New Jersey Center for the Book


 New Jersey 350th Anniversary Grant
for New Jersey's Public Libraries

New Jersey Center for the Book Announces Grant Recipients

The New Jersey Center for the Book is pleased to announce the twelve libraries that have been selected as recipients of its Anniversary Grants of $500.  These twelve Honor Libraries, together with those that submitted applications, will be part of the publicity and the New Jersey Center for the Book Statewide Library Initiative to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of New Jersey at the Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ, on Saturday, October 18, 2014.


Together, we present a vibrant cross section of the vital role libraries play as the cultural and community centers for the people of our great state as we mark the contributions and the rich literary heritage of New Jersey. 

Renee Swartz
Chair and State Coordinator
New Jersey Center for the Book

  The twelve selected Honor Libraries:




Woodbury Public Library



West Windsor Branch,
Mercer County Library


Bergenfield Public Library



Maplewood Memorial Library



Wayne Public Library



Jersey City Free Public Library



Monroe Township Library



Atlantic County Library System



Parsippany Troy-Hills Public Library



Union Public Library



Bridgeton Free Public Library



Warren County Library




Click to read the announcement letter sent to each recipient library director 


 Click here for a schedule of local presentations for Grant Winning Libraries

Click here for a schedule of local presntations for Non-Grant Winning Libraries

 The Grant Recipients and their Projects


Bridgeton Free Public Library 

On April 26, 2014 the Bridgeton Free Public Library will present  a program entitled “Hard Times for These American Hard Times.” This will entail a Victorian tea hosted by four characters from the book Hard Times by Charles Dickens. As participants arrive they will be escorted to one of four tables presided over by the women. The participants will spend fifteen minutes at the table, a bell will ring and they will move to the next table until they have conversed with each of the women. Each character have scripts to enable them to speak to their guests about how the hard times represented in Dickens’ novel parallel events in our own time.  


 West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library

The West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library System caters to a very diverse community; and we make it our mission to satisfy the educational, informational, recreational and cultural needs of our diverse community.

Commemorating New Jersey's 350th anniversary we will host Dennis Waters, Lawrenceville historian, who will give a presentation about the “Pole Farm;” Clifford W. Zink, noted architectural historian, will speak about the production of the wires and ropes that make suspension bridge construction possible. The program will culminate with a radio play, entitled “The Wizard of Menlo Park” presented by Raconteur Radio. 


west windsor

Woodbury Public Library

The Woodbury Public Library serves all residents of Gloucester County.  The mission of the Library is to provide an environment where lifelong habits of learning, self-improvement and self-expression are encouraged.  For our project, author Kristine Bowe and illustrator Jim McHugh bring us two programs for all ages.  Ms. Bowe’s will allow participants to choose from a plot diagram and menu to create a story including many facets of New Jersey’s history, while Mr. McHugh’s program takes a more lighthearted look at some famous New Jersey figures and invites participants to make them into super-heroes featured in their own comic strip.


Maplewood Memorial Library

Maplewood Ideas Festival - March 31-April 12, 2014
Maplewood Literary Award – Inaugural recipient – Judith Viorst
April 5, 2014 2pm – Awards Ceremony, Author Talk and Reception


In April of 2014, Maplewood Memorial Library will hold its first Maplewood Ideas Festival.  This special community event will celebrate the culmination of our Centennial year. Maplewood is a community rich in culture and creativity. It is home to many successful authors, playwrights, filmmakers, journalists and visual artists.  The Festival will highlight these talented individuals with two weeks of panels, readings and performances.    The highlight--one we hope to make an ongoing feature--will be the presentation of a Local Literary Award.  In 2014, the award will go to renowned author, Judith Viorst.  





Union Public Library

The Union Public Library serves a multicultural community of 55,000 with the Main Library and its Vauxhall Branch. This area once stood directly in the path of British and Hessian forces intent on advancing to General Washington's encampment in Morristown. To commemorate 350 years of New Jersey history, the library will present "James Caldwell: The Fighting Parson of the Revolution" a series of free public programs, exhibits and a walking tour. A half mile from where the library stands lays the site of the significant, 1780 battle of Connecticut Farms which took the life of Caldwell's wife, Hannah. He participated in the Battle of Springfield just 16 days after his wife's death.


Bergenfield Public Library


Thanks to funds provided by the New Jersey Center for the Book Grant, the Bergenfield Public Library will exhibit “Dear Bergenfield: Greetings from World War II” a collection of letters, V-Mail and greeting cards from local servicemen stationed throughout the U.S. and abroad. The Library will host an oral presentation in connection with the exhibition display on April 6, 2014 to bring the stories of these letter writers alive. Students, veterans, public officials and community leaders will read a selection of the correspondence aloud, providing a compelling account of the home front effort and young New Jerseayans that fought the Second World War.


