presentations on what the process entails. A group of trained volunteers will assist applicants with completion of the N400 program to review documents. March 27, 1 p.m. Co-sponsored by the library, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. Registration required. To register, or if you are fluent in a foreign language and would like to volunteer for this event, contact the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund at (877) 452-5333.

Citizenship Classes

The Latin American Task Force offers a series of eight classes to assist in preparing for the U.S. Citizenship Test, including history and civics lessons and a review of basic English necessary for the citizenship interview. April 14, 21, 28; May 5, 12, 19, 28; June 2, 7 p.m. Conference Room, second floor

Ask A Lawyer

Lawyers will be at the library for free private consultations and general legal issues. No appointments necessary; service on a first-come, firstserved basis. Spanish translators will be available. March 10, 7 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the library, the Latin American Task Force, Lutheran Social Ministries, the Princeton Borough Housing Authority and the Mercer County Bar Association. For more information, call Lucia Acosta at 609.924-9529, ext. 245.

Public Library

number to grow to

ten, bring a friend and you could be our lucky Millionth Visitor



Art Talk and Film Screening

“Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket”


s it art if he can’t tell us what he’s doing?” is just one of the questions filmmaker Dennis Connors explores in this 18-minute film, a close-up look at 22-year-old artist Alex Masket and his remarkable work. Alex is an artist with severe autism. Entirely self-taught, he has been experimenting with color, letters and numbers since he was 2 years old. His work has been on view at Rutgers University Art Library in New Brunswick, the Lawrence Pavilion Gallery at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights and is currently on the cover of Esopus magazine. Alex, his mother, and filmmaker Connors, who followed Alex for 18 months to make the film, will be on hand to answer questions at the screening. Connors won third place in the Director’s Award competition at the Black Maria Film Festival. April 21, 7:30 p.m.

An exhibit of Alex Masket’s work will be on exhibition in the second floor Reference Gallery in April and May.

Quilting Open House

View stunning quilts and learn how the craft of quilt-making has changed in the 21st century. Drop in at any time to see quilts and ask questions of expert Meg Cox, passionate quilter, journalist and author of the bestselling book “The Quilter’s Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide.” Cox will bring free fabric and help anybody who wants to start making a simple quilt. March 20, April 17, May 8, 11 a.m.


Princeton Foodies and the Food and Places They Love


his panel of Princeton area “foodies” will talk about all things edible – from ethnic restaurants and family-friendly places to farmers’ markets and their favorite food blogs – in a discussion followed by questions and refreshments. Panelists are Princeton Food Examiner Sue Gordon, bloggers Phyllis Knight and Linda Prospero, and critic/columnist Pat Tanner. Gordon taught cooking for more than 20 years, including a stint at Princeton’s Whole Foods Market. She is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu School in

London. Knight’s blog is popular among the foodobsessed. She and her husband plan vacations around food and love nothing more than wandering the aisles of food specialty stores. Prospero’s blog focuses on home-cooked Italian food, a topic she knows well from spending a year living in Italy. Tanner is well-known locally for her articles and reviews in New Jersey Life, The Star-Ledger of Newark, The Princeton Packet, The Times of Trenton, and several other publications. April 8, 7 p.m.

Scrapbooking Circle

Assembling a scrapbook takes time and space to spread out. Both are offered at the monthly meetings of the Scrapbooking Circle. The library supplies a cropping station; scrapbookers bring their own books, photos and other supplies. Some sessions will have a consultant on hand. March 21, 1 p.m.; April 24, 10 a.m.; May 16, 1 p.m.

