from the archive

Author: Kristin Friberg

Blog and Instagram coordinator Kristin has led the library's fiction book group for over a decade and is continuously grateful to witness the formation of relationships and connections over the discussion of universal truths through fiction. She believes libraries provide a safe place for conversation, community, and are incubators where people can gather the courage to become more of who they truly are.

Summer reading is for all ages

June 21 may mark the official start of summer, but June 15 marks the beginning of summer reading fun at the library for all ages. This year’s theme is Oceans of Possibilities. Adults are invited to register and pick up a scratch-off card at the library’s Welcome desk on the first floor or the Information […]

Money matters

clear glass jar with coins and a plant

April is Financial Literacy Month. With tax season nearly in the rearview mirror, don’t let the topic of personal finance slip into the dark recesses of your mind. There are plenty of free resources available with and without your library card to help you navigate your journey. One of the latest additions to our collection […]

Making a difference

On a recent walk with my dog, we were exploring a new path when we came upon a small grove of pine trees. It was impossible to resist walking into it. Immediately, it felt like I was transported to childhood days when I would spend a decent amount of time staring up at the underbelly […]

Whistle for me

Earlier this week, I found myself mesmerized by a video recording of Bernadette Peters singing “Anyone Can Whistle” I hadn’t seen before, and for the first time I  understood how quietly devastating it is. “What’s hard comes easy. What’s natural comes hard …” There are parts of life that we think should be so easy, […]

Books unite us

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, […]

Border reports

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Let’s talk about the weather

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

The sky’s the limit

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Her history is our history

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Unmute yourself

online meeting screen

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting down to business

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, […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome chapter 3

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? […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Act now with summer reading

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Processing time

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. […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting your house in order

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Finding our way

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Departures and arrivals

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Educated against all odds

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Spend the summer reading A Universe of Stories

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized


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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Nothing or everything

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

The library’s book

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Cookies need not crumble

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,” […]

Join us for summer reading

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Much loved

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Beautiful pieces

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Migrating into fiction

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Growing family

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Helping Harvey victims

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

This doesn’t feel like an upgrade

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer picks

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Mothering around the bend

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Reading without walls

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Edit when needed

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Blurring the line

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Consider the source

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

12k books for sale in October

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Lucy Barton’s master class

“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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Extraordinary light

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 […]

Posted in Uncategorized

My kind of town

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. 

65 Words at 65 Witherspoon

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.

Book buzz: ‘The Story of My Teeth’

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Top 10 checked out books

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?

Growing resilience

"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

Book It is new and improved

"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.

Blue skies

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer soundtrack

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.

Calling all adults: Escape the ordinary

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. 

Seating arrangements

"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."

Expect joy

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."