Thursday, December 20, 2012

Storytime Survey

We're trying to figure out the best time for our Pre-K storytimes and we need your help! With children so young it can be difficult to know when you will have the time to get to the library, and we want to make it easier for you to get here. In order to do this, we need to know what days and times work best for you. 

Photo via flickr user slightly everything

You have a couple of options in terms of getting this information to us: you can stop in and let us know, comment here or on our facebook page, or fill out the online survey we created. 

Your feedback is so valuable to us, and we appreciate you taking the time to share it. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Library Mystery

What was once a sad, empty computer nook has been looking a lot less sad and empty lately! 


You see, the nook now houses a (very important!) top secret mission. Any children feeling inventive and brave are invited to come unravel the mystery, but be sure to get here before the end of the month!



Monday, December 17, 2012

Teen Game Day at the Library

School break is quickly approaching, you could sit around home trying to pass the hours...or you could welcome winter break by playing video games with your friends at the library. 

photo via flickr @JDHancock

We'll have it all: Wii games, snacks, board games, large unwieldy televisions! So coerce your friends, siblings, or reluctant teen-aged children into heading to the library this Friday, December 21 at 3:30. 



Special Storytime Guests

Last week we were lucky enough to have a visitor for a very special musical storytime: a pianist! 
We sang! We danced! We made our very own musical instruments! 

It was a blast...in fact, we had so much fun that we want to do it again! Mister Joey will be returning for another storytime next month. Children aged 3-5 are invited to attend on Thursday, January 10 at 6:30. 

If you can't make it until January, you're in luck; we will be welcoming a lovely ballerina to the library this Wednesday. I know! Amazing! Join us for a lively interpretation of the Nutcracker and even learn a step or two. Jet√© on over to the library December 19 at 10:30, we can't wait to see you!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Today is the last day for our Toys-for-Tots drive. This last month the generous people of Fairfield have come by the dozens to donate new toys for good boys and girls.

Tonight, the toys will be picked up by local Marines, then shipped off to Santa in the North Pole. He has a list of good boys and girls that will get these toys. Funny things have happened in the Fairfield Library while the toys have been here.

Yoga Teacher Barbie has been catching up on some new yoga moves.
"Namaste. Ommmmm...."Yoga Barbie connecting to her chakras.


And we have also had a few couples form...they are quite heart broken to separate.
The Elf on the Shelf and a Patch Doll have spent countless hours reading through the World Encyclopedia on amazing places they would love to visit.



"Elf, where do you want to go?" asked Sprout. "Sprout, let's go to South Africa and see penguins!" squealed Elf.        (his voice is quite small and elfish, don't laugh)

That's Amore

Bunny the Reader and Holiday Barbie have spent some sweet time reading Shakepeare's plays. Her favorite is Romeo and Juliet, of course.

"Bunny Darling'" cooed Sparkle Barbie, "Do me the pleasure of reading Juliet's farewell speech." Bunny began reading,
"Sweet, so would I,
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow."

So while our toys say their final goodbyes, feel free to purchase a toy and bring it by the library before we close at 5PM tonight.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Elf on our Shelf

This morning, the librarians walked in not knowing that Santa was told they had been bad. One librarian had eaten all the cookies she was taking home for her family, the other had been snippy (Santa doesn't like snippy librarians) and the last librarian had bought too many high fashion glasses...but who told on them?


This Guy

Meet Elf. He lives on the shelves of the library.


Elf loves books!

He was sent by Santa to patrol all the good boys and girls.

Elf moves from shelf to shelf.


Sometimes Elf stops for tea in the Children's dollhouse. He feels like a giant there!

On sunny days he tans under the UV lights in the Children's Library.


Getting a tan


Elf watches all day to see what the librarians and patrons do. At night he skips over the stars to the North Pole and lets Santa know how Fairfielders are doing. So be good, you never know if Elf is watching you!

