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Newark Public Library announces February programs
January 22, 2008
Media only, please contact:
Dennis Papp at (973) 733-7798

The Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, announced its schedule of programs for February, including those in celebration of Black History Month and special children’s events. All of the Library’s February events are free and open to the public. For more information, call the number listed with the program description, or visit www.npl.org for adult programs and kidsplace.npl.org/calendar.html for children’s programs.

Following are the Black History Month programs for February; all of them will be held at the Main Library, 5 Washington Street. For more information call 973-733-5411.

  • Monday, 2/4/08
    Read-In: Read Your Favorite African-American Author. The public is invited to bring a book by a black author and read a 2-minute snippet to keep alive these treasured works. Guest authors will also read and meet with the audience. Lobby, noon
  • Saturday, 2/9/08
    Nell Painter, Ph.D., former Director of African-American Studies at Princeton University, will discuss and sign copies of her book, Creating Black Americans. Centennial Hall, noon
  • Wednesday, 2/13/08
    Conversations With African-American Authors: August Wilson. A video presentation and a discussion hosted by Sandra West, guest curator. James Brown African-American Room, 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, 2/20/08
    Conversations With African-American Authors: Alice Walker. A video presentation and a discussion hosted by Dorothea M. Moore, Chairperson, F.E.W. Harper Literary Society. James Brown African-American Room, 6:00pm

The exhibition for Black History Month celebrates black America’s love affair with books; the fact that African Americans, at one point in their history, were not allowed to read, and that African Americans currently maintain a newsworthy and steadily growing amount of reading organizations/book clubs/literary societies in greater Newark, around the country, and abroad. Curated by local author and historian Sandra L. West, Entrusted To Our Keeping: The Legacy of African-American Literary Societies in Newark, the Nation, the World is installed on the second-floor gallery through March 22, 2008. Emphasis is given to the Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society, a group that has been in residence at the Library for more than 20 years, and was founded by Sandra L. West and encouraged by the late James Brown, Newark Public Library Black Studies Librarian.

Entrusted To Our Keeping has been funded in part by a grant from PNC Bank and a General Operating Support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. For more information on this exhibition visit www.npl.org/Pages/ProgramsExhibits/Exhibits/BHM08.html or call 973-733-5411.

Following is the February list of Programs at the Branches, an initiative funded by the Newark Public Schools.

  • Saturday, February 16, 11:00am
    Madison Branch Library, 790 Clinton Avenue, 973-733-8090
    Steel The Show. Experience live reggae and calypso traditions with the art of steel pan drumming. Melvin Dean will warm up your winter with the sounds of the islands.
  • Saturday, February 16, 11:00am
    North End Branch Library, 722 Summer Avenue, 973-733-7683
    Tell Me a Story. Join us on a journey through Native American, African, and African American traditions. Veona Thomas will use puppets, props, instruments, call and response, sign language, the language of each culture, and singing to bring you to other parts of our world.
  • Saturday, February 16, 11:00am
    Springfield Branch Library, 50 Hayes Street, 973-733-7736
    A World Mosaic of Music and Dance. Join Richard Stillman on a trip throughout the world, explore Africa, Spain, South America and many other parts of the world through music and dance. Presented by Encore Performing Arts.
  • Saturday, February 16, 11:00am
    Van Buren Branch Library, 140 Van Buren Street, 973-733-7750
    African-American Tales. Celebrate the richness of African-American history and traditions with dynamic storyteller, Debbie Kirkland, as she performs a variety of tales, myths and stories. Debbie will teach the audience some words in Swahili.
  • Saturday, February 16, 11:00am
    Weequahic Branch Library, 355 Osborne Terrace, 973-733-7752
    Dance from Africa to Broadway. The talented dancers of the Okra Dance Company will take you on a exciting voyage of dance from its African roots to popular dances of today. Presented by Encore Performing Arts.
  • Wednesday, February 27, 4:00pm
    Branch Brook Branch Library, 235 Clifton Avenue, 973-733-6388
    History of the Drum. Learn about the percussion instruments and rhythmic sounds of Africa, South Africa and the Carribean. Come be part of the drum circle.
  • Friday, February 29, 4:00pm
    Vailsburg Branch Library, 75 Alexander Street, 973-733-7755
    African-American Tales. Celebrate the richness of African-American history and traditions with dynamic storyteller, Debbie Kirkland, as she performs a variety of tales, myths and stories. Debbie will teach the audience some words in Swahili.

