March 2014

The Friends of the Edison Public Library is sponsoring its 2014 Spelling Bee on Saturday, May 10 at JP Stevens High School at 855 Grove Avenue (map). We have 200 enthusiastic Edison students in grades two through five who are participating in two divisions. For us to sponsor this most successful spelling bee we need dozens of helpers.

Can you volunteer to help us before or during the bee? We need volunteers on May 10th to help with registration, to guide parents, to pass out programs, to assist with food for the volunteers and to assume other responsibilities. A more detailed outline of tasks can be found here.

Please contact our Vice-President Pam at or 908-769-6420 to offer your support and participation. Check out the Friends’ website, for more details about membership and the spelling bee.

The Friends of the Edison Public Library provides numerous services and makes contributions to the Edison Library, which are made possible by your generous support. It is part of the Friends’ mission to contribute as much as we can to the Edison Library’s three branches. Municipal and state funds have diminished and the Edison Library needs our support.

In the past many of you have helped the Friends with the funding of programs, newsletters, and items such as iPads and volunteered at the fall book sales and spring spelling bees in 2011 and 2012. We can accomplish very little without your help and appreciate all that you have done.


Friends of the Edison Public Library Board of Trustees

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Support a great event and publicize your business. We are looking for local companies wanting to advertise in the program for our Spelling Bee. You will have the potential to reach out to the families and friends of the 200 children from Edison participating in our 2014 Town-Wide Spelling Bee, and a whole bunch of volunteers. We’re keeping it very simple – we will scan your business card or accept your business card sized image file and include it for just $25. E-mail us at for more details. The deadline is April 1.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: We had originally planned to send confirmation e-mails to the parents of children participating in the Spelling Bee by Saturday, March 8. Unfortunately, we have run into some technical difficulties sending these e-mails (due to our e-mail provider). Please bear with us – it may take us an additional day or two to get the e-mails out. We will post again here when the e-mails have all been sent out.

UPDATE 3/11: we worked our way around these difficulties, and all e-mails (with the exceptions of one or two where we had difficulties reading the addresses in the application) have now been sent.

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E-mails will be going out over the next couple of days to the parents of all children selected to take part in our 2014 Town-Wide Spelling Bee. Full instructions about payment will be included. For the first time, in addition to accepting checks, we will also be allowing credit card payments, via If you applied for your child to take part in the bee, and you received a confirmation e-mail, you may pay by credit card using the link on our Spelling Bee page.

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We have chosen the 100 participants in each of the two divisions for our 2014 Town-Wide Spelling Bee. We have also selected an additional 20 children in each division for a wait list, in case anyone is unable to take part. Please see our Spelling Bee page for the names and more details. Congratulations to all the children taking part!

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Spelling Bee application forms were distributed to all eligible children in the Edison Elementary Schools this week. If your child did not receive one, they are available in the three library branches. In addition, they can now be downloaded here(PDF).

Please make sure you follow all the instructions given on the form, or your child’s application may be rejected.

More details can be found on our Spelling Bee page.

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Towards the end of last year, Carolyn Cullum, System Coordinator for Children’s Services at Edison Public Library came to us for help. She told us that the Children’s department had been receiving requests for books by the popular British author Enid Blyton for quite some time, but they were not available through the usual library channels. She had been looking for a way to get them for two years.

Graham Gudgin, President of Friends of the Edison Public Library said, “I’m originally from England and was brought up on Enid Blyton books like the ‘Famous Five’ and ‘Secret Seven’ series, so I am thrilled to hear that children in Edison are asking for these books!”

Not only were The Friends able to pay for these books (82 of them, covering six different series), but we sourced them too, getting some from the UK. Here’s Carolyn after being presented with the first four series:

Carolyn Cullum with Enid Blyton Books

And here’s the display of the books at the North Edison Branch Library:

Enid Blyton book display at North Edison Branch Library

These books will be available in all three branches. Here are the bookplates acknowledging the donation:

Bookplate on Enid Blyton Book

Purchases like these are only possible because of the money raised through Friends’ memberships, donations, our book sales and other events.

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We have now posted the rules for our 2014 Town-Wide Spelling Bee on our Spelling Bee page.

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Check out the new iPad Game Center in the Children’s Department at the North Edison Branch Library. Friends of the Edison Public Library bought three new iPads for the Center. See photo below.

iPad Game Center

Three iPads donated by the Friends to the new iPad Game Center

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If you have a child or children in an Edison Elementary School, grades 2-5, they should be bringing a spelling bee application form home from school during the week commencing Monday, 1/27/2014. Please look out for it. The following week, application forms will be available in the Edison Libraries and will be downloadable from the Spelling Bee page on this website.

Please follow all the instructions on the form carefully, otherwise your child’s application may be rejected.

We have made a very important change to the application process this year, which should make it much fairer to applicants. In previous years, we accepted entrants on a first-come-first-served basis; unfortunately, some children received their forms before others, giving them an unfair advantage. For the first time this year, after listening to your feedback, the 100 participants in each division (division 1: grades 2/3 – division 2: grades 4/5) will be drawn randomly from all applications received by the deadline given on the form.

For more information, and for updates, please check our Spelling Bee page.

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