LBI library branch hosts John Sebastian at Jug Band Music documentary

July 9, 2012

TOMS RIVER – The Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library (217 S. Central Ave, Surf City) invites music enthusiasts to examine the origins and trace the journey of a unique American musical genre as they present a free screening of “Chasing Gus’ Ghost,” a documentary film about the history of jug band music, on Saturday, July 14, at 7 p.m.

The film screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director, Todd Kwait, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Sebastian (from The Lovin’ Spoonful), who appears in the film and was involved in its planning.

“Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost” grew out of director Kwait’s chance introduction to jug band music when he attended a performance of Sebastian’s J Band in 2005. Sebastian is best known as the chief songwriter for ‘60s band the Lovin’ Spoonful but before that, he was a founding member of the seminal Even Dozen Jug Band.

Along with his cohorts Maria and Geoff Muldaur, the late Fritz Richmond, Paul Rishell, Annie Raines and Jimmy Vivino, Sebastian saw his J Band as an opportunity to reintroduce the genre to audiences who might have forgotten its whimsical charms amid the raucous beats and screaming guitars of the rock and roll years.

Kwait’s film traces the origins of jug band music, while also offering a poignant glimpse of the last days of jug player extraordinaire Richmond (the foremost jug/washtub player in the world) who convinced the filmmaker to end the film with the band’s journey to the Yokohama Jug Band Festival in Japan.

Photographs by Catherine Sebastian, including touching portraits of her husband John and the late Fritz Richmond, documented the making of the film. They will be displayed at the branch during the screening.

For more information, go to the library Website www.theoceancountylibrary.org or http://bit.ly/MgDBXG .

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Food for Fines begins Monday

July 6, 2012

Swap your Food for Fines at the library

TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Library will partner with the Ocean County Health Department to offer library customers a way to take care of their overdue library charges and help the community through the Food for Fines program.

The library will accept non-perishable, non-expired food during the week of July 9th through the 15th in exchange for 50 cents per item, up to a total of $20, towards removing the customer’s overdue fines.

Credit goes towards overdue items only and will not be applied towards collection replacement fees.

Customers who do not have fines may also make donations of non-perishable food items at any Ocean County Library location.

Food collected during the Food for Fines program will be donated to the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Suggested food items include canned food, pasta, cereal and rice. Baby food and formula will not be accepted.

“Summer is the time when we see a significant drop in food donations,” said Linda Keenan, the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties Director of Development.

The library has conducted food drives in the past. In 2009 the library collected more than two tons of food.

“We hope to collect more than that this year,” said Ocean County Library Director Susan Quinn.

“The Food for Fines program is a great opportunity to help our less fortunate neighbors with our Ocean County Library turning a negative situation into a helping, positive experience,” said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari.

“This program also provides an opportunity to focus public attention on the need to support the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. I encourage those who return their books on time to make contributions as well,” he said. 

Vicari also serves as the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders liaison to the library.

“Food for Fines gives someone the opportunity to pay their fine,” said Ocean County Health Department Public Information Officer Leslie Terjesen, “but more importantly, helps to put food on someone’s table.”