Library of the Chathams announces January Programs

Library of the Chathams January 2022

English as a Second Language Classes

For those wanting to improve their English language skills, the library will start their next series of ESL classes during a winter session, starting the week of January 10th. These free classes will be conducted online via Zoom by LEARN Associates and volunteer tutors for 8 weeks. Students will be divided into small groups by skill level and registration is required. Sign up in person, by phone at 973-635-0603, or online at

Mahjong Open Play

Everyone who loves Mahjong is welcome to play at the library on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Bring friends or come alone and find new partners! However, remember to bring your 2021 Mahjong card. There is no need to sign up — just come and enjoy the game.

Vikings in America with Fran Drew

In September 1960, immediately after Hurricane Donna, Fran Drew and two other family members discovered an unusual hunk of a boat at low tide on the Manasquan beach. After tying the wreckage to the jetty, they hauled the soggy skeleton of an old ship ashore. Others helped transport the ship to the family’s property, one block from the beach. Over the next month, hundreds of people came to see the hulk along with historical experts from Rutgers, the Smithsonian, and Oslo, Norway. Please join the library on Monday, January 10th at 7 p.m. where Chatham resident, Fran Drew, will explain what was learned about her family’s great discovery. Those who cannot attend can join by the Zoom link found on the library’s website at

American Red Cross Blood Drive

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the library on Tuesday, January 11th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Supporting this drive helps the Red Cross fulfill its mission by ensuring the availability of a safe and reliable blood supply needed to save lives.

The Seven Spots to Declutter First with Jamie Novak

Professional organizer and author of, Keep This, Toss That, Jamie Novak will help you start your new year off becoming clutter free by tidying up seven spots that will make the biggest difference. From paperwork to closets, Jamie will share the top seven areas to declutter for a fresh start. You’ll learn what to do first, without getting overwhelmed, and how to pack a toolkit for all your decluttering tasks. If you are ready to follow through on your resolution to get organized, then this is the program for you. Please join the library on Monday, January 17th at 7 p.m. via the Zoom link found on the library’s website at

Who Wants to Talk? Thor in Popular Culture

The interactive presentation delves into the mythological roots of modern representations and adaptations of Norse Mythology, centering particularly on Thor, God of Thunder. After a brief introduction, several defining tales about Thor will be told, then connected and compared to modern representations in popular culture, including, but not limited to, the recent Marvel film adaptations. Please join the library on Monday, January 17th at 7 p.m. The talk will be presented by Dr. Matthew T. Jones, Associate Professor and the Founding Chair of the Department of Communication at the County College of Morris. His PhD dissertation centered on adaptation of comic art to film. His current research interests include diffusion of traditional folklore in popular culture, as well as, Norse, Celtic, and Greek Mythologies, esoteric belief systems, rune lore, and pagan religions. This is part of Who Wants to Talk?, which is a series of online conversations moderated by Library Director, Karen Brodsky. You may sign up at, or call 973-635-0603.

Holocaust Survivors Speak

Elie Wiesel said, “When you listen to a witness, you become a witness.” In order to remember, and most importantly, learn from the past, the Holocaust Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest has offered its Survivors Speak program for the past 15 years. The library will hear from Holocaust survivors or their descendants telling their stories, followed by a question-and-answer session. The program will be presented in person at the library on Tuesday, January 25th at 7 p.m. Those who cannot attend may join via Zoom by going to the link on the library’s website at

February 2022 Events:

Income Tax Assistance

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) will be held on Wednesdays, February 2nd to April 13th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments for this free service may be made in person or by calling the library at 973-635-0603. Please bring all your financial records from 2021, copies of your 2020 Federal and State tax returns, all printed and blank forms from the Internal Revenue Service, picture identification, and proof of Social Security for all dependents filing.

Essex Water Color Show

The Essex Water Color Club, the oldest water color club in New Jersey, will hold a show of its work at the library through February. An opening reception, sponsored by The Friends of The Library, will be held for the artists on Sunday, February 6th from 2:15 p.m. to 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail

Former Chatham resident, Jennifer White Fischer, will present a talk on traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail to be held on Tuesday, February 8th at 7 p.m. at the Library of the Chathams. Through her photographs, she will tell the exciting story of the Corps of Discovery’s adventures in the early 1800’s as they explored the newly acquired Louisiana Territory, crossed the Bitterroot Mountains, and continued on to the Pacific Ocean.

Fischer is the author of Adventures Across America, On and Off the Trail of Lewis and Clark, which is about her two extended road trips following the trail and exploring the northwest United States. She has been writing about her travels for the Out and About section of the New Jersey Hills Media Group newspapers, which includes The Chatham Courier, for the past five years.

Who Wants to Talk? In Defense of Romance Novels: Empowering Women, Exhibiting Nontoxic Masculinity & Embracing Sexuality

Michelle Altieri, Professor of Communications at the County College of Morris, will explore how romance novels, far from being frivolous, are about empowering women, exhibiting nontoxic masculinity, and embracing sexuality. Using novel excerpts by Julia Quinn, Diana Gabaldon, Nora Roberts, and others, the library will take a closer look at the value of romance, as well as how the genre is providing space for all generations of women to love others, plus themselves, fiercely and unapologetically. Join the Library of the Chathams on Tuesday, February 16th at 7 p.m. Sign up at, or call 973-635-0603. This is part of Who Wants to Talk, which is a series of online conversations moderated by Library Director, Karen Brodsky.

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