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Director's Page

Welcome to the Director’s Page. Here you will find periodic messages from the Library’s Director, Laverne Mann. Check back often for new information.


Hello Cherry Hill Public Library community!

I want to use my Director’s Page share the movies, television shows, apps and books that are currently on my radar.


Director’s Page for February 25, 2014

Today is my one year anniversary as the Director of the Cherry Hill Public Library!   Thank you to the Board of Trustees and Cherry Hill Township for putting your faith in me to lead this vibrant and active library.   There are so many people who give their all to make this one of the best libraries in the state- the Friends of the Library, Jr. Friends, Teen Activity Board, and our great volunteers. 

Of course there is praise for our beautiful facility, but the library staff - from librarians, library assistants, tech services, supervisors and custodial staff - bring the creativity and passion to life.

519,402 people came through our doors in 2013 and 32, 871 card holders – but those numbers don’t begin to show the classes, programs, events, reference transactions and changed lives.


See you at the library,
Laverne Mann

Some of this year’s highlights-
Batgirl at Stuffed Animal Sleepover

Veterans Oral History project & meet a vet event
On Thursday, Oct. 24, CHPL hosted the Meet a Veteran event. The public was invited to meet veteran's who are participating in our Veteran's Oral History Project. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the veterans and hear his and her experiences from World War II, Vietnam, US Air Force, US Army and the US Navy.
Maker Playground launched and programs began


Friends Gift Shop purchased displays and a diner booth


Don't forget the ladies: Researching your female ancestors - Thursday Morning program


Longevity Awards CHPL
Congratulations to the 37 library staff members who were honored for between 5 to 40 years of service!


Matthew Quick Author talk and signing!

Strategic Plan 2014-2016 created
Time Lord Bash
Comic Con

Thrill the World
Lit with Librarians Book Group 2014
Meet a Star Wars Character



Director's Page for January 2014

It’s an arctic vortex cold day outside, but we are warm and cozy in the library.

I’d like to share some recent hot app’s that have been in high use on my iPhone and iPad this month.  All free to download!

Tuxedo Kittie

I have been customizing photos of my cat Fredo (not above), and family members.  The app is free, but there are some paid add-ons if you’d like.  There is a Summer Lovin style (1950s), Little Devils, and Classic Cats.  You can share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr.

With MustBin, you can save documents, photos, or cards in your wallet, and they are saved with encrypted technology.  You can even share documents with those you trust.

What’s App
With siblings all over the globe, and in different time zones, we use What’s App to text and share photos to select groups at once.   No texting costs!

“The biggest trivia game in the world”  You can play against friends in real time (or you can even play then they play later), or challenge people around the world.  This is a big hit among friends and family- categories on topics both serious and entertaining.  I have played Flags of the World, Batman, The Wire, Hunger Games, etc.


The library will be offering App classes in the future, keep checking our events calendar!


Director’s Page for December 2013

Ah, December, when all the year end lists come out, and I realize how many books I still want and need to read! 
Analyzing just one list, the Amazon Best Books of 2013, I absolutely agree with #4, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.  It was my favorite new fiction read of 2013, and I hope to discuss it with patrons at our newly formed Lit + Librarians book group in 2014! 

A few others I can recommend as worth your precious reading time: #21 The Woman Upstairs by Clare Messud, # 26 Joyland by Stephen King, and #29 Humans of New York.

On request for me at CHPL (yes, the Director waits in the queue too):  Allegiant, Night Film, Doctor Sleep.   

To read:  The Interestings, Eleanor & Park, The Goldfinch.

See also: The Goodreads Best Books of 2013 (Includes graphic novel and comics choices!)

As always, the library provides you with print and ebooks for cold and snowed in winter days and nights!


Director’s Picks for November 2013


Highlighting Podcasts!  My commute to and from the library allows me a lot of time for these fun and informative podcasts.


Welcome to Night Vale


One of the hottest podcasts- the sci fi comedy Welcome to Night Vale makes me laugh with great writing but also creepy performance.  Teens and adults are into Night Vale.  All hail the glow cloud!

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.


Audio Book Club- Slate
The Audio Book Club:  Ender's Game


Podcasts discussing: Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Going Clear, and Gone Girl

Critics debate, discuss and mostly suggest books.  I chose a few titles I have read and enjoyed revisiting them with the critics of the Slate Audio Book Club.


