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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

Bruschetta

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: http://www.doodle.com/qtdkfisn8g6qsmy3

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.

Tico's

Tico's

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.

Press

Meet the Press

The official press release for TEDxNJLibraries went out today to all major and local media outlets in New Jersey.

If you would like to read it, we have published it online using Google Docs for easy access: Press Release for TEDxNJLibraries

We have exactly one month to go until the event and the entire planning team is working diligently to ensure that this will be a day to long be remembered.

We have a very limited number of spaces available. It was ten as of this morning, but we did get two cancellations today so that makes it twelve seats remaining. Fill out the application form soon before all the spots are gone!

We have moved to the phase of planning where we are lining up in-kind sponsors and online supporters of TEDxNJLibraries. We will have some more announcements about our sponsors and supporters over the next week or two, but wanted to give a shout-out this morning to our first two — both of whom signed up without reservation and with great enthusiasm.

Princeton Tour Company is an in-kind event sponsor. They will be offering an optional tour of Princeton in the morning before registration. This will be an enhancement to our Culture and Community theme and allow participants, especially those from out of town, to have an introduction to the community in which TEDxNJLibraries is being held.  More information on how to take part in this tour will be sent directly to those who are registered and confirmed. This walking tour is sure to be fun as well as informative and a great way to network with others prior to the start of the talks in the afternoon.

TEDxNJLibraries ad on Momentile.com

TEDxNJLibraries on Momentile.com

Our first online supporter (outside of Library Garden) is Momentile.com, a free online service that easily lets anyone chronicle their day with a single image. They have agreed to run an ad for TEDxNJLibraries for one week free of charge. We are really committed as a planning team to creating a diverse set of attendees at our event and having this type of support is a great way to ensure a broader cross-section of applicants. Our ad looks awesome next to the vibrant photostream, as you can readily see.

Speaking of applicants, we have only 33 spots remaining. If you are going to apply, then this would be a good time to do so!

Finally, if you are interested in being an in-kind sponsor or online supporter please contact us with your idea — we would love to hear from you!

I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. ~Carl Sagan

Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest. ~Lady Bird Johnson

Save NJ Libraries Poster

Rally Around NJ Libraries

Our TEDx event is being planned by librarians from New Jersey for the benefit of anyone who wishes to attend. This is being done with a lot of support in terms of time and talent from Princeton Public Library, the NJ State Library and two of our Regional Library Cooperatives (South Jersey and Central Jersey). The proposed budget introduced by Governor Christie earlier this week would have a devastating impact on all of these institutions as well as every other library in New Jersey. Most siginificantly, it would totally eliminate all four of the Regional Library Cooperatives and in doing so that would eliminate the essential collaborative services they provide to all of New Jersey — including access to quality research databases, interlibrary loan delivery, virtual reference, and much more.

The State Library and Regional Library Cooperatives fund or assist with grant opportunites to try new ideas or improve services. TEDxNJLibraries would not be a reality without the Regional Library Cooperatives existence or the support from the NJ State Library (which is having its budget radically cut as well).

The threat is real and imminent and we need to have voices heard that libraries and the services they provide are essential to our communities.  Please read these two posts from Library Garden, one of our TEDx partners, and then join in the two advocacy groups that are leading the way to restore funding to NJ Libraries before it is too late.

Save NJ Libraries (provides links to advocacy groups and other information)

Reverse the Cuts (includes a graphic by our team member John LeMasney)

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