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December Events at Princeton Public Library

Through Dec. 15

Princeton & Slavery Exhibit

The exhibit draws on historical documents from the archives of Princeton University and the Historical Society of Princeton to illuminate how deeply ingrained the practice of slavery was throughout the community well into the 19th century. The exhibit is open to the public any time the library is open and a program is not taking place in the room. Princeton Room


Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton & Slavery Project with the Historical Society of Princeton and Princeton University Archives.


Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Film: “Maudie”

Friday, Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m.

Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis   falls in love with a fishmonger while working for him as a live-in housekeeper. Part of the Friday Feature series. PG-13. 1 hour, 55 minutes. Community Room



Holiday Tech 2017

Friday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

Technology consultant Doug Dixon returns to the library for his annual demonstration of the latest tech devices. This year’s focus is on technology for the home including wireless speakers, digital assistants and wireless cameras. Newsroom


Job Seekers Session

Fridays, 9:45 a.m., Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22

The library and Professional Service Group of Mercer County sponsor sessions for professionals who are seeking new employment and contracting opportunities throughout the region. Please check the library’s website for specific topics. The Dec. 22 meeting is the group’s annual holiday picnic. Community Room


Reading Filibuster: “A Christmas Carol”

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m.

In anticipation of the season opening of McCarter Theatre Center’s production of the beloved holiday tale, we will read the Dickens masterpiece aloud from start to finish. All are invited to attend and participate by reading a portion of the book. Readers of all reading levels are invited to sign up for a time slot online at or by calling the library’s Welcome Desk at (609) 924-9529, ext. 1218. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and McCarter Theatre Center.


Lloyd Gardner

“Vietnam Redux: Ken Burns Takes on His Biggest Challenge”

Sun., Dec. 3, 2 p.m.

The author and retired Rutgers University professor of history launches the library’s series of Vietnam War-related programs with a lecture about the Ken Burns documentary “The Vietnam War.” Gardner is past president of the Society of American Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians and recipient of an award for lifetime achievement from the American Historical Association. He is the author of more than 20 books on American foreign policy including “Approaching Vietnam: From World War II Through Dienbienphu, 1941-1954” and “Pay Any Price: Lyndon Johnson and the Wars for Vietnam.” Community Room


Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.



David Price

“Rescuing the Revolution: Unsung Patriot Heroes and the Ten Crucial Days of America's War for Independence”

Monday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.

The author discusses his book that presents nine biographical vignettes of people who remain the "unsung heroes" behind our nation's struggle for independence during its darkest days. Price is a historical interpreter for the Friends of Washington Crossing Park and leads guided tours focusing on the "Ten Crucial Days" of the American Revolution and other historical aspects of Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania. Newsroom


Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Ask the Mac Pros

Mondays, 4 p.m., Dec. 4, 11

Wednesdays, 10 a.m., Dec. 6, 13

Drop by these sessions where members of the Princeton Macintosh User Groups will answer your questions about Apple devices and software. Technology Center


“Is ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ Possible? A Conversation with Residents Who Lived Through Apartheid in Princeton”

Monday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.

Ruha Benjamin, associate professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, moderates a discussion with Shirley Satterfield, Fern Spruill, and Larry Spruill intended to honor and celebrate the sacrifices and contributions of the residents of the African-American community of Princeton now known as the Witherspoon-Jackson 20th Historical District. The three distinguished elders will share their stories and views. Community Room


Create, Design and Build with Lego and Duplo

Mondays, 4 p.m., Dec. 4, 18

Children in grades 1-5 are invited to participate in a non-competitive community-based LEGO session, including building time and round-table discussion. DUPLO blocks will be available for younger children outside the Story Room.


