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May Programs at Princeton Public Library

Art Talk

Thursday, May 10, 7 p.m.

Kate Germond, Centurion Ministry executive director, discusses “I Am Innocent: The Migration Back to Freedom for the Innocent in Prison,” an exhibit of photographs and stories on view in the Reading Room and other second floor areas through May 30. Captured by Centurion’s Diane Bladecki, the photographs and stories convey the physical and emotional upheaval associated with losing and regaining freedom and family. Part of Migrations: A Princeton Community Collaboration. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and Centurion Ministry. 


Fred Miller 

Sunday, May 13, 3 p.m.

Pianist and singer Fred Miller presents “1892-1919: How Ya Gonna Keep ´Em Down on The Farm? Immigration, World War and The New Music,” a lecture in song. Part of Migrations: A Princeton Community Collaboration. Community Room


Radio Interview

Person, Place, Thing with Randy Cohen featuring Dan-el Padilla Peralta

Monday, May 21, 7 p.m.

Cohen interviews author and Princeton University Assistant Professor of Classics Dan-el Padilla Peralta for his public radio program, during which guests are asked to speak about a person, a place and a thing they find meaningful rather than about themselves. Padilla’s award-winning memoir is “Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to Ivy League.” Cohen won multiple Emmy awards as a writer for “Late Night with David Letterman” and for 12 years wrote “The Ethicist” column for The New York Times Magazine. Part of Migrations: A Princeton Community Collaboration. 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.


Mark C. Serreze

Brave New Arctic: 

The Untold Story of the Melting North

Wednesday, May 9, 6 p.m.

The author and director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center describes how puzzlement turned to concern and astonishment as researchers came to understand that the Arctic of old was quickly disappearing, with potentially devastating implications for the entire planet. Labyrinth Books, 116 Nassau St.


This special event of the Princeton Environmental Film Festival is part of the Library Live at Labyrinth series co-sponsored by the library and Labyrinth Books. 




Poets at the Library: BJ Ward

Monday, May 14, 7 p.m.

Ward is the author of four books of poetry, most recently “Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013,” which received the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. His poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The New York Times and other publications. He is the recipient of two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. 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 


PSO Soundtracks Lecture

“Melding Cultural Sounds in Music”

Wednesday, May 9, 7 p.m.

Derek Bermel, artistic director of the American Composers Orchestra, and composer Saad Haddad discuss the interest and challenges inherent in integrating cultural sounds and Western Music. The discussion relates to the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s May 20 premiere performance of Haddad’s new work “Risala.” Refreshments will be served. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and Princeton Symphony Orchestra.



 “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” May 23. 

Film: “The Post” 

Friday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. 

Steven Spielberg directed Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee in the true story of The Washington Post’s decision to publish The Pentagon Papers, a classified government report containing undisclosed information about the United States’ 30-year involvement in the Vietnam War. 1 hour, 56 minutes. Community Room


Film and Panel Discussion: 

“Coming of Age in Aging America”

Thursday, May 17, 7 p.m.

A screening of the PBS documentary will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Susan Hoskins of the Princeton Senior Research Center. The film examines the approach of a global demographic where the majority of the population will be more than 50 years old. The far-reaching implications for America’s social and economic institutions as they adapt to this transformation are also examined. 1 hour. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and Princeton Senior Resource Center.


Screening and Discussion: “Bill Nye: Science Guy”

Wednesday, May 23, 6:30 p.m.

This behind-the-scenes portrait follows the former star of the popular children’s show as he takes off his Science Guy lab coat and takes on those who deny climate change, evolution, and a science-based world view. The film features Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan and many others. Following the screening, Ingrid Ockert, a Princeton University doctoral candidate in the history of science, will interview David Alvarado, co-director of the film. 1 hour, 41 minutes. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library, Princeton University’s Council on Science and Technology and American Documentary/POV. 




“The French in America: From Fighting to Fashion”

Tuesday, May 29, 6:30 p.m.

