Here is the slide deck for our talk: TEDx and Libraries: A Partnership for Community Engagement, Presented by Peter Bromberg, Janie Hermann and John LeMasney for the Pennsylvania Library Association Conference, October 27, 2010.  (Download the powerpoint deck and look in speaker’s notes for content.)


TEDxNJLibraries was a wonderful and inspiring day for all who attended.  Thank you to all of our speakers and presenters who came together at the Princeton Public Library on May 7th to discuss and explore ideas around culture and community.

If you were unable to attend, the TEDxNJLibraries Team is now proud to offer you videos from the event.   Below are links to the video playlist, followed by embeds of each video.  Enjoy!  And please use the comments below to add your thoughts on community and culture to the conversation!

Mimi Omiecinski – Building Community with Pi and Chutzpah

Sam Daley-Harris – Poverty, Purpose, Pitfalls, and Redemption

Lynette Day Young – Digital Tribes

Alfa Demmellash – The Microfinance Dilemma: Money Alone is Not Good Enough

Merrick Rosenberg – Co-Creating Culture: Step Up to Accountability

Mark Pascal & Francis Schott – Cocktails and Caviar: The Necessity of Adult Space in an Ever More Juvenile Society

Eric Mintel & Dave Antonow – A Musical Conversation about Jazz

Leslie Burger – Agoras, Forums, Living Rooms, and Libraries

Salman Ahmad – Sounds Intersecting and Overlapping Cultures

Maurice Coleman hosted a great interview with team members Janie, Pete and John and TEDx guests – Julie Strange and Andy Woodworth, Listen here

Our TEDx team just had the debriefing meeting and we all still feeling the positive energy that this event created! The photos from the day are posted on our Flickr page. I’ve posted the links to the slideshows below. If you had attended and brought an object, we’d love you to share why you chose it.

TEDxNJLibraries: The Set Up

TEDxNJLibraries: Candids

TEDxNJLibraries: Speakers

TEDxNJLibraries: Walking Tour

TEDxNJLibraries: Attendees and Team

TEDxNJLibraries: Candids by Girl and a Camera

TEDxNJLibraries: Best of

TEDxNJLibraries: The Objects

TEDxNJLibraries: Director’s Cuts

We just received an email from Robert, the co-owner of Da’s Thai Cafe and Catering, confirming the menu for our celebratory reception tomorrow evening after the formal part of the day ends. We knew it was going to be good from our earlier conversation, but reading it over in print just makes your mouth water.

Here is the message from Da’s:

Confirming your menu for TedxNJLibraries tomorrow.  Almost everything is vegetarian, except for the seafood cakes and the chicken satay.

Vegetarian homemade spring roll –  with plum sauce

Da’s Thai crab cakes-  with crab cake sauce

Traditional Thai fish cakes- fish cake sauce

Wonton cups-with papaya salad

Chicken satay- with peanut sauce

Thai dumplings-with coriander sauce

Spanakopita-with Tzaziki sauce


Thai Vegetarian curry puffs

Fried tofu -dipping sauce

Mango sticky rice on a cracker

Assorted cheese and fruit display

When we pair all of this with the delicious wine selection from Cool Vines as well as other assorted cold beverages it will be a feast for sure.

A few quick reminders for everyone registered for our event tomorrow:

1. Registration begins at 9:30 am for those going on the walking tour. The library does have a lovely cafe and our doors open at 8:30 am if you want to relax with coffee and a croissant before heading out on the walk.

2. Traffic in downtown Princeton is not pretty at the best time, but especially in the mornings (and right now we have a lot of roads closed for construction). Leave plenty of travel time to get to the library.

3. We have a poll up so that we can make a firm reservation for dinner tomorrow. Please take a moment to indicate what you plan to do at 6:30 pm when the formal part of the day ends:

4. If you need to reach a team member tomorrow for any reason, call the Welcome Desk at the Princeton Public Library at 609.924.9529 x218

5. Get lots of rest tonight, tomorrow is going to be a day when you want all your synapses and neurons firing.

I have just spent the day finalizing all the catering and food details for our event and let me assure you that we will be fed well with food that is both healthy and delicious — as well as just the right amount of sweets and caffeine to keep everyone going.