The Leadership Dojo - Wisdom | Self Development | Success

The Leadership Dojo
Alex Barker is the host of The Leadership Dojo podcast. He blogs, speaks and interviews people on how to lead your life with excellence. Whether you know it or not, you are a leader, because everyone has influence. His podcast is all about giving you wisdom in practical ways to grow your positive influence to change the world one person at a time.
My blog and podcast is dedicated to helping you succeed.


The Perpetual Geek Machine


A podcast & blog all about that geeky stuff that runs our lives.  

Most recently I listened to the PGM who raved about the Gravity movie so much I took their advice to see it, and see it in 3D.  They weren’t wrong.   If you are into video games, comics, film, tv, etc- listen to this one!



Director’s Picks for Sept/Oct 2013


The Lost Girls: An unsolved American mystery
Robert Kolker

I have always been a true crime reader, and this book goes beyond the salacious serial killer angle to paint a portrait of the women who were murdered.  They were not just prostitutes with no family- each had people who loved them despite their choices.  An excellent read.


“Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a haunting and humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on Long Island, in a compelling tale of unsolved murder and Internet prostitution. In a triumph of reporting—and in a riveting narrative—Robert Kolker presents the first detailed look at the shadow world of escorts in the Internet age, where making a living is easier than ever and the dangers remain all too real. He has talked exhaustively with the friends and family of each woman to reveal the three-dimensional truths about their lives, the struggling towns they came from, and the dreams they chased.”


Star Trek: Into Darkness

Just released to DVD, I missed it in the theatre but enjoyed J.J. Abrams continued Star Trek journey, including adding Benedict Cumberbatch, a fan favorite for ‘Sherlock’.  

When a ruthless mastermind known as Khan declares a one-man war on the Federation, Captain Kirk,  Spock,and the daring crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise set out on their most explosive manhunt of all time. It will take everything in their arsenal to defend Earth and eliminate Khan’s deadly threat in J.J. Abrams’ “clever, exhilarating action adventure.” (USA Today).




I use the Action News app daily to read about breaking news, but especially New Jersey and Philadelphia news.  You can also see local weather, traffic, video clips from 6 ABC Action News broadcasts. 



Director’s Picks for August 2013


This is my first summer as Director and I participated in the Adult Summer Reading Program. 
To participate, you read three books (or listen to three) between June 17 – Aug 30, 2013 and turn in your form.  Here are my submissions:

The Good Nurse:  A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder
Author: Charles Graeber
He may have been the most prolific serial killer in American history, and the deaths happened in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Nurse Charles Cullen did not kill out of mercy, and he was passed from hospital to hospital to who covered up his deeds. 
Rating:  Must Read

Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn shot to author fame with last year’s runaway hit Gone Girl, but Sharp Objects is also a deep and darker psychological thriller.  Broken, alcoholic reporter Camille returns to her hometown to cover the murder of two girls.  She unravels her own family puzzles while deep in the horror of small town Missouri.
Rating: Excellent

The Three Weissmans of Westport (audiobook available at CHPL)
Author: Catherine Schine

Betty and her grown Manhattan daughters (one is a Library Director!) embark to Westport after her near fifty year marriage is over.  Annie, the practical one, and Miranda, dramatic literary agent, spend a year of ups and downs with a cast of well drawn characters.  Rating: Good


The Master
This movie was critically acclaimed and The New York Times Review stated "The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson's imposing, confounding and altogether amazing new film, is partly concerned with the life and work of one Lancaster Dodd, leader of a therapeutic, quasi-religious cult known as the Cause.” I was especially interested in the film having just read Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, despite denials from the cast and Director that is wasn’t about Scientology.


Dots and Candy Crush Saga

My iPad gaming apps are Dots and Candy Crush Saga.  Quick swipes for points that can be relaxing and rewarding as you complete levels!


This column was printed in the Cherry Hill Township Active Adult Living: July - August 2013 magazine.

Summer fun at the Cherry Hill Library!

Dig into reading summer 2013

The library is the ultimate destination for summer fun! Where else can you explore, travel, research and learn without leaving town? With books, movies and exciting programs for all ages – a trip to the library might just be the most affordable vacation you’ve ever taken!

We invite you to participate in our Adult Summer Reading Program, themed “So Many Books…So Little Summer.”  Learn more and pick up a reading log at our kickoff table on June 17. Every participant gets a prize by reading or listening to audiobooks and a chance to win grand prize drawing on Sept. 3. 

