Middletown Township Public Library obtained a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read (NEA) in 2020.

 Middletown Township Public Library is one of 84 recipients of this national grant and the only public library reading “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by National Award-winning New York Times Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick.

According to the NEA website, “the purpose of the grant allows nonprofits to create events and expose their community to new genres and ideas and challenges their current tastes in literature.” The library selected “In The Heart of the Sea” for its enduring themes of survival, nature, class structure, and business ethics. Additionally, the book will allow us to explore maritime history and traditions, which Middletown’s history describes.

The Middletown Township Public Library partnered with businesses, nonprofits, universities, storytellers to create virtual programs based on this book. Events, book discussions, and special programs are scheduled throughout March and April 2021.

Special thanks to Fishtrap (Oregon) https://fishtrap.org/, our partners in bringing author Nathaniel Philbrick to our communities (virtually!)

Books are available to check out in both the adult and young adult versions, and the first 20 people who sign-up for the book discussion on March 23rd will receive a free copy of the book for their personal library.

“In the Heart of the Sea,” which tells the true story of the Essex whaleship tragedy out of Nantucket in 1820, and the basis for Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” was made into a major motion picture in 2014 starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, and directed by Ron Howard.

We hope you enjoy our special presentation of “In the Heart of the Sea” and all the reflective events the library team prepared for Middletown and our virtual friends.

Heather Andolsen, Middletown Township Public Library.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest.

Interview with Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea: Tragedy of The Whaleship Essex

Want to get a copy of the book at the library? Click below to access our physical and digital copies.

NEA Big Read Events at MTPL

Events will begin starting March 22nd to April 30th. Unless otherwise noted, all events are virtual. Any in-person programs will be limited to comply with social distancing. Please click on the events to register in advance as spaces are limited. Click here for a printable program.

All Ages | Adults | Teens | Kids | Book Discussions |

All-Ages:

NEA BIG READ – Kickoff EventMonday, March 22nd, 2021. 

Go to our Youtube channel @ 2:30pm to watch our interview with Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea.  

Library Story WalkMarch 22nd- April 30th. The Nature Trail behind the library will feature a maritime-related display. Walk the trail any time during the day.  


Sea Shanty Sing Along with Captain Johann Steinke- March 22nd at 2p.m. A real-life tallship captain, he will be reading one of his children’s books “The Greatest Captain in the World” from on board a ship. 

A Day in the Life of a Marine BiologistMarch 25th @4pm. Presented by Kate McClave of the Fish Doctor Inc. 

Whales of the Jersey Shore Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM.

Join for a basic field guide of the different whales along the Jersey Shore.  (Grades 3 and up). This is presented by AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador Ms. Samantha LaRocca.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore presents, “Sharks”Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM.

The Navesink Twin Lights – A Virtual Exploration- Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM. This virtual program will talk about the role of Twin Lights (and the by extension the other lighthouses around Sandy Hook), the efforts to save shipwreck victims lives here at the Jersey Shore, and the development of wireless communication which allowed ships at sea to communicate with those on land for the first time.  A Q & A session will follow. 

Birds of the Jersey Shore: OspreyMonday, April 19, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:40 PM.

Come learn about the life history, habitat and threats that face osprey, a shore bird.  This program is presented by AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador Samantha LaRocca.

Mystic Aquarium Beluga Whale- Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Join the trainers at the Mystic Aquarium, located in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. They will be conducting a feeding and training session with one of their famous Beluga Whales. 

Jenkinson’s Aquarium Virtual Penguin Presentation- Monday, April 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM.

Stove by a Whale Q&A with Nantucket Historical Society Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

The Nantucket Historical and Society will host a virtual Q&A session on their exhibit “Stove by a Whale.”

Adults:

Community wide Book Discussion- Tuesday, March 23, 2021 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM. Professor Ken Womack from Monmouth University will be leading this book discussion on In the Heart of the Sea.

Enviroscape: Model of a Watershed– Tuesday, March 23rd at 4p.m. New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors presents Enviroscape explaining what a watershed is. 

