Library Features: What's New @ The Library
Friends Profile: Meet The Co-Presidents
This year, the East Brunswick Friends of the Library will have co-presidents. The idea is to have an experienced hand at the helm while at the same time helping a relatively new member learn the ropes.
We spoke to Anita Varshney and Karen Karnchanapee about their new roles.
“It has been an honor to serve the Friends of the Library and support the jewel of our town, the East Brunswick Public Library,” said Anita. She has been a member of the Friends executive board for 18 years.
“My children and I have volunteered and used the library extensively, and we have appreciated having a great resource in our town. The library serves as more than just a place to get books; it is a community center with many resources. I have enjoyed serving on the board and am looking forward to helping grow the library to new heights.”Karen joined the Friends executive board after retiring. “I have enjoyed getting to know the other members and library staff, as well as being involved in community activities,” she added.
“Ellen Cramer has been president ever since I joined Friends. I’m looking forward to learning from her and Anita, who are much more familiar than I am with all the many aspects of Friends’ activities and functions.”
Karen has a personal connection to the library; her mother, Rose Rosenberg, was a children’s librarian here for 25 years. “My daughter was a frequent visitor, so the library has always been a big part of our lives in East Brunswick,” she said.
East Brunswick Public Library Customer Survey Results
In late spring, we asked East Brunswick Public Library customers to take a brief survey about their library usage. There were several interesting takeaways that we would like to share with you.
EAST BRUNSWICK LOVES ITS LIBRARY: One thing that was made clear was that East Brunswick residents feel strongly about their library. An overwhelming majority (approximately 91%) believe that the library is important to their family. Nearly 97% of all responders feel that their library is important to East Brunswick Township.
MORE HOURS: Due to an overwhelming demand for the library to be open, we are expanding the hours of operation on Sundays. Once summer hours are over, the library will have Sunday hours from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. This extra time gives you more time to study, borrow items from our collection or to attend the special events and programs at our library.
USED BOOK STORE: Our library customers seem to enjoy buying their own books just as much as they do borrowing books from the library. The Friends of the library's annual book and media sale is their largest fundraiser event. Did you know that they have a unique book sale display in the front of the library? The Friends regularly curate special collections from time to time.
DIGITAL MEDIA LAB: East Brunswick has a very creative community and this survey was a great reminder of that. The EB Create makerspace has dedicated stations for you to work on desktop publishing, video and audio projects. There is even a recording booth for you to work on anything from a podcast to live music!
There were several other great takeaways, including ideas for library programs, events and new services. We also noticed that there were several suggestions about more parking spaces, adding a café with food options, a new children's space, more meeting rooms, "quieter" study and work areas, and even outdoor seating.
With all of this great feedback, we would like to officially announce that we are developing a plan to renovate and expand East Brunswick Public Library! Stay tuned for more information.
Friends Profile: Carol Adelman
If you have ever been to any event run by the Friends of the Library, you have probably seen Carol Adelman. We caught up with her to learn more about her time and involvement with the Friends.
WHEN DID YOU JOIN THE FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY?
I am probably the “oldest,” though I prefer “longest reigning” board member of the East Brunswick Friends of the Library. I joined about 43 years ago, when we sorted books in the basement of the municipal building and then in President Brenda Berger’s basement.
YOU HAVE BEEN PART OF THE FRIENDS IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT LEADERSHIP ROLES. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TITLES YOU HAVE HELD?
I was Book Sale Chair while pregnant with my now 41-year old daughter and have also held the positions of Financial Secretary and, several times, Recording Secretary. I have worked on almost every committee and the book sale all these years. Early on, we had our board meetings at the homes of our presidents (with that came some great baked snacks).
WHAT MADE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING THE FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY?
My interest in Friends developed through a love of books, having been an editor in the publishing industry for many years.
FOR YOU, WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST PART OF BEING A FRIEND?
This group of dedicated women have become friends, and we’ve developed a bond working together for the betterment of our wonderful library. I look forward to continuing in this fulfilling endeavor for many more years.