Peek-a-boo!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree Decorating Party was a merry merry hit last night! My tree was looking terribly lonesome and whistling a little tune, "I'll have a blue Christmas without you...."  All the way in the North Pole Santa heard but couldn't spare the hands of any elves to come decorate my tree. The Elves are very busy these days getting gifts ready for all the good boys and girls of Fairfiled. Santa, being of the jolly sort, thought for a minute and sent a message twinkling through the snow to Fairfield.

Bunny the Reader heard the message from Santa, "Hustle down to the Library and decorate that tree!"
The Families of Fairfield heard, formed a team and over 100 people descended into the library harking and heralding with the cheer of Christmas spirit. They got to merry work making five ornaments each.


Making a beaded candy cane

Old Christmas cards make great ornaments. Recycling creatively!



"I used to be a Christmas card!" said the little bear on the bike.

Team Fairfield making garland.



Go team go!

We have one strong decorating team. Check out this Gingerbread sumo wrestler.

 Moms worked with little ones, Dad's busied themselves hanging the ornaments on the tallest of branches and the older kids helped out jumping up to the tallest branches too. Then one by one they hung their decorations on the tree.




This little angel was making sure all the bottom branches were covered. Santa, take note: extra toys for this good boy!
Before you could say "Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo" the tree was decorated, lights lit and whistling a new tune, "Oh there's no place like home for the holidays!"

Oh there's no place like home for the Holidays!

Thank you, Team Fairfield, for decorating our tree and making this a truly special Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Firefighter Storytime

Last Thursday our red jolly Santa hanging out in the Children's Library had some red competition waiting for him.


We are on fire for Fire Safety Storytime!

The bright red firetruck of Fairfield rolled up in the parking lot.



The Fire Chief, a jolly man himself, and a real fireman hopped out of the truck. They unloaded a pair of axes, helmets, smoke masks and made their way into the library.

Now that is a heavy workload!


The librarians cringed looking at the axes resting against the Picture Books in the Children's Library: firefighters work gear is certainly more intimidating than that of librarians!


At 10:30 sharp the little ones of Fairfield came in wide eyed and curious to meet real firemen and hear stories about fire safety.

Bunny the Reader loves Firefighter stories.
 The children sat very quietly like good boys and girls and listened to the librarian read them stories.

They love storytime!


Then, our good fireman got to talk to the kiddies on how to be safe around fires.

His air tank helps him breathe in rooms filled with toxic smoke.
The lessons they learned were these (take notes for your home):

1. Have a working smoke detector in the house
2. Do not play with lighters or matches
3. Do not go back in a burning house to save anyone (even your dog)
4. Firemen in uniform are not monsters, they are nice guys that save people from fires
Pop quiz: Is he a monster? True or False? False! Good job!

The last point was well received by the boys, they got it that the fireman was a nice guy who got to wear a really cool mask. Some of the little girls though instantly decided that Mr. Fireman wearing his gas mask was a monster and quickly burst into frightened sobs.

After the sobs were soothed away by the mothers in the group, the children were able to go into the parking lot and see the firetruck where Mr. Fire Chief showed off his awesome truck with all of its very neat compartments.


Many thanks to the Firemen of Fairfield for keeping our town safe and teaching our little Fairfielders firesafety.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Tuesday at the Library!

The weather is a wintry slush: rain and snow. The turkey has been divided with leftovers very properly frozen. Red and green twinkle on the doors of homes, sparkle in the malls and promise lots of cheer.

I, the Fairfield Library love to give cheer. No, really love to give cheer, that is what Free Public Libraries are all about! For example: Libraries love lending books for free (Any kind of book! If I don't have it you can request it!), the library has quiet nooks to read, even hot coffee and chocolate at the Fairfield Library.

This Library is one happy giver of books to patrons and more, much more. As a Library, my community is my patron, inspiration and friend. I love to host community initiatives and let me tell you of one that just tickles me today: Giving Tuesday. Have you heard of it? Well, let me tell you it is great! Black Friday is all about getting the best parking spot in front of the stores to load up on goodies, Cyber Monday is all about who can click the fastest to snag an online deal. But, Giving Tuesday is all about giving back to help others.

