With June right around the corner, the Mercer County Library System (MCLS) is preparing for a month of events. Throughout June, MCLS is offering eight virtual programs and lectures highlighting a wide range of topics from poetry and writing, to skin safety in the sun, the history of LGBTQ+ in NJ, resources for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and much more. Additionally, MCLS is offering two in-person, outdoor programs for children three to eighteen. Below outlines MCLS’s event schedule for the month of June:

  • Navigating Resources for Children & Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder | Thursday, June 3, 1:00 p.m.

The Family Resource Network is proud to present its representatives from Autism Family Services of New Jersey, Caregivers of New Jersey, and Programs & Services to discuss the available care the organization can provide for your child or adolescent with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Family Services of New Jersey will be providing information on available Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Individual Support Services (ISS) services for Mercer County. Caregivers of New Jersey was formed in response to the growing number of caregivers within the state and provide a central point of contact on caregiving issues. They are also a leader in providing support coordination services and work with individuals to help develop person-centered life plans. Programs & Services will present community-based programs available for your child. Please join us for this informative session followed by a Q&A. Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org to register to receive a link to program.

  • Poetry Circle | Thursday, June 3, 7:00 p.m.

Many people were inspired by Amanda Gorman’s poetry reciting at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration. When a poem is read in front of a worldwide audience through television and the internet, it is a high-profile example of a 21st-century “occasional poem”. When it gives hope to all, unites people from left and right, and has the power to heal different kinds of wounds, it is truly as what the great German poet Goethe declared – “Occasional Poetry is the highest kind.” Many great occasional poems commemorate events, mark history and celebrate life. Come and join MCLS’s poetry circle discussion to learn more occasional poems from Walt Whitman, Maya Angelou, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, W. H. Auden, Carl Sandberg, Stanley Kunitz, and Bob Dylan. Sharon, a librarian for the Lawrence Branch, will lead the discussion. Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org to register to receive a link to program.

 Writers Group: Curing Writer’s Block | Thursday, June 10, 1:00 p.m.

This monthly writers’ group invites writers of all genres and forms to join a creative community. The group alternates between discussion-based informative sessions and generative writing sessions, and is led by librarian and fiction writer, Corina Bardoff. Rather than a workshop focused on critique, the group aims to be an inspiring and affirming support for writers at any stage of their writing life. This month: In this generative salon, we will experiment with prompts and exercises to push ourselves away from blocks (is this good enough? will it be published? why isn’t this easier?) into pursuing curiosity, playfulness, and problem-solving. Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org to register to receive a link to program.

 Managing Hip and Knee Arthritis | Monday, June 14, 7:00 p.m.

Arthritis can be a pain in the “butt”. Literally! Learn how innovative strategies are being employed to enable patients who undergo hip and knee replacement surgery to go home the very same day as their surgery. Please join Brian M. Culp, MD, specializing in orthopaedic surgery, and a member of the Medical Staff of Penn Medicine Princeton Health (part of the Jim Craige Center for joint replacement), where he discusses some of the novel aspects of hip and knee replacement that can let a patient avoid an overnight stay. Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org to register to receive a link to program.

 Healthy Skin and Sun Safety | Thursday, June 17, 3:30 p.m.

Join Alexa Hetzel, M.S, PA-C, for this informative session on skin cancer and skin care. Learn about what effects the sun has on the skin, sun protection and other tips for healthy skin. Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org to register to receive a link to program.

Women on Wheels: Bicycling in the Gilded Age | Thursday, June 17, 7:00 pm

Is it surprising that in the 1890s conservatives panicked at visions of women riding alone, with other women, or with unsuitable men, and campaigned to stop them? Some claimed that women would damage themselves by acquiring a “bicycle face,” or would get sexual pleasure from bicycling – and thus ruin their reproductive capacities. When women and girls first rode bicycles in large numbers, they celebrated their new freedom to move around in the world. Susan B. Anthony thought bicycling had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” Other suffragists praised bicycling as a road to fuller citizenship for women: women would travel more widely on their own, and would learn a larger sense of responsibility to their fellow travelers. Join us as Dr. Ellen Gruber Garvey, author of two prize-winning books, Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance and The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture explains how women of the Gilded Age found freedom through bicycling and why it still matters today. Sponsored by the Friends of the Lawrence Branch, Friends of the West Windsor Branch and the Hightstown Library Association. Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org to register to receive a link to program.

  • LGBTQ+ in NJ: A History of a Community & GAAMC | Wednesday, June 23, 7 p.m.
GAAMC (Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County), is the second oldest continually operating LGBTQ+ organization in the United States. Founded in 1972, the group continues to challenge new and existing discriminatory laws, while also providing support services and social activities to the LGBTQ+ community in NJ. Join us as GAAMC members provide a unique and informative program about New Jersey’s LGBTQ+ history, as well as how the organization has evolved during it’s (almost) 50 years of existence. 

Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org to register to receive a link to program. 

  • Student Transition Webinar | Monday, June 28, 6:30 p.m.

This webinar facilitated by Trisha Bailey, a Support Coordinator/Trainer at Caregivers of New Jersey, will provide valuable information to better prepare individuals with disabilities and their families for the transition into adult life services. Topics will include the step-by-step transition process Medicaid eligibility, support coordination, choosing the right support coordination agency, and much more! Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org to register to receive a link to program.

Outdoor Children’s Programs – 2021 June – Hightstown Memorial Branch, 114 Franklin St. Hightstown, NJ 08520 | 609-448-1474

  • Outdoor Stories with Mr. Malcolm (ages 3-up) | Monday, June 21, 10:30 a.m.

Kick off the 2021 Children’s Summer Reading Program with “Tails and Tales” told by Mr. Malcolm, the library’s favorite interactive storyteller. Come enjoy animal themed stories by Mr. Malcolm in Hightstown Memorial Park.

Rain date is Monday, June 28 at 10:30 am 

Registration required at www.mcl.org

  • Tween/Teen Tote Bag Block Printing (ages 10-18) | Monday, June 28, 7:00 p.m.

Tweens & teens learn the history of Indian block printing while customizing their own canvas tote bag with a block print stamp and acrylic paint. This program can be messy, please dress accordingly.

Rain date is Monday, July 12 at 7:00 pm. 

Registration required at www.mcl.org