Letra Pequeña (Little Letter)

Mondays, 11 a.m., Dec. 4, 11

Through engagement with books, activities and crafts, these sessions are designed to help children and adults improve Spanish language skills. Sessions are conducted in Spanish and are intended for parents/caregivers to attend with babies and toddlers. Story Room


Little Pandas

Mondays, 10 a.m., Dec. 4, 11, 18

Through engagement with books, songs, rhymes and crafts, these sessions are designed to help children ages 2 to 5 years and their caregivers improve Mandarin Chinese language skills. Sessions are conducted in Mandarin Chinese by professional teachers from YingHua International School. Story Room



Tuesdays, 4 p.m., Dec. 5, 12

Children can learn to play and practice chess at these weekly drop-in sessions led by Princeton High School Chess Club members. No meeting when Princeton High School is not in session. Story Room


Co-sponsored by the library and Princeton High School Chess Club.



Code for Princeton Hack and Learn Night

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m.

Techies of all skill levels are invited to bring their laptops and join the hacking at this monthly meeting of Code for Princeton. RSVP on the Code for Princeton Meetup page. Technology Center


Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton Macintosh Users Group.



PSG Workshop

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.

Professional Service Group of Mercer County presents a series of workshops designed to help those in transition build technical skills to use in their job search. Technology Center


Co-sponsored by the library and the Professional Service Group of Mercer County.


Qaisar Shareef

"When Tribesmen Came Calling: Building an Enduring American Business in Pakistan"

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m.

The author, whose 30-year career with Proctor & Gamble included 12 years working in Pakistan and Ukraine, discusses his book that describes his experiences building successful American businesses in these emerging markets and explores the interplay between business, economics, culture and politics. Community Room



Hour of Binary Code

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 4 p.m.

Celebrate the Hour of Code in this session led by Princeton High School’s SiSTEM club. Children in grades 2 to 5 will learn about ASCII binary code. We'll decipher messages, code our own, and complete a scavenger hunt. Story Room


Co-sponsored by the library and Princeton High School’s SiSTEM Club.


Poetry Off the Page

Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m., Dec. 6, 20

Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to meet on the first and third Wednesday of the month for an interactive and fun poetry workshop led by Princeton High School students who are passionate about poetry. Conference Room


Film: “The Vietnam War”

Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Dec. 6, 13, 20; Jan. 10, 17, 24; Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28

The 10-part series that premiered on PBS will be shown in the Newsroom. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, and written entirely by Geoffrey C. Ward, the series tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history and features observations by witnesses on all sides.



Robert Selig

“Rochambeau at Princeton”

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m.

The historian and expert on the role of the French forces under the comte de Rochambeau, during the American Revolutionary War discusses Rochambeau and the French expeditionary force he led through Princeton in August 1781 to help the Continental Army capture Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Marching from Phillipsburg, New York, across New Jersey on separate routes, the allied forces united just North of Princeton where Rochambeau’s army camped on the grounds of Morven from Aug. 29-31, 1781. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library, Princeton Battlefield Society, Morven Museum and Garden, and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R) National Historic Trail.


Film: “Pop Aye”

Thursday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m.
A successful Bangkok architect in the midst of a midlife crisis is reunited with an elephant he knew growing up. The two embark on a road trip to the man’s childhood home in the idyllic Thai countryside and meet a colorful cast of characters along the way. Part of the Princeton International Cinema series. 1 hour, 42 minutes. The series is a collaboration of the library, the International Employees Group at Princeton University, the Davis International Center and the Princeton Garden Theatre. Tickets — $11 general admission, $8 seniors, $6 Princeton University ID holders, library cardholders and Garden Theatre members — may be purchased online at or at the door. The library will also offer a limited number of free tickets while supplies last for each screening. 

Call (609) 924-9529, ext. 1218 for availability. Free popcorn.

Princeton Garden Theatre, 160 Nassau St.



Elin Hilderbrand

“Winter Solstice”

Friday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m.

The New York Times best-selling author launches “Winter Solstice,” the final book in her popular Winter Street series. In the book, a celebration of everything we love – and some of the things we endure – about the holidays, the entire Quinn family gathers at the Winter Street Inn for a more joyous holiday than they’ve experienced in years. But it wouldn’t be a Quinn family gathering if things went smoothly. Join us for hot cider and holiday cookies to raise one last glass to the family. Community Room


A Cappella Night

Friday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

This annual teens-only event features vocal groups from Princeton’s four high schools and is only open to students who attend the schools. Chaperoned by library and Corner House staff. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and Corner House. Funding is provided by the Princeton Alcohol and Drug Alliance through the Mercer County Office on Addiction Services and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.