Linda Prospero

Sue Gordon

Phyllis Knight


The Power of Personal Environmentalists Devoting time or effort to environmental concerns may seem like an afterthought or a luxury. But a lifestyle that incorporates green thinking does not have to be costly or time-consuming. At this event, hear about realistic and incremental changes in daily routines and spending habits, and leave with a personal environmental plan. A panel of experts will focus on everyday green living solutions and help participants become more conscientious consumers. March 25, 7 p.m. Co-sponsored by the library and the American Jewish Committee of Central New Jersey

Jeff Foote

Kyle Wilder


Spring into Tap There’s something about the sound of tap shoes clacking against a wood floor that raises spirits. In honor of spring, renowned New Jersey tapper Hillary-Marie, founder and director of Jersey Tap Fest, combines her unique brand of rhythm tap with fellow dancers Kyle Wilder and Jeff Foote for a family oriented program. New Jersey native Hillary-Marie has been a member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble since 2006. She has also appeared with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Ballet, and several other arts groups. April 18, 3 p.m.

Simultaneous Chess Event


randmaster Sergey Kudrin will take on 25 challengers in a simultaneous chess event on Hinds Plaza outside the library or, if it rains, in the Community Room. Throughout the afternoon, pick-up chess matches will be available. Kudrin was born in the former Soviet Union and came to the U.S. in 1977. He became a grandmaster in 1984 and finished third in the 2008 U.S. Chess Championship. May 8, 2 p.m.

Noodle Talk

Socrates Café

Alan Goldsmith’s conversation game is designed to enrich interpersonal relationships through stimulating discussion of life experiences. It all begins when participants select a paper strip (“noodle”) from a container. Each noodle holds one or two questions. There are no right or wrong answers in these resulting discussions; just the truth of experience. March 8, April 12, May 10, 7 p.m.

Conference Room, second floor

Quiet Room, first floor

In the spirit of Socrates’ belief that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” participants ask questions of each other and listen to responses, raise challenges and consider alternative answers. Everyone is invited. March 23, April 27, May 25, 7 p.m.

Pierre Deux event to benefit the Museum Pass program


or a second year in a row, the library is partnering with the Palmer Square shop Pierre Deux to help support the Museum Pass program. The store will donate 10 percent of sales on Saturday, May 8, its first anniversary in Princeton, to the popular program. Museum Pass allows cardholders to visit museums in New York City and elsewhere, free of charge. Since the program was introduced to library customers a year ago, the passes to nine museums, including the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History and six others, have been checked out 462 times. The most frequently requested were for the American Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum, both in New York. “The gift from Pierre Deux last year enabled us to launch this wonderful program, which has allowed so many cardholders to take advantage of what these museums have to offer,” says Leslie Burger, PPL director. “We thank them very much for their continued support.”




In with the new Updated computers, new gadgets and more classes highlight spring in the library’s Technology Center


Romina Gutierrez

eeping up with continuing developments in technology isn’t easy. But at Princeton Public Library, patrons can stay abreast of the latest innovations. Starting Feb. 1, the library’s second floor Tech Center began expanded hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There are 80 new computers — 14 in the Tech Center and the rest throughout the library — and plenty of new gadgets and upgrades to check out. All of the new computers are HP, with two-gigabyte hard drives, using Microsoft Office 2007. “We have two new scanning stations,” says Technology Initiatives Librarian Romina Gutierrez. “I recently held a Skype class, and it was packed. People were really excited about it, so I may run it again in March.” The Tech Center currently has two Kindles and Gutierrez plans to purchase an Ipad when Apple’s new device becomes available. “People can come check out our Sony E-Readers, Flip Cameras and Kill-a-Watts. There is a lot going on,” says Gutierrez. “Stay tuned for more.”

Tuesday Technology Talks Keeping Up With Content and How It Is Delivered

Trends in Digital Photography

Eric Pilkington of Taft and Partners talks about the future of media consumption and the portability of content from device to device. The discussion will focus on emerging portable Internet device platforms and what types of content, media and marketing messages are best suited to them. Pilkington will also touch on how these devices are changing the way consumers access content and how marketers can tap into such mobile devices as app-phones, e-readers, netbooks and tablet computers. Pilkington has a long history of developing new approaches to marketing communications and technology. He is executive director of digital media at Taft, which is based in Princeton. March 2, 7 p.m.

