Women in Action Awards

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Cynthia Harris Honored as one of 27 Women in Action at the Jersey City Women’s History Month Program on March 30, 2012

From the looks of each woman’s biography, no one was seeking out an award. Each was in her was in her own sphere, making a difference and making tracks to her next assignment.

Such is Cynthia Harris in the execution of her duties as manager of the New Jersey Room at the Main Library. It was perfectly right and fitting that the Jersey City Mayor and Municipal Council award her during National Women’s History Month 2012.

Jersey City Council President Peter Brennan nominated Cynthia for the Women in Action award, which was given out in a ceremony in the beautiful Anna Cucci Memorial Council Chambers at the historic City Hall on Thursday evening, March 29, 2012. One of 27 women, Cynthia beamed when she approached the podium to receive her award from Jersey City Council President Brennan, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, and First Lady Maureen.

The program featured this biography of our Cynthia:

“Since 2001, Cynthia Tosatto Harris has managed the New Jersey Room at Jersey City’s Main Library. A savvy procurer of Jersey City and Hudson County documents, she has helped build and preserve its collection, most notably through yearbooks. She served on Jersey City’s 350th anniversary celebration’s “Come Home to History” Fair essay contest committee, and, an avid postcard collector, has co-authored, Changing Jersey City: A History in Photographs, in 2009.

“An alumna of Holy Rosary Academy, where she graduated Magna cum laude, and St. Peter’s College, Cynthia earned her Masters in Library Science (MLS) at Rutgers University, where in 2000, she helped found SOURCE – Student Organization for Unique & Rare Collections Everywhere. Her interest in archival documents is evidenced by her membership since 1989 in the Central Jersey Deltiological Society, a postcard collecting club, where she has served as president and treasurer. She is active in the Hudson County Genealogical & Historical Society.

“This former 24-year Jersey City Public School teacher of the 4th, 6th and 7th grades never really forsook teaching for librarianship. Every day, Cynthia teaches by serving patrons of the New Jersey Room, helping them research home histories, family genealogies, and other information.

“Married to her husband Bernard, this Jersey City native is the proud mother of Brittany, and most certainly a Woman of Action.”

The Jersey City Free Public Library is certainly proud of Cynthia T. Harris, MLS, manager of the New Jersey Room, too!

MASTER OF CEREMONIES – Or, is the term, Mistress? The “Emcee” of the program was Jersey City Cultural Affairs Director Maureen Kelleher, whose delivery at the mic was succinct and moving, and perfect in tone at the Women in Action awards ceremony for Women’s History Month 2012.

LAUDING FROM THE TOP – Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy addressed the packed Council Chambers before giving out the precious awards to the 27 Women in Action assembled on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

APPRECIATION FROM ON HIGH – The renovation of the historic City Hall in Jersey City is a delight to behold, especially when viewing the stained glass dome in the Anna Cucci Memorial Council Chambers.

APPRECIATION FROM ACROSS THE ROOM – The rehabilitation extended throughout City Hall, including the more subdued rose-colored wall treatment that complements the magnificent stained glass.

CLOSE UP OF WALL DETAILS – The beauty of the evening is fully expressed in the detailing of the rehabilitation of the Anna Cucci Memorial Council Chambers at Jersey City City Hall.


THE GATHERING – Cynthia Harris, seen from the back, as she and her supporters gather at the podium for her to receive the Women in Action award. Maureen Kelleher, director of the Jersey City Division of Cultural Affairs, read from her biography.

A HAPPY MOMENT – A beaming Cynthia Harris is surrounded by Jersey City Council President Peter Brennan, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and First Lady Maureen Healy as they assemble for the presentation.

THE HAPPY COUPLE – Cynthia, and her husband Bernard, pose for a quick photo before leaving the podium.

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