Wendy Ritch, “TonalVision” @ TR Mancini Hall

November 1, 2010

What: Photography Exhibit
When: November 1-30, 2010
Where: Toms River Branch

CONTACT: Megan Ruisch / Information Services
                    (732) 349-6200 xt. 5100
                    mruisch@theoceancountylibrary.org

Library Exhibit Showcases Music In Living Color

TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Library  will host “TonalVision”, an exhibit of experimental photography by local artist Wendy Ritch, during  November.

 TonalVision is a series of digital images created with an electronic device known as a music visualizer.  Ritch ran MP3 recordings of her own original musical compositions through the visualizer and captured the resulting screen images, which she then altered using PhotoShop.   This highly original method produced 100 images using only twelve minutes of music.

 “I can never create the same image twice, because the process is so dynamic,” says Ritch.  “But I have many new songs to be written and new images to create.”

 A resident of Wall Township, she is the Assistant Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey (UMDNJ).  Her interest in photography and digital imaging turned professional in 2007 with the founding of RitchVision Photography in 2007.  Ritch has since exhibited her award-winning work in more than thirty solo and group exhibits and is an active member of the Toms River Artists Community (TRACx81). 

 A reception for Ritch will be held in the McConnell Gallery on November 11, 2010, 7:00-8:30 pm.  Visitors are invited to meet the artist and enjoy light refreshments.

 This exhibit is free and open to the public, and can be viewed in the Toms River Branch galleries during library hours.  Additional information is available from either the Web site (www.theoceancountylibrary.org) or by telephoning (732) 349-6200, xt. 5100.


Reflections on Justice: Art & Politics in the Work of Ben Shahn in TR library branch

October 11, 2010

The Ocean County Library will present a series of programs “Art and Politics in the Work of Ben Shahn” on Oct. 20th and Oct. 25th at the Toms River branch, 101 Washington Street, Toms River.

Long time New Jersey resident Ben Shahn recorded in paint and on film a broad swath of America’s social landscape, ranging from the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement.

A program for teens will be held on Wed Oct 20 at 6:00 p.m. They will view the film “Ben Shahn: Passion for Justice” and discuss how historical images in print and film influence their opinions.

Two programs for adults are scheduled on Monday, Oct 25. “Ben Shahn: A Passion for Justice” will be shown at 5 p.m.

It will be followed at 7 p.m. by “Reflections on Justice: Ben Shahn,” a lecture and discussion presented by Geraldine Velasquez Ed.D., Professor of Art at Georgian Court University.

These programs are funded by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, in support of the NJCH’s Humanities Festival Grant theme “Reflections on Justice”.

This program is free and open to the public. Register in-person by telephone (732) 349-6200 or online at http://www.oceancountylibrary.org.


OCL & OCC to screen anti-bias film

September 20, 2010

The Toms River branch of Ocean County Library and Ocean County College will both sponsor screenings of Chas Brack’s documentary “Dreams Deferred: the Sakia Gunn Project” on Tuesday, October 5.

The screenings will be followed with a discussion about the event and the film.

Both screenings are free and open to the public.  The college viewing begins at 2 p.m. in the College’s Student Center.  The viewing at the library begins at 6:30 p.m. in Mancini Hall.

Sakia Gunn, a 15-year-old black, lesbian teenager, was killed in Newark, NJ on May 11, 2003 after she rejected the sexual advances of a man.  It was estimated that more than 2,500 people attended her funeral.

Her death spurred the local community to protest bias against gays in Newark.  Brack’s film examines Gunn’s death and the issues confronting black LGBT people.

“No film has addressed Sakia’s story or youth like her,” Brack wrote in describing “The Sakia Gunn Project.”  “The film’s mission is to make black LGBT kids more visible and less vulnerable. The goal is to elevate them and signal to everyone that black LGBT youth are worth loving, protecting and planning for.”

Brack studied documentary arts at Antioch College.  In New York City he became involved in Men of All Colors Together, NY – an anti-racism organization.  He took a position at the New York City Commission on Human Rights in the Lesbian and Gay Discrimination Documentation Project/AIDS Discrimination Unit as Associate Video Producer. 

Brack co-founded and performed with Lavender Light Gospel Choir for over 15 years. As a result of that work he became a charter member and ordained deacon in Unity Fellowship Church, NY.

Brack’s professional career continued at The Gay Men’s Health Crisis as producer of their weekly AIDS information television magazine, “Living With AIDS.”  He works at Third World Newsreel as Fiscal Sponsorship Officer while producing the Sakia Gunn Film Project.


