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Acclaimed author and Jersey City-native Kevin Powell came home to Jersey City, with a special book signing of his new memoir, THE EDUCATION OF KEVIN POWELL, which details his powerful life story and his growing into manhood in post-Civil Rights America.  Both the Greenville Branch Library and P.S. #34 are featured significantly in Powell’s memoir.

The book signing event, part of the Jersey City Free Public Library’s commitment to expanded programming for residents, drew nearly 50 people on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at Sloane Square, 150 Bay Street. WORD Bookstore, a partner in the homecoming event, worked in conjunction as a bookseller of the memoir.

Read more: Kevin Powell Book Launch

An avowed and self-described “science evangelist” whose life goal for children and young adults is to “Make. Science. Fun.” has donated $3,000 to the Marion Branch, 1017 West Side Avenue, of the Jersey City Free Public Library.

World renowned materials research scientist and Jersey City-native Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D. recently received the Andrew Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics (AIP), from which she personally received $5,000 and $3,000 to further public communication of physics to her designated institution of choice. Dr. Ramirez named as grant recipient the Marion Branch Library, where she spent many hours reading and learning as a child.

“Dr. Ramirez has distinguished herself in her chosen field of science. We are so proud of her, and happy that she has chosen her childhood reading hideaway – the Marion Branch Library – as the designated non-profit organization of her award,” said Library Director Priscilla Gardner.

The recent West Bergen Branch Library renovation, though much-needed, was on a much-smaller scale than the major renovation that the Main Library has been currently undergoing, for disabled accessibility and overall interior improvement on all four floors. A storefront library, Marion Branch also is in need of an upgrade. For more information on donating to the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc., please scroll down the library homepage to the link.

Read more: Marion Branch Library Receives $3,000 from Jersey City-Native Dr. Ainissa G. Ramirez

Jersey City Library Literacy Program Hosted Special Workshop for Literacy Staff, Volunteer Tutors & Students on Friday, February 27

With the Main Library being in the throes of multi-year renovation, the Jersey City Library Literacy Program has had to think on its feet, yet, at the same time, plan for the expected…and unexpected. Hence, Literacy has been holding its many meetings and classes at various branches and other areas throughout Jersey City since the renovations started in late October 2014.

On Friday, February 27, 2015 at the Greenville Branch Library board room, the second meeting was held for the ALLIES Research Project, stemming from a grant from Dollar General to conduct research on learner leadership. Marty Finsterbusch, the director of VALUEUSA who came up from Philadelphia to facilitate the workshop, is a former adult literacy student and an advocate for adult learners. As a literacy student peer, Mr. Finsterbusch had a unique and keen perspective to help literacy staff, volunteer tutors and students become the best teachers of adult literacy. Jersey City Library Literacy Program administrative volunteer Sherly George helped Mr. Finsterbusch by writing on the dry erase board.

Read more: Jersey City Library Literacy Program Hosted Special Workshop for Literacy Staff...

Dr. Robert Perry Celebrated Black History Monthat the Jersey City Library by Shining a Light on theRecent Passing of African-American Greats

Since 2009, the Federal Documents Department at the Main Library has been hosting Black History Month programs featuring esteemed professor Robert Perry, Ph.D. This year, the Main Library was closed, due to its ongoing renovations, so on Thursday, February 12, 2015, Dr. Perry presented at the Barack H. Obama Auditorium in the Greenville Branch Library.

Dr. Perry’s program, Artists and Activism, a participatory tribute to legends: Amiri Baraka, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Maya Angelou, courted the audience with poetry, prose and a discussion of what made these artists great. The salient point: having the courage to say what’s on one’s mind, regardless of the circumstances.

By virtue of standing up for what one believes, each artist’s indomitable spirit expanded civil rights for all.

Dr. Perry chose these four people because, in 2014, three of them passed away: Amiri Baraka, January 9; Maya Angelou, May 28; and Ruby Dee, June 11. Ossie Davis died on February 4, 2005.

Read more: Black History Month Celebration 2015 - Dr. Robert Perry