Monday, August 31, 2009

September Adult Book Discussions

Tuesday, September 8 at 1:30 p.m. Daytime Book Discussion Group: Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern. In the aftermath of a child's shocking murder, the mother of the only witness, an autistic boy, struggles to work through her son's trauma and his communication disabilities in order to help the police to solve the case. —Novelist

Thursday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. Original Book Discussion Group: The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Clark. When cattle rustlers murder a citizen of Bridger's Gulch, others form a posse and illegally lynch them. —Novelist

Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m. Science Fiction Book Discussion Group: Red Planet by Robert Heinlein. A young colonist on Mars befriends a strange round creature called Willis who gets him into trouble when he goes away to school, but whose presence and friendship finally enable the colonials to negotiate a treaty with the Martians. - Novelist

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Richard Brill, an expert in old-time radios came to speak at the Library today.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Entries are coming in for the Library's scrapbooking contest. Don't be left out! Call Marcy for more information, (732) 721-5600 ext. 5034.

Chess players gather for the Wednesday evening Adult Chess Club. For more information, please e-mail Lynn.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The library is seeking the donation of chess sets for our growing chess club. If you have an extra set (with all the pieces) and could part with it, call contact Lynn Sacs at the Library (732) 721-5600 ext. 5033 or

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Happy Birthday! Felicia got cookies, cake and flowers from her staff for her special day!

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The Calendar of Events for the September Library meeting and programs is available, view or print a copy here.

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Librarian Tim Recommends: The House of Lost Souls by C.M. Cottam

Paul Seaton is a broken man. He lost his girlfriend, his job and for a while his sanity after his obsession with a beautiful and enigmatic 1920's flapper photographer leads him to investigate the notoriously haunted Fischer House on the Isle of Wight. Years later, after four students enter the house on a lark, one is dead by suicide and the three others hover near insanity. Joining forces with the brother of one of the stricken students, Paul returns to Fisher House to end the horror once and for all. This is a deeply atmospheric ghost story, evoking rain drenched British landscapes and to my delight many musical references. This was a really captivating tale that is thoughtful and patient in revealing its secrets. The problem with most modern horror stories is they get so hung up on bloodletting and gore that they forget the most profound horror is of the psychological kind. Cottam to his credit never forgets this and tells a deeply spooky ghost story.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Did you know there is another James Patterson novel out? Alex Cross's Trial is a continuation of the popular series. If you would like to place a reservation to get a copy of the new book, call the Library's Information Desk at (732) 721-5600 ext. 5033.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Head of Youth Services Darren Miguez reviews Leviathan By Scott Westerfeld (Due for publication October 6th, 2009)

By dint of good fortune and standing in a long line at the very end of the 2009 Book Expo in New york City, I was able to acquire a copy of Leviathan, the upcoming novel by Scott Westerfeld.

To be truthful, the artwork I had seen at his publisher’s booth is what inclined me to try and get ahold of this book at the last minute, depicting elegant and detailed pencil drawings or mechanical walking machines in a style vaguely reminiscent of Katsuhiro Otomo’s mechanical creations for a variety of Japanese animated and illustrated project.

I let the book languish on my shelf, but found myself needing a book to read while at the beach, and so grabbed it. I am glad I did! The book was far more engrossing than I had imagined, and after three days of reading it after work, I had completed it, and was ready for the next volume in the as-yet unpublished series.

Leviathan takes place in an “alternate history” 1914, with Westerfeld’s fictional Europe teetering on the brink of war much like out own was. The world is divided in these days before World War I into two camps. On the one side are the Darwinists who have by way of ‘natural philosophy’ and biological science unlocked the secrets of what seems to be a form of genetic engineering; by way of this science they create ‘fabricated creatures’ tailored to specific functions – speaking messenger lizards akin the talk much like parrots and deliver vocal information, and the ‘hydrogen breathing’ living airships that make up the bulk of their lighter-than-air aerial forces in this age of zeppelins. On the opposite side are the mechanical marvels of Austria and Germany – the ‘Clankers’, who have created a variety of common mechanical marvels, not the least of which is the ‘stormwalker’ – a type of walking tank.

