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Newark Public Library holds reopening ceremony of renovated Main Library Lobby and announces March programs, including "Family Week @ the Theater" events
Press Release February 17, 2006
Media only contact: J. Dennis Papp
(973) 733-7798; dpapp@npl.org

The Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, held a grand reopening of its lobby on February 8, 2006. Timothy J. Crist, a member of the library's Board of Trustees, welcomed the audience to the event. Program speakers were Wilma J. Grey, Library Director; Mary Puryear, program officer of The Prudential Foundation; Senator Ronald Rice; and Norma Blake, New Jersey State Librarian. Funding for the $1.3 million renovation of the main library’s lobby was provided by The Prudential Foundation 125th Anniversary Fund and the New Jersey State Library Public Library Construction Bond Program. The restoration of the main entrance and lobby is the first in a three-pronged project of renewal, refurbishment and enlargement to meet the technological and cultural challenges of the 21st century. Additional details of the unveiling ceremony and photographs may be found here.


The Newark Public Library announced its schedule of programs for March, highlighted by "Family Week at the Theatre," an annual statewide festival that encourages families to attend professional theatre together and enjoy the magic of live productions. All of the library’s March events are free and open to the public. For more information, call the number listed with the program description, or visit the library’s home page for adult programs, and Kids' Place for children’s programs.

Four branch libraries will hold a "Family Week at the Theatre" event:

  • The Vailsburg branch (75 Alexander Street, 973-733-7755), will present Victorian Magic, an East Lynne Theatre/Robert Aberdeen production, on Saturday, March 4 at 10:30am. Victorian Magic is a tour de force for actor/magician Robert Aberdeen, who delights audiences of all ages with his sleight-of-hand. Performances include selections from the following: The Oldest Illusion in the History of Magic: "The Cups and Balls"; The Second Oldest Illusion: "The Mystery of the Silver Rings"; The Most Famous Illusion of All Time: "Pulling a Rabbit from a Hat"; and, popular in French vaudeville, "Chapeaugraphy," a routine of "Many Hats from One." Part of the fun includes ventriloquism and audience participation. Recommended for all ages.
  • The Van Buren branch (140 Van Buren Street, 973-733-7750), will present Cuentos del Arbol, a Pushcart Players production, on Saturday, March 4 at 11:00am. Cuentos Del Arbol or Tree Tales is a delightful bilingual musical drawn from Spanish and Latin American folklore. The play is designed to bring Spanish to "life" for students studying the language; and to make theatre accessible for students, parents and grandparents for whom English is a second language. Because the play is presented in a bilingual format, it provides literacy enhancement in both language and the arts. The stories within the piece offer pride in the cultural heritage of Spain and Latin America while also providing access to the arts and arts education without a language barrier. The centerpiece of all the stories is a tree (un arbol) that has sheltered, shielded and nurtured countless characters that have passed her way over the years. The tree's caretaker, Arbolita, shares four of these stories with Tomas, a storyteller, who is looking for tales for his collection. The stories included are "The Garden of the Golden Oranges," adapted from a Spanish legend, told in the oral tradition; "Brothers Who Were Both Wise and Foolish," a grand adventure, also set in Spain; "Juan Bobo" or "Silly John" originating in both Mexico and Puerto Rico about a boy who makes silly mistakes that serve him well; and "Caperucita Roja" or "Red Riding Hood," a perennial favorite in Spanish and English households, told with a Latino beat and rhythm. Cuentos is filled with a fiesta of Latino and Hispanic themes, indigenous to locale, but universal to the human experience. The stories are about dreaming dreams, setting goals, rising to challenges and keeping commitments. The range of ideas for discussion includes many value clarification and strength of character issues. Young audiences will be enchanted by the colorful lore and spirited beat that enable Arbol to lift her branches and find new ways to grow each day. Recommended for all ages.
  • The Springfield branch (50 Hayes Street, 973-733-7736), will present OZ, a Youth Stages production, on Wednesday, March 8 at 3:30pm. This adaptation is highly imaginative and children love the creativity and playfulness of the two actors! The play is set in 1899 as L. Frank Baum puts the finishing touches on his new manuscript, The  Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Very unexpectedly, he finds himself telling his new story to Dot, a 10-year-old girl. She is not easily drawn in, so he begins acting it out for her. Using furniture, houseplants, fireplace tools, and various other items in the room, he builds the Tinman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion right before her very eyes! The children in the audience join in the fun as they become the cyclone and the Flying Monkeys. Recommended for all ages.
  • The North End branch (722 Summer Avenue, 973-733-7749), will present The Brothers Grinn, a Project Impact production, on Wednesday, March 8 at 3:30pm. The Brothers Grinn is improvisational performance storytelling theater. There are no scripts, the stage is bare, the lights are up and the curtains open, and then The Brothers Grinn begin their show, create, with a fully interactive audience, all new folk tales and songs. Every show is improvised, created 100% before audience members' eyes from the suggestions and participation of the audience: no two shows are ever alike. These shows are highly energetic and are a joyous journey into the imagination. Recommended for grades K through 12.

