Virtual Winter 2021 Minicourses at Madison Public Library

The nonprofit Friends of the Madison Public Library will conduct two virtual minicourses  for the Winter 2021 semester, ‘Exhibitions Interrupted’ by Dr. Barbara Tomlinson, Professor Emerita, Kean University and ‘Great Thinkers in the History of Western Political Thought’ by Dr. Ian Drake, Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair University.  These online Zoom minicourses will be held for five-weeks beginning January 26, 2021.  Registration will start January 5.  The cost is $95 per individual or couple residing at the same residence.   The cost of a second minicourse by the same student is $65.  Students may either register by mail or online on our website,  Checks made payable to Friends of the Madison Public Library may be mailed to: Minicourses at Madison Library, P.O. Box 1341, Madison, N.J. 07940.

Exhibitions Interrupted by Dr. Barbara Tomlinson; Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00 pm; January 26, February 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2021.

2020 saw museums around the world mounting spectacular exhibitions only to have them shut down.  These sessions offer an opportunity to visit some of those exhibitions. 

The Obama Portraits, National Portrait Gallery; The Ghent Altarpiece, Ghent Museum; Snow Scenes: Bruegel to Monet; Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana, the Prado;  Titian Poesie, London National Gallery; Rembrandt/Velazquez, The Rijksmuseum and The Man in the Red Coat, Armand Hammer Foundation.  

Great Thinkers in the History of Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Marx by Dr. Ian Drake; Wednesdays, 10 am to 12 pm; January 27, February 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2021. 

This five-part series will review the ideas, lives and times of major thinkers in the history of Western political philosophy.  From the ancient Greeks to our own day, political theorists have proposed dramatically different ideas about how and why we should govern ourselves or be governed by others.  This series will review these controversial ideas and how the biographies of their chief proponents affected their proposals.

Sylvia Luber, Coordinator, said that “additional online minicourses will be offered during the Spring 2021 Semester in March and April.  Registration for Spring will begin February 16 with the first day of class on March 3.”  

 “In-person minicourses will not be held until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” added Rose Mary Dinnhaupt, Registrar.  All proceeds will go to the Madison Public Library These virtual non-credit courses are intended for the general public with no prerequisites or examinations.  For information, email or leave a voice message at (929) 450-7040.

Friends Kick off 2020 Challenge

In the Fall of each year the Friends of the Madison Public Library (Friends) ask their neighbors from all around Madison to support their library. This year is different for everyone. The Friends are reaching out to the community to meet the 2020 Challenge, a new plan to support the library this Fall as an answer to set backs resulting from the pandemic.

In past years the Madison Library was consistently funded at a level of $40,000 to support services programing for all ages, electronic media, technology and furniture. Most recently in 2019 the Friends gifted $67,000 to the Library. The end goal of the 2020 Challenge Campaign is to keep the legacy going at $40,000.

Currently the Friends are reaching out to major donors who responded during difficult times in 2011 to meet the half way mark of the Challenge at $20,000. To date 11 families and individuals have stepped up to meet the goal with leadership donations totaling over $13,000. Thank you!

 In November our request will be mailed and reach out to over 5,000 households in Madison with the hopes that contributions – great and small – will meet or exceed the 2020 Challenge. The Friends (a non-profit, tax-exempt organization) hope you will consider a donation to keep the legacy going and meet the needs of the library in an uncertain time.

Fall 2020 Minicourse will be Online

The Friends of the Madison Public Library are pleased to offer ‘Gothic Art’ by Dr. Rita Keane, Associate Professor of Art History, Drew University, an online Zoom minicourse for fall 2020.

This five-week course will be held Monday afternoons beginning September 21 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.  Registration will begin August 24 at This minicourse is open to the public. Current students will receive an email with a link to register.

The Friends held their first online Zoom minicourse during the summer, ‘The Story of the Symphony’ by Dr. Robert Butts which was well attended. We plan to offer additional online minicourses in January 2021.

Please Note: In-person minicourses will not be held until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cancelled: 2020 Annual Gala Benefit

Earlier this year the Friends postponed the Spring 2020 Annual Gala Benefit to the Fall because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  We were looking forward to honoring Thomas Bintinger, long term library Trustee and community leader.

Uncertainties continue about the virus. After careful consideration, we regretfully are canceling the 2020 Gala. We know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.

We truly and deeply value your continued interest and support, and thank you for your understanding.

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Madison ~ A Gift in a Time of Need

The Friends of the Madison Public Library have received a grant from the Rotary Club of Madison to cover the purchase of 10 e-book titles from Barnes and Noble for Nook e-readers. With the closure of the library during the Covid-19 crisis, patrons have increasingly relied on Nook and other digital opportunities to enjoy their book choices.

As digital bookshelves, Nooks are always in high demand because they are portable, sized for convenience, highly intuitive and capable of holding an unlimited number of titles.  Library patrons who have checked out a Nook know they have access to multiple books that are popular reading.

According to Pam Hogan, President, “the Friends of the Madison Public Library are particularly happy to receive a Rotary award this year especially since our fundraisers were cancelled due to the pandemic.  Over the years, the Friends have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Rotary, a network of enthusiastic and generous individuals dedicated to serving the needs of the community. The Library is grateful for this funding and promises that the funds will be put to good use.”