Our TEDxNJLibraries team has several members who are program coordinators and/or trainers. It is from this experience that we know how important the little details are to making an event successful. You can give an awesome presentation or teach a terrific session, but if the climate of the room is too hot (or cold) and if the food is inadequate then that is what you will get for comments on feedback forms at the end of the day. If the food is good (and plentiful) and the atmosphere conducive to learning, then you will get comments that count… comments about the content, ideas and things people learned.

We will have granola bars from the Whole Earth Center, Smoothies and fresh-squeezed juice from Tico’s Eatery and Juice Bar, cupcakes and cookies from Ladybug Luggage Gourmet Cookies and Cakes,  Coffee and a selection of Tea from Dispensa (the library’s cafe), a selection of fine wines from Cool Vines and of course a feast of Thai Tapas from Da’s Cafe and Catering.

We are so grateful to the many small businesses in our community who have embraced our event by offering to be sponsors. Please take a moment to visit our sponsor page and then visit the sites of our sponsors to let them know we appreciate their support.

Princeton NJ

TEDxNJLibraries will officially start at 1 pm with registration opening at noon. If you want to make a full day of it, though, we are pleased to offer all of our registered attendees an optional walking tour of Princeton starting at 10 am. Even better is that this tour will be absolutely free thanks to the generosity of the Princeton Tour Company!

If you are registered and coming to our event, drop us an email to let us know if you would like to attend this optional morning event. It will be the perfect way to find out about the community and culture of the host town — and a perfect tie-in to our conversations in the afternoon around this very theme. Not to mention, this is a great way to network and get to know your fellow attendees before we begin the formal program.

The tour that will be offered is a customized version of the Princeton University and Downtown Walking Tour. It will last about 90 minutes -which still gives you plenty of time to grab some lunch in scenic downtown Princeton before the day kicks off at 1 pm. We will be sending a list of restaurants and lunch places closer to the day of the event.

Stay tuned for other updates… and keep checking your email for event details.

On the registration form for TEDxNJLibraries we asked several questions so that the organizing committee could get to know the attendees better. We also knew that several of the questions would lead to interesting posts for this blog as well as allowing us to capture the essence of who it is that attends TEDx events in general.

On twitter this morning there were some tweets about a new site called Tagxedo, a site that allows you to create word clouds using various shapes, colors, fonts, and much more. Word/tag clouds are not new,  and some say they are passe. However, the options and artistic control that Tagxedo allow are really quite amazing.

Below is a tag cloud that was created using the three words that were submitted by each applicant  from the following question:

Complete the sentence “Talk to me about …” by giving us 3 words that describe you and your interests.

The cloud that is created is fascinating as it gives us an instant snapshot of the interests and passions of those who will be attending our TEDx event on May 7th in Princeton. The fact that technology and education are prominent words in the cloud is perhaps not so surprising, given that the T in TED stands for technology and the E for education, but the balance with other words is interesting.

The specs for this particular cloud are: Aspect Ratio of 4:3 using the heart shape. The direction of the words was set to “any”. The theme is rainbow dark and the font is Distro.

We have added a new sponsor this week as well as a new supporter and we have reformatted the Attendee page to make it easier to browse who will be attending so that everyone can start to make connections before the big day.

We have many more accepted attendees who still need to send us their badge information so that they can be officially listed on the web site. We are updating daily as that information is sent in.



Our newest sponsor is Tico’s Eatery and Juice Bar who will be supplying fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies for our first refreshment break. Tico’s has been a great supporter of many events at the library and they never hesitate to hop on board and lend a hand. They are a little off the beaten path (on Spring Street across from the Parking Garage) but well worth finding.

Arts Council of Princeton

Arts Council of Princeton

Our newest supporter is The Arts Council of Princeton who will be loaning us their staging platforms so that we can create a proper stage for our speakers and make sure that everyone in the room has a good view.

Be sure to check out our site often as we are busily updating and adding. It is less than one month to the actual day of the event and the team is working hard to dot all our i’s and cross all our t’s.

Don’t forget that you can follow us on twitter @tedxnjlibs and also join our Facebook event page once you are confirmed.

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