20+ Book Club Part 1-Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. The 20+ Book club will be reading and discussing Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

20+ Book Club Part 2-Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Part 2 of book discussion on Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

Movie Mondays- In the Heart of the Sea- Monday, April 5th at 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM. In conjunction with the NEA Big Read Grant that MTPL was awarded, we’ll be doing a socially-distant film showing of In the Heart of the Sea. Please register in advance.

Movie Mondays- In the Heart of the Sea- Monday, April 12th, 2021 at 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM. In conjunction with the NEA Big Read Grant that MTPL was awarded, we’ll be doing a socially-distant film showing of In the Heart of the Sea. Please register in advance.

NJ Shipwrecks- Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM. New Jersey Historical Divers Association Lectures on the shipwrecks of New Jersey.

Craft kits and  a virtual lecture by the Whaling Museum at Cold Spring HarborSaturday, April 17, 2021 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM.  Click here to register in advance for the virtual program on the history of Yankee Whaling and tutorial for a Sailors Valentine Craft.  

New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors discuss a Shore Bird: OspreysMonday, April 19 4p.m. Come learn about the life history, habitat and threats that face osprey, a shore bird.

History Lovers Book Club Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. NEA Big Read Book Discussion – In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. THIS IS AN IN PERSON-EVENT. Seating is limited to provide adequate social distancing, so please register in advance.

Mystic Aquarium Beluga Whale Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Join the trainers at the Mystic Aquarium, located in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. They will be conducting a feeding and training session with one of their famous Beluga Whales. 

Stove by a Whale Q&A with Nantucket Historical Society Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

The Nantucket Historical and Society will host a virtual Q&A session on their exhibit “Stove by a Whale.”

 

Teens:

Enviroscape: Model of a Watershed Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM. Discover what a watershed is and how “people pollution” can negatively affect it through an interactive and visual diorama of a coastal watershed!  

A Day in the Life of Marine Biologist Kate McClave Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM. Take a journey inside a day in the life of a marine biologist. 

Teen Creative Writing Club- Sea Shanties- Monday, March 29, 2021 at 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM. In honor of our NEA Big Reads Grant write your own Sea Shanty! Stop in for instructions and supplies! Submit your sea shanty to Teen Librarian Marissa at mchimento@mtpl.org

Virtual Teen Book Talk: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex- Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.

Interested in the Ocean? Shipwrecks? Whales? Discuss the book and paint a whale planter.

Pick up the book and craft supplies beginning March 1st!

Kids:

Enviroscape: Model of a Watershed Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM. Discover what a watershed is and how “people pollution” can negatively affect it through an interactive and visual diorama of a coastal watershed!  

A Day in the Life of Marine Biologist Kate McClave Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM. Take a journey inside a day in the life of a marine biologist

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 Book DiscussionMonday, March 29, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM. In honor of our NEA grant based upon In the Heart of the Sea,  this book and discussion are best suited for students in third grade and above. THIS IS AN IN-PERSON EVENT. Seating is limited to provide adequate social distancing, so please register in advance.

Craft kits and  a virtual lecture by the Whaling Museum at Cold Spring Harbor Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Click here to register in advance for the virtual program on the history of Yankee Whaling and tutorial for a a Scrimshaw Wintry Scene.

 

Book Discussions

Unless otherwise noted, all events are virtual. Any in-person programs will be limited to comply with social distancing. Please click on the events to register in advance as spaces are limited.

NEA Big Read Community wide Book Discussion Tuesday, March 23, 2021 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM. Professor Ken Womack from Monmouth University will be leading this book discussion on In the Heart of the Sea. (Adults)

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 Book discussion– Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM. (Kids, ages 7 and up). THIS IS AN IN-PERSON EVENT.

20+ Book Club Part 1-Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. The 20+ Book club will be reading and discussing Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

20+ Book Club Part 2-Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Part 2 of book discussion on Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

Virtual Teen Book Talk: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex- Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM. (Teens)

 History Lovers Book Club– Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. THIS IS AN IN-PERSON EVENT.

Book & Media Recommendations based on In the Heart of the Sea

Need Help with event registration, or have a question? 

Please contact the Reference Desk at 732-671-3700 ext. 320 or e-mail us at contactus@mtpl.org

 

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Plant your Donation with the Friends of MTPL Spring Fundraiser! Click here for more details.