Wayne Public Library

Wayne Public Library’s 350th Anniversary of the State of New Jersey Celebrations

In early spring (we are still negotiating the exact date) the Wayne Public Library and the Wayne Historical Commission will hold a Dutch Colonial tea at the HighSocieTea House.  The tea party will feature teas from that time period and Dutch sweets made from authentic Dutch recipes.


There will be lesson plans handed out to the middle school social studies teachers which will highlight The Dutch Colonial influence on the history of New Jersey.

On November 6, 2014 a program for adults will take place at the Main Library and will feature the Dutch Colonial influences in both Wayne, NJ and New Jersey History.  The program will be a PowerPoint presentation with actual artifacts from the Schuyler-Colfax house followed by a question and period.

Wayne PL


Atlantic County Library

The Atlantic County Library System celebrates New Jersey’s 350th anniversary with two events.  Judy Courter will present her book Fred and Ethel Noyes of Smithville, N.J.: The Artist and the Entrepreneur.  The Noyes’ creation of Smithville and the Noyes Museum of Art made a great impact to South Jersey’s culture and economy.


Dr. Richard V. Porcelli will discuss his book Naval Air Station about naval pilots during World War II.  The air station, now a part of the FAA, contributes to the nation’s Homeland Security.


A bibliography will be prepared and local history books will be purchased.



 Atlantic County


Parsippany Library


NJ Center for the Book Grant

Date of Proposed Event: May 2014


Brief Description of the Event:  The Parsippany Library will host a celebration of Parsippany's past for   children, teenagers, and adults.   The Parsippany Historical and Preservation Society and the Mount Tabor Historical Society will loan items to the library for a historic exhibit that will include Native American artifacts, furniture, clothing, jewelry, and photographs.  These items will provide a visual portrayal of Parsippany through the centuries. Volunteers from the town's historical organizations will act as docents to guide visitors through the exhibit. This event will be held during National Historic Preservation Week .


As part of this program, teens and adults will have the unique opportunity to create a time capsule that will preserve their present memories. Children will be invited to create a time capsule with symbols that represent their life at school, home, and play.  They will be asked to write a letter describing life in Parsippany now and how they think the town will change in 50 years.  This activity will help children realize the importance of history and remembering our past while looking forward to the future of New Jersey.


The grant funds will be used to purchase children’s materials on New Jersey history.  These materials will aid the children in completing their school assignments while raising historical awareness with their families.



Jersey City Free Public Library

On October 11, 2014 The New Jersey Room will celebrate New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary as it celebrates its own 50th Anniversary. The Library had acquired the vast collection of the Hudson County Historical Society (1908-mid-1950s) as well as the collection of William Richardson, Jersey City official historian until his death in 1937. With these two collections and a small collection already in the Library’s Reference Department, it was decided a department devoted exclusively to New Jersey history was called for and, thus, established in 1964. It boasts hand-written documents as well as printed material dating to the 1600s. New Jersey historian Jim Madden and his co-author, from central New Jersey, Joe Bilby, will be on hand to discuss their book published by the History Press chronicling NJ’s first 350 years, with a special emphasis on Jersey City and Hudson County events.

Jersey City

Monroe Township Public Library

Angus Kress Gillespie, Ph.D.
Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University
The New Jersey Turnpike

Through a series of compelling, sometimes frightening and often humorous anecdotes, Gillespie conveys the flavor of a massive turnpike-what is looks like, what it feels like, what it smells like, what it means. Based on his award-winning book, Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike, co-authored with Michael Aaron Rockland, Gillespie tells about the physical characteristics of the road. The engineers, who built it, in the spirit of their time, were seeking efficiency at the expense of aesthetics and the environment. The Turnpike is quite possibly American's most important road, certainly its most traveled. Here the Turnpike is described not only as a physical artifact but as an emblem of American ideas and values.





Warren County Library 



A Celebration of Warren County’s Agricultural Heritage

In honor of the 350th anniversary of New Jersey’s founding, the Warren County Library is planning a program that will acknowledge the role of agriculture in the development of the area, noting various ways this diverse field has changed over time while continuing to be an integral part of the Warren County community.  On May 31st we will hold a day-long exhibition featuring activities for all ages.  Because some of the activities will be held outdoors, June 7th has been set as a rain date.  The event will include the following activities:

·         Farm Showcase:  County farms will be invited to put up table displays showcasing their history and / or products.  This will include an invitation to a group dedicated to restoring and preserving a historic farmstead in the county.

·         Display of antique tractors and farm equipment

·         Livestock petting zoo

·         A local author will speak about his research into the history of local farms.  He has compiled a DVD that can be shown on a loop throughout the day.

