Showing posts from January, 2020

Lawrence Branch Adult Take-Out Craft

Take-out crafts will launch starting this March at the Lawrence Branch. While craft programs are continuously available at branches throughout the library system, take-out crafts will provide another way for patrons to express their creative side.

Take-out crafts will provide easy projects for adults and are fun for the beginner to the experienced crafter. With our busy schedules, it becomes more difficult to find some quiet time. With take-out crafts, it will become easier to carve out the few minutes needed. Crafting will have you forgetting about your worries and stress and provide you a little relaxing time.

Each take-out craft will be sure to fit everyone’s style and skill set. Bi-monthly in-library craft options will touch upon a different theme. It can be as simple or as complex as you see fit and can act as a creative outlet.

The take-out crafts will provide an additional way patrons can utilize the library. Some projects will work on new art and crafts techniques not experien…

Book Clubs

Did your New Year resolutions (or goals, or intentions) include something about reading more? Or maybe you would like to talk about what you are reading – you’d like to know if anyone else thought a book was as good (or bad) as you did? If so, it’s time to look into Book Clubs.

There are a lot of Book Clubs out there, so you can probably find one to suit – or you could start your own (more on that later). I will discuss a few here, but this is certainly not an exhaustive list. Feel free to tell us about your club in the comments!

There are virtual book clubs – which is a solution to the ‘no time for meetings’ problem. These clubs live online so you can pop in whenever you have time – you can read the current book or you can look at past selections to find other books to try. The Mercer County Library System hosts its own virtual book club on Facebook.

The best known of the celebrity clubs is Oprah’s Book Club. Reese Witherspoon has also been hosting one for some time now.���…

A Long Walk

The library branch where I work, Hopewell, is closed on Election Day.  For the last few years and weather permitting, I have used that day to go for a long walk.  Long.  It is an incredible chance to immerse myself in the outdoors, concentrating on the sights and smells of nature, while listening to a good audiobook.  It’s the whole package – I get to do two things I love at the same time!

This year I walked the Mercer Meadows county park. I am lucky in that I can walk from my house to both my polling place and one of the park’s many access points – Curlis Woods in Pennington, New Jersey.

I’ve lived near Rosedale Park my entire life (does anyone remember the old barn off of Blackwell Road? My family drove by it every weekend on the way to visiting my grandparents), but it was only in the last several years that Rosedale was combined with the Mercer County Equestrian Center, Curlis Woods and Mercer County Park Northwest to form the sprawling Mercer Meadows Park. After exploring many ar…

There’s a Genre for That?

Merriam Webster defines the word genre as a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content. Since you’re reading a blog post written for the Mercer County Library System, chances are you’re a bibliophile. You have probably heard the term genre before, so why give you the definition? You know the basics. There’s mystery, sci-fi & fantasy, romance, suspense, and you could probably think of a few more if you tried. But did you know that there are around twenty-five different types? I didn’t know there were that many either! I tend to stay in the same three or four genres when I am picking things to read, though I do branch out sometimes. For the most part I read urban fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, and - just for some fun - I toss in the occasional romance. Since my personal reading preferences can be pretty narrow, I was surprised and a little bit delighted to find out there were so many different kinds of genre fiction out …

Get Hooked on Crocheting

Last winter, just before one of the many storms that blanketed our area with snow, I decided to pick up an old hobby. I drove to the store and bought a crochet hook and some yarn, determined to try to remember how to make granny squares. Nanny, my paternal grandmother, was a wonderful crocheter. She made us afghans, decorations, and even a small rug for my bedroom. She taught me a few basic stitches when I was about 11 years old. I started a lot of projects but, as I got older, I put aside crocheting for other activities.

Decorations made by Nanny (Laura Cromwell)

Armed with my new hook and yarn, I was ready to start again and recall all the lessons that Nanny taught me. I made a slip knot and wrapped the yarn around my fingers with no problems. I even managed to make a chain. Sadly, I couldn't quite remember what to do next. I turned to Google and found not only are there a lot of crocheting websites, but also YouTube videos to teach beginners, or in my case to remind me of thing…

Books to Get You Thinking

As 2019 slowly recedes into the annals of history, book critics and authors reflect on the treasure trove of books published during the year. With so many outstanding titles covering disparate topics, it is a challenge to pick just a few to place in the category of Best Books of the Year. In making their selections of nonfiction titles, critics look closely at books that have served to deepen our understanding of something or someone, or are reflections on a particular facet of a scientific, cultural or political phenomenon. This month’s column features some of the titles picked by the book critics of different newspapers and journals. All titles are available at the Mercer County Library System for your reading pleasure!

The Yellow House by Sarah Broom
A 2019 National Book Award winner, the book has also been featured in both the Washington Post as well as in the New York TimesTop Ten Books of 2019.At one level, this is a deeply haunting memoir about a family that, in the aftermath of…

The Little Blog of Self-Care

Want to make some changes to your current self-care routine? Continue reading! We all know to drink more water, get more sleep, exercise, wear sunblock, and eat your fruits and veggies, but that kind of gets of boring, right? Here are a few ideas for trying a new self-care routine just in time for the new year.

Herbal remedies
Herbal remedies have been around since the dawn of time and, in recent years, are becoming very popular. Peppermint, ginger, turmeric, and basil are well-touted herbs as they are found in many common everyday items such as beverages, beauty products, and even cleaning products. There are many online resources to provide you with information but be sure to use a reputable source. Check out one of these books to find out more information about the benefits of herbs:

Adaptogens: Herbs for Longevity and Everyday Wellness

Culpeper's Complete Herbal: Over 400 Herbs and Their Uses

The benefits ofmeditationare well known but who really has time to sit sti…