from the archive


Author: Tim


Comfort music


This has been the Winter of Hygge here at the library, where we’ve been encouraging the community to follow Denmark’s example and slow down to  enjoy simple, cozy activities and togetherness. We’ve been knitting, writing memoirs, singing and playing guitar in a circle and enjoying hearty soups. We even had a cozy mystery featuring library staff performing a whodunit. […]

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Toward racial literacy


I could continue to listen to Ruha Benjamin speak about race for at least five more Tuesday evenings. Having reached the end of the Racial Literacy series co-sponsored by the library, Not In Our Town Princeton and the Princeton Garden Theatre, I think I have a deeper understanding of issues surrounding race and white privilege, issues […]

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Reflections of a Bowie Kid


When I awoke to a New York Times push notification that David Bowie had died, I just couldn't swipe through to read the story. Similarly, I'm struggling to find the words here to describe his enormous influence on my life. See, I was 14 in 1972, the release year of "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," arguably one of the most influential pop albums of all time.


Family history


When my son moved to Philadelphia in November, I remarked casually to some friends that he would be the seventh generation of our family to live in the Quaker City. Faced with doubtful expressions, I pointed out that one of my antecedents, Catherine Baker, was born in Philadelphia in 1731. She is my sixth great-grandmother.


Back to school screenings


When I visited Facebook this morning, my news feed was filled with back-to-school photos, which I happily "liked" because they feature the children of people who are special to me. (Nothing is more important to a parent than the indescribable love they feel for their children.) I did the same last month for parents who were permitted to take photos of their kids starting college. Indeed, one could argue that, for the helicopter parent generation, Facebook exists largely so that we can keep each other posted of our kids' milestones.


The gallery you can’t see


If you're enjoying the exhibition of drawings by Danielle Bursk and photographs by Allen Kesselaut in the second floor Reference Galley (a partnership with the Arts Council of Princeton), you might be interested to know that there's another gallery in the library, this one primarily for employees, but sometimes seen by wayward customers.


Batter up


As a fan of the Philadelphia Athletics, I highly recommend a book I read recently,  Peter Schilling's  "The End of Baseball." Now, you might be thinking, "Philadelphia Athletics?" Yes, I am an A's fan, because from their founding until 1954, the Athletics were based in my ancestral homeland, Philadelphia. They won seven penants and five World Series there and, until about 1948, Philadelphia was an American League city.


These are a few of our 65 Things


In a town of lifelong learners, we have the perfect post-holiday free event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 65 Things at 65 Witherspoon will offer you a chance to learn something new. Now, we're not talking about closed and exact differential forms in multivariable calculus or the influence of Gongora's "Soledades" on the poetry of the Latin American Vanguard. We're skewing toward the practical here.


An English major’s dream


In a world where STEM dominates the education landscape from PreK through college, the English major is sometimes viewed as a quaint anachronism. Back in a less STEM-crazed time, I was an English major, which meant I spent a lot of time in libraries searching the card catalog and periodical index — yes, I am old — for insights into the great works of literature we read and attempted to discuss. 


Be well


This time last year, we were moderating a community discussion about mental health as part of  Princeton Reads "The Silver Linings Playbook." That series featured several programs with the Mercer County Chapter of the National Alliance On Mental Illness and culminated with an inspiring talk by author Matthew Quick.


What is #fuseday anyway?


The short answer to the question in the headline is "Tuesday." Starting Sept. 9, Tuesday will become #fuseday as we spotlight the many capabilities of our Brainfuse learning suite. You might be familiar with Brainfuse for its homework help service, which has helped many a panicked K-12 student out of an academic jam. But Brainfuse is so much more — and it is for adults as well.


City Gardens: a love story


Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico will be here on Sunday, June 1, at 3 p.m., to discuss their oral history of the Trenton nightclub City Gardens. "No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes." If you lived around here in the ‘80s and ‘90s, you know why the book’s subtitle refers to the club as “legendary.” If not, then read the book or come out to meet the authors.


New Deal books = good deal for us


Sherri Garber was working the phones one day in the Friends office when she received a call about a peculiar book donation. As detailed in the current issue of Connections, Sherri has seen it all in her years as a volunteer in the friends Book Store and the Annual Sale. But she had never seen anything like this: a nine-volume set of "The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin Roosevelt," one of 10 copies known to exist.


Landing Q


When the committee that decides such things was discussing the next Princeton Reads book and the idea of “The Silver Linings Playbook” was floated, we were all intrigued. The committee thought this book had the potential to spark a community-wide discussion of little-discussed mental health issues, particularly stigma.


And the winner is


We hosted salsa royalty at the Second Annual Salsa Slam on Aug. 15 and a grateful, salsa-loving public joined us and voted with their palettes. While salsa dancers stepped lively on Hinds Plaza, the salsa tasters sampled the wares of ten local restaurateurs or commercial food establishments and filled out ballots. Judges sat sagely in the back of the room scrutinizing each morsel.

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