 Here are five ways you can give today at the Library, pick your favorite and go for it:

1. Donate children's books in new condition to the library. We will take care of packaging them for school libraries affected by Hurricane Sandy and public libraries that were damaged.

2. Donate your time! Stop by the library to see how you can help us as a volunteer for upcoming events.

3. Toys for Tots: the Marine Corps might look tough but they are sure softies when it comes to kids and Christmas. Stop by the Library with a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girl and drop it off in our Toys for Tots box. The Marines will come by to pick them up on December 10th and will distribute the toys to local families in need.

4. Give a monetary donation. We have finished 99% of our renovation but need funds to finish the project at it's best. Good lighting for reading, patio furniture and magazine racks all come at a pretty hefty price!

5. Donate any of the following that the library needs: New laptop to use for our projector so we can show movies and have presentations, new computers for the children's library (I like this one that promotes early literacy), a computer that is specifically for Senior's (Click to see this one that we need).


The options for giving are endless; if there is something you would like to donate, just call and ask if we could use it. Our number is (973) 227-3575 or send us an email at ffpl@ffpl.org.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Poetry Reading

Have you ever been to a poetry reading? Yes? No? Well it might be your new thing! How about coming to ours! You are cordially invited to a poetry reading on November 15th at 6:30 PM. We will be hosting five award winning poets. Come enjoy the wintry evening, drink some hot chocolate and go home inspired to write up some of your own lyrical verses.


These will be our featured poets:


Mary Brancaccio’s poetry has been published in Naugatuck River Review, Lake Shore Affect, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Chest and Adanna, among others. Her work has also been published in Japan in an anthology of international poets responding to the Fukushima disaster. She taught English in Maplewood, NJ where she directed the creative writing program and advised Columbia High School’s literary magazine. She is an Assistant Professor in the MAT program Drew University where she is also completing an MFA in Poetry.

Lynne McEniry is a poet published in Adanna, 5 A.M., The Stillwater Review, and The Paterson Literary Review. She won Honorable Mention in the 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards and collaborates to organize readings and workshops, including those in conversation with visual arts.  She is a guest editor for literary journals, including OVS Journal (ovsmag.com) and Adanna (http://adannajournal.blogspot.com/). Lynne earned her MFA in Poetry from Drew University. She works at the College of Saint Elizabeth.  www.lynnemceniry.com

Yesenia Montilla is a New York City poet with Cuban and Dominican roots. She is one of the co-founders of Poets for Ayiti. a collective of poets from diverse backgrounds committed to the power of poetry to transform and educate. Her poetry has appeared in the chapbook For The Crowns Of Your Head, and in 5 AM and Adanna literary journals.She was a semifinalist in the 2012 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award competition. Yesenia earned her MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation from Drew University. She lives in Harlem.

Lisa Sisler is the editor of Knocking at the Door: Approaching the Other, a poetry anthology from Birch Bench Press, an imprint of Write Bloody Books, an editor of the poetry and art journal, OVS, and an editor at Trio House Press. Her poetry has appeared in places such as Contemporary American Voices, Connotation Press, Word Disorder, and Eunoia Review. She teaches Writing at Kean University and at Seton Hall University in New Jersey where she resides with her fiancé and their cat army.

Christine Redman-Waldeyer founded Adanna Literary Journal. An Assistant Professor at Passaic County Community College, she earned her D.Litt with a Concentration in Writing, Drew University. Her book publications include Frame by Frame, Gravel, and Eve Asks with Muse Pie Press. She is published in Caduceus, Lips, Motif Magazine, Paterson Literary Review, Seventh Quarry, among others. In 2011 she was selected to participate in the Poetry Project founded by Dr. Mary Ann Miller at Caldwell College. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. with a focus on Higher Education at Rowan University.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Pink October Gift

The ladies of Fairfield love coming to the Fairfield Library on Craft Day when they sit together, chat and make something nice for their home. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month where the color pink is to bring awareness of: prevention of breast cancer, early detection and treatment. The majority of patients are women however men are also victims of this terrible disease. In 2012 there have been 2,140 men who were diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 died as a result.

