Friday, October 31, 2014

Jack the Ripper Fascinates People at the Warren Township Library

Mark R. Vogel talks about Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is one of the world’s most infamous serial killers whose identity remains a mystery. Mark R. Vogel, a clinical psychologist and self-confessed Ripperologist, captivated his audience at the Warren Township Library Wednesday night with an in-depth look at the Ripper murders. The program was made possible by the Friends of the Warren Township Library.

With photos from the time period, Vogel gave attendees a glimpse into the gritty world of 1880s London where women living in the slums of the East End were often forced into prostitution to feed themselves and where some unlucky ones were prime targets for the Ripper. He also gave detailed accounts of each murder and how the police of the 19th Century vainly tried to catch the killer.

He also touched on how some other authors have addressed the case, some in sensational ways, including Patricia Cornwell’s Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed and the recently released Naming Jack the Ripper by Russell Edwards, which claims the author obtained a scarf from one of the Ripper victims.

Vogel didn’t feel Edwards’ book substantiated its claims and quipped, “He sells Jack the Ripper lip balm on his website.”

He did recommend Philip Sugden’s The Complete History of Jack the Ripper, for anyone who wanted a comprehensive and balanced look at the case.

Vogel became interested in the Ripper and studied the case to the point of visiting the murder sites in London. “I’ve always been fascinated by forensics,” he said.

His interest in the Ripper goes deeper; he’s currently working on a fiction novel about a history professor who tries to go back in time to save one of the victims.

Vogel also is a chef, culinary instructor and food writer and shares cooking techniques and recipes on his website Food for Thought. He will be returning to the Warren Township Library to present an "Introduction to Champagne," scheduled for 7 pm on December 9. Registration will be open starting November 19. Visit the Warren Library’s events calendar for details.

To see more photos from the Jack the Ripper talk, visit the Friends of the Warren Library Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spooky Kids' Craft for Halloween

Here's a very easy Halloween craft for children that we recently created at the Warren Township Library. The library also will be hosting Halloween-themed drop-in crafts on Saturday, October 25 from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm and on Monday, October 27 from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

For this spooktacular craft, you just need a few materials and your child's imagination.

Items needed:

  • black paper plate
  • hole punch
  • yarn (as many colors as you would like)
  • scissors
  • stickers
  • a paper spider
1. Adults should use the hole punch to make about 8 holes around the edge of the paper plate.

2. Pull a piece of yarn through one hole and tie a knot. Have your child weave the yarn through the holes, criss-crossing the plate in whatever pattern they choose, to create a spider web. Your child can use one or many colors.

3. When finished threading the yarn through the plate, tie an end knot and cut any excess yarn.

4. Allow your child to decorate the plate with any spooky Halloween or other stickers they choose.

5. Print out a spider. We chose the spider from Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider. Cut it out and punch a hole in the top. Take a piece of yarn to tie the spider to your plate.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Books for Kids Donation Program at Warren Township Library

Donate a new book to the Warren Township Library's annual "Books for Kids" program through October 31. Just stop by the library and leave a book in the donation box at the Children's Services Desk.

These donations will be distributed to children and teens throughout New Jersey who would not otherwise have books of their own. In the past two years, the Warren Township Library has collected 330 books for kids.

Started in 1991, "Books for Kids" is a statewide program sponsored by the New Jersey Library Association's Children's Services section. This program's mission is that all children will be able to experience the joy of reading books of their very own. 

Each year, with the help of more than 200 libraries, including Warren Township Library, thousands of thousands of children from around the state are given the chance to own a book of their very own through this important program.

For more information, contact the library's Youth Service Department at (908) 754-5554 ext 23 or stop by the Youth Services desk.

Friday, September 26, 2014

National Family History Month: From Family Tales to Making History Program at the Warren Library

Lee's ancestor who is related to Gen. Herkimer
Ever wonder if those family yarns your grandparents wove were true? In honor of National Family History Month this October, hear how freelance writer and former newspaper reporter Sandra K. Lee pieced together her genealogy to learn not one but two amazing stories spanning the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. 
Lee, an amateur genealogist for more than 20 years, will be speaking from 7 pm to 8:30 pm on Oct. 15 at the Warren Township Library. People can sign up for this free program by calling (908) 754-5554 x64 or by registering online.
Lee grew up hearing about an ancestor who was descended from a famous Revolutionary War general, Nicholas Herkimer. After years of painstaking research - with a little luck thrown in - she discovered that she was related to Herkimer and that another ancestor, her great-great-grandfather, took part in a famous escape from Libby Prison during the Civil War.
General Nicholas Herkimer is immortalized in several books about the Revolution as bravely refusing to leave the battlefield after being wounded during the Battle of Oriskany. Herkimer County, NY is named for him as well. Sandra learned that the family stories were mostly true as she is descended not from the general but from his brother, Captain George Herkimer, who also fought during the American Revolution.