Why did the French journey to North America in the 1600s and why did their efforts to establish a colony end in disaster — and set the stage for the American Revolution? Jeff Heller, a historical novelist, uses slides and commentary to present the fascinating story of how fighting, folkways and even fashion influenced the actions taken by the French in their bold quest to claim a continent. 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.


“Musical Comedy in Ancient Rome: The Genius of Titus Maccius Plautus”

Thursday, May 31, 7 p.m.

Denis Feeney, the Giger Professor of Latin at Princeton University, presents the opening lecture of the 2018 Princeton Festival. The lecture will concentrate on how Plautus anticipates modern musical comedy, as in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” which is based primarily on Plautus’ masterpiece, “Pseudolus.” Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton Festival.


Mercer County Community ID Card Program

Through May 31, Thursdays, noon-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

All Mercer County residents are eligible for this photo card, which has personal identifying information, medical risk factors and emergency contact information. Sponsored by the One Community Coalition, the privately issued card 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 for retail transactions. The Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group, issues the card. Cost is $15 per card ($10 for under 21 and over 65) to cover expenses. Princeton Room


Requires proof of identity with a photo (any state, county or country ID or driver’s license; passport or consulate authentication; green card or work permit; welfare card with original birth certificate) and proof of address in your name (lease, utility bill, financial account statement, money transfer order, hospital bill). For additional info, visit Co-sponsored by the library and the Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund.


Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege

Monday, May 7, 7 p.m.

Members of Not In Our Town, the Princeton-based interracial and interfaith social action group, facilitate these discussions of race-related issues of relevance to our community and nation. Please check the library’s website for topics. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and Not in Our Town Princeton.


Voyage ESL

Sundays, 4 p.m., May 6, 20

Speakers of world languages who are learning English as a second language are invited to these 90-minute sessions. Conference Room


Money in the Garden State

Ingrid Reed, retired director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics, moderates this discussion series about county, municipal and school budgets and the state’s laws governing them.


Monday, 5 p.m., May 14

“The School Board Budget from the Perspective of Elected Officials”

Bill Hare and Beth Behrend of the Princeton Board of Education will be speakers. Newsroom


Meet the Mayor

Friday, May 25, 8:30 a.m.

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


What is a Climate Action Plan and Why Does Princeton Need One?

Wednesday, May 16, 7 p.m.

States and cities across the nation are adopting plans to mitigate and prepare for the effects of climate change. Princeton is ready to step up and create its own plan. What does this mean and how can it be accomplished? Community Room


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


Job Seeker Sessions

Fridays, 9:45 a.m., May 11-25

The library and Professional Service Group of Mercer County sponsor sessions for professionals who are seeking new opportunities throughout the region. See the library’s website for specific topics. Community Room 


PSG Workshop

Mondays, 10 a.m., March 12, April 9, May 14

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 PSG of Mercer County.


SCORE Seminars

Monday, May 21, 6:30 p.m.,

The Princeton chapter of SCORE presents seminars on a variety of topics related to small businesses. For details, visit the library’s events calendar or Newsroom


Code for Princeton Hack and Learn Nights

Tuesday, May 1, 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 Code for Princeton.


Origami for all Ages

Wednesday, May 9, 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. Quiet Room


Open Chess Play

Friday, May 25, 6:30 p.m.

Chess enthusiasts of all ages are invited to meet to play chess. All levels of skill are welcome, but no formal instruction will be given. Community Room


Free Comic Book Day 

Saturday, May 5, 10:30 a.m.

Comic book and graphic novel fans of every age are invited to celebrate Free Comic Book Day, a nationwide event, with activities, raffles and, of course, free comic books while supplies last. The documentary “Stripped” will be shown at 2 p.m. in the Newsroom. Discovery Center and Third Floor


Research Your Roots 

Sunday, May 20, 9:30 a.m.

