Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson, writer of oft-challenged novels that speak to the modern experiences of young adults, once described censorship as “the child of fear, and the father of ignorance.” These words resonate with librarians always, though particularly loudly at this time of year, as Sept. 26 marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, […]
from the archive
Author: Kristin Friberg
Making one’s way through a given day can be challenging. Every person carries the weight of a lifetime, plus the gravity of current circumstances. As we return to more physical interactions with others, we may experience internal tensions in re-learning how to socialize with one another. After spending so much time in lockdown, it can […]
The temperature soared to the mid-90s over the weekend of May 22. Some took it as a sign to unpack their summer wardrobe; others raced to local beaches; while others may have further contemplated the effects of climate change. On Biodiversity Day, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg launched a video, urging humanity to move toward a […]
Poet Maggie Smith recently posted this on her Instagram account, “A wise person once told me to start each day by asking myself the same question: ‘What else is possible?’ There it is–an opening when things may feel like they’re narrowing or even closing. What else is possible?” The global community has been experiencing a […]
Whether we are moms, daughters or friends; activists, scientists, politicians or librarians, each day that we make the choice to help someone in need, be a caregiver, fight for someone’s rights or work to break yet one more glass ceiling, we are making history. Women’s History Month serves as a gleaming opportunity to shine a […]
It’s safe to presume that over the course of the past year, you have found yourself having conversations with others online. And, it’s also a safe bet to say that in almost every one of those meetings, someone has begun to speak and the others could not hear them because their microphone was muted. According […]
Interested in starting a business? Or, looking for resources for an existing business? It can be difficult to know where to begin. The good news is that libraries have been helping business communities for years. The Princeton Public Library is no exception. Alongside our robust collection of books, and our longstanding partnership with SCORE Princeton, […]
As we sit on the precipice of the reopening of schools and other organizations, it can feel unnerving, yet exhilarating. The notion of returning to old routines, routines etched as deeply and pronounced as rings in a tree, marking both age and time, seems like an abstract idea. How do we get back on track? […]
The end of the school year is typically a time marked by graduations and new beginnings; promises of a better future than what came before. While this year feels starkly different than any we’ve previously encountered, there are some things that, thankfully, remain the same. At the core of the library is the belief that […]
We watched from a distance. Wuhan, China. Italy. Nearly impossible for most Americans to imagine unless you were paying attention. Attention to the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s. Attention, even, to plot lines from particular novels – “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, “Severance” by Ling Ma, or “The Stand” by Stephen King. […]
It might be comforting to know that hundreds of thousands of people are, at this very moment, spending time gathering documents to prepare their tax forms before this year’s deadline. For some, this annual ritual is accompanied by a strong desire to become better organized and more in tune with their personal financial situation than […]
It can be easy to get lost in the doldrums in the winter, in the midst of grey skies and dismal newscasts. Pushing oneself out the door, one foot in front of the other, can feel like an insurmountable task. My daughter and I have been in the doldrums these days. It’s been a rough […]
As the end of October nears, and the air takes a crisp turn, the feeling of something coming to a close has fallen upon us. A new year looms; the expected holiday shuffle. Where will we spend the holidays? Who will cook? Who will visit? Who will join us at the table? The staff of […]
We have a great capacity to distract ourselves, put up barriers and engage in all kinds of self-sabotage. As C.S. Lewis said, “We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for […]
Beginning June 14, join us as we launch “A Universe of Stories,” this year’s summer reading program for all ages, with challenges and prizes that are sure to appeal to all of our community members. Adults can expect to explore unfamiliar terrain with A Universe of Stories by reading through at least four phases of […]
Walking along Nassau Street, I was transfixed by the rich depth of color of the blue sky and the brick red buildings which played off of one another with striking clarity and warmth. Looking around, everything seemed vibrant, vivid, and bold. I found myself glancing at others to see if they were noticing this incredible […]
Wrapped in two layers of clothing, I was well insulated to brave the brisk cold on my early morning walk, but not enough to keep me grounded in the present. Gloved hands burrowed inside my pockets, placing one foot in front of the other, I began imagining life on this side of my Norman Rockwell-like […]
Thanks, in part, to “The Library Book,” a new work by Susan Orlean, libraries are enjoying a glistening moment in the media. In the book, Orlean, who appears at a ticketed event at Grounds for Sculpture on Monday, Oct. 22, explores the 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire, weaving together her lifelong love of books […]