East Brunswick Public Library Rolls Out SmartAlec Printing Service
East Brunswick Public Library now offers library customers the SmartALEC wireless printing service. With SmartALEC, customers can print documents at the library using their laptops, smartphones and tablets.
SmartALEC works when customers create an account with SmartALEC and can upload documents to the library's wireless printing website. In addition, customers can download SmartALEC apps from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for their mobile devices.
“Our customers have been looking for a way to print documents from their own devices,” said Alpesh Shah, Information Technology Manager. “With Smart Alec, we can finally provide this service to them.”
The library charges $0.15 per page for black and white printouts and $0.50 per page for color printouts. Click here to start using SmartALEC.
Get Ready To Garden With EB Grow
With local gardeners getting ready to start their spring plantings, East Brunswick Public Library is opening its EB Grow seed library to the public for a second season.
EB Grow began in 2018 as a joint project between the library and the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission. Housed at the library, the goal of the seed library is to introduce residents to gardening, provide education on seed-saving, and encourage patrons to develop a passion for sustainability and hands-on learning.
“EB Grow has over 100 members popular since we introduced it last spring,” said Melissa Hozik, Adult Programming Librarian. “Our seed collection has grown, thanks to donations from plant companies like Burpee and Seed Savers Exchange, as well as from members of the community.”
Gardeners can view the seed library catalog online at www.ebpl.org/ebgrow. This collection includes easy-to-grow seeds that do well in New Jersey’s climate. Requests can be made for up to ten different seeds a year, and library staff package the seeds for customer pick up.
“You do not have to be a resident of East Brunswick to use the seed library,” Hozik added. “Our only request is that gardeners save seeds from their own crops or donate unused seed packets back to ensure the collection for future gardeners.”
In addition to the EB Grow seed library, East Brunswick Public Library circulates special gardening kits through the EB Create lending kit program to its cardholders. They can can borrow a curated gardening kit that includes grow lights and heating mats to help jumpstart plants. Kits can be borrowed by library cardholders for two weeks.
The library is also hosting three upcoming gardening programs, including “Introduction to Composting with the Middlesex County Master Gardeners on Thursday, April 25, “Introduction to Home Landscape Design with Rutgers Gardens director Bruce Crawford on Thursday, March 21, and “Horticultural Therapy” with Laura DePrado on Tuesday, May 28. All programs are held at the library, and they are free and open to the public.
East Brunswick Public Library also has a teaching plot of land at the East Brunswick Community Garden (next to the East Brunswick Municipal complex on Rues Lane), which will be used for library projects and programs throughout the growing season.
Friends Profile: Robin Rushfield
Robin Rushfield is a familiar face to anyone who has attended the annual Friends of the Library book and media sale. One of the longest-serving members of Friends, Robin has held a variety of positions over the years, including President. We asked Robin to share her memories about the group and to tell us what she has enjoyed most about her participation.
WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO EAST BRUNSWICK?
We moved to East Brunswick in 1979. During our first week in town, we took care of all the important stuff. We got our New Jersey drivers licenses, registered to vote, and got our library cards. I worked in New York City for the first 2 years but after my first child was born, since I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom, I needed to make new friends and find more things to do here. I became a member of the Friends in 1982.
EVERYONE IN TOWN RECOGNIZES YOU THANKS TO THE ANNUAL BOOK SALE. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH THE BOOK SALE?
In 1983, the Book Sale Vice President asked whether I'd like to help out at that year's sale. I went to help out early in the sale and kept coming back night after night. When the sale ended, I was invited to a board meeting. At the first board meeting I attended, I was asked whether I'd like to join a committee that was just forming. That was for our first tricky tray. We had a lot to learn, so we had a lot of meetings got to know each other pretty well.
YOU'VE BEEN A VERY ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE FRIENDS. WHAT TITLES HAVE YOU HELD IN THE ORGANIZATION?
Since I became a member of the executive board, I've also spent time as Vice President of Membership, Financial Secretary, Vice President of Book Sale, and even a couple of terms as President. Currently I am the Treasurer, chair the Senior Award Committee and I'm also a member of the fundraising committee.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING A FRIEND OF THE LIBRARY?
