Category Archives: Adults

Running Resources

It’s clear that more of us are out running these days!  Whether you’re a long-time runner, or just getting started, running can bring tremendous physical and mental benefits.  We’ve compiled some resources to help enrich and encourage your running journey.

Safety First!

The information provided by Scotch Plains Public Library and its employees does not imply medical recommendation, endorsement or approval. Information from these sources are intended for use as general information. All consumer health information should be reviewed with your health care professional for clarification about how this information may or may not apply to your unique clinical situation or overall health.

Informational Sites

Nearly all coaching sites promote fee-based resources and services.  The ones listed here provide substantial amounts of their content for free, although you may need to provide an email in some cases.

Kinetic Revolution – James Dunne, a UK-based sports rehabilitation therapist and coach, provides comprehensive resources on technique, training, injury prevention and more. There is lots of free content, with many short videos and downloadable pdf guides.

The Balanced Runner – Jae Gruenke is a Feldenkrais Practitioner who focuses on making running feel easier and more enjoyable.  Her site offers free audio lessons such as “Mobilizing Your Core to Run.”  She’s also has a series of ‘Stuck at Home Running Form Tips’ on her YouTube channel.

(You can find more Feldenkrais-based balance and strength video lessons on local instructor Yasmin Ofek’s blog!)

Better Movement – author Todd Hargrove offers evidence-based articles about movement and pain.  Topics include: pain science, the biomechanics of efficient movement, and common myths related to manual or movement therapies. Read How to Optimize Your Running Technique.

Running Communities

Even as group events and races are suspended, running clubs and online groups can still offer many of the benefits of community.  Members connect often through Facebook groups and even Zoom meetings to share advice, offer encouragement, and provide connection with others who share your enthusiasm (or your pain!) Nearly all running clubs welcome all ages and all paces, and some are formed to encourage and address the concerns of particular populations.

  • Black Girls RUN!  – created in 2009 to provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners, and “to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority.”
  • Black Men Run – formed to encourage health and wellness among African American men by promoting a culture of running/jogging to stay fit resulting.   “From first timers to advanced runners, we strive to promote increased fitness through a culture of running.”
  • Achilles International – founded in 1983 as the Achilles Track Club, this group provides athletes with disabilities with a community of support.  Able-bodied volunteers and disabled runners, including wounded military personnel, veterans, and kids, come together to train in an environment of support and community. 


Keeping Track – Three Olympians (Alysia Montano, Molly Huddle and Roisin McGettigan) host conversations about race, motherhood, women in coaching, and more.

The Real Science of Sport -sports scientist Professor Ross Tucker and journalist Mike Finch break down the myths, practices and controversies from the sporting world. Running-related topics have included recovery science, Nike’s controversial shoes, misinformation on weight and performance, and more.

The Way of the Runner – award-winning author Adharanand Finn interviews an eclectic mix of runners “to try to uncover what it really is that gets us out there running around in big, pointless circles. And why we love it so much.”

Read about Running

Our online books and magazines can be accessed with a Scotch Plains Library card number.

Book: Running is My Therapy

Our Wellness resources page includes links to several fitness and running books available from RBDigital and eLibraryNJ.

Runner and reader Seth Cayley’s Books about Running site has a compilation of his many entertaining running book reviews!

Running Books

Do you have a favorite book about running–or would you like to hear some suggestions for great running-related reading?

Join our online Running Books Chat on Thursday, June 25 at 7pm!

Read current and past issues of Runners World and other fitness and health magazines on Flipster!

Armchair Travel

text: explore your world from home, image: map background with outline drawing of an armchair

We’ve compiled different ways for you to tour the world, right from the comfort of your home. Take online virtual tours, listen to travel books, and watch documentaries…with a little help from your local library.


We Want To Hear From You!

Scotch Plains Public Library mission: to welcome and support our entire community with resources and services that enhance lifelong learning.

While the library building is closed to the public, we are still working hard to fulfill our mission. The Adult Services Department wants to make sure that we are providing programs and services that you can use, even without access to physical materials and space. We invite you to respond to our survey and let us know how we might best meet your needs during this time.

Citizen Science

Did you know that you can easily make meaningful contributions to scientific research—while staying home and staying safe?

  • Scientific research depends on data–much of which is based on observations that can be done more effectively and more quickly by the ordinary human eye and brain than by computers.
  • By harnessing the power of the crowd, research can advance much more quickly than if scientists had to do this work on their own!

Citizen Science is a way for all of us to use our ordinary powers of observation to advance real scientific research.

The best place to start your Citizen Science journey is

  • Scistarter is a portal for finding projects and tracking your contributions.
  • Once you’ve created an account, you can easily search for projects that appeal to you.

