Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Easy Walks near Berkeley Heights, New Jersey

I have been trying to increase the number of steps I take daily by adding short, level, easy, local, no-excuses walks to my daily routine. I use a pedometer which counts my steps and relays them by Blue Tooth to the free app that goes with the pedometer. This pedometer's name rhymes with SnitPit and I like it a lot, but I am not recommending one device over any other. I have become a bit obsessed with finding places to walk in good weather and in bad, but I prefer to go somewhere nearby. Here is a list of some of my favorite places so far and some books that list and describe where to go hiking and sightseeing in New Jersey. Let me know of some of your favorites by emailing reference at

Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills, 07931
Reeves Reed Arboretum, Summit, NJ 07901
Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills, NJ 07078
Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Township, NJ

Wildlife and Animals:
The Raptor Trust, Long Hill Township, NJ 07946
The Great Swamp, New Vernon, NJ 07976
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Morris Township, NJ 07960

Local Parks and Historical Sites:
Historic Speedwell, Morristown, NJ
Passaic River Park, Summit,NJ
Bryant Park, Summit, NJ

Off the Beaten Path New Jersey, a guide to Unique Places by Kay and Bill Scheller (2011)
New Jersey Day Trips by Patrick Sarver (2011)
BackRoads New Jersey, Driving at the Speed of Life by Mark Di Ionno (2002)
and many more titles can be found at Dewey Decimal #917.49

At the Reference Desk: quick, look this up for me!

Asked lately of the BHPL Reference Librarians: details of the questions were edited to preserve the privacy of the patrons.

Questions by phone:

Q: I need names of dermatologists in Livingston, NJ. Can you 'Google' that for me? I don't use computers.
A: We 'Googled' that question because the patron was in a hurry. We often look up physicians in the reference book 'The Official ABMS directory of board certified medical specialists' or use the American Medical Association's Doctor Finder webpage, but if patrons just want us to quickly search the internet with the understanding that the results are random and not a recommendation, we will do that for them. Using reference books and the AMA website takes longer than Googling.
Follow-up Q: That's a doctor who treats skin stuff, right?
A: Right.

Q:Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in New Jersey?
A: We quickly realized this is a complicated issue and while we were looking for the easy, quick, fast answer that the patron wanted, he changed the question to ask for a list of used furniture stores in the town where he lives. He does not use computers. If we were, we would mark the answer to this question, 'No, but it's complicated.'
Note: here is an article from about tougher proposed laws on the sale of used mattresses. We infer that used mattresses can be sold in NJ, but have to be sanitized first and carefully labelled following guidelines. Here is a PDF from the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs about used mattresses.

Q: How do I register to vote?
A: We recommended this Union County website for all kinds of election deadlines and other information.
The printable New Jersey Voter Registration Application is here

Follow-up Q: Can I register to vote at the library or a Post Office?
A: No. We have applications available (see above), but we cannot register voters.

Questions at the public internet computers:


Q:What email do I use?
A: We don't know. Is it Gmail, Yahoo, Verizon?
 Follow-up Q: What is my email user name and password?
A: We don't know.
Q: My home computer remembers. How do I find out what my password is?
A: Did  you write it down somewhere?

Q: Can I quickly print out something from my email on your computers?
A: Yes
Follow-up Q: Where is my email?
A: What kind of email do you have? (see above conversation.)

Questions at the Reference Desk in person:

Q: What ever happened to the Dewey Decimal System?
A: We still use it.
Q: Really?
A: Yes. 

 Q: I don't know the title or author, but I want to know if you have a book called something.
A: Can  you describe the book?
Q: Oh, you know, everyone is reading it.
A: Is it a bestseller?
Q: Can you get it for me?
A: It depends on what it is.
Q: I'll call my friend who recommended it.
A: OK, let us know what the title is and we'll take it from there.
Q: I'm sure you have it.
A: Probably, but it might be checked out.
Q: Yes, that's probably why it's not here.

Q: How do I connect to wifi here?
A: Your device will find 'LibraryWiFi.' There is no password to get into the network.
Q: No password?
A: No.
Q: It's not finding it.
A: Just wait. That usually works. Or reboot your device. Or look at your settings to make sure you are not on Airplane mode or something blocking it. 
Q: OK, got it.
A: Great.