Back to the bracelets. For the month of October our crafters decided to make some beautiful pink bracelets for breast cancer patients at St. Barnabas Hospital.


A basket full of bracelets from our creative crafters



Isn't it lovely?
  Knowledge is power, health is for life. The following is information from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation:

1. Know your risk
  • Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
2. Get screened
  • Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
  • Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40
  • Sign up for your screening reminder at www.komen.org/reminder 
3. Know what is normal for you
See your health care provider if you notice any breast changes.

4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Add exercise into your routine
  • Limit alcohol intake

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Zero to Hero, By Julia Z. 4th grade – Runner Up Winner

Zero to Hero
By Julia Z. 4th grade – Runner Up Winner
Once upon a time, there lived a king. His wife died and he married a new queen. Her hair was black as a raven, and the king called her the Raven Queen. But she preferred to the Snow Queen. Little did the king know that the new queen was full of evil powers. Years passed, and the king passed away of old age. The Snow Queen made the kingdom turn black and full of sadness. Not a single blossom bloomed. The Snow Queen did not know that soon a mean girl from the 20th century would come and save the kingdom.
Whoosh! Claire hurried to brush her teeth and went to her closet to wear her Halloween costume, a giant, hoopskirt lined with golden diamonds. Just as Claire was about to leave, she saw avery peculiar creature standing at the doorway. “Who are you?” she asked quite roughly. The creature did not answer. Instead, it leaped onto Claire’s valuable hoopskirt. “Arrrgh!” she screamed. She held the creature by the tail. Then the creature leaped off and went to the closet. Claire followed behind. All of a sudden, Claire felt a strong wind blowing at her. Claire felt as if the world was turning upside-down. Slowly, she became sleepy …and then she fainted.
Claire yawned. She looked at everything around her. Then she sleepily and roughly asked, “Where am I?” A very tall woman said, “Welcome to England! I am the Snow Queen. And I know your name is Claire. Welcome to the 15th century.” Claire just gaped at the woman. How did she end up in the 15th century? Maybe the tunnel she went through was just a time traveling tunnel. And how did the Queen know her name? She sighed. Another question popped into her head. How would she ever get back home? “Maid, go get Lady Claire a wet towel,” said the Queen. “Yes, Your Majesty,” the maid answered. The Snow Queen asked her to come to the feast. Soon Claire arrived. “Ugh, I hate these balls,” murmured Claire. When Claire started eating she thought she never ate such disgusting food. All of a sudden, Claire felt a strange feeling. It was urging her to kill the queen. She grabbed a knife and started to hold it up. Just then, the Snow Queen clutched Claires’s wrist, looking fierce and flabbergasted. Then she whispered something and Claire fainted again.
Claire blinked. She looked around her. Claire didn’t seem to be in the ball anymore. She seemed to be in prison. Claire didn’t like prison. She sped up to the jail bars and started screaming, “Let me out! LET ME OUT!” Sure enough, the Snow Queen appeared. “You have failed me,” she replied. “You will stay in this prison unless you apologize,” she added. With a cackle, the Queen left.
Claire starved from morning to midnight. Whenever she heard a guard come by, she moaned for food. At midnight, she heard some noises. Step, step, step. It was as if somebody was walking in the hallway. The steps became louder. Step, step, step. A shiver ran through Claire’s back. Step, step, step. All of a sudden, a guard appeared. He had a surly look on his face. “Scared ya, didn’t I? If I did, then I’ll give a pat on my back.” The guard replied. He grinned and gave a pat on his back. “Anyway,” he went on, “The Queen wants you. Says she is going to take your beauty away. Though I don’t think you have much beauty.” Claire blushed. “I’m not going to that troublemaker,” answered Claire. The guard asked her why Clair didn’t like the queen. Then he told Claire the story of the Queen.
“Well, if you want to take away the Queen’s powers, then you need powers yourself,” explained the guard…
The story ends here…the scribe of the story was interrupted by the Snow Queen and never heard from again.

