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At public libraries we spend an awful lot of time celebrating the holidays and happy parts of life (as we should): Halloween parties, Valentine's crafts, Thanksgiving storytime, book launches, STEM programs. These are all exciting and essential services. But what about the needs of our patrons that are sometimes a bit messier, a bit more hidden from public view, a bit less Hallmark-card sweet and a bit more nitty-gritty reality?
We created the yearlong Everything Jersey 2016 series to inform our community about New Jersey history, food, entertainment, wildlife and tourism. We presented a total of 11 programs, tying them to celebration months or other popular program themes while highlighting aspects of our state’s history and culture. This series could be easily adapted in other states.
A common perception on campuses is that students will attend programs if free food is part of the deal. Well, that may be true. Instead of an afterthought, food can be the main focus and still not cost a fortune. Two recent food-focused events helped us invite students to come see Storytime Censored, a fall exhibition of challenged or banned children’s books.
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Chinese New Year is a spring festival that follows the Chinese lunar calendar and traditionally falls between mid-January and mid-February each year. The celebrations usually last for two weeks and represent a fresh start, rejuvenating family love and hoping for happiness in the year to come.