Participants are invited to explore genealogy resources and tools to use for researching and preserving family history during this seven-hour workshop. Genealogist Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer will be the keynote speaker. Participation is limited to 60 and registration is required; light lunch is included. Visit the library’s events calendar to register and for a full schedule of the workshop programs. Community Room


Season of Wonder Puppet Show

Thursday, May 17, 10 a.m. Ages: 2-5

Guest Storyteller and Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Amy Shor will celebrate the wonders of spring through songs, rhymes, and finger plays, using simple handmade puppets and surprises from the natural world. 


Spring Science Day/Dia de la Ciencia

Saturday, May 12, noon

Join Princeton University’s scientists and engineers to learn more about the exciting new research going on in materials science. Visit the many table top activities and hands-on demonstrations, engage the scientists and engineers, ask plenty of questions (either in Spanish or English) and have fun with your entire family. Intended for children 5 and up with their families. Community Room


Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton University Department of Complex Materials and National Science Foundation, MRSEC.


Create, Design and Build with Lego and Duplo 

Mondays, 4 p.m., May 7, 21 

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. STEAM Studio 



Tuesdays, 4 p.m., May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 

Children can learn to play and practice chess at these weekly drop-in sessions led by Princeton High School Chess Club members. For children ages 5 and older. Meets when Princeton High School is in session.  STEAM Studio 

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


Code It 

Thursday, May 10, 4 p.m.,

Those in fourth through eighth grade are invited to drop in for an hour to learn the programming language Python. Each session includes a core concept and exercise. No coding experience is necessary. Limited to 16 participants. Register through the library’s events calendar. Technology Center 


Acting Out 

Fridays, 4 p.m., May 11, 18, 25 

Students in kindergarten through third grade are invited to engage in dramatic activity including discussions, games, and other fun activities. No experience necessary. Princeton High School drama aficionados will lead the sessions. Story Room 


Cover to Cover Book Group 

Wednesday, May 16, 4 p.m.

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 the library’s online catalog. Suggested for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. Story Room 


Chemistry Saturdays 

Saturday, May 26, 1:30 p.m. 

Graduate students from Princeton University’s chemistry department conduct exciting hands-on experiments that make science fun. For children 3-13 years old; children 8 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. STEAM Studio 

Co-sponsored by the library and the Princeton Chemistry Graduate Student Organization. 


Dancing Under the Stars Teen Night

Friday, May 18, 7 p.m.

Members of Central Jersey Dance give demonstrations and lead others in an evening of dancing. This season-launching event will include favorite songs chosen by the library’s Teen Advisory Board. The season continues on the second and fourth Fridays from June through August, concluding Sept. 7. Hinds Plaza (weather permitting) or Community Room

Co-sponsored by the library and Central Jersey Dance.


Girls Who Code Club

Saturdays, 11 a.m., May 5, 19

Girls in grades 6-12 are invited to explore the core concepts of coding while building confidence, learning teamwork and making friends. Register through the library’s events calendar. Space for 18 plus those with their own devices. Technology Center

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


Go Between Club

Saturdays, 2 p.m., May 12

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


Girl Code Middle School

Thursday, May 24, 4 p.m.

Girls in grades 6-8 are invited to an hourlong, all-female coding class that explores the Python programming language. In each session, a core concept will be covered, along with an exercise to put your new skills to the test. No coding experience necessary. Limited to 16 participants or bring your own device. Please register through the library’s events calendar. Technology Center


To Be Discussed (TBD)

Tuesday, May 22, 7 p.m.

All high school students are welcome to participate in this monthly discussion of great books, films, music, non-fiction, poetry, and all things cultural. Participants may also help create book displays and reading lists for the library, take group trips to see current films, and do group-reads. Story Room


Writers Room 

Tuesdays, 7 p.m., May 1, 15 

Writers receive constructive feedback at these sessions, during which participants read their work and members offer suggestions. The group is led by Loretta and Fred Wish.

Princeton Room 


Writing Workshop 

Thursdays, 7 p.m., May 10, 24 

Writers who are working on book-length work are invited to receive constructive critique from peers. Don Donato leads the workshop. Conference Room. 


Write Space 

Tuesdays, 7 p.m., May 8, 22 

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. Princeton Room






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