Need help with your reading or writing skills?

Literacy VolunteersThe Atlantic City Free Public Library and Literacy Volunteers Association Cape-Atlantic are offering a basic adult literacy class for individuals who need help with their reading and writing skills. The class is for adults on a fifth grade reading level or lower.
A Literacy Volunteer will teach the class at the Main Library (One North Tennessee Ave.) from 1:30-3 p.m. on Wednesdays from July 8-Aug. 26.
Registration is required and on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. Visit the Main Library Help Desk to register. The class is free.
Please call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3079, for more information.

Atlantic City Historical Museum hosts crew from NJTV show

Talking Miss AmericaAn NJTV show scheduled to debut this fall visited the Atlantic City Historical Museum on June 20 to film an episode focused on the city’s history. “Drive By History” show co-hosts Ken Magos and Cindy Perman interviewed Atlantic City Library and Atlantic City Historical Museum archivist Heather Perez about some of the moments, people and places that have helped define Atlantic City, such as the creation of the boardwalk, Miss America and Convention Hall. In addition to shooting footage at the Historical Museum, the crew also filmed at Steel Pier and the site of Dr. Jonathan Pitney’s historical marker, located at Arkansas and Atlantic avenues. The episode is slated to air in 2016. Every day motorists pass by countless history markers and say, “one of these days I’m going to stop and read that.” On Drive By History, Magos and Perman not only stop and read those signs, they delve deeper into the history, uncovering rare details. Drive By History discovers the hidden treasures of New Jersey in a fact-filled and entertaining way.
Visit to learn more about Atlantic City history.

Library parterning with African-American Heritage Museum for new exhibit

George Walls Bath House 1920sThe Jet Black, Brown and Tan on the Beach exhibit – a compilation of five photo collections of Atlantic City’s famed Missouri Avenue Beach – will go on display beginning this month. Missouri Avenue Beach later became known as Chicken Bone Beach.
The exhibit consists of photos from the African-American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey (AAHMSNJ), Atlantic City Free Public Library, Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation Inc. (CBBHFI), Diane Graves and George E. Dickerson Collection, and Charles L. Blockson Collection of Temple University Libraries.
A panel discussion and the exhibit grand opening will be held Friday, June 12, at the AAHMSNJ at The Noyes Arts Garage – Stockton University, located at 2200 Fairmount Ave. in Atlantic City. The discussion will begin at 4:45 p.m. and run until the exhibit opening at 6 p.m. AAHMSNJ founder Ralph E. Hunter, Sr., and CBBHFI founder Henrietta Shelton will discuss the history of Missouri Avenue Beach, share stories and answer questions. The public will be invited to bring in and share their personal photos with the audience.
The exhibit will be comprised of more than 100 photographs, as well as framed quilted pieces. The photos, taken from 1910-60, feature the lifeguards, locals, tourists and celebrities who frequented this beach, which was designated as a blacks-only beach until the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. The exhibit will include photos of Martin Luther King, Jr., Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosalind Cash and Madame Sarah Spencer Washington. The exhibit will remain at the AAHMSNJ until Oct. 8.
The museum also plans to have a photo slideshow. Those who wish to have their photos considered for this exhibit are asked to email them to Atlantic City Free Public Library archivist Heather Perez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at (609) 345-2269, ext. 3062, for more information.
The museum’s suggested donations are $2 for students and seniors, and $3 for adults. It is free for members of the military, and on Wednesdays. Please call Hunter at (609) 350-6662 for more information.

PHOTO: Lifeguards and bathing beauties represented the George Walls Bath House in a Miss America parade in the 1920s. This bath house, where people would go to rent bathing suits, was the only African American-owned business on the Missouri Avenue Beach. This photo is from the Atlantic City Free Public Library’s Atlantic City Heritage Collections

New Adult Summer Reading Program debuts June 13

Detective and Mystery logoThe Atlantic City Free Public Library will for the first time offer for a Summer Reading Program for adults 18 years of age and older beginning in June. The program theme will be “Unconventional Heroes: Detectives, Private Eyes, Bad Guys and More!” This program complements the library’s popular Summer Reading Program for children and teens.
Adults will choose books from a reading list supplied by the library and will be asked to submit a brief review for each book they’ve read. Those participating will have an opportunity to win weekly library prizes, and the top readers will be entered in an end-of-summer grand prize raffle.
Those interested in signing up for the adult Summer Reading Program can do so at the Main Library (One North Tennessee Ave.) or Richmond Branch Library (4115 Ventnor Ave.) beginning June 13.
Also, the library has created a new book club for adults – The Start Ups: First in a Series Book Club – in conjunction with the Summer Reading Program. Book club participants will read and discuss the first books from different mystery series. The programs will be held at both the Main Library and Richmond Branch Library locations. Call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3077, for more information.
The schedule for the Start Ups: First in a Series Book Club:
•    “Split Second” at 11 a.m. June 13 at the Main Library and 6:15 p.m. June 23 at the Richmond Branch Library – The book club will discuss “Split Second,” which was written by David Baldacci and is part of the King and Maxwell Series.
•    “Deeper Than The Dead” at 11 a.m. July 18 at the Main Library and 6:15 p.m. July 21 at the Richmond Branch Library – The book club will discuss “Deeper Than The Dead,” which was written by Tami Hoag and is part of the Oak Knoll Series.
•    “Postmortem” at 11 a.m. Aug. 15 at the Main Library and 6:15 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Richmond Branch Library – The book club will discuss “Postmortem,” which was written by Patricia Cornwell and is part of the Kay Scarpetta Series.

The Summer Reading Program will also include other special programs:
•    Jane Kelly and The Art of the Series at 2:30 p.m. July 18 – Jane Kelly, author of the Meg Daniels series, will discuss the art of series fiction, everything from the story outline to what goes into building the character.
•    Lecture about the Jersey Devil at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 15 – Atlantic Cape Community College professor Nicholas Leonetti will discuss the mystery of the Jersey Devil and answer questions.

The children and teen annual Summer Reading Program will begin 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, with a kickoff party at the Main Library. Those who sign up for the program that day will receive a free book while enjoying stories, magic, crafts and refreshments. Call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3050, for more information.

Library starts local Hispanic history project

Hispanic Heritage Month photoOn Cinco de Mayo – Tuesday, May 5 – the Atlantic City Free Public Library launched a project to collect the history of the Hispanic community in Atlantic City. Through this project, the library is looking to develop a collection of materials which future generations of students, writers and genealogists can use to script a community history.
The library encourages members of the public to donate or lend their Atlantic City photographs, restaurant menus, traditional costumes from their countries, and more. All of these will be considered to be included in an exhibit planned for this fall in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Working with Dr. Merydawilda Colón, Executive Director of Stockton Center for Community Engagement, a community panel will help to curate the exhibit. Library archivist Heather Pérez will coordinate the project.
In addition, the library will interview members of the Hispanic community, encouraging them to “Share Your Story.” These oral history interviews will play an important part in recording the community’s history for the future.
“Every group has a history and a story to tell,” Perez said. “When did the first Hispanic residents move to Atlantic City? Why did they choose Atlantic City? We feel that it is important to help record and preserve that history for our Atlantic City residents. This is part of a bigger story – the Atlantic City Experience.”