Monday, December 21, 2009

Good bye Year 2009

Year 2009,

You have not been a kind one to me. First CBS killed Guiding Light. Then my Mom died. Today my Uncle also passed away. While I will mourn the above with all my heart, I will not be mourning the passing of the year 2009. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Good bye

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tis the season for gifts and giving

Do a little Christmas shopping this Tuesday and help the library.  The Ledgewood Barnes & Noble will host an In-store Book Sale for the Roxbury Library on December 15th.  The store will donate a portion of your purchase to the library. After buy your gifts, save some time and stop by the gift wrapping table. The Library and Key Club will be staffing the table for the day and will be happily take that chore off your to-do list. While you wait, relax and take advantage of the library bake sale. Many yummy treats will be on display to tempt you. There will also be programs for all to enjoy at the store that day.

     10:30am - Books for Babies
     2pm - Preschool Holiday Craft - Bring your preschooler to make holiday luminaries.  (Registration is required.  Call the library at 973-584-2400 x503 to register.)
     3pm - Book signing with Janet Pfeiffer, author of 
The Secret Side of Anger
     4pm - After School Craft - Making ornaments!!
     7pm - Creating a Holiday Centerpiece

A portion of the proceeds from your purchases will go to the Roxbury Library. - BUT only if you mention the Book Fair to the cashier or hand in the Book Fair Voucher. Book Fair Vouchers are available online at or stop by the library circulation desk.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter has arrived

Dear Mr. Snow Miser (Winter, if I may),

I was not prepared for your appearance today. While I know it is December and I live in the northeast, your brother Heat Miser has been dominating the weather here lately. Just yesterday I was running errands in only a light coat. Today, I had to break out my down coat, Uggs, and long underwear. This afternoon we have a full fledged snow storm. The change is far to jarring. Next Fall, please negotiate with your brother for a smoother transition. Thank you.

Your friend,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Obits aren’t Free Anymore

One of the bizarre, but interesting and useful bits of information I picked up during the process of my mother’s passing is regarding obituaries. While once considered news, in the tightening financial crunch newspapers have been facing for many years, obituaries are now considered classified ads. As such, the length of the record of your loved ones passing is counted by word and charged accordingly. Since it is now considered an ad, the rates fluctuate wildly region to region as well as the size and scope of the publication. 

We live in suburbia, our town’s weekly paper charges a couple hundred while the local daily rates are just under $400. The wider the reaching papers such as our state wide paper not only charges for the print ad, but an additional fee to publish it online as well. One story I recently heard was that the obituary in the New York Times for a stockbroker cost $12,000. That was more than the cost of his cremation and memorial combined. Obviously, obituary costs are now something you seriously need to consider when planning your loved ones final arrangements.

I want to thank my BFF Cathy McGuckin for helping our family write mom’s obit. For the record (and one that is still free), this is my mom’s obituary:

MT. ARLINGTON, NJ—Joyce D. Armstrong died on Friday, November 27, 2009, at Morristown Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. She was 77.

Born in Wilkensburg, PA, to the late Clinton and Mary (Ritts) Burket on October 23, 1932, she was a 34-year resident of Mendham until moving to Mt. Arlington in June, 2006.

Joyce graduated then worked at the Business Training College in Pittsburgh, PA, where she met her husband Joseph Armstrong. Joyce and Joe married on June 6, 1955, at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. She would fondly remember their ‘two-year honeymoon’ in Hawaii, while Joe served with the U.S. Marine Corps. Prior to their honeymoon, Joyce enjoyed working for Radio personality Mark Evans in Washington, DC.

Joyce was a member of the Newcomers’ Group of Mendham for more than 20 years and enjoyed playing in the bridge club. She also enjoyed traveling and the Naval Academy. Joyce will be remembered by friends and neighbors for her deep love of her family, her beautiful Mendham home—especially her porch swing, her Christmas Eve and Army-Navy Game parties, and her kindness.

She was predeceased by her brother Clinton (1993) and her sister Maybelle Gillespie (1992). Survivors include her husband of 54 years Joseph, her daughter Kimberly of Succasunna, her son Scott of Wilmington, NC, and her beloved grandson Colin of Rockaway.