Middletown Township Public Library obtained a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read (NEA) in 2020.

 Middletown Township Public Library is one of 84 recipients of this national grant and the only public library reading “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by National Award-winning New York Times Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick.

According to the NEA website, “the purpose of the grant allows nonprofits to create events and expose their community to new genres and ideas and challenges their current tastes in literature.” The library selected “In The Heart of the Sea” for its enduring themes of survival, nature, class structure, and business ethics. Additionally, the book will allow us to explore maritime history and traditions, which Middletown’s history describes.

The Middletown Township Public Library partnered with businesses, nonprofits, universities, storytellers to create virtual programs based on this book. Events, book discussions, and special programs are scheduled throughout March and April 2021.

Special thanks to Fishtrap (Oregon) https://fishtrap.org/, our partners in bringing author Nathaniel Philbrick to our communities (virtually!)

Books are available to check out in both the adult and young adult versions, and the first 20 people who sign-up for the book discussion on March 23rd will receive a free copy of the book for their personal library.

“In the Heart of the Sea,” which tells the true story of the Essex whaleship tragedy out of Nantucket in 1820, and the basis for Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” was made into a major motion picture in 2014 starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, and directed by Ron Howard.

We hope you enjoy our special presentation of “In the Heart of the Sea” and all the reflective events the library team prepared for Middletown and our virtual friends.

Heather Andolsen, Middletown Township Public Library.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest.

Interview with Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea: Tragedy of The Whaleship Essex

Want to get a copy of the book at the library? Click below to access our physical and digital copies.

NEA Big Read Events at MTPL

Events will begin starting March 22nd to April 30th. Unless otherwise noted, all events are virtual. Any in-person programs will be limited to comply with social distancing. Please click on the events to register in advance as spaces are limited. Click here for a printable program.

All Ages | Adults | Teens | Kids | Book Discussions |

All-Ages:

NEA BIG READ – Kickoff EventMonday, March 22nd, 2021. 

Go to our Youtube channel @ 2:30pm to watch our interview with Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea.  

Library Story WalkMarch 22nd- April 30th. The Nature Trail behind the library will feature a maritime-related display. Walk the trail any time during the day.  


Sea Shanty Sing Along with Captain Johann Steinke- March 22nd at 2p.m. A real-life tallship captain, he will be reading one of his children’s books “The Greatest Captain in the World” from on board a ship. 

A Day in the Life of a Marine BiologistMarch 25th @4pm. Presented by Kate McClave of the Fish Doctor Inc. 

Whales of the Jersey Shore Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM.

Join for a basic field guide of the different whales along the Jersey Shore.  (Grades 3 and up). This is presented by AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador Ms. Samantha LaRocca.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore presents, “Sharks”Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM.

The Navesink Twin Lights – A Virtual Exploration- Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM. This virtual program will talk about the role of Twin Lights (and the by extension the other lighthouses around Sandy Hook), the efforts to save shipwreck victims lives here at the Jersey Shore, and the development of wireless communication which allowed ships at sea to communicate with those on land for the first time.  A Q & A session will follow. 

Birds of the Jersey Shore: OspreyMonday, April 19, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:40 PM.

Come learn about the life history, habitat and threats that face osprey, a shore bird.  This program is presented by AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador Samantha LaRocca.

Mystic Aquarium Beluga Whale- Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Join the trainers at the Mystic Aquarium, located in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. They will be conducting a feeding and training session with one of their famous Beluga Whales. 

Jenkinson’s Aquarium Virtual Penguin Presentation- Monday, April 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM.

Stove by a Whale Q&A with Nantucket Historical Society Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

The Nantucket Historical and Society will host a virtual Q&A session on their exhibit “Stove by a Whale.”

Adults:

Community wide Book Discussion- Tuesday, March 23, 2021 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM. Professor Ken Womack from Monmouth University will be leading this book discussion on In the Heart of the Sea.

Enviroscape: Model of a Watershed– Tuesday, March 23rd at 4p.m. New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors presents Enviroscape explaining what a watershed is. 