The story follows two characters: Aleksandar, the prince and would-be-heir of the Austro-Hungarian Throne who is put in danger by the assassination of his father, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand – and Deryn Sharp, a young girl masquerading as a boy in order that she might enter the Aerial Service of Great Britain.

Though each of them represents on of the philosophical and technological poles of the fictional setting, and begin the narrative hundreds if not thousands of miles apart, their stories eventually become entwined as Europe descends into war.

Leviathan is a grand adventure that takes a brief look at some of the issues we see in the headlines of today. As Westerfeld notes in his afterword, the book is as much about possible futures as alternate histories. Discussions of bioethics are touched upon by way of the various Darwinist and Clanker characters, but not delved into in any meaty fashion in this first volume.

I found myself more interested in the narrative of Prince Aleksandar, and his attempts to escape his political enemies after his parent’s death, yet more enamoured of Deryn’s setting with its introduction of fabricated creatures and their place in daily life in Westefeld’s fictional Darwinist England.

Though the story was quite a page-turner, and I enjoyed the various trials and tribulations the two main characters faced, I must applaud the decision to add in full page and half-page illustrations. The illustrator, Keith Thompson, pays great attention to the written details of the scenes he is portraying, and they make it quite easy to be drawn into this fanciful setting.

I am quite eager to read the next volume, as some of the bigger mysteries of the story are unresolved in this first volume. I also remain somewhat unconvinced of a romantic subplot that rears its head in the last few pages of the book, but the journey getting to those last few pages was a worthwhile experience.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys alternative history, and perhaps fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s works like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. I’m unsure how fans of Westefeld’s other works will view this new trilogy, as it seems his prior work has focused on more standard science fiction and modern day work. Still, give this book a chance and it may drag you in. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Though I had trouble connecting at the time of this writing, you might want to take a look at for the first chapter of the book, and a look at some of the illustrations appearing in the book, as well as other bits and pieces. Westerfeld’s prior novel, Uglies, is also available there as a free PDF.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Old Bridge Public Library has started an adult chess club. Players meet on Wednesdays starting at 6:30 p.m. and play to 9:00 p.m. If you love chess and would like to play, please bring a chess board if you can and join the fun. No need to sign up... and you can come anytime after 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Lynn Sacs at the Adult Services Desk or call 732-721-5600 extension 5033.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Both the Central and the Laurence Harbor branches of the Old Bridge Public Library will be closed during Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, September 5 through Monday, September 7. Regular Library hours will resume on Tuesday, September 8 and the Central Library's Sunday hours will begin on September 13. For more information, please contact Library Director Michael Lamb, (732) 721-5600 ext. 5042 or.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On Saturday, September 12 at 1:30 p.m., The Old Bridge Public Library will host a presentation by Dr. Cindy Haines about combating stress and anxiety in our everyday lives. Stress and anxiety can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. The source of this uneasiness is not always known or recognized, which can add to the distress you feel. Dr. Haines has conducted individual and group therapy with children, adolescents and adults dealing suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, and will offer information and advice to help alleviate stress. This program is free and open to the public, and The Old Bridge Public Library is located at 1 Old Bridge Plaza, Old Bridge, NJ 08857. For more information, please call the Library's Information Desk, (732) 721-5600 ext. 5033 or visit our web site.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Miss Juley leads a group of enterprising young artists in a craft program in the Youth Services Program Room.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Library will be closed this Friday, August 14th for staff training day, regular hours will resume on Saturday August 15.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Head of Youth Services Darren Miguez leads a group of teens in making traditional Japanese boxed lunches called Bento Boxes.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Looking to start a book discussion group? The Library's Technical Services has finished putting together five book kits for aspiring book discussion groups. The kit includes a canvas bag, a manual filled with information, sample discussion topics and five books of the same title. Kits will circulate for 3 weeks and can be renewed. The titles currently available are:

Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew - Three Women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner
Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Send questions and comments to: Diane
The Old Bridge Library recently introduced Mango Languages – “the easiest way to learn a foreign language.” Available on the library’s main web site and free to all library cardholders, Mango offers interactive, conversational lessons in nine languages, plus three languages for ESL (English as a Second Language) learners. It teaches actual conversational skills with a system that is so easy to use, you’ll see incredible results after just one session!

