Authors to discuss book about A.C. casino industry Aug. 1 at Historical Museum

Just One More HandStockton University professors Dr. Ellen Mutari and Dr. Deborah M. Figart will discuss their book, Just One More Hand: Life in the Casino Economy, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Atlantic City Historical Museum. The museum — presented by the Atlantic City Free Public Library — is located at South New Jersey Avenue and Boardwalk on Garden Pier.
Just One More Hand explores life stories of individual Atlantic City casino workers in the context of the history of the city and the now-global gaming industry. It tells a story about how an industry that promised a solid and stable livelihood is being transformed by competitive pressures, causing employees to lose their economic footing. Incorporating the real experiences of casino employees, the book demonstrates the difficulties for local communities that are building new casinos in the hopes of luring tourists.
Dr. Mutari is an expert on labor market and employment policies; gender, race-ethnicity, and class; economic history and the contemporary political economy. Dr. Figart is an internationally known scholar in the field of labor and employment issues.
The Atlantic City Historical Museum, operated by the Atlantic City Free Public Library since August 2012, showcases the culturally diverse and exciting history of Atlantic City in a nostalgic timeline. Visitors can enjoy exhibits of Miss America, Mr. Peanut, Garden Pier, and “Boardwalk Empire” props, sand sculptures and casinos – along with vintage photographs and local artifacts.
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday. Admission to the museum is free. Please call (609) 347-5839 for more information.

Need help with your reading or writing skills?

Literacy VolunteersThe Atlantic City Free Public Library and Literacy Volunteers Association Cape-Atlantic are offering a basic adult literacy class for individuals who need help with their reading and writing skills. The class is for adults on a fifth grade reading level or lower.
A Literacy Volunteer will teach the class at the Main Library (One North Tennessee Ave.) from 1:30-3 p.m. on Wednesdays from July 8-Aug. 26.
Registration is required and on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. Visit the Main Library Help Desk to register. The class is free.
Please call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3079, for more information.

Atlantic City Historical Museum hosts crew from NJTV show

Talking Miss AmericaAn NJTV show scheduled to debut this fall visited the Atlantic City Historical Museum on June 20 to film an episode focused on the city’s history. “Drive By History” show co-hosts Ken Magos and Cindy Perman interviewed Atlantic City Library and Atlantic City Historical Museum archivist Heather Perez about some of the moments, people and places that have helped define Atlantic City, such as the creation of the boardwalk, Miss America and Convention Hall. In addition to shooting footage at the Historical Museum, the crew also filmed at Steel Pier and the site of Dr. Jonathan Pitney’s historical marker, located at Arkansas and Atlantic avenues. The episode is slated to air in 2016. Every day motorists pass by countless history markers and say, “one of these days I’m going to stop and read that.” On Drive By History, Magos and Perman not only stop and read those signs, they delve deeper into the history, uncovering rare details. Drive By History discovers the hidden treasures of New Jersey in a fact-filled and entertaining way.
Visit to learn more about Atlantic City history.

Library parterning with African-American Heritage Museum for new exhibit

George Walls Bath House 1920sThe Jet Black, Brown and Tan on the Beach exhibit – a compilation of five photo collections of Atlantic City’s famed Missouri Avenue Beach – will go on display beginning this month. Missouri Avenue Beach later became known as Chicken Bone Beach.
The exhibit consists of photos from the African-American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey (AAHMSNJ), Atlantic City Free Public Library, Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation Inc. (CBBHFI), Diane Graves and George E. Dickerson Collection, and Charles L. Blockson Collection of Temple University Libraries.
A panel discussion and the exhibit grand opening will be held Friday, June 12, at the AAHMSNJ at The Noyes Arts Garage – Stockton University, located at 2200 Fairmount Ave. in Atlantic City. The discussion will begin at 4:45 p.m. and run until the exhibit opening at 6 p.m. AAHMSNJ founder Ralph E. Hunter, Sr., and CBBHFI founder Henrietta Shelton will discuss the history of Missouri Avenue Beach, share stories and answer questions. The public will be invited to bring in and share their personal photos with the audience.
The exhibit will be comprised of more than 100 photographs, as well as framed quilted pieces. The photos, taken from 1910-60, feature the lifeguards, locals, tourists and celebrities who frequented this beach, which was designated as a blacks-only beach until the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. The exhibit will include photos of Martin Luther King, Jr., Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosalind Cash and Madame Sarah Spencer Washington. The exhibit will remain at the AAHMSNJ until Oct. 8.
The museum also plans to have a photo slideshow. Those who wish to have their photos considered for this exhibit are asked to email them to Atlantic City Free Public Library archivist Heather Perez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at (609) 345-2269, ext. 3062, for more information.
The museum’s suggested donations are $2 for students and seniors, and $3 for adults. It is free for members of the military, and on Wednesdays. Please call Hunter at (609) 350-6662 for more information.

PHOTO: Lifeguards and bathing beauties represented the George Walls Bath House in a Miss America parade in the 1920s. This bath house, where people would go to rent bathing suits, was the only African American-owned business on the Missouri Avenue Beach. This photo is from the Atlantic City Free Public Library’s Atlantic City Heritage Collections

Book club, Jersey Devil talk coming to Adult Summer Reading Program in August

Detective and Mystery logoThe Atlantic City Free Public Library is, for the first time, offering a Summer Reading Program for adults 18 years of age and older. The program theme is “Unconventional Heroes: Detectives, Private Eyes, Bad Guys and More!” This program complements the library’s popular Summer Reading Program for children and teens.
Adults choose books from a reading list supplied by the library and are asked to submit a brief review for each book they’ve read. Those participating will have an opportunity to win weekly library prizes, and the top readers will be entered in an end-of-summer grand prize raffle.
Those interested in signing up for the adult Summer Reading Program can do so at the Main Library (One North Tennessee Ave.) or Richmond Branch Library (4115 Ventnor Ave.).
Also, the library has created a new book club for adults – The Start Ups: First in a Series Book Club – in conjunction with the Summer Reading Program. Book club participants will read and discuss the first books from different mystery series. The programs will be held at the Main Library.
The schedule for the Start Ups: First in a Series Book Club:
•    “Split Second” at 11 a.m. June 13 at the Main Library and 6:15 p.m. June 23 at the Richmond Branch Library – The book club will discuss “Split Second,” which was written by David Baldacci and is part of the King and Maxwell Series.
•    “Deeper Than The Dead” at 11 a.m. July 11 at the Main Library – The book club will discuss “Deeper Than The Dead,” which was written by Tami Hoag and is part of the Oak Knoll Series.
•    “Postmortem” at 11 a.m. Aug. 15 at the Main Library – The book club will discuss “Postmortem,” which was written by Patricia Cornwell and is part of the Kay Scarpetta Series.

The Summer Reading Program also includes other special programs:
•    Jane Kelly and The Art of the Series at 2:30 p.m. July 18 – Jane Kelly, author of the Meg Daniels series, will discuss the art of series fiction, everything from the story outline to what goes into building the character.
•    Lecture about the Jersey Devil at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 15 – Atlantic Cape Community College professor Nicholas Leonetti will discuss the mystery of the Jersey Devil and answer questions.

The children and teen annual Summer Reading Program runs through August. Call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3050, for more information about that program.