Andrew Erlichson of Phanfare, the video and photo hosting company, provides an overview of the tools, services and gadgets that you can use to take, share and preserve photos and make those photos part of your digital life. This session will include hands-on time for participants to play with the gadgets, which will include the Eye-Fi wireless memory card, digital cameras and the Apple iPad. Prior to co-founding Phanfare, Erlichson was CEO and co-founder of Flashbase, which was acquired by DoubleClick in 2000. April 6, 7 p.m.

This special event is designed to bring together Twitter addicts and Twitter newbies alike. Join local Twitterati for an evening of mixing and meeting. Refreshments will be supplied by local businesses that tweet, and there will be music and a chance to network. May 14, 6 p.m. Terrace, third floor

Geocaching: A High-Tech Global Treasure Hunt Mixing outdoor activities with technology, Geocaching is a worldwide game of hide and seek.  There are 980,000 Geocaches hidden worldwide. How do you find them?  What’s in them?  What are the best GPS devices to use?  Can you use your smart phone to find them?  Join Librarian Cynthia Lambert, a Geocaching enthusiast, for a review of all things Geocaching—the game, the gear, the lingo, the GPS units.  May 5, 7 p.m.


Fifty Wonders of Korea

Chinese New Year


his multimedia presentation brings to life Korea’s rich and unique cultural heritage, from colorful art to delicious food. After viewing a presentation including a documentary film, participants will enjoy a traditional Korean meal prepared by members of the Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project, co-sponsors of the event. Works of art, including paintings, objects, and costumes, will be on display. People in colorful, traditional Korean dress will serve a full dinner, from kimchi to dessert. Only 100 people can attend, so make reservations early by visiting March 23, 7 p.m.

Cinco de Mayo

In partnership with the Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton Public Library marks this holiday with crafts, food, and entertainment by Mariachi Nuevo Mexico. With trumpets, vihuela, Mexican bass (guitarron) and violin, this band sets the stage for a festive celebration. May 5, 5 p.m.

Conversations on Race and White Privilege Not In Our Town continues its dialog on race and white privilege at these monthly drop-in sessions, which are facilitated by members of the Princeton-based interracial and interfaith social action group. Topics will include feelings about the term “white privilege” and issues relevant to our community and nation. March 1, April 5, May 3, 7:30 p.m. Conference Room

Witherspoon-Jackson Genealogy Group The group meets monthly to share ideas, listen to speakers and get beginners started with researching the history of families who lived in Princeton’s historic Witherspoon-Jackson community. On the steering committee are Carl E. Brown, Jr., Frances Craig, Minnie Craig, Penney Edwards-Carter, Robert Harmon, Wallace Holland, Henry F. Pannell, Shirley Satterfield and Joseph Tadlock.  All interested in the history of this community or in African American genealogy are invited to attend. March 4, April 1, May 6, 7 p.m. Princeton Room

Celebrate Chinese New Year with ShwuFen Lin, who teaches Mandarin at Princeton High School, along with members of local Chinese language and culture groups. Performances and hands-on activities are all part of this two-hour observance of the lunar new year. March 13, 2 p.m.




PARTY Oct. 10, 2010

10 10 10

Albert E. Hinds Community Plaza




Discover Week

Discover Bubbles


n Jeff Boyer’s interactive show, kids ages 5-12 learn the science inside bubbles. Why are they multi-colored? What does each color say about that part of the bubble? Kids will find out different ways bubbles can be used to make our lives easier, softer and even taste better. Bubbles with pyramid shapes, cube shapes, even bubbles within bubbles and bubbles walking a tightrope are part of this unique event. As a finale, Boyer will even put a child inside a bubble. March 30, 3:30 p.m.

