The Montclair Public Library Foundation has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Investors Foundation that will support the “Open Book/Open Mind” conversation series. The Montclair Public Library Foundation had applied for the grant from the Investors Foundation, which supports non-profit organizations that enrich the diverse communities served by Investors Bank.

On Friday, May 19, 2017, Investors Bank Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager Alicia Robinson presented Peter Coyl, Montclair Public Library Director, and Alison Bauer, MPL Foundation Chair, with a check for $5,000.

The Montclair Public Library Foundation also received a grant from The Montclair Foundation in support of the Open Book/Open Mind conversation series. This grant will allow the series to continue to provide illuminating and educational programming completely free of charge to the Montclair community and beyond.

Open Book/Open Mind is a conversation series that presents an unprecedented array of programs to the Montclair community, all completely free of charge. In this series, now in its third year, Montclair Public Library and the Foundation curate conversations with the world’s foremost thought leaders, in order to deepen understanding and engage both the mind and spirit of its audiences.

The last conversation for Spring 2017 will feature Jacqueline Woodson, on Friday evening, June 16,, 2017. Woodson, the acclaimed New York Times best-selling and National Book Award–winning author, will discuss Another Brooklyn, her first adult novel in twenty years. She will be in conversation with Tahari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow.

Two amazing conversations are already booked for Fall 2017. On October 1, 2017, Floyd Abrams, American’s best-known First Amendment lawyer and an award-winning legal scholar, will examine the degree to which American law protects free speech, as discussed in his new book, The Soul of the First Amendment. On November 8, 2017, at the Buzz Aldrin School, Isabel Allende, a Chilean journalist and author, will discuss her new novel, In the Midst of Winter. The novel, a love story, is set in Brooklyn and South America and is about a human rights scholar and an immigrant from Guatemala. Allende’s best-known works include the novels The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts.

Past Open Book/Open Mind guests have included Christina Baker Kline, Frank Bruni, Dale Russakoff, Anna Quindlen, Charles Blow, Alan Cumming, Jonathan Alter, Bobbi Brown and Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal.

Grant from Partners For Health To Provide Lunch Program For Children & Teens

Montclair Public Library Foundation also was recently awarded a grant from Partners for Health Foundation that will nourish both the body and mind of Montclair youth this summer.

Through this grant, Montclair Public Library will implement a nourishing lunch program for children and teens under 18. During the summer vacation, low-income families often struggle to have their basic needs met. For many, the summer months mean reduced or limited access to healthy food, learning and enrichment programs, and safe places to congregate and be active. This program will address all of these issues by offering free and healthy lunches plus summer reading and enrichment programs. Six out of 10 schools in Montclair are Title 1 schools and close to 1,000 students are enrolled in free or reduced-price lunch programs.

MPL is fortunate to be partnering with Toni’s Kitchen which will provide a healthy brown bag lunch. The program will be offered Monday through Friday from the end of June through early September. Lunch will include a sandwich, fruit, dessert and a drink. Registration is not required. Anne Mernin, Director of Outreach at Toni’s Kitchen stated, “Toni’s Kitchen is delighted to work with the Montclair Public Library to ensure that children are learning and healthy during the summer months.”

A pilot lunch program during Spring Break, generously funded by Susan and Thomas Dunn, served more than 145 children and teens. “The free lunch program is a perfect example of the essential services the Montclair Public Library provides,” said Peter Coyl, Library Director. “This grant from Partners for Health Foundation will ensure that kids and teens have a nutritious meal during the summer, and will welcome them into the library to participate in other programs.”

This grant will also fund several other successful programs begun during the summer of 2016. These include Roaming Readers, a walking book talking club for adults led by MPL’s Adult Department and the NJ Bike and Walk Coalition; Yoga on the Plaza for teens and adults, and weekly exercise classes for children, both taught by YMCA Staff. Registration for these programs can be made at