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  • Writer's pictureMichael Bleming

In the book stacks: Atlantic County Library news

The Atlantic County Library System/Hammonton is located at 451 South Egg Harbor Road and may be reached by calling (609) 561-2264. Follow the Atlantic County Library System on Facebook (, Twitter (@ACLSLibrarian) and Instagram (

Many library services are available 24/7 at

The library will be closed on Monday, July 4.

To view our full calendar of events, visit Registration required for all programs.

All programs subject to change or cancellation.

Toddler Storytime: All children ages 1.5 to 5 are invited. Registration is required. The latest books and some old favorites will help introduce new vocabulary and reinforce learning. Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Children and their caregivers will enjoy stories, songs, crafts, games and movement while building language literacy skills.

Maker’s Space Lap Quilt: Open to adults. Registration required. Registration covers all classes. Tuesdays, July 12 and 26 at 1:30 p.m. and Saturdays, July 16 and 30 at 1:30 p.m. Make a tied lap quilt. Learn how to piece a quilt top and tie it. Please contact the library for a materials list. Sewing machines are provided. Masks are optional, but social distancing is still in effect.

Summer Reading Program - Kids Craft Pool Noodle Planes: Open to ages 5 and older. Younger children may need help from an adult. Registration required. Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m. Make a plane out of a pool noodle that really flies! All materials are provided. Masks are optional, but social distancing is still in effect.

Summer Reading Program - Kids Craft Pool Noodle Fish and Boats: Open to ages 3-12. Registration required. Wednesday, July 13 at 1:30 p.m. Make a pool noodle fish or boat that really floats! All materials are provided. Face masks are optional, but social distancing is still in effect.

Summer Reading Program - DIY Mini Mason Jar Aquariums: Open to adults. Registration required. Make your own mason jar aquarium. All materials are provided. Wednesday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m. Masks are optional, but social distancing is still in effect.

Family Movie Night: Open to ages 4 and older, registration required. Join us on July 27 at 6 p.m. for a showing of Moana (Rated PG) with snacks and refreshments. Masks are optional, but social distancing is still in effect.

Toddler Craft Hour: Open to ages 3 and older. Registration required. Make a different under-the-sea animal craft for each session. Thursdays, July 7 and 21 at 10:30 a.m. All materials provided. Masks are optional, but social distancing is still in effect.

Recommended Reading: Upcoming titles that will be circulating in our collection soon:

Portrait of an Unknown Woman

A Novel by Daniel Silva

Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon has at long last severed ties with Israeli intelligence and settled quietly in Venice, the only place where he has ever truly known peace. His beautiful wife, Chiara, has taken over the day-to-day management of the Tiepolo Restoration Company, and their two young children are discreetly enrolled in a neighborhood scuola elementare. For his part, Gabriel spends his days wandering the streets and canals of the watery city, bidding farewell to the demons of his tragic, violent past.

But when the eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood asks Gabriel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the rediscovery and lucrative sale of a centuries-old painting, he is drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse where nothing is as it seems.

Gabriel soon discovers that the work in question, a portrait of an unidentified woman attributed to Sir Anthony van Dyck, is almost certainly a fiendishly clever fake. To find the mysterious figure who painted it—and uncover a multibillion-dollar fraud at the pinnacle of the art world—Gabriel conceives one of the most elaborate deceptions of his career. If it is to succeed, he must become the very mirror image of the man he seeks: the greatest art forger the world has ever known.

Switchboard Soldiers

A Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini

In June 1917, General John Pershing arrived in France to establish American forces in Europe. He immediately found himself unable to communicate with troops in the field. Pershing needed operators who could swiftly and accurately connect multiple calls, speak fluent French and English, remain steady under fire, and be utterly discreet, since the calls often conveyed classified information.

At the time, nearly all well-trained American telephone operators were women—but women were not permitted to enlist, or even to vote in most states. Nevertheless, the U.S. Army Signal Corps promptly began recruiting them.

More than 7,600 women responded, including Grace Banker of New Jersey, a switchboard instructor with AT&T and an alumna of Barnard College; Marie Miossec, a Frenchwoman and aspiring opera singer; and Valerie DeSmedt, a 20-year-old Pacific Telephone operator from Los Angeles, determined to strike a blow for her native Belgium.

They were among the first women sworn into the U.S. Army under the Articles of War. The male soldiers they had replaced had needed one minute to connect each call. The switchboard soldiers could do it in ten seconds.

The risk of death was real—the women worked as bombs fell around them—as was the threat of a deadly new disease: the Spanish Flu. Not all of the telephone operators would survive.

The women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps served with honor and played an essential role in achieving the Allied victory. Their story has never been the focus of a novel…until now.


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