New Brunswick Free Public Library

60 Livingston Ave
New Brunswick NJ 08901

New Brunswick Free Public Library


The Friends of New Brunswick Free Public Library encourage library awareness, promote use of the library, and encourage reading and life-long learning. They publicize library activities, enrich the presentations of the library, donate equipment, and raise funds. Become a Friend, and with your annual membership enable the library to share with the community the wealth of knowledge in a speaker or a book.

To become a Member of the Friends, or simply make a donation, fill out the Friends brochure (available for downloading as a PDF here) and mail it in or visit the Library.


Executive Board {revised June 2014}
Monica Tarver, President
Ann Gordon, Vice-President
Peggy Sica, Secretary
George Dawson, Treasurer

Robert Belvin    Marie Borbely    Deborah Celey    Carlos Fernandez
Yesenia Hernandez    Marilyn Herod    Gerarda Pizzarello    Nicole Tracy

Cecilia Claflen, Honorary
Jennie Fischer, Honorary

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The Friends' Book Club
Mondays (usually the last Monday of the month) at 1:30 p.m. in the Library's Carl T. Valenti Community Room. The only requirements are to have read the book and be willing to discuss it.

Download a copy of the Friends' Book Club Schedule for 2014-2015.


Sept. 29  Fall of Giants by Ken Follett.
A novel of five families against the backdrop of the events of the early 1900s.
~OR~ Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark.
The story of an heiress whose last twenty years are spent in a hospital room with her mansions empty.

Oct. 27  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.
How we love, how we take care of one another, and choices cascade through generations.

Nov. 24  New Brunswick and the Civil War by Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi.
Accounts of the Civil War by men who answered the call of duty.

Dec. 15  The Ransom of Russian Art by John McPhee.
The story of an economics professor who collected 8,000 works of Russian dissident art and eventually donated them to Rutgers Zimmerli Art Museum.

Jan. 26, 2015  Swimming Across by Andrew Grove.
A memoir of the author's childhood in Hungary with Nazis, Russians, and his eventual arrival in the United States.

Feb. 23 Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
A love story and a social critique of a young Nigerian couple facing difficult choices.

March 30  The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer.
A nonfiction book which portrays a superpower coming apart at the seams.

April 27  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.
A novel based on Sarah Grimke, an abolitionist and women's rights crusader that begins with the gift of a slave on her 11th birthday.

May 18  Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
The story of Indian brothers who come of age in the ’60’s and follow different paths. One emigrates and the other stays and joins a revolutionary movement.

June 15  Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.
A true account of eight women meeting every week for two years to discuss forbidden Western literature.

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"Brown Bag Lunch" Programs
Wednesdays (the first Wednesday of the month) at 12:15 pm in the Library's Carl T. Valenti Community Room. Admission is free; coffee and tea will be served.

September 4, 2013
Music of The Beatles will waft from the New Brunswick Free Public Library Wednesday, September 4 from 12:15 until 1:00pm as three members of the “Hey Bulldog” band serenade the audience. Gerry Rosenthal and Tommy Strazza on acoustic guitars and Jeff Fernandes on percussion are part of the “Hey Bulldog” band, a group that first got together to play Beatles songs on John Lennon's birthday, Oct. 9, in 2004 and have continued playing together ever since.

October 2, 2013
This program is titled Determined Spirit: The Story of Amelia Earhart. Monica Hoffman will present a one-woman show based on the life of the famed woman aviator. In her performance, Monica recalls events from Amelia’s life — from her earliest years until her final, tragic flight.
Monica Hoffman studied acting at Philadelphia’s Walnut St. Theater, performed in regional theaters, and created a 2010 documentary Breaking Through the Clouds: The First Women’s National Air Derby.

November 6, 2013
Dr. Ann Gordon, the editor of the papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, will speak on "A Post Election Story: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Voting Rights".
Ann Gordon is a graduate of Smith College and received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has written numerous articles on women’s history and biography and edited African American Women and the Vote, 1837-1965. Ann was a program consultant for the Ken Burns and Paul Barnes film "Not for Ourselves Alone: the Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony" and her essay "Taking Possession of the Country" appears in the documentary’s companion volume.
Come to the library on November 6 and learn about two courageous women who led the way to women’s suffrage in America.

December 4, 2013
A performance by musicians from Mason Gross School of the Arts. The Classical String Trio consists of violinist Elena Chernova-Davis, violist Michael Davis, and cellist Jordan Enzinger.

January 8, 2014
Start off the new year with a talk by Dr. Cheryl Wall. Dr. Wall is the Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and a literary critic specializing in Black women’s writing, gender and sexuality. She received her B.A. from Howard University and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her publications include Women of the Harlem Renaissance, Their Eyes Were Watching God: a Casebook, Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage and Literary Tradition, and she was editor of Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara. Courses that she has taught at Rutgers include “Black Narrative,” “Black Women Writers,” and “Topics in Black Literature and Culture.”

{Originally scheduled for February 5} *POSTPONED to September 3.*
Musician and actor Dennis Kobray will present a program on Scott Joplin.
Born in 1868 to former slaves, Scott Joplin grew up in the post-Reconstruction South where African Americans were denied basic civil rights and economic opportunities. Nevertheless, he helped to create a form of music called Ragtime that combined the polyrhythms and syncopation of West Africa with the harmonies of Europe and North America. His music became popular in the mid-seventies with the film "The Sting" and remains so today. Dennis Kobray enjoys acquainting his audiences with the music of beloved famous musicians. He has appeared on National Public Radio and NBC’s “Today Show” and with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C.

March 5, 2014
Come meet John Hulme, a Highland Park author who, with Michael Wexler, has created a children’s fantasy novel series, The Seems. In its fictional world, The Seems are responsible for all that is happening in our own world. This series includes three books for children aged 10 and up: The Glitch in Sleep, The Split Second, and The Lost Train of Thought. The Glitch in Sleep was an Amazon’s Best Books of 2007 for middle readers and 20th Century Fox has acquired its film rights.
John Hulme is also a filmmaker. His first feature length film Unknown Soldier was a documentary about his search for his father who was killed in the Vietnam War.

April 2, 2014
Bernadette M. Rogoff, the curator of collections at the Monmouth County Historical Association, will give a talk on New Jersey folk art painter Micah Williams (1782–1837).

May 7, 2014
George Dawson, City Historian, will discuss "Raritan Valley Before the British."

June 4, 2014
Carla Ulbrich, the Singing Patient, will explain how Laughter is the Best Medicine. She is a comic singer-songwriter from South Carolina living in New Jersey. She has performed all over the U.S. and England and says her biggest musical influences have been Sesame St., camp songs, and cat food commercials.
In 2002, she fell ill with kidney failure and a stroke. As part of her recovery, she turned her sense of humor towards her medical problems, writing humorous songs such as On the commode again, Sittin’ in the Waiting Room, and What if your butt was gone? She is the author of How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This?, a book of humorous essays about those medical adventures. She is again touring and sharing the lessons her illness taught her about love, friendship, food, and laughter.

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2-Day Book Sale
The Library's Book Sale is an annual event, usually held in mid-April. The Friends organize a wide array of items and sell them at incredibly low prices! There are always thousands of books as well as videos, DVDs, CDs, and more!!
Friday April 11 from 1 PM to 7 PM
and April 12 from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Download a flier here.

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Quick Links:

Membership Brochure

Book Club Schedule

NBFPL Website

Regular Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10am-9pm; Fri & Sat: 10am-5pm; Sunday*: 1-5pm (*except in Summer)