Saturday, January 21, 2017


We told you about the hundreds of Maplewood residents heading to Washington, D.C., for today's Women's March against Donald Trump.

But there were also a bunch of folks going into New York City today for a related march there.

Many at the train station this morning sporting appropriate hats and signs.


While many schools around the country were likely using Inauguration Day Friday as a teachable moment of history and government, discussion inside Maplewood Middle School was somewhat muted, according to several teachers and students.

Several instructors, who requested anonymity, said they were told not to discuss the swearing-in of Donald Trump without a specific lesson plan approved by Principal Dara Gronau. Several students said the principal told them not to discuss it when they were overheard. 

"Some directs quotes from our principal: 'please be careful,' 'try to stay away from it'," one teacher said. "This election, like the one eight years ago, is historic, I consider it a teachable moment that was snatched from us teachers."

Both teachers and students said their was a feeling that they could not discuss the swearing-in and that their ability to talk about it in a debatable way was suppressed.

This occurred the same day that student walkouts to protest Trump were held at Columbia High School and South Orange Middle School with district support.

Gronau did not respond to requests for comment, with a request referred to District Spokeswoman Suzanne Turner, who sent this statement via email:

The principal held a staff meeting earlier this week to discuss 
the possibility of having students watch the inauguration. 
Ms. Gronau informed staff that the inauguration could be viewed 
in class if the teacher had a clear instructional plan for learning 
outcomes for the students, and shared the plan in advance with the
principal. No teacher shared an instructional plan for showing 
the inauguration.


Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2016

10:00 am – 11:30 am

Hilton Branch – Saturdays, January 21 & 28, 10-11:30 am. Registration is required. 
This class is for intermediate computer users who are proficient with a mouse and keyboard.  The 2-part workshop will include demonstrations and hands-on exercises. It will cover:
  • Creating workbooks and worksheets
  • Using the menus and toolbars
  • Organizing and manipulating data
  • Formatting, sorting and filtering
Register at

Yarn & Fiber Arts Group

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Main Library – A gathering for people who knit, crochet, quilt, sew, embroider or do other creative things with yarn or fabric. Enjoy a relaxing morning working on your projects and get feedback and advice from fellow crafters. Bring your own supplies. All skill levels are welcome! Facilitated by Maplewood resident Amy Zorn. Drop in.

Create Space – Maplewood Library’s Makerspace is Open!

11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Hilton Branch – Every Tuesday 5:00-8:00 pm, Thursday 5:00-8:00 pm, and Saturday 10-1 pm. Patrons can use Rhino 3D software to build a model, print an object on our 3D printer or use our new color printer or laminator.  There are also Snap Circuits, Squishy Circuits, littleBits and SparkFun kits for the kids. Raspberry Pi single board computers are also available to learn more about computer science.  More information about the Create Space…

Special Screening: Poverty Inc.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Main Library – The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry. Yet the results have been mixed, and in some cases catastrophic. Drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore: countries feel they are held captive by the donor community. From TOMs Shoes to international   adoptions, from solar panels to  agricultural subsidies, the film challenges each of us to ask the tough question:  Could I be part of the problem?
A discussion will follow the screening.
Sponsored by Passport to Haiti, which provides cultural, artistic and educational events and experiences to reinforce Haitian cultural identity and pride. They strive to inspire life-long learning and strengthen community ties.

Friday, January 20, 2017


We told you earlier about the walkout at Columbia High School in protest of Donald Trump's inauguration today.

There was also a similar action at South Orange Middle School, according to witnesses.

See some video of that protest below:


Several hundred Columbia High School students walked out of class this morning in protest of Donald Trump's inauguration in a mostly peaceful protest that ended with the majority returning to class.

The walkout began at about 11 a.m., just as festivities in Washington, D.C., were getting underway, with students leaving class and meeting in front of the school building.

The group then marched to Town Hall along Valley Street, chanted and cheered for a brief time in front of the municipal building, then returned to the school. Chants ranged from "black lives matter" to "not my president." 

Police were dispatched to keep order, at one point closing portions of Valley Street between the school and Town Hall, but with no signs of disruption.

School District Spokeswoman Suzanne Turner walked with the group and said, while it was not organized by the school, district officials were supportive of the effort and had not sought to stop it.

See some highlights below:

Students said the effort was very much a grassroots creation, starting slowly via social media, texting, and Snapchat, then building with the gathering out front. One student said he saw some violence, claiming a door window had been smashed inside, but there was no outward evidence of damage.

See some student comments below:



Columbia High School's graduation rate has been on a slight decline for the past three years, according to data released last week from the state Department of Education.

While the state average increased from 89.7% in 2015 to 90.1% in 2016, CHS rates continued to dip.

The state report indicated the 2016 cohort graduation rate for Columbia High School was 88.84%. That is down from 90.78% in 2015, 92.95% in 2014 and 89.58% in 2013.

See the full report HERE.


3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Main Library ● All agesDrop In
We have lots of LEGOs for everyone to build and display their creations at the library!

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Is it Real or is it Fake? A Discussion About the News

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Main LibraryFake news became a big story during the Trump-Clinton campaign, but it’s been part of the U.S. political culture since the founding of our nation. Now, mostly because of social media and questionable “news” sites, it’s easier than ever to spread vicious rumors, half-baked theories, and outright lies. Donna Shaw, chair of The College of New Jersey’s Department of Journalism and Professional Writing, will offer some advice on how we can recognize fake news, and avoid passing it along to our friends.

Shaw is an associate professor who teaches Media Law, News Editing, Data Journalism, and an advanced writing course called Beats & Deadlines. Her specialty is science writing, concentrating in particular on how money and politics affect medicine. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and Journalism from Penn State University, and a master’s degree from Columbia University, where she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in Economics and Business Journalism. Before coming to TCNJ, she was a reporter and editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and an editor for WebMD.