Archive for June, 2008

LEH Library Rocks!

YA Librarian Arlene Stinziano hosted a music concert at the LEH branch on Saturday, June 21, 2008. The free show featured several young artists: Opposition, a fast introspective, ramble inspired anarcho folk performer from Phoenixville, PA; D. Scaavenger, a folk-punk performer from Little Egg Harbor; I Heart Dog, a straight edge folk-punk performer from Hamilton, NJ; and everyone except me, an acoustic guitar performer from Central Jersey.

Chiari Awareness at the LEH Branch

Little Egg Harbor branch held a Chiari Awareness program on Thursday, June 26, 2008. Dr. Paulo Bolognese, Deputy Director of The Chiari Institute, North Shore Hospital, Long Island, NY, presented an overview of Chiari Malformation via live video conference from his office in Long Island, NY. Attendees were able to ask questions and gain information about the condition from Dr. Bolongnese.

For more information about Chiari Malformation, please visit the American Syringomyelia Alliance Project website, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website,

Sparks Fan Mail

Sparks was happy to get some fan mail! Sparks received a thank you letter and picture from a child in his fan club, and Sparks wanted to share it with you!

Point Boro Summer Reading Kickoff 6/18/08

On June 18, 2008, Miss Robin and Sparks held a kick off party for local children to celebrate the summer reading program. Children enjoyed a story, snacks and a dragonfly craft.

Teen Harpist at LEH Branch

Little Egg Harbor hosted a Harp Concert on Saturday June 14, 2008 featuring local teen, Jacqueline Hartley.

The concert brought out an enthusiastic crowd of all ages. Jacqueline performed reels, jigs, ballads, and an original composition. During the performance, Jacqueline explained the nuances of the harp and described the elements of each piece of music.

Jacqueline Hartley won first place in the Celtic Harp at the Comhaltas Fleadh Cheoil – MidAtlantic Region of North America this past April. She will go on to a global competition in August 2008 in Tullamore, Ireland.

Library Turned Into “Halo” Battleground

NEW EGYPT—Video games are not just for kids, and that point was driven home during the Plumsted branch of the Ocean County Library’s first Halo 3 tournament held June 16.

The library’s meeting room was set up with multiple Xbox 360 video game consoles, that allowed up to eight participants to compete against each other at the same time. Approximately twenty people participated in the video game challenge.

The tournament was the idea of library assistant Andrew Montanez. This was the first library video game program designed for adults, a departure from the usual video game programs for children and teenagers.

The event was successful in attracting a demographic that doesn’t usually visit the library—20 year old men.

“I thought this was fantastic, since this age and gender group is hard to get into the library, much less participating in a program,” said Branch manager Lara Fletcher.

“We plan on holding future tournaments with the hope that we will have a larger turnout.”

Halo 3 is part of a science fiction video game series that super soldiers against an army of alien invaders. This latest installment was the best selling video game of 2007, selling over 8.1 million copies in three months. The game earned more than $125 million in sales during its first day of release, a figure that is comparable to a successful movie’s opening weekend.

Hancock County Library says thanks

Our friends at the Hancock County Library expressed their gratitude to our staff for our efforts in supporting them in the Hurricane Katrina relief project.

Here is their letter from HCL Executive Secretary Mary M. Perkins and a token of appreciation from their Library Foundation.

Upper Shores Battle of the Bands

Saturday’s second annual Teen Battle of the Bands in Lavallette had all the makings for a great Jersey Shore party. Clear skies. Three hundred visitors. Seven bands. And it was all free.

The competition started shortly after noon in the parking lot of the Upper Shores branch of the Ocean County Library and was open to all area teen-aged bands. Each band had a fifteen-minute set to perform their best music, said branch manager June Schneider.

The Irie Sound, a trio of freshmen high school students from Point Pleasant, won the competition. They were awarded prizes that included a four-hour recording session at Metro Music Recording Studio in Bayville and two dozen original-design band T-shirts.

The T-shirts were provided by the Lavallette Municipal Alliance, PNC Bank and The Friends of the Upper Shores Library.

Metro Music also presented each of the other bands a greatly reduced-price coupon for recording time at their studio.

Judges of the Battle included Lavallette Councilwoman Anita Zalmon, Metro Music’s studio coordinator Ali Gleason, and Ricky Gettis, a student at The Musicians Institute, Los Angeles.

