Tag Archives: SLIC

Shining a Light on Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in all Levels of New Jersey Government

Our tax dollars fund the State of New Jersey so it is important to ensure that our money is being spent properly.  Fraud, waste, and abuse cause unnecessary burdens to be placed on not only the taxpayer, but different branches, departments, and agencies.  In 2007, the Office of the State Comptroller was created to battle fraud, waste, and abuse through accountability, audits, and investigations.  It also provides an avenue for citizens and groups to report suspected abuse, fraud, or waste to help the agency carry out it’s duties.  Please join us as Nicole Acchione of the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, Investigations Division, discusses the work of her office, and what you can do if you suspect government fraud, waste or abuse.

Nicole is an attorney with over 20 years of experience and is currently the Assistant Director of the Investigations Division.


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Genealogical Research Stories: The Basse Class

Thank you all for coming to Basse with me earlier this week! (The verb to Basse, of course, meaning to immerse oneself in all things related to Jeremiah Basse.)  I hope you enjoyed learning more about the genealogy of one of New Jersey’s earliest governors.

During the presentation, we not only reviewed biographical details of Basse family members, but some important resources for colonial New Jersey genealogical research.

Advertisement by Elizabeth Basse after the death of her husband Jeremiah and son-in-law Robert Talbot

The Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey can be a gold mine of genealogical information.   Using this resource, I was able to find articles relating to deaths, land sales, and even a marriage announcement for Ann, one of Jeremiah Basse’s daughters.  This series covers 1703-1782, and is available in print both at the New Jersey State Library and the State Archives.  You may also find some of the volumes digitized online.

Colonial New Jersey Deeds are indexed in the Early Land Records Database.  Deeds may trace the history of property ownership or summarize a bequest left in a will.  If family members are selling land together, a deed will also often define the relationship between individuals selling land.  Using deeds, I proved that Katherine Pierce and Ann Pidgeon were sisters and also identified their parents and brother.  I was also able to connect Jeremiah Basse to his mother and some siblings thanks to a deed.

Deed: Ann Pidgeon and Katherine Pierce to William Smith Liber A-C p.370, 1771

I had fun detailing what I learned about the Basse family through my research and share some of the mysteries I still have to unlock.  If you’re curious to learn more about the Basses or need some brainstorming help on your own colonial research, please feel free to e-mail me.

Genealogical Research Stories: The Basse Class

Regina Fitzpatrick, our Genealogy Librarian, has a secret to tell…she has a dead boyfriend.  Jeremiah Basse, once a governor of New Jersey, has captivated her heart, but like all dead boyfriends, he doesn’t say much.  Regina has many questions for him – What does he look like?  Why did he name his son Birchfield?  Why was his wife living with his boss before they got married?  Over the years, Regina has done much research regarding Jeremiah Basse, especially his less documented family life.  Come join us as she shares the fruits of the her labor and explains the hows and whys about what she found about her long-lost love.


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Introduction to Finding Grants

Are you new to the field of grant seeking?  Discover what funders are looking for in nonprofits seeking grants and how to find potential funders in this introductory class.  This class will cover the 10 most important things you need to know about finding grants, and you will have an opportunity to do some hands-on funding research using the Foundation Directory Online Professional database.

*Registration is limited to 16 participants.  Please register only if you can attend*


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WEBINAR – Retirement Planning for PERS and TPAF Members

The Division of Pension and Benefits has released a variety of informational webinars regarding retirement and pensions for state employees.  This is a live, interactive web presentation designed for members of the Public Employees’ Retirement System or Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund who are planning to retire. This webinar takes a step-by-step approach to the retirement process and explains what happens after you submit your application. We explain your benefits, survivor options, group life insurance, loan repayment provisions, and the taxability of your pension. There is also a brief discussion of State Health Benefits Program and School Employees’ Health Benefits Program coverage in retirement. Attendees will have the opportunity to email questions during the presentation. The webinar is 1 1/2 – 2 hours in duration including a question and answer period at the end of the session.