Discover Nature By the Yard


aturalist Pam Newitt uses hands-on materials, activities and games to foster a better appreciation of the natural world. Newitt has been providing nature programs since 1986. She started Nature By the Yard nine years ago and takes the program to libraries, nature centers and community centers in an effort to encourage children, parents, teachers, camp leaders and others to take advantage of nature’s treasures, often found in our own back yards. March 29, 3:30 p.m.


ick Mikula has a passion for butterflies, as anyone who has read one of his books and seen his TV appearances on Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, Fox or Home and Garden knows. He will bring his fast-paced, highenergy, humorous introduction to butterflies, as entertaining as it is educational, to the library. March 31, 3:30 p.m.

Miss Pam Goes to Jamaica Youth Services librarian Pamela Groves will highlight the beauty and diversity of Jamaica through stories, photographs, video, maps and more. March 17, 4 p.m. Ages 5 and older


Library Spelling Bee


Calling all spectacular spellers in grades 4 to 8: Come test your skills at the library’s spelling bee. This competition will consist of rounds in which seven teams will work their way to a final spell-off. Audience members of all ages will get a chance to challenge the victors at the end of the bee. April 30, 7 p.m.

Heads and Tales Club Children in second and third grades are invited to join the club and share their love of books with their classmates at monthly meetings. March 13, April 10, May 8, 2:30 p.m.

Register online beginning March 1 by visiting and clicking on EVENTS. Sign in the evening of the event beginning at 6 p.m. Call 609.924.9529, ext. 240 for more information.

Home School Book Discussion Group Home-schooled children meet to discuss the very best in children’s books. Registration is required. For more information contact Pamela Groves at 609-924-9529, ext. 244 March 10, April 14, May 12, 11 a.m. (ages 13-15); March 19, April 16, May 21 9:15 a.m. (ages 7-9) 10:30 a.m. (ages 10-12)

April Fools!

Reading to Emma

Families with children ages 5 and older are invited to hear Maria LoBiondo from Princeton Storytellers Circle tell trickster tales from around the world to inspire April Fools pranks. LoBiondo has told stories to children in elementary classrooms and library settings, and to adults at several Tellabrations, the annual event organized in conjunction with the National Storytelling Association. April 1, 3:30 p.m.

Beginning readers and those who can use a little extra practice can read aloud to the most gracious and non-critical of audiences. Spend 15 to 20 minutes of time with Joe Turner and his elegant black Lab, Emma, a certified therapy dog who listens to children reading at several schools in the area on a regular schedule. Fridays, 3:30 p.m.



Spring 2010 ages


To 15 months

Mother Goose Time

Unless otherwise noted, all clubs meet in the Conference Room, second floor

Word for Word Club This is where fourth- and fifth-graders can discuss what they’re reading and get suggestions from other kids who love to read. March 20, April 17, May 15, 2:30 p.m. Origami Club Anyone with a passion for paper folding is invited to meet for an hour of new and interesting, often seasonal folding. Beginners are welcome. The club is not just for kids, but a parent must accompany those under age 7. March 10, April 14, May 12, 7 p.m. Activity Room, third floor

Study Room, third floor

New Fantasy Book Club Tom Hammel leads this new club for young people ages 9 to 18 who are interested in the fantasy genre. March 27, April 17, May 15, 4 p.m. Conference Room, second Floor

Story Room, third floor. Registration is recommended. Call 609.924-9529, ext. 240.

day, time Tue., 11a.m.; Thu, 11 a.m.




March 9-25; April 6-May 6

Must attend

15 mos.-2 years Wed., 10 a.m.; Thu., 10 a.m.

March 10-25; April 7-May 6

Must attend

Saturday Stories

2 to 8 years

Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.

March 6-May 29

Must attend if child is 5 or under

Sunday Stories

2 to 8 years

Sundays, 3:30 p.m.

March 7-28; April 11-May 30

Must attend if child is 5 or under

Toddler Stories

2 to 31⁄2 years

Tue, 10 a.m.; Wed, 11 a.m.