While researching her connection to the Herkimers through her great-great-grandfather, William H.H. Wilcox, she discovered that he had his own amazing story. Wilcox was a Union captain for the 10th New York Zouaves who was captured and sent to Libby Prison in Richmond, Va. He was among 109 prisoners who crawled through a rat-infested tunnel to flee the Confederate prison, nearly as infamous as Andersonville for its horrible conditions. In her research, Sandra obtained a copy of Wilcox’s diary, offering a firsthand account of life in the notorious prison.

Sandra was interviewed by CBS News in early 2014 in honor of the 150th anniversary of the escape. 

She will share how she uncovered these incredible stories and some of her favorite resources and tips for genealogy research. Sandra has used her investigative skills to track down several of her ancestors and share their histories. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Business Networking, Jack the Ripper, Botanical Gardens and More Adult Programs at Warren Township Library This Fall

The Warren Township Library has lots of great adult programs this fall discussing everything from botanical gardens to Jack the Ripper. Don't miss out on these engaging presentations. Registration IS REQUIRED for all programs.  Registration for most offerings starts September 4 and you can sign up in person, online or by calling the library.

The adult programs are geared for adults so please no children under age 12.

The library also has many ongoing adult programs such as Bridge and Book-of-the-Month clubs that are worth checking out. We also offer special sessions of:
Qigong at the Library
7 pm Wednesday, September 10; 7 pm Thursday, October 30 and 7 pm Tuesday, November 11
Dr. Harlene Goldschmidt will be back for another Qigong class at the library. Qigong uses energy, physical posture, gentle movements, breathing techniques and focused intention to help create a lasting sense of well-being. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Warren Workshop: Paper Crafting with Michaels
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Monday, September 15
Learn stamping and embossing techniques to design your own personalized greeting cards for all occasions. Join a Michael's Arts and Crafts papercrafting instructor for a fun evening of cardmaking. There is a $5 fee to cover the cost of materials which must be submitted to the Librarian at the Adult Services Desk no later than September 8, 2014. Please note that the patron must already be registered for the class or must register at the time of payment. We regret that we are unable to make change or accept checks. Materials will be purchased 1 week before the scheduled class so the $5 fee will only be refunded if cancellation occurs before the materials are purchased. All instructors from Michaels are donating their time to teach this class as part of the Michaels Community Crafters Program. Required registration is open now. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x32.
Speed Networking for the Business Professional
8:30 am to 10:30 am, Tuesday, September 16
Meet with up to 30 local business professionals and practice your marketing skills, promote your business and expand your professional network.Like speed dating, speed networking involves seating an individual opposite someone else. In five minutes, attendees can describe their respective business, market themselves and/or their business, exchange business cards, practice small talk, and pass on referrals. When the bell rings, it's time to move to another table and meet someone new. Participants will get a chance to perfect their 30 second “elevator speech,' practice marketing skills, try out a new sales pitch and expand their professional network. A brief technology presentation will follow.  Hosted by the Warren Business Professional Networking Community, a Warren Library LinkedIn group. Registration is required. People can sign up now online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x32.

Parent/Teacher Workshop -- Hands On: Promoting Fine Motor Skills in  Pre-K and Kindergarten Classrooms 
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Wednesday, September 17
Join us for an overview of fine motor skills develop-ment, current fine motor programs and research. Pre-sented by Laurie Donovan and Alison Hales, NJ state licensed occupational therapists. Attendees will be awarded 1.5 professional development hours. Registration, which is required, opens September 8 and can be done online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x23.

Senior Scams: Learn More about It 
10:30 am to 12 pm, Saturday, September 20
The number of financial scams targeting America's elderly has ballooned in recent years.  Learn how to identify these scams ranging from identify theft to false sweepstakes claims, suggestions to prevent them and what to do if you are a victim of one of these scams. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x23.