Ongoing monthly meet-ups can match your interests: CHPL book club, Speaking of Poetry and Writers’ Roundtable all provide a social outlet for your hobby. Or cool off at Lunch and a Movie where you can bring your lunch and enjoy free films from new releases to popular classics.

For your young relatives, our extremely popular Summer Reading Program for children begins June 23 and runs until August 17. This year’s theme is “Dig into Reading!” Young readers get chances to spin our prize wheel by reading and we’ve designed special programs for all ages, culminating on August 22 without annual End of Summer Carnival.

For Teens, “Beneath the Surface” – is all about the underground.  Radio stations, Dungeons & Dragons and a Hobbit Party will be cool programs to attend on hot days.  

Your library card gets you free ebooks and audiobooks for your vacation or staycation, download at or visit the library and we’ll be happy to connect you!

This is also the first summer for our Friendship Grove, with benches, trees and flowers to relax, reflect and restore. Be a part of Friendship Grove through the giving opportunities to celebrate a loved one or honor a special occasion by buying a brick, paver, cherry tree or a beautiful bench. For information about bench and tree donations, visit to or call Katie Hardesty at 856-903-1207.

The Cherry Hill Public Library’s website at with our online events calendar can be your guide to a summer full of learning, entertainment and fun! It’s great to be a Cherry Hill resident and your library is the ‘heart of town’!

See you at the library,
Laverne Mann, Director

Friendship Grove brick


Director’s Picks for May 2013

Wreck-it Ralph (PG)
As a Gen-Xer who has lived through the history of videogames, I was interested to see the concept of game characters and their roles in this animated film.  Wreck-it Ralph is the ‘villian’ of a game called Fix it Felix, Jr.  (much like Donkey Kong), who decides that he wants to be a hero and game hops to get a gold medal, affecting the characters in his game and several others. 
Available on DVD at the Cherry Hill Public Library.


Justified (FX)
Season 4 of Justified finished in April, but if you haven’t watched this drama gem, give Seasons 1- 3 a try from the library.  Timothy Olyphant, as US Marshal Raylan Givens, “continued his small-screen reign of excellence. Charming, imposing, and able to crack wise better than most of his TV peers, Olyphant holds the Kentucky-set series down without falling behind his equally proficient co-stars.” (complex media)
Seasons 1 – 3 available at the Cherry Hill Public Library


uspoon.jpg Discover new places to eat, what is in your neighborhood by cuisine, price or even what is open.  See what your friends like.   You can even shake your iPhone and the Urbanspoon slot machine will suggest a restaurant.

Love is a Canoe 
by Chris Pavone


Marriage is a Canoe is a decades old and beloved book on marriage advice by Peter Herman.  An ambitious New York editor decides to create contest for a troubled couple to meet the author in his home in upstate New York to save their relationships.  From the New York Times book review: “Schrank has done something here that may sound impossible: He’s written a funny novel about publishing that is not caustic but optimistic, not biting but bighearted”







Director's picks for April 2013!


Fall to Grace (HBO)
A documentary of particular interest to us in New Jersey, about the resignation of Governor Jim McGreevey in scandal, when he proclaimed his truth that he “was a Gay American”, and his painful reinvention.  His work with female prison inmates, attempts to become an Episcopal priest, and second chances. “No one should be defined by the nadir of their existence. That shouldn’t define the entirety of their narrative” states McGreevey.



Mad Men (AMC)
Season 6 premiered this month, now in 1968 with the turbulence and change of the end of the 1960s in America coming to the door of Sterling Coper Draper Pryce advertising agency.   The characters, the workplace, moral and ethical choices, the clothes, and drama keep us drawn to this award winning drama.

Season 1-5 available on DVD at the Cherry Hill Public Library




Digital comics have found the perfect match with tablets like the iPad and Kindle, and also smartphones.   Free comics, comics the same day and date they hit the comic store, and digital first comics available.   Marvel, DC, and indie publishers, and also sorted by genres and creators!



The Expats 
by Chris Pavone
I read on my Kindle for free from the South Jersey Audiobook and eBook Download Center Overdrive  Use your Cherry Hill Library Card to access thousands of items. This book is both about expat Kate and her transition to Luxembourg with her family, but also her CIA past and marriage. “Intricate, riveting, and surprising, this thriller is of the highest caliber.”



Laverne Mann

Library Director