March 9-24; April 6-May 5

Must attend

Preschool Stories

31⁄2 to 6 years

Thursdays, 2 p.m.

March 11-25; April 8-May 6

Must remain in the library

Folktales From Afar

3 to 7 years

Saturdays, 2 p.m.

March 27; April 10, 24; May 8

Must attend if child is 5 or under

Stories in Japanese

3 and older

Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.

March 4, April 8, May 6

Must attend if child is 5 or under

Stories in French

5 and older

Saturday, 11:15 a.m.

March 13

Must attend if child is 5 or under

Stories in Spanish

2 to 8 years

Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m.

March 2-30; April 6-27; May 4-25

Must attend if child is 5 or under

Spring Break Stories

All ages

Weekdays, 10:30 a.m.

March 29-April 2

Must attend if child is 5 or under




The Hunger Games at PPL Inspired by the Suzanne Collins books “The Hunger Games” and its sequel, “Catching Fire,” this after-hours program for middleschool students will feature friendly competition with interactive games. Those who have read the books

Spring Break TRYathlon Middle school and high school students can find plenty to do at the library during Spring Break. Pick up a guitar and play “Guitar Hero” on March 29, play chess on March 30, and try the library’s latest addition, ping pong, on March 31. On April 1, compete at all three to find out who is the champion of each activity, and who will win the best score for all of three games. All levels welcome. Prizes will be awarded. March 29-April 1, 1 p.m.

will have advantages in the games. Refreshments will be served. This program is open only to students at Princeton area middle schools. March 12, 7 p.m.

Third floor

The Great American Book Drive Princeton Public Library teams up with Better World Books on Earth Day to host a four-hour used book drive supporting the library and literacy programs. Students from the library’s Teen Advisory Board and the GoBetween Club will join volunteers from area schools and student environmental clubs as well as area organizations to help collect the donated books. Other activities will include displays and demonstrations with an environmental theme. Live music will be featured throughout the afternoon. Individual students or groups interested in volunteering or anyone with questions about donating books should contact Susan Conlon, April 17, 10 a.m.

Participants meet monthly at the library to talk about reading and other interests, help with library events, plan programs and have a say in library services. Healthy snacks are provided and new people are always welcome. Go Between Club (grades 6-7) March 13, April 10, May 8, 10 a.m. Teen Advisory Board (grades 8-12) March 13, April 10, May 8, 11 a.m.

Game On!

Pre-teens and teens are welcome to drop in Fridays after school to play video and board games for 90 minutes. March 5, 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21, 28; 4 p.m. Funded by a generous gift from Princeton Tour Company

Call For Entries

Summer Volunteer Opportunities

Seventh Annual Princeton Student Film & Video Festival

Students in high school and college or up to age 24 are invited to submit their original short films of 20 minutes or less total running time for consideration for the annual festival, July 21 and 22. Those who have films selected will be invited to introduce and talk about their work during the two nights of the festival. Details and an entry form are available at Submission deadline: June 21 Festival dates: July 21-22


July 21 & 22, 2010

The library is accepting applications for teen volunteers (those entering seventh grade and older in September) to help with our summer reading clubs and other library activities. Applications will be available April 15 at the Youth Services Desk on the third floor and online at teens. Interested volunteers must attend one of four orientation sessions to be held in the second floor Conference Room. Applications available: April 15 Application deadline: May 19 Orientation sessions: May 5,7 p.m.; May 8,11 a.m.; May 11, 4 p.m.; May 19, 4 p.m. (All volunteers must attend one orientation session.)