Award-winning and bestselling New Jersey author Valerie Wilson Wesley will discuss and sign copies of her latest book, Of Blood and Sorrow, a Tamara Hayle mystery, on Friday February 15, beginning at noon in the Main Library’s Centennial Hall. Please RSVP by February 11 to 973-733-7793.

On Saturday, February 23, the Hooray for Children program series, which presents live performances by puppeteers, storytellers, magicians and theater groups, will present The Fire Children. Join Lauren Hooker as she presents a tale of the earth, celebrating the culture, language and traditions of the Akan people of Ghana through song and dance with life-sized Akuaba dolls. The program begins promptly at 10:30am in the Main Library’s Centennial Hall. For further information call 973-733-7797, or visit www.npl.org/Pages/KidsPlace/calendar/hfc.html.

On Wednesday, February 6, the Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society, which is dedicated to discussing books on the African Diaspora, will hold a special program in celebration of Black History Month: Remembering Their Voices. It will be a staged reading of the voices of W.E.B. DuBois, Shirley Chisholm, Harriet Tubman, James Baldwin, Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., and Dr. John Henrik Clarke. It begins at 6:30pm in Centennial Hall. For more information on the Society and its programs call 973-733-5411.

William J. Dane, the Library’s keeper of works of art on paper, will curate Shopping Bags From Around the World. This eye-appealing exhibition will be installed on the Main Library’s third-floor gallery from January 28 to March 22. It will feature a wide selection of colorful merchandising examples, many of which have been gifts from world travelers. For more information on this fascinating show call Mr. Dane at 973-733-7745.

The Library has extended the deadline to Wednesday, February 13 for entries for the Newark, Hockey and Me essay contest that is cosponsored with the three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils. For complete details and rules on this contest for Newark school children in grades 1 through 8, visit www.npl.org/Pages/KidsPlace/hockey2007.html.

Free computer classes—in English and Spanish—are being held in the Technology Training Center, which is located on the third floor of the Main Library. Class size is limited to ten participants. Some classes are designed for first-time computer users (Mouse Clinic, Typing), while others are for those with more computer literacy (Word Processing, Email, Internet, Creating a Résumé). For more information on the calendar of classes for February, please call 973-733-3603, or visit www.npl.org/Pages/Computers/.

Following are additional children’s programs at various branch locations.

The Branch Brook Branch Library, 235 Clifton Avenue, 973-733-6388, will celebrate Black History Month with word searches and quizzes about prominent African-American men and women on February 20 to 22nd, from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. The branch will celebrate Valentine’s Day by making Valentine’s cards on Wednesday, February 6, from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. On Wednesday, February 13, in honor of Presidents’ Day, children are invited to write a letter or a poem to their favorite president, from 3:00pm to 4:30pm.

The Clinton Branch Library, 739 Bergen Street, 973-733-7754, will celebrate Black History Month on February 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, at 3:30pm, when stories and works of African-American authors will be read, movies shown, and a variety of crafts will be made. On Wednesday, February 13 at 3:30pm, children are invited to make a colorful Valentine’s Day card. The branch celebrates Presidents Washington and Lincoln with some interesting facts on Saturday, February 16 at 11:00am. On Wednesday, February 20 at 3:30pm all ages are invited to watch a movie or make a craft on Surprise Fun Day.

The First Avenue Branch Library, 282 First Avenue, 973-733-8091, will hold a Valentine Bear Craft on Thursday, February 14 at 4:00pm at which children will make a foam cutout bear magnetic note clip with wooden clothespins.