Being a member of the Friends has connected me to other people in the community. While roaming around town, I always manage to bump into someone I know as a result of my connection with the Library. I also love that I get to be one of the first people in town to know what new things are about to happen there. I also happen to love working at the book sale. I get a chance to catch up with people I haven't spent much time with since my 30-something kids were in playgroups.
HOW HAS THE LIBRARY CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
Since I joined the board, I have known six different directors and seen a lot of changes. For instance, the card catalog is gone. We review the catalog on computer; we have self-checkout stations, and we can borrow e-books, movies, music, and more right from our couches at home. But one thing remains the same−parking is still as difficult as ever! It shows that everyone loves their library!
Get the Creativebug
Crafting is very popular at East Brunswick Public Library. To better serve DIYers, the library is now providing access to Creativebug, an online crafting class and video service.
"Our community is really into crafting," said Stephanie Filippone, Adult Services Manager. "Whether it be the Crafter Dark programs for adults or the crafting activities for children, many of our most popular library programs involve making something."
"Creativebug allows us to provide our customers with access to thousands of art and crafting classes online," she added. "We were amazed by the variety of patterns and instructions that the service offers."
Creativebug offers thousands of project guides, including sewing, quilting, cooking, party planning, jewelry and design. These projects are developed by leading crafters and bloggers. The service began in 2012.
To access Creativebug, click here. Library customers have to enter their full library card number and the PIN that they use to access EBPL.org
In addition to Creativebug, East Brunswick Public Library also has crafting equipment for customers to use in the EB Create makerspace.
For more information about Creativebug and related services at East Brunswick Public Library, visit www.ebpl.org or call 732-390-6767.
Roku Boxes Come To EBPL!
Get access to complimentary access to Netflix, HBO Now and Sling TV with your East Brunswick Public Library card!
East Brunswick Public Library has been lending its customers movies and television shows for decades. The library is now lending Roku kits, featuring a small device that plugs into the HDMI port on a television and connects to the internet. Once online, users can watch movies and television programming.
The Roku Express+ comes with complimentary access to Netflix, HBO Now and Sling TV. It also has access to Hoopla Digital and Kanopy, both streaming media services that can be accessed with an East Brunswick Public Library card. The Roku kit can be checked out by East Brunswick Public Library cardholders for two weeks. In order to use the Roku kit, users must have wireless high speed Internet at their home and a television set with HDMI inputs. Click here to put the Roku kit on hold.
Sponsored by the Friends of the East Brunswick Library, this kit is part of the library’s EB Create makerspace program. Library cardholders can check out lendable kits, like telescopes, ukuleles and GoPro cameras. Each kit also comes with a curated selection of additional resources.
The EB Create is a dedicated makerspace, where library customers can work on creative projects using library equipment, including sewing machines, video equipment, paper folding and binding machines, and a recording studio. More information about EB Create can be found here.
Download our new LMxPRESS PLUS app!
Using your East Brunswick Public Library card digitally just became easier!
Introducing our all-new mobile app, LMxPRESS PLUS. The new app features a more streamlined look and provides faster and more accurate access to your library account and the holdings of the 31 LMxAC member libraries.
Search all LMxAC member libraries for your favorite books, movies, music, and more. Download and connect to digital content, and stay in touch with your library’s community through social media feeds and event calendars.
Use LMxPRESS PLUS to:
* Place holds on items across all LMxAC member libraries and choose your pickup location.
* Manage your library account: view holds, checkouts, and renew items.
* Store a digital copy of your library card on your device so you always have it with you.
* Check your favorite library’s social media feeds.
* See upcoming library events on each member library’s calendar.
* Access digital content offered by individual libraries.
Download the app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Girl Scout Troop Builds First Little Free Library in East Brunswick
On Tuesday, September 25th, the East Brunswick Public Library held a ceremony to celebrate the installation of East Brunswick’s first Little Free Library. The library was built by Girl Scout Troop 80119 for their Bronze Award Project, with building supplies and assistance from Home Depot in Milltown.
Little Free Libraries help increase access to books of all ages and backgrounds when public libraries are not open. The Little Free Library is located in Grace Smith Auer Reading Garden at the Municipal Complex, 1 Jean Walling Civic Center.