Scenes from The Annual Benefit

Meet the library’s new best Friend

Nov. 20, 2009

rinceton Public Library’s new building had just opened when Ellen Pitts moved to Princeton from northern New Jersey six years ago. Since that day, the library has been one of her regular destinations. With her recent appointment to the post of president of Friends of the Library, the building has almost become Pitts’ second home. “The library is such a gem,” says the affable, soft-spoken Pitts, who assumed her post at the beginning of the year after one term serving on the Friends Council. “It’s an extremely important part of this community and I’m very proud to be a part of it.” Volunteering is second nature to Pitts, who counts Johnson Park School, The Pennington School, Save the Children, Common Hope and other organizations among the recipients of her efforts. She grew up in Bayport, L.I., and graduated from Roanoke College in Virginia. Pitts spent several years in marketing in the financial services industry before leaving a decade ago to raise her son Jeffrey, now a 15-year-old student at The Pennington School. For the past 2½ years, she’s worked part time

By ANNE LEVIN Connections Staff Writer


for the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, writing press releases and managing the orchestra’s “Listen Up” series. Despite her busy schedule, Pitts finds time to play tennis and golf, go to the gym, and work with her hands. “I love needlepoint, crocheting, making jewelry – I have a need to do that sort of thing,” she says. With her husband Tim Pitts, a former Wall Street CEO who teaches history at The Hun School, she has traveled to Guatemala, Bolivia and other destinations as part of their volunteer work. Pitts first began working on library events four years ago, when council member Julie Borden asked her to help out on the benefit that featured a talk by poet Seamus Heaney. After joining the council, she chaired the Friends’ benefit two years ago. “It was hard work but interesting work,” Pitts says. “I loved doing it.” The library’s centennial makes this year a challenging one for the Friends. Pitts looks forward to leading the Friends through this important year and the one that follows. “I am so happy to be able to help make this wonderful  institution, so vital to the community, even better,” she says.

Ellen Pitts, second from right, with new Friends Council members, from left, Jeanine Rosen, Sheila Siderman and Debbi Gitterman. Not pictured: Helen “Greenie” Neuburg and Nate Scovronick.

Calvin Trillin speaks at Nassau Presbyterian Church.

A fund for the library’s next 100 years By M. KATHERINE McGAVERN President of the Princeton Public Library Board of Trustees

Benefit chairpersons Emily Firmenich, left, and Vivian Allen.

Honorary Chairperson Barbara L. Johnson.

Enjoying the post-talk party at the library are, from leftSerge Picard, Melanie Picard, Cole McBride, Anthony McBride, Emily Firmenich, Jonathan Haley, Kirsten Haley


s you know, 2010 is a BIG year for the Princeton Public Library – it’s the year we turn 100! Our centennial is already being celebrated in ways large and small, and will culminate with a gala and town-wide birthday party the weekend of 10/10/10. Mark your calendars now and be sure to join us! We are also celebrating this momentous event with a Centennial Endowment Campaign, hoping to increase our current endowment to $10 million by 10/10/10. If you are one of the 835,000 library visitors we welcomed in 2009 and would like to express your appreciation for this very special place, I invite you to give a gift to this campaign. Why is growing our endowment so important? The taxpayers of Princeton Township and Borough provide 79 percent of the $4.6 million

it costs each year to run the library. The roughly $1 million gap between that amount and the actual operating costs must be raised each year through grants, fees, and the tireless work of our very generous Friends of the Library. A healthy endowment, carefully invested to generate income, helps to ease the burden of annual fund-raising. You can make your gift online or receive a pledge form in the Development Office, and I’m happy to add that we have just received a $1 million challenge gift, so every dollar you give will be matched! Further, you may take five years to complete your pledge. Please do consider this once-in-a-hundredyears opportunity to express your appreciation for our library with a gift of any size. Your gift will help the Princeton Public Library continue to enrich lives in this community now and for generations to come.

