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.

Comfort me with cookery

In some libraries of yore, the cookbook (or “cooking” as it appears in our collection) section was known as “cookery.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a variant of this term first appeared in 1393; followed by another reference from 1450, “Here Beginnethe a Boke of Kokery,” a reference from “Two 15th-century Cookery-books” by T. […]

What You Are Looking For Is in the Library

A patron approached the desk and commented, “It’s like everyone just forgot what living with COVID was like and we’ve all just moved on.” I couldn’t imagine anything further from my truth. A global trauma has lasting repercussions on people’s psyches, how they live their lives, and how they move forward. For me, and, I’m […]

Your summer reading soundtrack

For anyone who came of age in the 70s or mid-80s, there is a nostalgia that has launched a vintage audio resurgence: yacht rock. Maybe you caught members of New Yacht City performing at the library earlier in June, playing music that evoked a time when societal and political issues didn’t feel quite as dire […]

Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month

The library strives to celebrate and serve all of our community members. Each month, we work to highlight a distinct segment of our nation’s heritage and history. May, along with being Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, also happens to be Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). The celebration, first instituted in 2006 through a proclamation […]

Starting a book group

Aside from the book groups that the library hosts for kids, teens and adults, Princeton is a town that has a healthy number of independent book groups. Being part of a book group can be a wonderful way to build community, deepen friendships, and talk about books. If you’ve ever considered starting one of your […]

Finding your perfect match

Whether the search is for the perfect job, home, car, or partner, the journey to find it will ultimately be lined with landmines because finding the perfect match is an impossible task. What is possible, though, is finding something that is just right for you. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and regardless of your relationship […]

Reading through 2022 and beyond

Top Checkouts 2022

Do you ever wonder what your neighbors are reading? The library aims to create a diverse collection of materials across formats for all readers’ interests, yet, typically, there are particular books and items that have a greater universal appeal to a majority of people. As the year comes to a close, the library has compiled […]

You’re invited to be present

Each month carries with it certain expectations and feelings. Just thinking about January can make one shiver, imagining the plummeting temperatures and shorter days. The suggestion of May brings feelings of hope, light, and warmth. July, oh July. You are a glittering gem, baked in the middle of the summer, nights filled with starlit skies […]

Intentionally together: a discussion

Being human requires a wealth of fortitude and determination because, as we all know, life has its way with each and every one of us. Optimists, pessimists, young or old, our lives are determined by a variety of factors, with one of the most influential being our health. Alongside our physical wellness, our emotional and […]

Prompt for new beginnings

Traditionally, the onset of September brings to mind the return of school. While teachers and parents scramble to make sure everyone is prepared to hit the books, there can be a feeling of absence and loss to anyone who is either no longer part of that demographic or whose child has departed for college. Fortunately, […]

Voices carry

stairwell of the library

The library’s main stairwell evokes a ship-like feeling. In fact, on a few occasions, patrons and staff members have reenacted part of the Titanic scene in which the protagonists, Jack and Rose, stand, arms outstretched, on the bow of the boat. Beautifully designed by Hillier Architecture, the open staircase is unimpeded by sound barriers on […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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? […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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