New Jersey Botanical Gardens at Skylands 
2 pm to 3 pm, Saturday, September 20
From the delicate shades of tiny wildflowers to the vibrant colors of massed annual plantings, the New Jersey State Botanical Garden at Skylands is a place of beauty in any season. The Botanical Garden includes 96 acres of specialty gardens surrounded by over 1000 acres of woodlands. Skylands is a safe haven for unusual plant species from around the world, and has one of the best plant collections in the state. The garden protects and preserves these plants as their natural habitats are changed forever by progress.Join us for a journey through the history and the gardens at Skylands, with Maja Britton, public relations chair for NJBG/Skylands Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and the official member support group for the New Jersey State Botanical Garden. She owns Adastra West, Inc., a public relations and graphic design firm in Mahwah. Registration, which is required, opens September 4 and can be done online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Stretching: Your Way to Good Health 
7 pm to 8:15 pm, Monday, September 22
Certified Physical Therapist Iris Jaramillo will discuss the importance of properly stretching before starting any activity.  She will demonstrate multiple stretching exercises to prevent strains and pain in your back, legs, neck, knees and ankles.  Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Identity Theft: Learn More about It 
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Monday, September 29
This talk will discuss the most common types of identity theft, how to recognize the warning signs and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you. An officer from the Warren Police Department will be present to offer a local perspective and answer your question. Registration, which is required, opens September 4 and can be done online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x32.

Recent Foreign Films 
7 pm to 8:15 pm, Tuesday, September 30
Many of the funniest, most exciting and critically-acclaimed movies of the past five years have been for-eign films. Join Librarian Morris Balacco on an international cinematic journey as he guides you through some of the best recent foreign films and which ones are available through the extensive SCLS collection. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

College Financial Planning—For Parents/Guardians of Students in Grades 9-12 
7 pm, Tuesday, September 30
This educational college financial planning workshop pre-sented by CPA Mike Velasco will focus on parents of high School students, and will answer their questions about this important topic. Registration is required.

The Female Sleuth in Mystery Fiction 
7 pm to 8:15 pm, Tuesday, October 7
Decades ago fictional crime-solving women had to be amateur sleuths, like Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, because in real life most women weren't cops or private detectives.  Join mystery writer and former English professor, Peggy Ehrhart, for a look at how far women have come in the world of the mystery novel. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

What Good Writing Looks Like: A Workshop for Parents and Teachers of Middle School Students
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Thursday, October 9
Learn about levels of writing ability, the writing process, and strategies to advance academic writing.  Presented by Carol Senff, Director of Today’s World Learning Center of Warren (TWLC-W). This workshop is appropriate for parents and adults who work with children. Attendees will be awarded 1.5 professional development hours. Registration is required and opens September 8. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x23.

Medicare Maze: Learn More about It 
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Tuesday, October 14
A Senior Medicare Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor will explain the basics of Medicare and how to find the best plan.  The open enrollment period extends from October 15 to December 7 each year and this is an essential time to decide on your plan. Registration is required and is open now. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x32.

From Family Tales to Making History 
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Wednesday, October 15
How a family tale led to a Revolutionary War ancestor, a notorious Civil War prison escape and more. Have you heard stories of your ancestors? Do you wonder how many are true? Freelance writer and former newspaper reporter, Sandra K. Lee grew up hearing about an ancestor who was descended from a famous Revolutionary War general. After years of putting the pieces together from family anecdotes and documents, public records and painstaking research - with a little luck thrown in - she discovered so much more than she could have imagined! Not only one of her ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, but also her great-great grandfather took part in a famous escape from Libby Prison during the Civil War. Learn more about how Sandra, using her investigative skills, turned a family legend into an amazing true-life story. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Greasy Luck—A Different Take on Moby Dick
2 pm to 3:30 pm, Saturday, October 18 Moby Dick by Herman Melville was published on this date, October 18, 1851. Actor David Emerson portrays Leland Emerson, captain of the whaling ship Sarah Ann in the year 1843. Find out about life at sea, including encounters with the infamous “Mocha Dick." Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Washington Irving and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Thursday, October 23
Neill Hartley from the American Historical Theatre, portrays Washington Irving, the father of the American Short Story. He brings you into Irving's world, introducing you to his most famous work, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The author narrates his tale and then enters his story, becoming his alter ego, Ichabod Crane. Neill Hartley is mesmerizing as Ichabod Crane: Tall and slim like Ichabod, Neill was also born in upstate New York. Like Ichabod, he teaches voice and rides horses. It is perfect casting. And it makes for a perfectly eerie entertaining event. This free program is funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the NJ Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