·         A representative from the Barn Quilt Association of New Jersey to speak about the barn quilt project, several examples of which are located in Warren County.  We are also planning to add a barn quilt to one of our branch libraries that is housed in a former farm market building.  If possible, that barn quilt will be on display that day before being moved to its permanent home.

·         Exhibit of photographs taken by county residents and featuring activities related to agriculture in Warren County.

·         Fun activities for young children such as large animal cut-outs in which they can pose for photos, and a farm-themed storytime.

·         Our featured book display for the month of May will focus on New Jersey, i.e. events that have taken place here, New Jersey authors, books with a New Jersey setting, etc.

·         In honor of Walt Whitman’s birthday on May 31st, a reading of selections from Leaves of Grass will take place outdoors on the grass.




 On behalf of the New Jersey Center for the Book I thank the Selection Committee:.   

·       Betty Turock, Committee Chair, Professor and Dean Emerita Rutgers
   SCI, Past President, ALA 

·       Gus Friedrich, Dean Emeritus, Rutgers SCI

·       Wilma Grey, Director, Newark Public Library

·       Marianne Gaunt, Vice President for Information Services and University
   Librarian, Rutgers University



Participating Libraries


Atlantic County Library System

Belleville Public Library

Bergenfield Public Library

Bernardsville Free Public Library

Bloomingdale Free Public Library

Bridgeton Free Public Library

Chester Library

Clark Public Library

Cranbury Public Library

Dover Free Public Library

East Brunswick Public Library

Elizabeth Public Library

Fort Lee Public Library

Franklin Township Library

Glen Ridge Library

Glen Rock Public Library

Jersey City Public Library

Kenilworth Public Library

Lawrence Headquarters, Mercer County Library

Lincoln Park Public Library

Long Branch Free Public Library

Maplewood Memorial Library

Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library

Middletown Township Public Library

Monmouth County Library

Monroe Township Library

Morristown & Morris Township Library




Mount Laurel Library 

Newark Public Library

North Arlington Public Library

Nutley Public Library

Oradell Public Library

Parsippany Troy-Hills Public Library

Pennington Public Library

Piscataway Public Library

Ridgefield Park Public Library

Ringwood Public Library

Robbinsville Branch, Mercer County Library

Sayerville Free Public Library

South Brunswick Public Library

South Orange Public Library

Springfield Free Public Library

Trenton Free Public Library

Union Public Library

Warren County Library

Warren Township Library

Washington Township Public Library

Wayne Public Library

Weehawken Free Public Library

West Caldwell Public Library

West Deptford Public Library

West Windsor Branch, Mercer County Library

Westville Public Library

William E. Dermody Free Public Library

Woodbury Public Library


 NJMapThe New Jersey Center for the Book is pleased to announce an exciting 2014 initiative to support the yearlong statewide celebration of the 350th anniversary of the founding of the State of New Jersey. We invite you to participate and to make this a showcase to include all 350 public library members that are now part of the state network of the New Jersey Center for the Book and to become active participants in this celebration.

The NJCFB is sponsoring a grant program that offers public libraries the opportunity to apply for $500 grants to allow them to provide free programs to the public celebrating 350 years of the state of NJ. This grant includes hosting an emerging or established New Jersey author/illustrator, or hosting an exhibition of historical relevance to that library’s area of the state.

The New Jersey State Library is partially funding this initiative to encourage your library’s participation and to make it possible for the public libraries of the state to plan for this most significant historical event. This announcement is being posted now to give ample time for planning participatory events for the patrons of our state’s libraries.

commonsThe grant program is open to all public libraries in the state. The New Jersey Center for the Book, through a mailing from the State Library, is sending grant applications via email now, with a deadline for return of the grant submissions by October 1, 2013. Please indicate the date you have selected for your program to avoid conflicts with other libraries.

Announcement and public notice of 12 winning entries from the 350 honorary public libraries of the state of New Jersey will be posted on the NJCFB website and listservs on October 30, 2013.

The NJCFB will partner with Grounds for Sculpture at a statewide daylong literary festival at which the 12 grant winning libraries will be featured. Saturday, October 18, 2014 is the date for this event. In addition, all other library entries will be part of an exhibit. All libraries that participated will be listed in the publicity and public relations efforts that the NJCFB circulates throughout the state of New Jersey during the calendar year 2014.shore

The New Jersey Center for the Book is looking forward to the participation of all 350 honorary public libraries that have become a part of the NJCFB statewide network. It will be a significant opportunity for New Jersey’s libraries to partner with the Center for the Book in celebrating 350 years of our great state of New Jersey.

Best wishes,

Renee Swartz
Founder and Chair, NJ Center for the Book



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