Saturday Stories: The Gift of Books

“Music and Math” with the Exponential Ensemble

Saturday, Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m.

?Join us for a special story time featuring? new picture books to share with your family or give as gifts. A book list of new books for children will be available to take home. Story Room


Go Between Club

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m.

All sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students are welcome to join us on the second Saturday of every month for a fun discussion of books and other interests. Conference Room


PSO Bravo!

“Music and Math” with the Exponential Ensemble

Saturday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m.

Connecting the dots between music and math, musicians of the Exponential Ensemble demonstrate patterns and fractions by exploring a unique piece of music by J.S. Bach. Founded by Princeton Symphony Orchestra principal clarinetist Pascal Archer, the Exponential Ensemble is a chamber group made up of top-notch performers and teaching artists, including flutist Anna Urrey, oboe player Nathan Mills, and pianist Javor Bra?i?. Community Room




Harold T. Shapiro

"The Environment: Understanding the Nature of the Challenge"

Sunday, Dec. 10, 4 1 p.m.

The former president of Princeton University gives the annual lecture endowed by the family of Dr. Kenneth Gould. Shapiro is a member of the executive committee and associated faculty of the Princeton Environmental Institute Center for Environmental Research, Education & Outreach. Community Room


Folktales: Your Passport to the World

Sunday, Dec. 10, 3 p.m.

These special edition of Sunday Stories features folktales from around the world with the universal themes of courage, kindness and cooperation. No matter where you were born or what country you call home, come celebrate what we share in common through stories. Story Room


Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton Storytelling Circle.


Writers Block Performs Short Comedies

Sunday, Dec. 10, 4 p.m.

The ensemble of Princeton writers and actors returns to the library to present a program of short comedies including original plays by members of Writers Block, as well as plays by David Ives and Ethan Coen. Directed by Laura Huntsman with Sound by Ken Greenberg. Community Room





Poets at the Library: David Crews and Betty Lies

Monday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m.

David Crews and Betty Lies read from their works followed by an open-mic session. Crews received an MFA in poetry from Drew University and serves as director of the Betty June Silconas Poetry Center at Sussex County College and editor for The Stillwater Review. He is the author of two poetry collections and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Lies is the author of three volumes of poetry and four other books. She is the senior poetry editor of U.S. 1 Worksheets. A Geraldine R. Dodge poet, she also teaches at the Princeton Senior Resource Center and is a member of Cool Women Poets. Newsroom


Co-sponsored by the library, Delaware Valley Poets and the U.S. 1 Poets' Cooperative.



Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Jessica Bruder in Conversation with Matt Desmond

“Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century”

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 6 p.m.

The author, award-winning journalist and Columbia School of Journalism adjunct professor discusses her book about a growing community of nomads: Americans living on the road, often in RVs, as a way to avoid the expense of a permanent home. She will be joined in conversation by author and Princeton University sociology professor Matthew Desmond. Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau St.


Part of the Library Live at Labyrinth series co-sponsored by the library and Labyrinth Books.



Caldecott Club

Wednesday, 4 p.m., Dec 13

Picture book fans in kindergarten through sixth grade are invited to read and discuss some of the best picture books published this year that may be contenders for the coveted Caldecott Medal. The medal is awarded to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book by the Association for Library Service to Children. We’ll explore new art forms, discuss award criteria, learn about publishing and more. Story Room



Princeton’s Sustainability Progress Report: Where Do We Stand and Where Do We Go from Here?

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

In 2009, Princeton Council adopted the Sustainable Princeton Community Plan, the result of a community-wide effort to address our environmental impact and develop a long-term vision, an action plan, and a way to track progress toward achieving a sustainable community. Learn what progress has been made and what remains to be done to make Princeton a more sustainable community.


Co-sponsored by the library and Sustainable Princeton with support from NRG Energy Inc.