A memorial service to celebrate Joyce’s life will be held at the Bailey Funeral Home on Saturday, December 12, 2009, at 1:00 PM. A reception will be held at the Elks Club in Gladstone. Entombment will take place at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made in Joyce’s name to Cancer Center for Education and Patient Support Fund, Morristown Memorial Health Foundation, PO Box 1956, Morristown, N.J. 07962.

Arrangements are by the Bailey Funeral Home, 8 Hilltop Road, Mendham, NJ, 07945—(973)543-4720,

Friday, November 20, 2009

What's happening at your library today?

In one typical library, 10 AM on Friday means children are listening to a storyteller, computer users are learning to the ins and outs of e-mail, seniors are watching a classic film, and students are surfing the Internet completing their homework for the weekend.

Today at the Roxbury Library, at 10:30 AM children will be listening to Fab Friday Storytime in the children’s department.  At 2 PM, Bernard Hailperin will be talking about his experience in Italy during World War II and signing copies of his book, The Children of Vesuvius. Then at 8 PM the teens takeover the library and turn it into a coffee house. Bring your high school id and come for coffee, snacks, and great music. 

As always during the day, patrons can stop in browse the stacks or pickup a movie or two for the weekend.

Visit your library today and see what’s happening!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Books for Babies

The Friends of the Roxbury Library invite you to participate in the Books for Babies program. Books for Babies introduce parents of newborns with the important role they play in their child’s literacy development. Parents can start their babies on the path to success in reading and learning by regularly reading to newborns.   Studies show that babies who enjoy early and frequent experiences with books start kindergarten well ahead of those who have lacked such experiences. The packet features baby’s first board book, and library card.  There are a number of brochures giving parents ideas to encourage their children to become readers including: “Babies Love Books” a guide for grown-ups, “Read to Me” with tips on reading to children and “Raising a Reader, Raising a Writer” – a booklet from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Drop in Tuesday, December 1st at 10:30 for the next Books for Babies program and pickup your packet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

10 Free Things to Do at the Library

10 Free Things to do at the Library
Use a computer
Use the library’s terminals or bring your own to access the internet at the library, take a computer class to elevate your skills
Watch a movie
Frequent the summer films series, teen films or checkout a DVD from the collection
Take a class
Learn to use a Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Photoshop. Take a genealogy class to trace your family tree
Read a book
Pick a book and read in the quiet room, participate in summer reading programs for all ages, or grab a mag and catch-up on the latest news in the magazine room
Do your homework
Get online homework help access, get help from the reference librarians, or meet your classmates for a study group
Enjoy music
Catch a concert at the Friday Night Series, Sing-a-long with Miss Candy or drop in on the Teen Coffee House
Join a club
Join a book club on Monday evening, Thursday morning, or create your own with book clubs to go kits
Play a game
Drop in Wednesdays for a Mar Jongg game, or Teen night for board games and pizza
Listen to a story
Come listen to Books f or Babies, Fab Friday Storytime, or pickup a book-on-CD, and download a book from
Find a job
Attend a career seminar, browse the job hunting links at or job search on the library terminals

Monday, November 16, 2009

Libraries & Literacy - E

Educating the public for 21st century literacy

The library is keeping instep with technological advances.  Now patrons can request an item or renew a book online from anywhere.  The Friends recently purchased new computers and updated educational software for the children’s department.

If audiobooks are your passion, downloadable mp3 books are available from any computer at Yes, you can now checkout and download an audiobook from home.