The Main Library Children’s Room, 5 Washington Street, 973-733-7797, will hold three February programs: on Monday, February 4, from 10:00am to 11:00am, toddlers and preschoolers are invited to a storytime that features books by African-American authors; daycare groups should reserve in advance by calling 973-733-7797. On Monday, February 11, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, children will make a special card to celebrate Valentine’s Day. On Monday, February 25, from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, children will test their knowledge of black history with questions on such topics as the civil rights movement, music and sports.

The North End Branch Library, 722 Summer Avenue, 973-733-7683, invites children through grade 6 to create their own Mardi Gras mask on Friday the 1st at 3:30pm. There will be an arts and crafts to make “beaded hearts and valentine cards” on Wednesday, February 14 at 3:30pm. For those in grades 2 to 6, there will be a discussion on African-American inventors and their inventions—bring in an item from home that was invented by an African-American—on Wednesday, February 20 at 3:30pm.

The Roseville Branch Library, 99 Fifth Street, 973-733-7770, invites youngsters and teenagers to a Black History Month Book Challenge from February 1 through 27. Visit the branch to learn the rules and secure a reading list. On Wednesday, February 6, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm, children are invited to guess which African-American inventor discovered specific items. Children are invited to play heart bingo on Wednesday, February 13, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. On Thursday, February 14, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm, youngsters and teenagers are invited to create Valentine’s cards.

The Springfield Branch Library, 50 Hayes Street, 973-733-7736, continues its free SAT Prep Classes on Wednesdays from 5pm to 7pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 1pm, through May 8, 2008. The Charles E. Thenen Foundation provided funding for these classes. There will be a College Recruitment Night on Wednesday, February 27 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. It will be an on-site admissions opportunity for high school seniors who have been asked to bring two letters of recommendation, personal statement, high school transcripts, SAT scores and parents 2006 income tax return. Recruiters will be on hand from numerous schools and institutions: Seton Hall, Rutgers, Bloomfield, William Paterson, Howard, Johnson C. Smith, Kean, Ramapo, New Jersey City, St. Peter's, NJIT, Fairleigh Dickinson, United States Navy, Berkeley, University of New Haven, Cheyney, Norfolk State, Felician, and the College of New Jersey. On Wednesday, February 13 at 3:30pm, children will collect photographs of important African Americans from magazines or newspapers and construct a Black Heroes Scrapbook.

The Vailsburg Branch Library, 75 Alexander Street, 973-733-7755, will hold three programs in February. On Wednesday, February 6, 13, 20, and 27, from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, there will be a New Comics Night at which youngsters will peruse and discuss some of the week’s new comic releases. From 4:30pm to 5:30pm on the Wednesdays in February, the branch will hold Anime Night that features samples of popular animated series. On all Fridays in February, from 3:30pm to 5:00pm, there will be stories, crafts and games of a seasonal nature—themes include Black History Month and Valentine’s Day.

The Van Buren Branch Library, 140 Van Buren Street, 973-733-7750, will have a game day on all Fridays in February at 4:00pm at which children will play various board games. There will be a storytime—from fairytales and picture books—on Monday, February 4, 11, and 25 at 4:00pm. On Thursday, February 14, at 4:00pm, children will make a heart for Valentine’s Day. On Wednesday, February 27, at 4:00pm, children aged 9 to 12 will write their own funny story and share it with the others.

The Weequahic Branch Library, 355 Osborne Terrace, 973-733-7751, will have a craft for children aged 6 to 14 at which they will create and decorate Valentine’s cards on Wednesday, February 13 at 3:30pm. On Wednesday, February 20, at 3:30pm, those aged 6 to 14 will make a peanut magnet in memory of George Washington Carver, a famous African-American botanist.

The Library will again provide a venue for the free tax return service from the AARP. Please note that the public should call the AARP to make an appointment—not the Library. For more information and to make an appointment call 973-763-6431. Following is the schedule of dates representatives from the AARP will be at the Library, from 9:30am to 4:30pm, to prepare 2007 tax returns for seniors: February 7 – Centennial Hall; February 14 – Auditorium; February 21 – Centennial Hall; February 28 – Auditorium; March 6 – Centennial Hall; March 13 – Conference Room; March 20 – Conference Room; March 27 – Centennial Hall; April 3 – Conference Room; April 10 – Conference Room.

 

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