It had been well over a year since the last time I baked chocolate chip cookies. After following a low carbohydrate diet for the past several months, I could no longer tame the voice in my head that had been pleading for homemade cookies. I dug out my treasured copy of “Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook,” […]
Now that it’s officially summer, be sure to stop by the library to get a start on your summer reading. The library offers programs for every demographic, from the smallest to the tallest, and the oldest to the youngest. All programs run through August 17, and share the theme, Libraries Rock! Adults are invited to […]
When my daughter was born, I bought two identical teddy bears. I thought it would be wise to have a back-up. It was the sort of thing someone without parenting experience might think they could get away with. It reminds me of a sitcom situation in which a small pet dies, and to escape having […]
Just when we’ve made it to March, and we’re thinking spring may be in reach, winter goes and reminds us to not be so hasty. After the windstorm that knocked my power out for three days, I find myself incredibly thankful for the magic of working electricity, and hoping it has settled in for the […]
For years, while driving south on Witherspoon Street, I’ve seen a number of men in the same location, presumably waiting for someone to pick them up for work. Like most people, I suspect, I never gave them much thought because I’m too preoccupied with my own daily rituals, and getting to work on time. But […]
Recently, I visited friends who just welcomed their newborn son to their family. Greeted with a squeal, I looked down with joy to see that their two-year-old had wrapped himself around my leg. I would never have met his mom had it not been for the library. Living in a vastly technologically connected world, it […]
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the gulf Coast of the United States. As the country watches the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey on Houston and the surrounding area, I can’t help but be reminded of Jesmyn Ward’s 2011 National Book Award-winning novel, “Salvage the Bones.” This pulsing novel reverberates with palpable […]
The shocked look on my daughter’s face when I gave her an iPhone for her middle school graduation present was priceless. Several generations older, it wasn’t brand new, but for her it was an incredible upgrade from the flip phone she had had for the past two years. Knowing full well how tethered I have […]
First, it was Oprah; Now, it’s Sarah Jessica Parker. What can these two celebrities possibly have in common? The same passion that troves of the library’s community share – a love of books. Both Hogarth publisher Molly Stern and the American Library Association are banking on the star power of SJP to provide extra sizzle to […]
I find myself holding my breath as I round the bend and spot the two dilapidated rocking chairs in front of the home set back from the road. Just across the way, I try to catch sight of a pair of pet llamas, who may sometimes be seen next door. If I don’t hold my breath until […]
Join the Youth Services department during April for Reading Without Walls. A nationwide reading challenge created by National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang. Reading Without Walls encourages readers of all ages to choose books outside of their comfort zones. From the casual reader to the bookworm, everyone can benefit from an exercise […]
Paulette Jiles’ “News of the World”, the focus of the library’s latest fiction book group discussion, is the story of the remarkable journey of 70-year-old Captain Jefferson Kidd, who makes his living, in 1870, traveling from rural town to rural town in northern Texas, reading aloud from newspapers to paying audiences. Along the way, he […]
There was a time when a “fact” had a negative connotation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the most common use of the word in the last quarter of the 16th century and the first three quarters of the 17th, it meant “an evil deed, a crime; the perpetration or commission of such a […]
A new study from the Stanford History Education Group paints a distressing picture of the ability of middle school, high school, and college students to discern between credible and fake news stories or sponsored ads. Being a librarian for a dozen years, this is, sadly, not surprising. It’s not only students, but plenty of adults […]
Where can you purchase a rare, signed first edition of e.e. cummings’s 1931 collection of artwork, “CIOPW” (Charcoal, Ink, Oil, Pencil and Watercolor), alongside signed first editions of Walter Farley’s “The Black Stallion”, Robert F. Kennedy’s 1967 “To Seek a Newer World”, and a first edition of E.B. White’s first book, “The Lady is Cold”? The library’s […]
“I write because I want the reader to read the book when they may need it… even if they didn’t know they needed it,” says Elizabeth Strout, author of “My Name is Lucy Barton”, in a New York Times article. I read Strout’s book exactly when I needed it. “My Name is Lucy Barton” is […]
Summer once ignited thoughts of lazy beach days, great adventures, and endless pockets of time. As a parent, summer has become an extension of the ever crowded school calendar. Chiseling in the breaks becomes part of the hectic job description of a working mom (an oxymoron, I know). Recently, one of those breaks came in […]
Every year, thousands of book industry insiders converge for Book Expo America, the publishing trade show to discover what's trending in the land of literature; it's a place to mingle with authors, colleagues, and vendors. The change of location from New York's Javits Center to Chicago's McCormick Place lent a new vibrancy to the show, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary. It also gave me the opportunity to discover that Chicago really is my kind of town.