An exhibition, celebrating Black History Month, is on view on the second and third floor galleries of the main library through April 1. Entitled Small Towns, Black Lives, African-American Communities in Southern New Jersey, it is the work of photographer Wendel A. White. Born in Newark, he is Professor of Art at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. During 2003, White was appointed as a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to support his photography of black communities in rural/small town settings. According to the artist, Small Towns, Black Lives is not an historical resource, it is a visual journal of discovery, memory and recognition. The exhibit is on loan from the Noyes Museum of Art, Oceanville, NJ.

The exhibition is free and open to the public during library hours (Monday, Friday and Saturday from 9:00am to 5:30pm; Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00am to 8:30pm). For more information on Small Towns, Black Lives visit the library's Web site or call 973-424-1831.


The Springfield branch, 50 Hayes Street, continues its SAT Prep Program on most Wednesdays and Saturdays. Each free session comprises preparation for SAT tests, financial aid workshops, college essay writing, and scholarship searches. Assistance will be given in completing SAT, college, and scholarship applications. Classes will be offered on Wednesdays from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, and on Saturdays from 11:00am to 1:00pm. The Community Foundation of New Jersey provided the funding for this program. For more information, please call the Springfield branch library at 973-733-7736, or Lyndon Brown, the instructor, at 973-623-8699.


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, Publisher, Email, Internet, PowerPoint, Creating a Résumé). For more information visit the calendar of classes for February, or call 973-733-3603.


Each Wednesday evening, from 6:00 to 8:00, is "Chess Night" at the Madison branch, 790 Clinton Avenue, 973-733-8090. Patrons—third-graders to adults—are invited to "play it, learn it, teach it."


On March 25, the program from the library's "Hooray for Children" series features Kenneth Little Hawk in Native American Stories, in which he teaches responsibility, respect, and how to live in a good way, overcoming life's challenges through stories, music, dance and cultural experiences. The program will be held in the main library's Centennial Hall, beginning 2:00pm. Call 973-733-5642 for information.


The Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society will sponsor three programs. For information call 973-733-5411.

  • March 1: Celebrate Women's History Month with a discussion of Lucy, written by Jamaica Kincaid - 6:30pm.
  • March 8: A viewing and a discussion of Hafiz Farid’s film, A Pillar of Salt: The Angry Woman Syndrome - 6:30pm.
  • March 29: Barbara Kukla discusses her book, Defying the Odds: Triumphant Black Women of Newark - 6:00pm.

March also includes events from the "Saturday Programs @ the Branches" series of entertaining and educational children's programs funded by the Newark Public Schools.

March 4, 11:00am, Branch Brook branch, 235 Clifton Avenue, 973-733-6388.
Read America Read is a fun mix of magic and comedy as Lenny the Librarian and Book the Bookworm take the audience on a special journey through the library. Enjoy the antics of Lenny as he tells jokes and teaches about the magic one can find inside all types of books at the library.

March 18, 11:00am, Clinton branch, 739 Bergen Street 973-733-7754.
In Blazing New Trails, Andrew Piccirillo, from Picirillo Sciencetelling, takes the audience on a journey through time and the development of electricity. He will conduct many science experiments to teach us about Nikola Tesla discoverer of electric currents. See how electricity can shock a potato, fry an egg and electrify silly putty.

March 18, 11:00am, Springfield branch, 50 Hayes Street, 973-733-7736.
Ann Coppola and Kate Pak present The Cat in The Hat. Join Ann Coppola and Kate Pak and their special presentation of The Cat in The Hat. The two actors will send the audience on a journey of fun and silliness in the style of the famous cat. It will be a fun-sprinkled experience that all children will enjoy, with jokes and stories and fun adventures.

March 18, 11:00am, Vailsburg branch, 75 Alexander Street, 973-733-7749.
In Read America Read, the audience will enjoy a fun mix of magic and comedy as Lenny the Librarian and Book the Bookworm take them on a special journey through the library. Enjoy the antics of Lenny as he tells jokes and teaches about the magic one can find inside all types of books at the library.

March 18, 11:00am, Van Buren branch, 140 Van Buren Street, 973-733-7750.
The Lizard Guy will give the audience an exciting glimpse into fabulous animals of the world, with exotic animals such as lizards, turtles, frogs, and a huge special guest for the finale. Learn many different facts about these animals, including where they are from, and what they eat.