The End
HOME ALONE……ONE DAY
By Anna M. 5th Grade Winner
Goodbye, Honey!
Later, Mom!
My mom and dad just left to go to one of my school’s Tricky Trays. I’m finally home alone all by myself. I am so ecstatic. “I wonder what to do?” I asked myself. I couldn’t go outside and practice soccer because it was pouring rain and I couldn’t practice my guitar because it was getting fixed at the shop. What to do? What to do?
I just decided to watch T.V. My favorite show ever was on called Halloween Wars. It is the best show ever! A moment later all the lights went out in the house. Since they went out, I took a nap. After about what seemed an hour, I woke up and went to check if the power was back on, but it wasn’t.
Five minutes later I heard a noise coming out of my room. While walking up the stairs, I slipped and fell on a sticky substance. I got up and it smelled like jello but it was blood. As fast as my ponytail could whip, I was in my room. There lying on my bed was a China doll with big blue eyes, an apron and her hair in braids. Then, I noticed something I never noticed before. That doll used to be in my great-grandmother’s room who had died seven years ago. The doll had a knife behind her back. She said, “I’m coming for you!”
A moment later I heard a scream but the scream was not from me……………AHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Grave Number 13, By Alyssa M. – 4th Grade Winner

Grave Number 13
By Alyssa M. – 4th Grade Winner
One spooky Halloween night, two best friends, Tanya and Maureen, went out to go trick-or-treating. But they’re not going with parents, they’re going by themselves.
“I don’t think that’s a very good idea Tanya” Maureen said, strapping on the leather belt that went with her ninja costume. “We should at least go with our parents. I mean, we’re only 11.” “Don’t be silly, I promised my mom we’d only go in the neighborhood.” Said Tanya, adding on the glittery leg warmers that added detail to her 80’s Girl costume. Maureen sighed, “Okay.”She said. And they went.
After their buckets were filled with treats, Maureen wanted to eat candy and try on the skin lotion someone gave them instead of candy. But Tanya didn’t. “Woa, look at that house!” Tanya screamed. She pointed to a dark graveyard that had a black gate leading inside it. “Tanya, that is NOT a house.  That’s a graveyard.” Maureen said. Tanya looked at the graveyard. She slowly opened the gate, and pulled Maureen in. Before they knew it, they were in the cemetery.
The night fell still. The only thing shining was the moon. The girls looked around, standing on a little hill. Then they found a sign: DO NOT TOUCH GRAVE NUMBER 13. BEWARE. Tanya looked puzzled but Maureen shivered. Maureen looked down. There it was: Grave #13 DR. E.L. DOOM. And they looked around, standing on it.
All of a sudden, smoke started shooting up from the ground. A man with white pale skin and a black lab coat hopped out of the grave, and in a deep scary voice said, “Please obey the signs. But now it’s too late!!” So he started to chase after them. They pushed and shoved and tried to open the gate. But it wouldn’t budge. They were about to give up, but then, they found a little black hut on a dark spooky hill. Tanya pulled Maureen into the hut. Down, down, down they went. Before they knew it, they were outside Maureen’s house.
So their adventure was over, and now they’re safe and sound.
The End

The Girl and the Attic Ghost, By Bailey W. – 3rd Grade Winner

The Girl and the Attic Ghost
By Bailey W. – 3rd Grade Winner
One day a girl named Emilley was sitting in her bedroom and her annoying sister came in to say, “We are going on vacation!” Emilley got right up to gather her things. Her parents said, “Emilley come on.” Her parents thought she got in the car so Emilley’s family left. Emilley said, “mom I’m ready”. She took her stuff down stairs and went outside to get in the car, but she got outside and no one was there. She said, “nooooo they left me.” She went inside and unpacked all of her stuff. She sat to think about what to do. She thought of it. She wanted to go in the attic so badly. Her mom always said no when she asked but now she was able by herself. So she did.
When she got in the attic she saw Halloween decorations. So she thought why not use them. Emilley picked up a fake ghost. It said, “boo!” She screamed, “aaaaah”. The ghost said, “I won’t hurt you. I’m nice.” Emilley said, “Ok I believe you. So they played and played and played.
Emilley’s family noticed that they left her home. Finally they came home. When they walked in Emilley ran to her parents. She told her family about the friendly ghost but, they did not believe her. She tried to show them but the ghost never came back again. Not even to say hi. Emilley thought it was real, but now she wasn’t so sure.
The End