George Gershwin: Behind the Music 
2 pm to 3:30 pm,  Saturday, October 25
An exploration and celebration of the life and career of George Gershwin, this talk includes a survey of his achievements, a discussion of unusual aspects of his music, and a look at some forgotten and lesser-known works (with singing and piano playing) to illustrate what makes Gershwin uniquely Gershwin. This program will feature some of Gershwin's lesser known music as well as the hits we know and love, such as "Embraceable You" and "I Got Rhythm". Prof. Cohen will illustrate by singing, accompanied by music samples he also recorded. Professor Allen Cohen teaches composition, theory, and other music courses at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he also conducts the College Chorus. His works for orchestra, solo instruments, chamber groups, and voice have been performed around the world. He has also composed music for many commercials and several off-Broadway plays; written and arranged dance music for five Broadway musicals; conducted many theatrical productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, and elsewhere; and performed extensively as a pianist. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Make Time for Mammography (MTM)
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Monday, October 27
Learn about the risk for breast cancer, the different forms of screening, how to detect changes in the body, and how to make healthy lifestyle choices. This program is presented by Somerset Medical Center's Breast Health Outreach Coordinator Alison Lambo. Registration is required and opens September 1. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x32.

Jack the Ripper: Mystery of Mysteries 
7 pm to 8:30 pm, Wednesday, October 29
Jack the Ripper was one of the most infamous serial murder cases in the world. Set in the horrendous slums of eastern London in 1888, five women, possibly more, all impoverished prostitutes, were viciously slayed. Strangled, slashed, and often disemboweled, the heinous crimes rocked London to its core. The unknown assailant, like a phantom in the night, committed his grisly tasks and vanished without ever being caught. The identity of Jack the Ripper is by far the most beguiling aspect of the murders. But within this mystery are countless other mysteries. Was he a doctor? Did he have anatomical knowledge? Why did he keep some of the victims' organs? Are the famous Ripper letters authentic or a hoax? How was he able to commit the murders without being caught? Did he have an accomplice? Why did he stop killing? These and many other aspects of the story will be discussed by Dr. Mark R. Vogel, a clinical psychologist and self-confessed "Ripperologist" , who has studied the case and visited the murder sites for himself. Adults only. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

The Secret Quilt Code of the Underground Railroad 
7 PM,  Thursday, November 6
After a brief historical overview of slavery, speaker Colleen Hintz will take a look at life on the plantations and how communication among the slaves continued even as the slave owners outlawed it. With this perspective in mind, learn the story of the secret quilt code of the Underground Railroad. We will discover how native African traditions and fabrics were woven together with traditional early American quilt blocks and Masonic images to create a mnemonic and visual code that would lead countless hundreds of slaves to freedom in Canada… and all of this hidden in plain view! It is a story of remarkable ingenuity, courage, spirit, strength and determination. While a nurse by training and still working as a Public Health Nurse in Randolph NJ, Colleen Hintz's passion is creating liturgical art. The vestments and hangings for the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown are her re-creation of the Secret Quilt Code of the Underground Railroad. Her work can be seen across the US and throughout the world. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Fundraiser for Friends of the Warren Library, with pastry chef Kir Rodriguez 
2 pm to 3:30 pm,  Saturday, November 8
Pastry Chef Kir Rodriguez joined the International Culinary Center in NYC in 2004, and has worked at several prestigious city restaurants. He will demonstrate how to prepare a delicious Banana Cream Pie, which we’ll taste, accompanied by tea provided by the Library. Please bring your cup, saucer and spoon to enjoy afternoon tea at the library.  Raffle tickets will be sold at the event for $5 each to win Red Velvet Cupcakes prepared by Chef Kir.  Attendance is limited to 40 people only due to space constraints.  Registration starts on October 1 and people must sign up in person at the Circulation Desk. Tickets are $20 per person (cash only).

New Brunswick and the Civil War
7 pm to 8:15 pm,  Wednesday, November 12
New Brunswick and its residents witnessed the Civil War through their young men, “The Brunswick Boys”. Their recollections offer insights into New Brunswick's factory system, education, medicine and everyday life in NJ during the war.  Local author Joanne Rajoppi presents the fascinating stories of New Brunswick and the Civil War, based on the letters of those who experienced it. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

The Art and Science of Meditation
7 pm to 8:30 pm,  Thursday, November 13
The program begins with some light stretching and breathing exercises led by Tai Chi instructor George Sanford. Master Johwa Choi, a local author and founder of Harmony Meditation in Westfield, will then lead a guided meditation, helping participants to reach a higher level of awareness and consciousness. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Musical Saturday @ your Library: Jan Findlay Jazz Trio 
2 pm to 3:30 pm,  Saturday, November 15 The Jan Findlay Jazz Trio, with vocalist Jan Findlay, pianist Tomoko Ohno and bassist Rick Crane will perform jazz and blues from the 40’s 50’s and 60's. Registration is required and opens September 4. Sign up online, in person or by calling (908) 754-5554 x64.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Join a Book Club or Play Mah Jongg at the Warren Library

Interested in joining a book club? Or looking for a chess opponent? The Warren Township Library has several ongoing adult programs. Also check out our special presentations and seminars for the fall.