Origami Club for All Ages

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in the traditional Japanese art of paper folding is invited to meet for 90 minutes of new, often seasonal, folding. Beginners are welcome. Adults must accompany children younger than 7. Story Room


Thursday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m.

Holiday Winter Market

Local vendors offer a variety of goods including Jersey Fresh organic produce, free-range beef, poultry, pork and eggs; cheese, pickles, honey and baked goods. Candles, jewelry and other items for gift giving will also be featured during this five-hour event. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and Princeton Farmers Market.



Paul Halpern

"The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality"

Thursday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m.

The author and professor of physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia discusses his book that tells the story of how the two eminent physicists engaged in a lifelong exchange of ideas, resulting in many of the innovations of late 20th- century physics. Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau St.


Part of the Library Live at Labyrinth series, co-sponsored by the library and Labyrinth Books.


Holiday Networking Event

Thursday, Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m.

Members of the Princeton Tech Meetup and Code for Princeton host a networking event for current members and others who are interested. If you are a techie, coder, entrepreneur, creative or investor, this is a chance to meet like-minded people in the Princeton area. Register through Princeton Tech Meetup on Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library, Princeton Tech Meetup and Code for Princeton.


Meet the Mayor

Friday, Dec. 15, 8:30 a.m.

Princeton residents are invited to discuss concerns with Mayor Liz Lempert. Lobby


Mercer County Community ID Card Program

Thursdays, noon-2 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m., Dec. 14 through Feb. 22

All Mercer County residents are eligible for this photo ID card, which provides the cardholder’s personal identifying information, medical risk factors, and emergency contact information. This privately issued card, sponsored by the One Community Coalition, may be used at social service agencies, schools, clinics, parks, post offices, and to access basic municipal or health services and as a form of identification by check cashing companies, banks, retail stores or other establishments. The Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group, issues the card. There is a $15 cost ($10 for youth under 21 and seniors over 65) per card to cover expenses.  For additional info, see Princeton Room


Co-sponsored by the library and the Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund.


Listen Local Coffee House

Friday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m.

Garry Pearsall and his band So It Goes, featuring Drew Turock, John Mazzeo, and Eric Heller perform. Also appearing will be guitarist/singer Tommy Abousselman and friends. This will be a night of eclectic music with light rock, unplugged classic rock, alternative and Americana. Coffee and biscotti will be served. Part of the Listen Local series. Community Room



Mindful Movements

Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Dec. 16

Mindful Movements combines movement, stories and mindfulness exercises to engage young children in early literacy development and wellness. Be ready to do some gentle movements, poses and to listen to a few stories. For children 2 years and older with an adult. Participants are welcome to bring a comfortable mat or towel. Story Room


Girls Who Code Club

Saturday, 11 a.m., Dec. 16

Girls in grades 6-12 are invited to explore the core concepts of coding while building confidence, learning teamwork and making friends. Activities for all levels of experience will be included. Register through the events calendar at (limited to 18) or bring your own device.

Technology Center


Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton High School Girls Who Code Club.



Winter Wonderland

Saturday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m.

The Community Room will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland by our Teen Advisory Board members who will lead games and other winter-themed activities. This fun-filled afternoon will also feature a cocoa bar and other tasty treats. Community Room


Mercer County Math Circle

Saturday, 2 p.m., Dec. 16

Designed for students in grades 6-12 who have a basic understanding of algebra, this series will integrate lectures with hands-on activities to illustrate how seemingly simple games and puzzles lay the foundation for many advanced topics in mathematics. These talks will be geared toward making students think about math in a different way than they are taught in school. Talks will be followed by hands-on activities and challenges. Teen Center


Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton University Math Club.



Cover to Cover Book Group

Wednesday, 4 p.m., Dec. 20

This group for readers of chapter books meets the third Wednesday of every month during the school year to discuss chapter books, short stories, graphic novels and other literary interests. Activities include group reads, writing short book reviews and posting reviews and booklists in BiblioCommons. Registration is not required. Suggested for third, fourth and fifth graders. Story Room




Film: “Spider-man: Homecoming”

Friday, Dec. 22, 6 p.m.