Halloween Story Contest: 3rd-5th Grade

Frankenstorm Sandy arrived to NJ. The winds howled for hours over the rooftops of Fairfield. Power went down, the trees flew in the air like birds, but that didn’t stop the wonderfully bright children of Fairfield from entering a Halloween story writing contest for the Fairfield Library. Forty-four children  from grades 3rd-5th entered the contest, can you believe it? The stories were impressive. Our town has some seriously talented writers! The spooky stories entered for the contest ranged from gory to romantically strange (Dracula’s Marriage).
Here are our winners, one per grade and only one runner up. For the sake of keeping the stories authentic they will be typed as they were written. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 15, 2012

E-mail for Seniors

Last Friday our Librarian had the joy of holding the first of a series of Internet classes geared towards seniors and it went great. Approaching technology can be as confusing as learning a foreign language. Those who are left without knowledge of email or computer use sometimes feel isolated. Knowledge of computers (computer literacy) is no longer a luxury for a select few but a necessity for most people.

E-mail, Skype and Facebook help keep seniors connected to friends and family
Computer literacy is an important facet of modern life and especially valuable for seniors. Having an email account has numerous benefits for seniors. It:
  • Helps them bridge the distance between relatives, understanding how to send an email
  • Use email to send and receive important forms and documents
  • Enriches their lives as it is a powerful tool of communication.
  • Find former classmates through social media
  • Empowers seniors to use technology to keep active with interests, use it to look for practical information, and is useful as mental exercise

This class was the fist attempt to teach a technology class so the limit of senior students was four, that way the Librarian could spend adequate time instructing and overseeing each individual. Over thirty seniors called to make a reservation for the course and were placed on a waiting list! Can you believe it? I wish we could have had them all come, but space and staff were limited for the course.

Focusing on each student is important to the Library!
We had a total of five very sharp students come. Each opened an email account, sent an email to a buddy from the class, received an email and learned to sign in and out successfully. We eagerly plan on scheduling regular computer classes for our wonderful seniors in the future.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kids Helping Kids

Fairfield has a really great group of children and young adults. Do you know why? Well...


Once Upon A Time,

There were a few little children who didn't feel so well. One had her tummy ache, another had a pain on his foot, one other little girl had terrible headaches: and all their very worried parents took them to the Children's Hospital.

 The doctors shook their head and said, "We are very sorry but you will have to stay the night." Off went the lights at night and the rooms were dark and not at all like home. All three little kids whispered to the wind, "I miss my friends."....That whisper traveled over the tree tops and down paths.

Can you see the whisper traveling down this path? I think I can.
It finally reached the sweet town of Fairfield and good little library patrons heard, "I miss my friends." They knew just what to do! The little girls came to the library in groups of eight, the young adults girls from CCD at St. Thomas Moore came two by two. The group of 16 girls sat with the librarian and they decided to cheer up their friends at the Children's Hospital by making them colorful and beautiful fleece blankets!

Little kid on the left and big kid on the right.
Off to work they went: the big girls cut strips and the little girls made bows with the strips.


Make strips and tie in bows.
The big kids helped the little kids, and all were seated down a row merrily making blankets.

The production line of Kids Helping Kids

Before you could say "pumpkin pie" ten times they were all done, folded neatly in a heap and ready to make their way to their friends at the Children's Hospital.

These will certainly brighten up the rooms of our friends!
A few little kids at the Hospital are waiting in anticipation to receive the warm colorful blankets made by the thoughtful and kind children of Fairfield.

I'm so proud to have such giving young patrons come under my roof and give of their creativity and give beauty to the world, one bow at a time.

The End