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage

Executive Director: Leslie Burger


Programming Coordinator: Janie Hermann Youth Services Manager: Jan Johnson

Princeton, NJ

Public Information Director: Tim Quinn Princeton Public Library Sands Library Building 65 Witherspoon St. Princeton, NJ 08542 609.924.9529

Permit No. 4

Program Committee: Lucía Acosta, Leslie Burger, Susan Conlon, Kristin Friberg, Pamela Groves, Romina Gutierrez, Janie Hermann, Jan Johnson, Terri Nelson, Tim Quinn, Allison Santos, Barbara Silberstein Staff Writer: Anne Levin Cover photography: Bentley Drezner Illustrations: David Pugliese


Editing and design: Tim Quinn

of the

Princeton Public Library




Pi party The library joins a celebration of Pi Day, which just happens to be the birthday of a certain Princeton historical figure By ANNE LEVIN Connections Staff Writer





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f you walk into a shop in town on March 14, don’t be surprised to be waited on by Albert Einstein, or at least an Einstein impersonator. Princeton will be crawling with shaggy-haired Einstein wannabes on March 14, known to math mavens across the world as Pi Day, which commemorates Pi, the most revered mathematical constant in the known universe. March 14 (314 is the first three digits of Pi) also marks the 131st birthday of Einstein, arguably one of Princeton’s most famous residents. Princeton Public Library is at the center of the celebrations. Scientists from Princeton Plasma Physics Lab will do interactive demonstrations in the Community Room. A pie-baking contest will be judged at Dispensa, the library’s cafe. A special interactive walking tour, with proceeds benefiting the library, is also among the activities, all of which have been instigated by Mimi Omiecinski, an enthusiastic library patron who is the owner and operator of Princeton Tour Company.  Since starting her company three years ago, Omiecinski has been a familiar face at the library as she researches Princeton’s history, legacy, and distinctive personalities to come up with topics for tours. Not surprisingly, the name Einstein has appeared repeatedly in her research and her conversations with old-timers in town.  “I started interviewing these guys who remember Einstein, at the Carousel Diner,” says the gregarious Omiecinski, a transplant from Tennessee who lives with her family in a third floor condo on Nassau Street.  “They gave me their unique perspective of him. They told me all kinds of things, that his brain was stolen during his autopsy, that he had girlfriends in town,  that he has a borough police record because he got lost all the time and they had to rescue him, that he’d lock himself out of the house.”  Omiecinski was writing her script for an Einsteinthemed tour when it hit her. “I realized that his birthday was on March 14, which was Pi Day. I went to Google and looked it up, and I saw that



Mimi Omiecinski of Princeton Tour Co. is the founder of the Pi Day celebration, March 14.


mathematicians all over the world celebrate this,” she continues excitedly. “And I thought, this is a way to get Princeton on the map during the horrible shopping season in March.” Omiecinski asked around and learned that Princeton has never held an official Pi Day celebration because Einstein shunned the spotlight. “He didn’t want attention. But he did put it to use when it could be to help anyone who was marginalized,” she says. “He campaigned against lynching laws. He was very generous. I don’t think he’ll be rolling over in his grave about this.”  At the library, Pi Day celebrations will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m. Special significance is attached to 1:59 – the next three digits of Pi – and the pie-judging contest will begin at that time. That is also when the Circulation Desk will begin selling tickets for the interactive walking tour (cost: Pi Day / March 14 / At the library and throughout Princeton

$3.14, of course), all proceeds of which will be donated to the library. There will be several stops on the tour, which is arranged chronologically to tell the story of Einstein’s life. Omiecinski says some of those talking will be dressed as Einstein, wild hair and all. Pi Day will be held rain or shine. “If it rains, guests might want to bring an umbrella but not use it, because that’s what Einstein did in town,” Omiecinski says. “Also, don’t wear socks that day. Because he couldn’t wear socks and concentrate.”  Omiecinski plans to make Pi Day an annual Princeton tradition. “It’s kind of like taking that Christmas moment and making it into a whole other idea,” she says. “It’s really an example of how a small town gets their resources together: the library, all these merchants and the crazy lady with the tours, joining forces to help each other. It’s sweet.”

Profile for Princeton Public Library

Connections Spring 2010  

The Princeton Public Library Magazine

Connections Spring 2010  

The Princeton Public Library Magazine