If you would like register for this webinar please visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/8361577409228739586.

WEBINAR – Understanding Your Pension Benefits for State Employees

The Division of Pension and Benefits has released a variety of informational webinars regarding retirement and pensions for state employees.  Whether you are a new hire or have been a member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) or the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) for a while, this class will give you a basic understanding of your pension benefits. Topics covered are enrollment criteria, membership tiers, the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS), beneficiary designation, group life insurance coverage, purchasing service credit, pension loans, retirement formulas and types, and withdrawing. This webinar is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes long and includes a Q&A period.

If you would like to register for this webinar, please visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/1751260725396571137.

This webinar is designed specifically for PERS and TPAF members employed by a N.J. State department, State agency, State Institution, or a N.J. State College/University.

Great Atlantic Hurricane 1944


The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 was first detected on September 8th when a pressure fall and erratic winds were noted around the Windward Islands. Named the Great Atlantic Hurricane by the Miami Weather Bureau, it barreled up the east coast reaching over a 500 mile radius.

The force of the storm destroyed many homes. This house in Avalon was one of three destroyed and though no lives were lost the American Red Cross did have to rescue people from their homes when water came in high.

Before the storm hit New Jersey it pelted towns with heavy rainfall for days. Hundreds of homeowners and holiday makers left the shore towns and sought safety inland. On September 14th the storm hammered New Jersey with great force doing major damage to Long Beach Island, Ocean City, Atlantic City and Cape May. Telephone and utility poles were washed away, cars and trolleys were stranded, and bridges connecting some towns on barrier islands were destroyed.

The State Library has multiple resources to discover more about this storm. In 1944 the New Jersey State Police did a thorough (over 400 pages) town-by-town inventory of the damage the storm caused along with reports submitted by the departments of Agriculture, Institutions and Agencies, Conservation and Development, Highway and the Civilian Defense Council. Many lives were saved due to the Civilian Defense Council (who were a volunteer group set up to protect civilians in case of a war emergency) warning and evacuating residents from danger zones.

The Brigantine Bridge across Abescon Inlet was destroyed.

The Atlantic City area sustained millions of dollars’ worth of damage with all utilities and transportation disrupted. In some places whole sections of the boardwalk, with rails and benches still intact were blown four blocks inland. The Brigantine City Bridge connecting the island to the mainland was destroyed.

While news of the allied advancement in World War II figured prominently in newspapers of the time, there was still room for front page coverage of the impending storm and then its aftermath.

The State Library’s subscription to ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers offers access to the Asbury Evening Press from that time period (1905-1974) and the Plainfield Courier-News (1894-1961) along with other newspapers from the northeast. The Plainfield Courier-News reported that “Plainfield and its vicinity looked today like something a battalion of paratroopers had worked over” and that the estimated damage in total was over 20 million dollars.

Accessing these collections

A good overview of the storm can be found in Great Storms of the Jersey Shore by Larry Savadove and Margaret Thomas Buchholz which is available for in-person or interlibrary loan (call number J551.55 S263)

Many photographs can be freely viewed in our 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane collection.

Our collection of historical newspapers can be accessed remotely by New Jersey state employees and by anyone within the State Library.  Additional digitized content can be located using our guide to New Jersey Digitized Historic Newspapers.

The New Jersey State Police town-by-town inventory of storm damage is called the State of New Jersey Report of Hurricane Damage September 14, 1944 (call number 974.90 H966 1944) and can be viewed in the library.

Juneteenth Hack-a-Thon

Please visit the Hack-a-Thon website for additional important information prior to registering. 

In Celebration of Juneteenth, the New Jersey State Library is hosting a hack-a-thon on Friday June 28, 2019 from 12-2 p.m.  Freedom on the Move, a project spearheaded by Cornell University, has digitized thousands of advertisements from newspapers seeking enslaved individuals who fled to freedom.   During the hack-a-thon, participants will log in to the Freedom on the Move website and create typed transcriptions of these ads.  The State Library has limited computer equipment, so participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops!  Please contact  Regina Fitzpatrick or Andrew Dauphinee with any questions.