“As far as I’m concerned, there are no losers here today,” said Zalmon, who told the crowd she played Fender bass guitar in a rock band to pay her way through college. “Everyone here is a winner and I am proud to be a judge.”

“This was one of our first big gigs,” said bass player Mitchell Romano of the group Fake Identity. “We were a little anxious the first couple of songs but then settled down and had fun.”

“This gives us great exposure and hopefully a bunch of people who haven’t heard us will like our music and go to our Web site (,” said the group’s drummer Sean Van Winkle.

“I really think this was great,” said Kait DiBenedetto, lead singer and guitarist in the group Just Kait as she closed out the group’s set. “Thanks to June (Schneider) and everyone at the library for all they have done for us.”

The Academy of Drums and Guitar, Toms River donated the use of a Premier drum set for all the bands to perform on. The Ocean County Freeholders donated the use of the county’s portable bandshell. Michael Visco set up the sound system.

The bands that performed Saturday included Fake Identity; Just Kait; Lost Intentions; Mystical Fudge; Note to Self; Suns at the Beach; and The Irie Sound.

Special asides:

The borough police did double duty during the contest. Not only did they block off traffic on Jersey City Avenue but they also helped people return their books. It seems that a couple of people wanted to drive up to the library and drop off their books but couldn’t get there easily. One of the officers, Class 1 Police Officer Tom Weigel, brought the books into the building for them. Now that’s community service!

Carol Nierstedt, whose son Cody performed with Note to Self, invited her neighbor Tomasina to the musical event. During the competition Tomasina went up to June Schneider and said, “I’ve lived in Lavallette 49 years and I never once visited the library. I like all that you do here and now I’m going to sign up for a library card.”

Manchester-Bronx party June 14

Hundreds of people celebrated The Bronx at the Manchester branch Saturday.


The party grew out of two very successful programs held last year, said Principle Library Assistant Maria Colon, who organized the party.  Building upon that success she expanded it to include a mozzarella cheese making demonstration by Dave Greco, owner of Mike’s Deli on Arthur Avenue and a slideshow with artifacts from The Bronx Historical Society.  The Roustabouts closed out the party with a musical tribute to Bronxites Bobby Darin and Dion and the Belmonts.


“Now this is like I died and went to heaven,” said one reveler after she bit into one of the cheese samples Greco passed around.


Watching him prepare all that food, share the stories from the old neighborhood and pepper his discussion with easily recognized Italian phrases made Senior Librarian Sabrina La Spata smile.  It reminded her of childhood Thanksgivings, she said, where there was constant chatter around the home in Italian and a busy kitchen where food was joyfully, and lovingly, prepared for the family.


“These cheeses are all excellent,” Joe Cesta, a library volunteer who lives in Leisure Village West, told Greco.


“When I was in high school I worked in a grocery store in The Bronx,” he said, “and I used to do the same thing.  This is great.”


The program brought back the old times, Cesta said, and he enjoyed the memories.


“You guys gotta thank Maria,” said Greco.  “Not because she’s a Bronx chick, but because without her we’d never be here.”


“To me, they’re (Mike’s Deli) The Bronx,” said Maria.  “Arthur Avenue, I grew up in that area.  Every Saturday I would go shopping in their market with my mother.  We’d walk 40 blocks to get there and then 40 blocks back.  It wasn’t so bad going but coming back we’d be loaded down with bags.”


“While Mom shopped she’d eat their olives.  I’d say, ‘Ma, stop,’ but she didn’t care what I said.”


“They were the first people I contacted and they responded immediately that they’d do it,” Maria added.  “Once I heard that I knew it would be successful.”


Two days after the party, Maria wrote:


Hi Larry!


I have a great story for you.


I gave people nametags for Saturday and told them to put their name and where they went to high school. Two women started talking because they both went to Walton High School. One woman said, “I was hoping to meet someone from my graduating class so I bought in my yearbook.”  It winds up they both graduated in 1941 and the woman without the yearbook signed that woman’s yearbook!! They haven’t seen each other since they graduated from high school, didn’t remember each other, AND….THEY LIVE A FEW BLOCKS FROM EACH OTHER!!! THEY’RE GOING TO MEET FOR LUNCH!!


That’s what I wanted for this party. I wanted people who didn’t know each other to meet and Bronxites to find old friends.

Island Heights-How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden 6/23/08 7:00pm

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