For those residents who do not have internet access, the library provides terminals for research or assessing e-mail.  If you don’t know how to use the internet or the computer, the library offers computer classes by request.  Stop by the reference desk to schedule a class.  The library will continue being an indispensable resource for the future, providing additional computer training, CD-Roms and educational software for the residents of Roxbury.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Libraries & Literacy - V

Vital information for a healthy and productive life = life skills literacy
The library is a family resource center providing health and consumer information, personal growth & development resources for all stages of life. The lobby walls are packed with brochures on a wide range of topics from the Girls Scouts to Morris County Mental Health.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Library sponsor the Books for Babies program introduce parents of newborns with the important role they play in their child’s literacy development. Parents can start their babies on the path to success in reading and learning by regularly reading to newborns.  Studies show that babies who enjoy early and frequent experiences with books start kindergarten well ahead of those who have lacked such experiences. Stop by the circulation desk for your packet.
Programs like the upcoming Money Saving Tips from a Coupon Queen on Tuesday, December 1 at 7PM helps consumers cut costs in this uncertain economic climate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Libraries & Literacy - I

Investing in personal prosperity = business and financial literacy

How does the Roxbury Library aid in personal prosperity? There are a myriad of finance books available at the library that enlighten us on the way to prosperity.  My favorite finance author – Suze Orman often speaks of making more room in your life by clearing out the clutter.  Luckily, the library offers a computer class on how to master E-Bay to help us unload our no longer wanted “treasures”.

After the beginning of the year, if you need a tax form, head to the table in the lobby to pick up your form.  If you need help with your taxes, make an appointment with one of the AARP tax volunteers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Libraries & Literacy - R

Responsible and informed citizens = civic literacy

How does the Roxbury Library help create responsible & informed citizens?  By creating a place where we can come together to discuss ideas and gain knowledge of our town, country and the world beyond. The library offers information for newcomers and residents, including neighborhood and community development resources.  Groups of all sizes and interests from the Boy Scouts, to Noah’s Ark to homeowner associations, routinely use the library’s conference rooms to meet. Voters in Ward 2 districts 2 & 3 cast their votes at the library on Election Day.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Libraries & Literacy - H

Heritage: past, present, and future = cultural literacy

You know what Roxbury looks like today, but do you know how Roxbury has evolved? Go to to click through a pictorial history of Roxbury. If you have old pictures the library would love to scan them into their collection. Please contact the Adult services for more information.

Looking to expand your horizons visit Italy during WWII. Come to the library Friday, November 20 at 2PM for a book signing and lecture, The Children of Vesuvius by Bernard Hailperin. Mr Halperin will be here to sign copies of his book and to talk about his experience in Italy during World War II.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Libraries and Literacy T

Teaching and supporting basic literacy skills

The Roxbury Library has a wide range of programming teach & support basic literacy. New parents can join the Books for Babies program for tips on laying the foundation for lifelong learning.  As a child grows they can participate in; pre-school story time, Read Across America, summer reading programs and children’s homework help. Teens can Rock the Stacks or sign up for Dear Reader. Roxbury library has several active book clubs for both adults & children to join. If you are interested in joining a book club, check the for dates and times.  

Friday, November 6, 2009

Libraries and Literacy

Libraries & Literacy
It’s Time to THRIVE!

Teaching and support = basic literacy skills
Heritage: past, present, and future = cultural literacy
Responsible and informed citizens = civic literacy
Investing in personal prosperity = business and financial literacy
Vital information for a healthy and productive life = life skills literacy
Educating the public for 21st century literacy

Libraries & Literacy go hand-in-hand.  Friends of the Library groups around the country are banding together to help our libraries THRIVE. Libraries provide a unique role in lifelong literacy and learning. They teach and support basic literacy skills; promote our heritage through cultural literacy; help create responsible and informed citizens through civic literacy; invest in personal prosperity with business & financial literacy, provide information for a healthy and productive life through life skill literacy and plan for the future by providing access, information and resources on the technology highway. 

At the Roxbury Library, new parents can join the Books for Babies program for tips on laying the foundation for lifelong learning.  The literacy & learning link continues as a child grows; with Read Across America, sing along with Miss Candy, summer reading programs, children’s homework help, and the teen online book club.  For adults, the library provides an array of evening programs from cultural to musical, adult summer reading club, and classes to hone computer skills.  Life skills literacy are available through a wide range of health and “how to” materials and employment/ career resources.  Seniors can avail themselves of tax help, enjoy a movie with the Senior Film program or join in the weekly mar jongg tournament.  The library will continue being an indispensable resource for the future providing internet access, subscriptions to online databases, computer training, CD-ROMs and educational software