from the archive


Author: Hannah Schmidl

Hannah is the library's National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, tackling all things humanities-related.

Making sense of the world


Recently a colleague posed this question to the library staff: What books are helping you understand the world right now? The results of this survey are compiled in a public book list, and you have the opportunity to contribute your own book ideas to this list. In addition to books, podcasts can help provide context for contemporary events and […]

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Summer movie marathon


A few months ago, my partner and I started watching the Greatest American Films of All Time, according to the American Film Institute, starting with #100. This is a long-term entertainment plan, given that finding the time to watch even one movie per week is challenging. Prior to this undertaking, I might watch one movie a […]

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Memorial Day activities


Memorial Day is set aside as a day of commemoration for all those who have given their lives in service to the United States throughout its history. Memorial Day has been observed, in some form, since the 1860s and the end of the Civil War.  Flags will fly at half mast, flags are placed at […]

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Free admission


Modern art, classical art. World history, American history, New Jersey history. Airplanes, dinosaurs, medical oddities, giant sculptures. What do all of these things have in common, you ask? Cardholders can see all of them for free with a museum pass from the library. The Museum Pass Program is popular, but I didn’t realize how popular […]


Winter reading challenge


This season, I’m taking part in a Winter Reading Challenge with a variety of friends and acquaintances across the country. The challenge is broken into numerous categories in a shared spreadsheet which I check regularly to see the progress of my competitors/reading-mates. Each category is worth a certain number of points, and the challenge winner […]

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Take a break


Just relax. Sounds so easy, right? We’ve all heard that taking breaks and stepping away from our desks throughout the workday help increase productivity and overall well-being at work. In addition to the tips found at Zapier and Idealist for optimizing your time at work, I queried my colleagues about their preferred relaxation and break-time activities […]

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When science meets history


As the library's first Humanities Fellow, my job is to make the humanities, from literature to public policy to history, more interesting, accessible, and engaging for the public through programs, collections, and other library activities. Ever on the hunt for new ideas, the inspiration for the library's current History of Science series grew out of a conversation with my uncle.

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