Friday, September 4, 2015

Improvements are Coming to MAPL!

Happy September!  I hope that your summer was wonderful and that you are enjoying every last minute of the warm weather and sunny skies. While you prepare to get back into a regular school/work/autumn routine, we are preparing to make some changes here at MAPL. 

In mid-October, we will begin a renovation project that will effect almost all of the areas of the library (except the meeting room space that was recently renovated!) -- we'll be changing out the flooring, getting a fresh coat of paint, re-arranging the Reference room, and making some fun changes in Children's.  All of these improvements will leave MAPL feeling fresh and new, more inviting, and more user-friendly.

Of course, in order to do all of this work in the safest way possible, and with a minimum of interruption of our services, we will need to close the library for a period of time. MAPL will be closed from Saturday, October 17th through Friday, October 30th. If all goes according to schedule, we plan to re-open on Saturday, October 31st to welcome you back with a Halloween treat!

We realize that this will inconvenience some of our patrons, and we are terribly sorry for that, but fortunately, we are part of a wonderful consortium of libraries (Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium), and your MAPL card affords you access to materials, computer use, and Reference and other services at 28 other libraries! Check out the list here: Don't let the name fool you -- Monmouth County is also represented and your MAPL card is valid in Keyport and Red Bank (as well as just over the county line in Old Bridge and Sayreville!).

You should also keep in mind that while our building will be closed, our website is available 24/7. All of our amazing electronic resources will be available to you from home, work or school, as always.

Also, no fines will be charged during the renovation.  The book drop will be closed, but no fines will accrue.  You can enjoy a little extra time with our materials. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 732-583-9100 or We thank you in advance for your patience, and look forward to welcoming you back after our improvements are complete so you can enjoy the new MAPL!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What Are You Reading This Summer?

After working with teens for many years and being very involved in teen book selection committees, I always tend to look for teen books to occupy me during my very limited reading time.  This summer, I decided to branch out a little and read some "Adult Books."  I notice now, though, that I really haven't strayed too far from my comfort zone.

First, I read In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. True, it is a book published for adults, but the author is best known for her children's and teen books. This book takes place in Elizabeth, NJ during the early 1950s when there were three plane crashes within the city limits over the course of just a few months. (I liked the book, but my favorite Blume book will always be Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret.)

Next, I read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I wasn't aware that Zevin had written anything for adults -- I knew her as the author of the teen books Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac.  A.J. Fikry is a cantankerous but somehow lovable bookstore owner whose life is changed forever when a series of events makes him an adoptive father, and later, a husband.  It's a really fantastic book for bibliophiles.

And, right now, I'm reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by the wonderful Neil Gaiman. I haven't read much of Gaiman's adult fiction (save Good Omens with Terry Pratchett and Stardust which are both wonderful) but I've loved his picture books (The Wolves in the Walls, for example) and his books for middle grade readers (Coraline and The Graveyard Book) and his graphic novels (The Sandman series)...  His books are always creepy, but always well-written and they make you think long after you've turned the last page.  I have to say that this one sort of crosses the boundaries -- it could be a teen book: the protagonist is young, there is magic and mystery -- but I'm only on page 50 so there may be more mayhem coming that pushes it more into the adult realm.

All of the books I mentioned above are available at MAPL (or easily requested from another library in LMxAC) if you're interested!  Let me know what you've been reading lately -- share your faves in the comments.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blogging Blues... and REALLY COOL STUFF AT MAPL!

I am a fan of blogs.  There are some that I read occasionally, a few that I try to keep up with regularly... I like the idea of having a blog myself to post about library goings-on, but when it comes down to it, I'm terrible about keeping up with it. I apologize to those of you who might be interested in reading my blog (okay, that would be my dad and maybe a handful of others) and are continually disappointed when you see that my last post was made months ago. I will continue to try harder. My latest plan is to put "DO BLOG POST" on my calendar at least once a month. Let's see if that helps.

I hope that you are enjoying your summer so far. We have seen SO much activity at the library and have had numerous wonderful programs.  Last night, we hosted our first ever Open Mic Night.  It was a big success for our first time -- we had 25 guests and 11 performers and I think that everyone involved had a really great time!  My thanks to those brave souls who got up in front of our modest crowd and performed.  (See some highlights below.)  We hope to see you at an upcoming event soon! Have a great August! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thank you!

Many thanks to those of you who completed our survey this spring!  The data collected is currently being reviewed, and will be included in our Strategic Planning process as we determine the direction that the Library should take over the next several years.  Your input is very important to this process! Once we have some clear goals, we will be sharing with you the results of our work and yours.  

Friday, April 10, 2015


The Matawan Aberdeen Public Library is currently undertaking a strategic planning process to set goals and make plans for the future of our library. We are seeking input from members of both communities to help us make decisions about the direction the library should take.

Visit our website,, to complete our online survey (or go to the direct link: – it will only take about 10 minutes of your time, but your comments and suggestions will be invaluable to us. If you do not have access to a computer, stop by the library to complete the survey on one of ours, or to pick up a paper copy. The survey will be open until April 30. 

Since our last strategic plan was put in place, we created a space for teens, our lower level meeting area was fully renovated, many wonderful new electronic resources have been made available, and new and varied programs for children, teens and adults have been offered. Your input will help us to continue to provide resources and services that our community members seek. 

Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Congratulations to our award-winning ESL teachers!

Last night, at the Pines Manor in Edison, Michele Meany and Mary Kissane, the founders of our ESL conversation courses, were honored with certificates of appreciation at the LMx Awards Reception. 

Several years ago, Michele and Mary saw a need in our community and have been offering free ESL conversation courses to our patrons since 2009 to fill that need. The course is held for eight weeks in the spring, and eight weeks in the fall and community members from all different backgrounds, ages, and levels of English fluency have benefited from them. The ladies are both retired teachers with Master degrees in English and Education, and they have recruited other teachers along the way to assist them. Michele and Mary are known for going above and beyond, and outside of classes, they have helped people study for citizenship exams, they helped a doctor pass his English proficiency test so that he could enter a U.S. medical residency program, and they even taught at a church so that parishioners would have easier access. These two ladies are such an asset to our library, to our Friends group (in which they are also active), and to the wider community. We wanted to honor them with these certificates to let them know just how much all that they do is appreciated.

Michele, Mary and I were joined by Ruth Prata, another ESL teacher volunteer, and MAPL staff members Laura Beyer and Jill Stafford at the Awards Reception.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy National Friends of Libraries Week!

Friends of Libraries groups have their very own national week of celebration! United for Libraries are coordinating the ninth annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 19-25, 2014. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to recognize all that our Friends do for us here at MAPL and to send them a huge THANK YOU!  

In these tough times of budget cuts and increased expenses, our public library (like most others in New Jersey) is struggling to maintain the level of resources and services that our community has come to expect and depend upon.  The Friends, through their book sales and other fundraising efforts, support the library by supplementing our operating budget.  We are so fortunate to have this very dedicated group working hard to provide us with things like the Museum Pass Program, refreshments and tee shirts and prizes for summer reading, and even program sponsorship.  On December 12th at 7pm, we will be hosting a string trio from Rutgers for an After-Hours Holiday Music Event.  The Friends are very graciously providing funding to support this performance, and light refreshments, as well.

The Friends are currently trying out a new fundraiser - they will soon be selling 2015 Book Lover's Page-A-Day calendars.  The cost of each calendar is just $7 and they will be available for purchase at the library's circulation desk.  The calendar is a great holiday gift idea for the book lover in your life!

Many thanks, again, to our fabulous Friends!  If you are interested in joining, applications are available in the library next to the Circ desk, and more information can be found at