The library offers several book clubs whether you're a morning or evening person:

Morning Book Club - Join this new book discussion group on Tuesday, October 28 at 10:30 am.
 Call the Adult Services Desk at ext 32 for this month's book selection. No registration required.

Afternoon Book Club - meets once per month at 1:30 pm. Join our popular afternoon book discussion club.  For the current month’s selection  visit our online calendar, or call the Adult Services Desk : 908-754-5554 ext. 32.  Meeting dates are September 11, October 9 and November 13. No registration required.

Evening Book Club - meets once per month at 7:15 pm. Join us for an evening of interesting discussion. For the current month’s selection  visit our online calendar, or call the Adult Services Desk : 908-754-5554 ext. 32. Meeting dates are September 23, October 22 and November 19. No registration required.

Are games of more interest? Don't miss out on these opportunities:

Bridge - Meets from 1 pm to 4 pm every Monday, except November 3. Join us for a game of bridge
with friends and neighbors. Knowledge of bridge is preferable. No registration required.

Mah Jongg - Meets 1 pm to 4 pm on Tuesdays, except November 4. Play Mah Jongg at the library!  New players are always welcome, but knowledge of Mah Jongg  is preferable. No registration required.

Chess Club for Adults - Meeets Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm. Bring your chess board and tell your friends.  No registration required.

Click here to see the library's events calendar.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fiction and Non-Fiction Books for Kids in K-1 Grades

Try these great books for kids in kindergarten and first grade. For more suggested reading, check out our suggested reading lists here or visit the Somerset County Library Kids' Page.


Bradman, Tony
The Fairy Godmother Takes a Break (Series: After Happily Ever After)
Fair Godmother, the one that helps everyone out with their "happy ever after" has had enough. Can a fairy godmother quit her job? She will try and find out!

Brown, Jeff
Flat Stanley (series)
Stanley is a perfectly normal boy, except that a bulletin board fell on him and now he is flat as a pancake. He finds that being flat has its advantages.

Miss Daisy Is Crazy!Gutman, Dan
Miss Daisy Is Crazy! (My Weird School Series)
Miss Daisy, who teaches second grade, doesn't know how to add or subtract. Not only that, she doesn't know how to read or write either. In fact, all the grown-ups at A.J.'s school seem to have something wrong with them. What's going on here?

Stink: The Incredible Shrinking KidMcDonald, Megan
Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid (Series)
The shortest kid in the second grade, James Moody, also known as Stink, learns all about the shortest president of the United States, James Madison, when they celebrate Presidents' Day at school.

The Magic Tree House SeriesOsborne, Mary Pope
The Magic Tree House Series
Brother and sister, Jack and Annie, have many adventures traveling through time and history.


One Grain Of RiceJ398.20954 DEMI
One Grain Of Rice
A reward of one grain of rice doubles day by day into millions of grains of rice when a selfish raja is outwitted by a clever village girl.

A Million DotsJ513.211 CLE
Clements, Andrew
A Million Dots
In this one-of-a-kind picture book, readers actually see what one million of something looks like as this book contains one million dots and 46 amazing facts, including how many shoeboxes it takes to make a stack as high as Mount Everest.

Digging Up DinosaursJ567.91 ALI
Digging Up Dinosaurs
Briefly introduces various types of dinosaurs whose skeletons and reconstructions are seen in museums and explains how scientists uncover, preserve, and study fossilized dinosaur bones.

The Shape Game
J708 BRO
Browne, Anthony
The Shape Game
The author/illustrator describes how his mother's wish to spend her birthday visiting an art museum with her family changed the course of his life forever.

The Magic School Bus(Various) Cole, Joanna
The Magic School Bus

Dogs and CatsJ636 JEN
Jenkins, Steve
Dogs and Cats
Here is an amazing book filled with great information, visual facts, and lots of animal history along with incredibly realistic illustrations on both dogs and cats.