I have a long list of reasons why I love to work at the Princeton Public Library and close to the top of that list is my involvement with The Princeton Environmental Film Festival (PEFF). This annual event has been growing in success and popularity for the last seven years under Susan Conlon's wing.
Did you ever wonder how librarians answered questions before the age of the Internet, when there were no computers, and Google, Wikipedia, online bookmarks, and saved files were not available at your fingertips? All librarians had were print reference books, the circulating collection, print magazine indexes, hard copy magazines, the telephone, and each other.
How did we keep track of all those little bits of pertinent information and answers to commonly asked questions?
One of the many great things about working at this library is that we are located just two blocks from a certain world-class university. If you don't know which one I will give you a hint: it's the first word in the phrase "Princeton Public Library." When the weather is nice and I have some time, I like to explore the incredibly beautiful campus.
Our Youth Services department has entered the 21st century in technology. Recently we added two iPads as part of our Early Literacy Initiative. These new devices are perfect for our little customers and their grown-ups and replaced our popular pre-school computers. Each day we feature an “app of the day.” These apps are bright, colorful and perfect for young children. We choose apps that are based on some of the more popular books that kids are drawn to including, books by Mo Willems and Sandra Boynton.
Tonight is opening night for Baz Luhrmann's new film, "The Great Gatsby", based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name. Gatsby is often spoken of as "the great american novel", and Fitzgerald's "magnum opus." It has also often been described as "unfilmable", which hasn't stopped four previous filmmakers from trying to bring the book to the cinema (including a lost 1926 silent movie), with generally underwhelming results.
One of the first things that I do when I visit other public libraries when I travel – and I always visit other public libraries when I travel (thank you Lebanon (NH) Public Library for letting me print my boarding passes for free!) – is to check out their children’s section. And every library, no matter how small has a space set aside for children, with low rows of attractive picture books, irresistibly cute furniture sized specifically for little ones, and sometimes even special play areas for tactile learners.
Have you ever been sitting at a Chinese restaurant and wondered what the Chinese characters on the placemat say? Or, say you are on a luxurious trip to Paris and your waiter only speaks to you in French. Maybe you receive a letter in the mail from your long lost foreign exchange student, written in German. What would you do? Google Translate, can solve all your translation problems. And no worries, this FREE app is compatible for both Android and Apple devices.
Princeton’s recent consolidation also meant a big change for the library. Since 1961 we’ve operated as a Joint Free Public Library, one of six in NJ, chartered to serve the residents of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township. But we could no longer be a joint library and serve just one town so we’ve re-incorporated as a municipal library, now legally known as the Free Public Library of Princeton. We’re still planning to use the friendlier “Princeton Public Library” or “Library” in our communications with you and the world.
In the market for a good book? Taking a trip, and looking for some travel guides? Take a few minutes and try Book It, a new service to help you discover your next favorite book, or just what you need before you take that trip to Italy. We will deliver a list of suggested titles based on information you provide within a week's time.
The Princeton Public Library has over 300 volunteers! With their dedication to the library and to the Princeton community, our volunteers help make our library one of the best in the country! Each year we host a breakfast for our volunteers to let them know how much we appreciate everything they do.