March 25, 11:00am, North End branch, 722 Summer Avenue, 973-733-7749.
Ann Coppola and Kate Pak present The Cat in The Hat. Join Ann Coppola and Kate Pak and their special presentation of The Cat in The Hat. The two actors will send the audience on a journey of fun and silliness in the style of the famous cat. It will be a fun-sprinkled experience that all children will enjoy, with jokes and stories and fun adventures.


The Main Library Children’s Room will hold several programs during the month. For more information call 973-733-7797.

March 1, Noon to 3:00pm, Game Day
Is your game on? Choose your favorite game and challenge a friend to play.

March 1 through March 31
Celebrate women in literature all month long by reading books by a favorite women’s author or a favorite female character.

March 2
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Extravaganza. Check out the display of Dr. Seuss books and pick up a Dr. Seuss fact sheet, while enjoying these events:

  • 9:30am to7:00pm, Create a book, by the Children of the Newark Public Library. You become the author and illustrator. Write a page of our very own "Dr. Seuss" book. Write a poem or draw a picture that will be added to the book. The story will be available to read during the month.
  • 1:00 to 2:00pm, see four classic stories come alive in a cartoon format: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Fox in Socks, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, and Hop on Pop. Groups must pre-register.
  • 5:00 to 6:00pm, Seussical Story and Art Experience. Participate in a Seuss story time and then create a crazy collage, materials supplied.

March 4, 10:30am
Four classic stories come alive in a cartoon format: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Fox in Socks, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, and Hop on Pop. Groups must pre-register.

March 14, 4:00 to 5:00pm
Using the Library's Kids' Place Web site. Learn how to find your way around Corky’s paw prints. Get access to educational databases, games and electronic resources.

March 18, 9:30 to 10:00am, Saturday Morning Story Time
Do you have a book you would like to share with the group? Find your book in the library, or bring in your favorite book from home. The librarian has a few of her favorites, too.

March 18th, Noon to 1:00pm
Women We Admire asks children to identify the person they most admire—a mother, grandmother, or a person from history—and create a quilt square in her honor.

March 25, 9:30 to 10:00am, Saturday Morning Story Time
Do you have a book you would like to share with the group? Find your book in the library, or bring in your favorite book from home. The librarian has a few of her favorites, too.


The Branch Brook branch, 235 Clifton Avenue, 973-733-6388, will hold three programs. Children under 7 must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver:

  • March 2, 3:30 to 5:00pm:
    Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday with a rhyming game—with words such as cat, dog, cap. This program is suitable for children ages 3 to 9.
  • March 15, 4:00pm to 7:00pm: School-aged children are invited to write a letter to a favorite woman—a relative, friend, teacher, politician.
  • March 20 and 23, 4:00pm
    Celebrate spring with a story time and a simple craft activity. Suitable for ages 2 to 8.

The North End branch, 722 Summer Avenue, 973-733-7683, will hold four programs:

  • March 8, 3:30pm: Johnny Appleseed Story Hour and Arts & Crafts.
  • March 15, 3:30pm: St. Patrick's Day Story Hour and Arts & Crafts.
  • Thursdays, March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 3:30pm: Celebrate Women's History Month Story Hour in which children choose a book about a famous or memorable woman.
  • March 1 through 31: Celebrate Women’s History Month with a poetry-writing contest about a woman who has made a difference in your life.

The Vailsburg branch, 75 Alexander Street, 973-733-7755, celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Women’s History Month:

  • March 2 and 3, 3:30 to 4:30pm:
    Children of all ages are invited for two afternoons of Dr. Seuss coloring and drawing activities and videos. Children under 7 must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver.
  • March 10, 10:30am to Noon:
    Toddlers and preschoolers are invited to a special story program that features books by famous women authors. Children must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver; daycare groups must pre-register before March 9.

The Van Buren branch, 140 Van Buren Street, 973-733-7750 will hold two programs:

  • March 1 and 8, 6:00pm to 7:00pm; March 13, 10:00am to 11:00am:
    This class will serve as an introduction to using the library's electronic resources for writing a report, researching a paper, searching for a magazine article.
  • March 15, 5:00pm to 6:00pm; March 17, 3:30pm to 4:30pm:
    Celebrate Women's History Month by writing a letter to a notable woman from history or your own life.

The Weequahic branch, 355 Osborne Terrace, 973-733-7751, will hold two programs:

  • March 2, 3:30 to 4:30pm: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss. Program includes reading a Dr. Seuss book, singing a song, and viewing a Dr. Seuss movie.
  • March 15, 3:30 to 4:30pm: Celebrate Women by creating a bookmark that features quotations by Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, or another notable.

 

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