Tom Holland stars as Marvel Comics character Peter Parker who is trying to balance high school life with being Spider-Man and facing the supervillain Vulture. 2 hours, 13 minutes. Community Room

Film: “Beatriz at Dinner”

Friday, Dec. 29, 6:30 p.m.

Stranded at the home of a client, a massage therapist is invited to stay and attend a business dinner and finds herself in an escalating war of words with a ruthless real estate mogul. Part of the Friday Feature series. 1 hour, 23 minutes. Community Room



Saturday, Dec. 30, 9 a.m.

American Red Cross Blood Drive

Community Room


Saturday, Dec. 30, 11:30 a.m.

Noon Year’s Eve

Too young to stay up until midnight? Join us at the library for a celebration the day BEFORE New Year's Eve. As we countdown to NOON, we will have music, dancing and crafts. For children ages 3 and up. Story Room





Screenings are in the Community Room.



Tuesday, Dec. 26, 4 p.m.

This 3D computer-animated musical is about a group of anthropomorphic animals that enter a singing competition hosted by a koala hoping to save his theater. 1 hour, 54 minutes



Wednesday, Dec. 27, 4 p.m.

This animated movie is about a young octopus named Deep who tries to save his friends after an environmental disaster.  1 hour, 32 minutes.


“Happy Feet”

Thursday, Dec. 28, 4 p.m.

A young emperor penguin who can’t sing to attract a mate must use his amazing tap-dancing talent to lure a female instead. 1 hour, 48 minutes.


“Inside Out”

Friday, Dec. 29, 4 p.m.

After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness - conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. 1 hour, 35 minutes


Family Stories

Wednesday, Dec. 27 and Thursday, Dec. 28, 10:30 a.m.

These special family story times feature stories, songs, rhymes, fingerplays and movement. Geared toward children 2-7 years old, but all ages are welcome. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Story Room









Contemporary Fiction Book Group

Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., Conference Room


Dec. 14, “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith.


Black Voices Book Group

Thursdays, 7 p.m., Princeton Room


Dec. 14, “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois


Mystery Book Group

Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Quiet Room

Dec. 4, “The Mistletoe Murders: And Other Stories by P.D. James.




Writers Room

Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Dec. 5, 19

Writers receive constructive feedback at these sessions, during which participants read their work and members offer suggestions. Works read are usually less than 15 minutes long, so there is time to discuss a number of pieces during each session. While nonfiction has been a focus in the past, fiction writers are welcome. Participants range from published authors to those looking to improve their skills. The group is led by Loretta and Fred Wish. December meetings are in the Quiet Room. January and February meetings are in the Princeton Room.


Write Space

Tuesday, 7 p.m., Dec. 12

Led by local author Christina Paul, these drop-in workshops focus on the encouragement of writing, finding your voice, and the producing of words through guided prompts and other writing exercises. All levels of writers are welcome. December meeting is in the Quiet Room. January and February meetings are in the Princeton Room.



Writing Workshop

Thursdays, 7 p.m., Dec. 14, 28

Writers who are working on book-length work are invited to the Writing Workshop to receive helpful, constructive critique aimed from peers. The group is designed so that writers can help other writers of fiction and book-length non-fiction to strengthen characters and story structure.  Participants range from published authors to those looking to improve their skills. Workshop leader is Don Donato. Stephen Arnold will be leader if Donato is absent. December meetings are in the Quiet Room. January and February meetings are in the Conference Room.






All Princeton Public Library programs are free and open to the public. If programs require registration, preference is given to library cardholders. The physically challenged should contact the library at (609) 924-9529 48 hours before any program with questions about special accommodations.


Opinions expressed during programming at Princeton Public Library do not necessarily reflect the views of the library, its staff, trustees or supporters.


The library is in the Sands Library Building at 65 Witherspoon St. in Princeton, NJ. Convenient parking is available on neighboring streets and in the borough-operated Spring Street Garage, which is adjacent to the library. For more information about library programs and services, call (609) 924-9529 or visit








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