20+ Book Club Part 1-Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. The 20+ Book club will be reading and discussing Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

20+ Book Club Part 2-Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Part 2 of book discussion on Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

Movie Mondays- In the Heart of the Sea- Monday, April 5th at 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM. In conjunction with the NEA Big Read Grant that MTPL was awarded, we’ll be doing a socially-distant film showing of In the Heart of the Sea. Please register in advance.

Movie Mondays- In the Heart of the Sea- Monday, April 12th, 2021 at 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM. In conjunction with the NEA Big Read Grant that MTPL was awarded, we’ll be doing a socially-distant film showing of In the Heart of the Sea. Please register in advance.

NJ Shipwrecks- Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM. New Jersey Historical Divers Association Lectures on the shipwrecks of New Jersey.

Craft kits and  a virtual lecture by the Whaling Museum at Cold Spring HarborSaturday, April 17, 2021 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM.  Click here to register in advance for the virtual program on the history of Yankee Whaling and tutorial for a Sailors Valentine Craft.  

New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors discuss a Shore Bird: OspreysMonday, April 19 4p.m. Come learn about the life history, habitat and threats that face osprey, a shore bird.

History Lovers Book Club Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. NEA Big Read Book Discussion – In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. THIS IS AN IN PERSON-EVENT. Seating is limited to provide adequate social distancing, so please register in advance.

Mystic Aquarium Beluga Whale Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Join the trainers at the Mystic Aquarium, located in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. They will be conducting a feeding and training session with one of their famous Beluga Whales. 

Stove by a Whale Q&A with Nantucket Historical Society Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

The Nantucket Historical and Society will host a virtual Q&A session on their exhibit “Stove by a Whale.”

 

Teens:

Enviroscape: Model of a Watershed Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM. Discover what a watershed is and how “people pollution” can negatively affect it through an interactive and visual diorama of a coastal watershed!  

A Day in the Life of Marine Biologist Kate McClave Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM. Take a journey inside a day in the life of a marine biologist. 

Teen Creative Writing Club- Sea Shanties- Monday, March 29, 2021 at 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM. In honor of our NEA Big Reads Grant write your own Sea Shanty! Stop in for instructions and supplies! Submit your sea shanty to Teen Librarian Marissa at mchimento@mtpl.org

Virtual Teen Book Talk: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex- Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.

Interested in the Ocean? Shipwrecks? Whales? Discuss the book and paint a whale planter.

Pick up the book and craft supplies beginning March 1st!

Kids:

Enviroscape: Model of a Watershed Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM. Discover what a watershed is and how “people pollution” can negatively affect it through an interactive and visual diorama of a coastal watershed!  

A Day in the Life of Marine Biologist Kate McClave Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM. Take a journey inside a day in the life of a marine biologist

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 Book DiscussionMonday, March 29, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM. In honor of our NEA grant based upon In the Heart of the Sea,  this book and discussion are best suited for students in third grade and above. THIS IS AN IN-PERSON EVENT. Seating is limited to provide adequate social distancing, so please register in advance.

Craft kits and  a virtual lecture by the Whaling Museum at Cold Spring Harbor Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Click here to register in advance for the virtual program on the history of Yankee Whaling and tutorial for a a Scrimshaw Wintry Scene.

 

Book Discussions

Unless otherwise noted, all events are virtual. Any in-person programs will be limited to comply with social distancing. Please click on the events to register in advance as spaces are limited.

NEA Big Read Community wide Book Discussion Tuesday, March 23, 2021 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM. Professor Ken Womack from Monmouth University will be leading this book discussion on In the Heart of the Sea. (Adults)

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 Book discussion– Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM. (Kids, ages 7 and up). THIS IS AN IN-PERSON EVENT.

20+ Book Club Part 1-Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. The 20+ Book club will be reading and discussing Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

20+ Book Club Part 2-Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Part 2 of book discussion on Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

Virtual Teen Book Talk: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex- Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM. (Teens)

 History Lovers Book Club– Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. THIS IS AN IN-PERSON EVENT.

Book & Media Recommendations based on In the Heart of the Sea

Need Help with event registration, or have a question? 

Please contact the Reference Desk at 732-671-3700 ext. 320 or e-mail us at contactus@mtpl.org