TV genealogist talks about family secrets, genealogy @ TR

June 23, 2010

Genealogist and television personality Megan Smolenyak will speak at Ocean County Library’s Toms River branch (101 Washington St.) Thursday July 8 at 6:30 p.m.

 Smolenyak, one of the researchers who appears on the NBC network’s “Who Do You Think You Are?”  and author of two books, will talk about “Cases That Made My Brain Hurt.”

 Recent episodes of the show have investigated the ancestry of such celebrities as Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Spike Lee and Emmitt Smith.

 The show personalizes the celebrity’s family history, uncovering secrets and long-lost relatives.  And along the way it records the raw emotions they feel as their stories unfold.

 Smolenyak, who has written a companion guide to the series, is a genealogical adventurer who loves to solve mysteries.  Since 1999 she has worn many hats in the family history world.  She created RootsTelevision.com and founded UnclaimedPersons.org, a volunteer group that assists coroners and medical examiners.

 The program is free and open to the public.  Registration is required.  For more information or to register check the library Web site www.theoceancountylibrary.org or telephone the operator at (732) 349-6200 or (609) 971-0514.

 Copies of her books, “Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History” and “Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree” will be available for purchase. 

 The program is cosponsored by the Ocean County Genealogical Society and the Leisure Village West Genealogy Club.


Tech Buddies can answer your hi-tech questions

June 14, 2010

Need to program your cell phone?  Having trouble with your digital camera?  Want to reconnect with friends and family online?  Teenagers are the experts in the latest ways to keep in touch – and they can help you get started! 

Volunteer teen Tech Buddies will be available by appointment every Monday, July 12 through August 16, from 2:00-3:00 p.m., in the Toms River library’s computer lab.  Tech Buddies can help with basic technology questions, like:

  •  My niece told me I should join Facebook – how do I get started? 
  • I have a new cell phone and I’m having trouble re-entering the names and numbers.  Is there an easier way?  (Bring your list of contacts with you.)
  • If I take a picture with my cell phone, can I print it out?

 Take advantage of these unique opportunities to connect with friends and family and with the teen volunteers in your community.

 The Toms River Library is located at 101 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ.  To make an appointment for this free program call 732-349-6200 or visit our website www.theoceancountylibrary.org.


North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club to perform in TR

May 27, 2010

The North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club, one of the oldest continuously singing all-male groups in the Mid-Atlantic States, will perform at the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library (101 Washington St.) Monday June 14 at 7 p.m.

Throughout their history, the North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club’s members have been drawn to perform because of their love of choral music.  That joy is evident throughout each concert.

The North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club is dedicated to the preservation of male choral singing tradition performing a wide variety of music.  Since its founding in 1939 it draws much of its repertoire from African American idioms and Western European Classical music forms.

The group’s performances reach audiences throughout the nation and have delighted people from different cultures, social classes and neighborhoods.  They have appeared in The White House, Lincoln Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Smithsonian Institution, the National Cathedral, Riverside Church and the Schomberg Center in New York City, and the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

Since their formation they have performed with such singers as Paul Robeson, Harry Belafonte, Smokey Robinson, Ben Vereen, the late Christopher Reeves, Savion Glover, the Newark Boys Chorus and gospel legend Shirley Caesar. 

The glee club’s performance is free and open to the public but registration is required.  To register or for more information go to the library Website (www.theoceancountylibrary.org) or telephone the operator (732) 349-6200 or (609) 971-0514.


Preserving your hisotric items

May 13, 2010

As spring cleaning is underway, Americans across the country will be left to contemplate how to preserve new found treasures.

Ocean County Library will provide information and expertise on how to preserve collectables, photos, family records and other valuable materials.

“Pass It On: Preserving your Family Treasures” will be held on Saturday May 22 at 2 p.m. at the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library.

Preservation Specialist Jill Rawnsley has worked at the Conservation Center in Philadelphia and with the Philadelphia Archives. She will answer questions such as: “How should I handle a fragile photograph? How do I store my quilts, baseball cards, comics, family papers, or doll collection?” Bring your questions and learn how to properly store, display and handle your treasures.

Sample books, handouts, and examples of storage boxes and folders will be available.

This program is presented in cooperation with the New Jersey State Library and American Library Association’s Preservation Week. Ocean County Library received funding this year from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of Cultural Affairs in the Department of State, through a local history program grant administered by the Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

This program is free and open to the public. Please register in-person, by telephone (732)349-6200 or (609) 971-0514, or online at http://www.theoceancountylibrary.org .