Picture Galleries

A Celebration of Filipino Culture

On Thursday, May 17, 2018, the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation proudly hosted its 15th Annual Gala Fundraiser and Silent Auction: A Celebration of Filipino Culture. Close to 200 supporters of the Library gathered in the Skyline Room at the New Jersey City University School of Business to party for a great cause. In addition to raising funds for Library programming, this year’s celebration also honored the heritage and contributions of Jersey City’s Filipino and Filipino-American community.

The Honorable Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr. – the first Asian-American elected to public office in Jersey City – led up the distinguished Host Committee, and activist Shirley Capaldo served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Guests feasted on a contemporary menu inspired by traditional Filipino cuisine, provided by local culinary sensation Dale Talde – including a very special kamayan table for VIP guests. The history of Jersey City's Filipino community was told through images from the Jersey City Free Public Library's New Jersey Room. Filipino American fiction writer David Lat and activist and attorney Cecilia Aranzamendez celebrated the joy of reading and shared personal stories about the importance of libraries. The Filipino School of New York & New Jersey delighted the crowd with a performance of traditional Filipino dances. Everyone cut a rug to the sweet sounds of DJ Kevlove, and treated their sweet tooth with desserts provided by Milk Sugar Love. The beautiful floral centerpieces were provided by Casa Mona.

Read more: A Celebration of Filipino Culture

Sayantani DasGupta: The Serpent's Secret

What happens when a regular New Jersey girl finds out she’s an Indian princess and sets off on an interdimensional adventure? You get hooked on your favorite new fantasy series, that’s what! On Saturday, March 3, young readers and their families came to Five Corners to meet Sayantani DasGupta, author of The Serpent’s Secret, the exciting new middle-grade novel that’s based on Bengali folktales. Dr. DasGupta read a selection from the book, talked about her love of Bengali folktales and immigrant families that inspired her to write the story, discussed the upcoming sequel, and more. She was joined in conversation by Shehnaaz Jagasia, of Jersey City’s own Shehnaaz Dance Academy. Refreshments were generously provided by Sri Ganesh Dosa House. There’s always something exciting happening at your local library!

Read more: Sayantani DasGupta: The Serpent's Secret

President's Day 2018 (Glenn D. Cunningham Branch)

President's Day 2018 (Glenn D. Cunningham Branch)

This year for Presidents Day, Cunningham featured a special display: “The Private Lives of the Presidents and Their Wives.” The display included books delving into the fascinating personal stories of some of our nation’s greatest leaders, including recent newsmakers like Barack and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and reaching back to explore the lives of iconic history makers like Richard Nixon, George and Martha Washington, and Teddy Roosevelt. You can always learn something new at your local library!

Read more: President's Day 2018 (Glenn D. Cunningham Branch)

Flamenco Dance

On Wednesday, December 13, Biblioteca Criolla was the proud host of a special program, Flamenco Dancing. About 50 community members, including many children, braved a cold, windy evening to experience a taste of Spain, with Flamenco folkloric music traditions and dancing demonstrations.

Ms. Natallia Basava and a group of dancers from the Performing Arts Workshop NJ demonstrated traditional Flamenco music and dance, delighting the attendees with colorful dances from the different regions of Spain. Ms. Basava patiently explained Flamenco’s Andalusian origins, from the early days, when Flamenco seems to have been purely vocal, accompanied only by rhythmical clapping of hands (toque de palmas), up through later times when the guitar and other instruments were introduced to the form. Attendees enjoyed learning about some of these “newer” Flamenco instruments, such as tambourines, bells, and wooden castañuelas (castanets) – and of course, there was dancing! Ms. Basava invited everyone to participate in the dancing, while teaching dancing positions and steps.

Read more: Flamenco Dance