Library starts local Hispanic history project

Hispanic Heritage Month photoOn Cinco de Mayo – Tuesday, May 5 – the Atlantic City Free Public Library launched a project to collect the history of the Hispanic community in Atlantic City. Through this project, the library is looking to develop a collection of materials which future generations of students, writers and genealogists can use to script a community history.
The library encourages members of the public to donate or lend their Atlantic City photographs, restaurant menus, traditional costumes from their countries, and more. All of these will be considered to be included in an exhibit planned for this fall in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Working with Dr. Merydawilda Colón, Executive Director of Stockton Center for Community Engagement, a community panel will help to curate the exhibit. Library archivist Heather Pérez will coordinate the project.
In addition, the library will interview members of the Hispanic community, encouraging them to “Share Your Story.” These oral history interviews will play an important part in recording the community’s history for the future.
“Every group has a history and a story to tell,” Perez said. “When did the first Hispanic residents move to Atlantic City? Why did they choose Atlantic City? We feel that it is important to help record and preserve that history for our Atlantic City residents. This is part of a bigger story – the Atlantic City Experience.”

Summer Reading Program to begin June 23 with party

SRP logoThe Atlantic City Free Public Library is throwing a party to kick off its Summer Reading Program for children and teens. The party will be held Tuesday, June 23, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The party will include stories, games, refreshments and special guests. Those who sign up for the Summer Reading Program during the party will receive a free book. The program theme this year is “Every Hero Has a Story.”

Following the kickoff party, there will a Summer Reading Program Kickoff Afterparty for teens from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Teens can learn more about the programs created for them while enjoying dancing, movies and snacks.

Call the Youth Services Department at (609) 345-2269, ext. 3050, for more information.

R.J. Walker shipwreck topic of June 13 talk at museum

Museum exteriorThe Atlantic City Historical Museum — presented by the Atlantic City Free Public Library — will continue its Second Saturday Speaker Series in May and June. The museum is located at South New Jersey Avenue and Boardwalk at Garden Pier.
•    Shep on Fishing on Saturday, May 9, at 2 p.m. — Michael Shepherd will talk about local fishing hot spots, tournaments, record-setting catches and more. “Shep” writes about fishing for The Press of Atlantic City — where he served as sports editor for more than 30 years — and hosts a Saturday morning fishing show on News Talk 1400 AM WOND.
•    Wreck of R.J. Walker on Saturday, June 13, at 2 p.m. — Stephen Nagiewicz will discuss the hydrographic survey vessel R.J. Walker, which sunk off Atlantic City in 1860. Nagiewicz is co-expedition leader of the R.J. Walker Shipwreck Mapping Expedition. He is an acknowledged authority on shipwrecks, with articles appearing in many publications. He teaches Environmental and Marine Science at Atlantic City High School.
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 Garden Pier, Miss America, Mr. Peanut, “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.

Library staff member, teen volunteers win NJLA awards

Megan England with teensAtlantic City Free Public Library staff member Megan England and the library’s Teen Advisory Group were recognized at the New Jersey Library Association Conference Honors and Awards Reception on April 21 in Long Branch.
England, a Teen Services Librarian, was named a 2015 Rising Star by the NJLA. She was one of just three librarians in the state to receive the award, which honors NJLA members with less than five years of professional experience for innovative and creative work.
The library’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG), which England coordinates, was the recipient of the NJLA’s Library Service Group Award. This honor is presented to individuals, Friends of the Library, or library groups for their contributions to the community. TAG President Nazifa Chowdhoury, an Atlantic City High School student, accepted the award on TAG’s behalf.
“We are so proud of Megan and the TAG members for receiving these awards,” Library Director Maureen Sherr Frank said.  “It is wonderful to see their outstanding service to the Atlantic City community recognized by the New Jersey Library Association.”
England joined the Atlantic City Library staff in 2012. She coordinated the creation of the library’s makerspace, which provides Atlantic City teens with access to technology — such as a 3D printer, audio, video and photography equipment, and robotics — and a variety of tools. Also, England completed the NJLA’s Emerging Leaders program earlier this year.
Jen Schureman, Head of Youth Services at the Gloucester County Library System, nominated England for the Rising Star award, saying she “exemplifies what a librarian should be.”
“It means a great deal to me that the things we do here at ACFPL are making an impact,” England said. “Librarians don't pursue this career only because we love books, though that's certainly part of it; it's because we love serving the public and want to make an impact in our local communities. I hope this award means that the work I've done here has made the library and the city a better place for teens. I love what I do!”
The library has more than 20 TAG members who volunteer to help the Youth Services Department with programs, displays and other tasks. They also provide valuable input about what resources and programming teens want and need at the library.
“Our teen volunteers play such a vital role in the way the Youth Services Department operates,” said England, who nominated the teens for the Service Award. “They assist with program planning, displays and events throughout the year. They donate their time to help make our library more beautiful, organized and engaging for Atlantic City’s children. I’m so proud of them, and so thankful.”


Exchange Food for Fines, learn how to get published during National Library Week

NLW2015 Banner 200x300National Library Week is April 12-18 – and it is a time to recognize the importance of libraries to the communities they serve.
Whether you are a job seeker looking for resources to land a new job, a parent looking for free activities for children or a student searching for your next favorite book, you belong at your library.
Today’s libraries help level the playing field by making both print and digital information affordable, available and accessible to all people. Libraries provide cultural heritage and genealogical collections, materials in print and electronic formats, job seeking resources, English as a second language and citizenship classes and many other creative and resourceful programs.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.
The Atlantic City Free Public Library’s plans for National Library Week include:
•    ‘Food for Fines’ exchange from April 13-18 – Library members with overdue materials can make a food donation at the Main Library or Richmond Branch Library in lieu of paying a fine. For each non-perishable item donated during National Library Week, the accrued fines for one overdue item will be waived. The donated food will be given to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey-Southern Branch.
•    Tips on How to Get Published on Saturday, April 18, at 2:30 p.m. — Kathleen Volk Miller, Director of Drexel University’s Graduate Program in Publishing Program and Co-editor of Painted Bride Quarterly, will talk about the publishing industry.
For more information, please call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3112.