Languages include Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Greek, Japanese, Brazilian Portugese, and Mandarin Chinese. Also provided are lessons in English for speakers of Spanish, Polish, and Brazilian Portugese. More languages are expected to be added in coming months.

All you need to get started is your library card; enter all the digits from the back of the card (under the bar code), with no spaces. You can just sign in and practice, or register so you can come back later and pick up where you left off. Try it – it’s free and lots of fun! Access to Mango is available from any Internet-connected computer… at home, at work, or at the library.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Come to the Old Bridge Public Library for fun and exciting programs for children, teens and adults at our Central Branch on Route 516 and Cottrell Road in Old Bridge and the Branch Library on Shoreland Circle in Laurence Harbor. For children, the Library will be presenting a wide variety of storytime programs and crafts to inspire young minds. Teenagers can benefit from fun and exciting programs like Math Study Group, Teen Advisory Board, movies and video games. Adults and seniors can participate in book discussion groups, and the craft club and also enjoy out musical presentations. For more information on all the fun and exciting programs available at the Library year round, visit our web site: or call (732) 721-5600 ext. 5033.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Old Bridge Public Library Introduces MyLibraryDV - a unique video-on-demand service created by Recorded Books and your library. Anywhere you have a broadband internet connection you can have access to hundreds of DVD-quality videos covering a wide range of interests. You will find over 500 videos including award winning movies, foreign and independent films from Film Movement, and lifestyle programming such as Antiques Roadshow, America's Test Kitchen, Rick Steves' Europe, Today's Homeowner and more! MyLibraryDV is constantly adding entertaining and educational programming for you to enjoy. And since we offer simultaneous access there are never any holds on the videos you want to see! All you need for this free service is a library account in good standing and high-speed Internet access.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Enthusiasts of all ages and abilities are welcome to enter the Old Bridge Public Library’s Scrapbooking Contest!

Scrapbook page entries must meet the following qualifications:
  1. All participants shall submit no more then two entries.
  2. The scrapbook page should be no larger then 12x12, contain a minimum of two pictures and be labeled with the creator’s name, phone number and age clearly written on the back.
  3. Scrapbook pages must be unframed.
  4. All entrants must we willing to have their scrapbook page displayed in the library.
  5. Submissions accepted beginning July 20th - August 30th, 2009.
Prizes will be awarded September 4th during the First Friday Event at 6:30pm in the following categories:
  • Ages 12 and under
  • Ages 13-17
  • 18 and over
All Submissions should be either brought to the Old Bridge Public Library Reference Desk or mailed to:
Old Bridge Public Library
1 Old Bridge Municipal Plaza
Old Bridge, NJ 08857
Attn: Marcy Kagan
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Looking for a new job or career? Then come to the Old Bridge Public Library for a two-part program on how to Jumpstart Your Next Career Move!This program provides an overview of the critical elements in planning your job search and in developing an effective resume.

Session 1 will be held at 7pm on Mon. Aug. 24 (Repeated 1:30pm Sat. Aug. 29) and includes: Career Assessment Tool, How to Job Search and Resume Writing. Session 2 will be held at 7pm Monday, Sept. 21 (Repeated 1:30pm Sat. Sept. 26) and includes: Effective Cover Letters, Interviewing and Negotiating an Offer.

This program is FREE and open to the public. For further information about this and other library programs, call the Adult & Information Services Department, at: 732-721-5600, ext. 5033.

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The Old Bridge Public Library has announced that registration will begin on August 17th for the fall session of ESL (English-as-a-Second Language) Conversation Group program. This 12 week program will be held on Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 15 at 7pm.

The program enables participants to learn about life in the United States, increase their vocabulary, and even make new friends, while providing a comfortable, welcoming environment in which to learn.

Participants can expect to practice their English conversation skills in a group setting with trained volunteers. The focus of these conversations is on everyday topics, such as finding the right job, local news and other aspects of community life.

The ESL Conversation Group program is FREE , but due to limited space is open only to Old Bridge adult residents. In-person registration is REQUIRED and begins on Monday, August 17. Please register, showing proof of Old Bridge residency, at the Adult & Information Services desk.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

August 7 at 6:30 p.m. Join Us For Our Monthly Free Performance Event! First Fridays - Featuring this month...An Evening of Flute & Guitar With Majorie Koharski & Keith Calmes.

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