May is National Short Story Month and to celebrate, the library is looking for writers to contribute short stories. The catch? Tell us a story in exactly 65 words. From your submissions, a panel of staff members will select one story to post on a special Tumblr each day during the month of May.
In Valeria Luiselli's second novel, "The Story of My Teeth," the protagonist, Gustavo 'Highway' Sanchez is on a quest to replace his unsightly teeth, one by one. The self-proclaimed "best auctioneer in the world," amasses enough money through his allegoric auctioneer technique to purchase the teeth of none other than Marilyn Monroe, teeth which he has implanted in his own mouth.
Every year the race to name the best books of the year heats up. (To truly set your mind spinning, check out this comprehensive list.) Now that the dust has cleared, we present the top 10 circulated print books from the library in 2015. After seeing so many of the same titles on multiple lists, there is at least one surprising title. "Attack on Titan", anyone?
"We teach our children not to run into the street when they're toddlers, but we don't do the same when they become adolescents," said Laurie Halse Anderson, a young adult author who I heard speaking at Book Riot Live, a conference "celebrating books and the reading life." One moment our kids are playing innocent games and the next, they are hit with adult-size issues and often, they haven't been given the tools needed to navigate what has become an overstimulated, technologi
"I need a good book," is a common refrain we hear as librarians. It's also one of our favorite questions. While we love to suggest books in person, did you know you can also ask for suggestions from the comfort of your home? Try Book It, our online personalized book recommendation service. We've recently updated it to make it easier than ever. Just answer a few questions and one of our book loving staff members will email you a customized list of items from our collection.
It was the most beautiful sky. Sitting on the bus, working through music for an audition, I looked up in time to watch the skyline before we rounded the bend to the tunnel. Daydreaming with Sondheim running through my head, everything froze in an instant. I looked around at other passengers to see if they witnessed what I had just seen. That couldn't be right. Silence engulfed us until someone took out a phone and made a call home. I didn't have a cell phone. I listened for pieces of information as someone else was listening to a radio.
The summer's soundtrack blares at full volume, "Did you work on math? You know, you need to finish another book. When do you plan on starting?" My child's first day of school is Sept. 10, which translates to roughly 20 days remaining for her to get the job done. Moving at a breakneck pace during the school year, the notion of an idyllic summer flew out the window a long time ago. Working full time necessitates full-time childcare coverage, which translates to day camp, beginning at 8 a.m., and ending at 5 p.m.
Now that we are moving into the second half of summer, it's the perfect time to encourage you to pick up a challenge card and join this year's adult summer reading club. We are fairly certain that the majority of readers have already completed challenges that fulfill our "Escape the Ordinary" theme. Why not win a prize for your efforts? Participants have until Aug. 30 to submit entries in exchange for raffle tickets for the opportunity to win great local prizes.
"Your daughter doesn't sit in the front seat yet?" "No…well, I hadn't really thought about it." "How old is she?" "Eleven." "My daughter started sitting in the front seat around her age, and it changed the dynamic of our relationship." "What do you mean?" "It put us on a level field. When she sat in the back, it was like there was a wall between us, but when she moved up, it became easier for her to have conversations with me. It allowed us to grow closer."
There's a maternal buzz around the office. A trio of expectant moms who work at the library are all due to have their first child within the next few months. Shared stories, flashbacks and recognition from those of us who have been through the ups and downs of a first pregnancy fill the sporadic lulls of our office days. Certain life events are universal with cliches that ring true. "Your life will never be the same." "You won't believe how fast it goes." "You'll never know how much one heart can hold."
"An Untamed State" by Roxane Gay begins as any fairy tale would, with, "Once upon a time, in a far-off land…" And, the expanse between it, and any fairy tale with which you are familiar, is wider than anything you can imagine. Gay takes the Brothers Grimm to an entirely new level.
People often ask for reading recommendations whether I'm on the job or off. It's part of my job description as a readers' services librarian. I haven't read every book I've suggested. For some, it's hard to fathom that you'd be able to suggest a book when you haven't even cracked the cover. Discovery, detective work, serendipity, daily conversations with readers, as well as diligent reading and keeping a close eye on publishing trends are the key ingredients to successful recommendations.
In "Mastiff," a short story by Joyce Carol Oates, a couple who are taking a walk come across some other hikers. After the woman has a brief exchange with them, her date asks why she would bother talking to them; after all, she'd never see them again. She responds by saying that that's the best reason for talking to them.
For the first time in the history of the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Awards, one title, "Citizen: An American Lyric" by Claudia Rankine, has been nominated in two categories: Poetry and Criticism.