Novella Night is coming!

The Friends of the Hoboken Public Library will mark an extraordinary milestone in 2011, our 25th anniversary. The all-volunteer organization was founded in 1986 by a group of dedicated library patrons with the mission of supporting – in many different ways – the treasure that is our local public library.
In the ensuing two-and-a-half decades, the scope of the Friends’ outreach activities has evolved and expanded in sync with the changing needs of the Library and its users. If anything, the Hoboken Public Library in 2011 is even more vital to the life of our community than ever. Circulation numbers continue rising, patronage is booming – signs that the institution is relevant and vital to a broad spectrum of our community, from the young to the old, from job-hunters to retirees.
As the Friends do our part to help the Library, we must raise money along the way to help fund the acquisitions we make (“clam-shell” protective containers for housing fragile documents in the library’s historical collection, for instance) and the programs we sponsor, such as an English as a Second Language (ESL) program for adults, the “Vanishing Hoboken” oral history project co-sponsored with the Hoboken Historical Museum, the library’s First Saturday programs for children.
Our most important fund-raiser of the year is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 15. The event, this year called “Novella Night” – a “lite” variation of the Friends’ popular “Novel Night” – will be an evening of festive cocktail parties across town hosted by an array of generous hosts serving up abundant libations, hors d’oeuvres, and conversation.
Tickets are $75 (and tax deductible as allowed by law). There will be some parties with themes and some without, and party-goers need not make any choices: all events are sure to be super-special.
The deadline for reservations is Sept. 25 Previous “Novel Night” events have sold out. To reserve your spaces, visit the Friends’ website –
If you have questions, please call (201) 795-5410 or email
Proceeds from “Novella Night” will go to a variety of library needs identified by Library Director Lina Podles, such as an after-school reading/tutoring program, ESL materials, a Tech Club for teens, a Listening Station computer with speech-ware (for visually impaired people), and/or new projection equipment.
Don’t miss this chance for an evening of great food and conversation, making new friendships and perhaps renewing old ones. We hope to see you on Oct. 15.

English classes continue

The Friends’ popular English as a Second Language (ESL) Program for adults who want to improve their conversational skills will continue this fall. Under the leadership of Diana Gonzalez and with the assistance of volunteer tutors, the 10-session program will begin Oct. 5 and conclude Dec. 14. If you are interested in participating as a student or tutor, please email

Literacy outreach

To launch a new effort to promote literacy and reading in the Hoboken community, the Friends are participating on Sept. 11 in the city-wide “Mitzvah Day” event sponsored by the United Synagogue of Hoboken. “Mitzvah Day” is designed to encourage community service (“mitzvah,” often translated as “good deed,” literally means a commandment of the Jewish law).
Friends volunteers will spend the day reading aloud to children residing in Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) buildings. The Friends are coordinating the day’s activities with Carmelo Garcia, executive director of the HHA, HHA Trustee and Mitzvah Day organizer Jake Stuiver, and other volunteers, including Forde Prigot of the library’s Board of Trustees.
This initiative will be the kick-off for ongoing efforts to encourage reading and library use by the residents of the Housing Authority, and library staff members Lois Gross and Laura Knittel will attend to help people get library cards.
The Friends welcome donations of children’s books as well as volunteers to help carry out this program. Please contact us at Meanwhile, we thank project directors Marilyn Freiser and Roseann Rana – and to all city officials who are assisting with this effort.

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