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Career Connections Presents – Volunteering: A Doorway to Employment

Thanks to those who attended Career Connections Presents – Volunteering: A Doorway to Employment!  During the presentation, we discussed how volunteering might be a valuable addition to standard job searching activities.

Volunteering gives you the opportunity to:

  • Expand your social circles and create more networking opportunities
    • These networking opportunities can lead you to potential job openings, within or outside the volunteer organization, and have your supervisor serve as a professional reference
  • Learn new and develop existing skills, such as customer service, project planning, communication, or problem solving
  • Learn more about a specific job or field that you are interested in to determine if you should commit your time to pursuing a new career
  • Add work experience to your resume to demonstrate the necessary skills you will need in a new job or help fill in gaps of employment to show that you are motivated and active

Are you interested in finding a volunteer position and are not sure where to start?  The Governor’s Office on Volunteerism can link you to volunteer agencies who are looking to recruit.  In addition the New Jersey Career Connections website has a listing of volunteer organization websites or search engines designed to help connect you with a great volunteer position.  If you need additional assistance locating a great volunteer position, please contact the New Jersey State Library Reference Department at 609-278-2640 x103.

Career Connections Presents – Volunteering: A Doorway to Employment

If you’re looking for a job, you may think your time would be better spent on job-search activities than volunteering.  However, there are several benefits to volunteering.  Come join us as we delve into how volunteering can have a positive impact on not only your job search, but also developing and enhancing important skills and talents sought after by employers.

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development has developed a career navigation framework consisting of expert insights and actionable guidance, which follows 3 steps: Plan, Prepare, and Succeed. Volunteering: A Doorway to Employment falls under the ”Prepare” step of this model.


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History of Timbuctoo, NJ: African American Enclave

Beginning in 1826, Timbuctoo  was settled by formerly enslaved and free African Americans with the assistance of Quakers. African Americans bought land, as well as establishing institutions such as a school, a church, a cemetery, and a benevolent society.  Guy Weston, whose ancestors purchased a parcel in Timbuctoo in 1829, will discuss the fascinating details of researching his family and their participation in this community that was an important stop on the Underground Railroad.

Guy Weston is a family historian and cultural heritage specialist. At present, he is a Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University, and chairs an advisory committee established by Westampton Township to  advise its governing body on historic preservation issues related to Timbuctoo.

For more information about our Genealogy collection, including links to the research guide, blog, and future events, please visit www.njstatelib.org/genealogy.


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The New Jersey Digital Newspaper Guide Helps Researchers Find Local History Resources

screenshot of newspaper guide

The New Jersey State Library is proud to partner with Rutgers University and the New Jersey State Archives in the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project, a collaborative effort to digitize, preserve, and promote New Jersey’s historic newspapers. Thanks to grant funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities, some 200,000 newspaper pages will be digitized, cataloged and made freely available to the public. screenshot of newspaper guide

As a part of the project, the New Jersey State Library has created a guide of all known digitized newspapers in the State. This guide features an interactive map of New Jersey to help researchers identify which newspapers are available for a particular city or geographic region. The guide also lists digitized newspapers by county and city, with links to the digitized collection.

While many of these newspapers are freely available online, others can only be accessed from public libraries or college/universities with a subscription to a commercial database. The guide indicates if a particular newspaper is freely available or available through one of these commercial subscriptions. State employees can check with the New Jersey State Library and members of the public can check with their local library to see if they have a subscription.

An Excel spreadsheet listing all newspapers in the guide is also available for download. Additional research resources, such as the New Jersey Newspaper Directory, 1765-1970, and the list of New Jersey local names have been made available as well.

To have your digitized newspaper project added to our list or to provide additional information about other digitized New Jersey newspapers, please contact Caitlyn Cook, New Jersey Reference & Digital Librarian