Use the Project Finder to search for projects that interest you and can be done safely from home!

Even a few minutes of your time every now and then can create valuable data for scientists! Here are some examples of the different types of projects you can get involved in right now!

Penguin Watch

Count penguins and chicks in remote locations from your home computer!

Penguin Watch is an easy and fun project that will provide scientists with data they need— in time to understand why penguin populations are declining. Seabirds like penguins are considered to be ‘sentinel’ species, meaning that changes in their behavior and populations can provide early warning of risks to key ecosystems, and by extension to humans.

Seabirds are declining worldwide; under threat from climate change, pollution, disturbance and competition with fisheries. We want to monitor, understand and protect these species, but we have lacked the ability to collect data on a large enough scale

Why Are We Doing It?

Galaxy Zoo

You can tell a lot about a galaxy just from its shape!

The Galaxy Zoo project is done from your computer by viewing photographs from powerful telescopes, and answering a series of questions about their shape. Understanding galaxies helps scientists learn about the past, present and future of the Universe as a whole.

You can answer these questions without any specialist knowledge— the ordinary human brain can perform these pattern recognition tasks better than any computer!


Make important contributions to biodiversity science from your own backyard or neighborhood!

iNaturalist is an easy-to-use app that lets you upload a picture of any wild plant, animal, or fungus. Over 80,000 daily users in over 240 countries can connect with other by helping to identify sightings. Your contributions can create research quality data for scientists who are working to better understand and protect nature. Every observation becomes part of a growing record of Earth’s biodiversity!

You can also view what others have seen in your area! Wondering if there are wild turkeys—or coyotes—in our vicinity? Use the Explore option to find out! (Yes, there are!)

Here’s a great introduction to getting started with iNaturalist.

Smithsonian Transcription Project

Nothing is better than the human eye for transcribing handwriting.

Do your interests lie more in history? Citizen Science has projects for you, too!

The Smithsonian Transcription Center has thousands of letters, diaries and records at that need your eyes to reveal their treasures! Enter the world of American artists in Paris between 1860 and 1930 through their letters. Bring to light the experiences of formerly enslaved men and women during Reconstruction by transcribing records from the Freedman’s Bureau. You’ll learn about historical events in a completely different way, and bring valuable human stories to light for researchers and the public .

Stall Catchers

A Citizen Science project that feels like a game–but is actually advancing Alzheimer’s research!

Stall Catchers is a game-like project—the object is to “catch” stalls by looking at movies from the brains of mice and scoring blood vessels as “flowing” or “stalled.” The stalls indicate the reduced blood flow that’s associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Even the most powerful computer technologies can’t perform this task accurately enough—and without the help of the crowd, the research process could take decades.

With the efforts of Citizen Scientists, a treatment could potentially be developed quickly enough to help people who have the disease now! Stall Catchers can be done from any type of computer or connected device.

This short video explains the science behind Stall Catchers:

Visit our website for information on joining the Library’s Stall Catchers team–let’s see how much we can contribute by working together!

Would you like to read more about the fascinating world of Citizen Science?

  • This is a wonderful introduction to the world of Citizen Science that will definitely inspire you to give it a try!

More Ways to Find Your Next Great Read

We recently wrote about how you can find reading suggestions from the library’s book clubs. Here are some additional resources to inspire you.

LibraryReads – We know you love to get recommendations from our library staff when you visit our building, and we love to share great titles with you. Each month, LibraryReads lists the 10 upcoming titles that have been most enjoyed by people who work in public libraries across the country. You can find May’s list here, but if you visit the Archive page, you can explore library favorites going back to 2013. (Are you playing Bingo with us? Checking out LibraryReads is an easy square to get.)

NoveList Plus – If you haven’t discovered the NoveList Plus database yet, grab your library card and explore! You can search for a title, author, or subject, or you can browse their lists of suggested titles based on your favorite genre, your current mood, or even a favorite TV show. Click on a title that intrigues you, and you’ll find read-alike suggestions based on the title or the author. You’ll also find professional reviews to help you decide if you should give a book a try. NoveList Plus includes books for all ages, so parents can also use this to help them find a “just right” book for their children.

Bestseller lists – Have you been missing the weekly bestseller lists we kept in a binder in the New Book section? Until our building reopens, you can find the Publishers Weekly and New York Times bestseller lists online.

Of course, we still enjoy helping you find a great book to read. We’ve got great ideas about new ways to keep doing that, so stay tuned!

Virtual Live Music Events

Where: YouTube

Listening Together–at Home!

While it’s great that we can stream music 24/7 on Freegal, and watch an amazing selection of past concerts on Stingray Qello, we’re all missing the feeling of connection that only a live event can provide.

Musicians are reaching out to us with live performances online, as well as offering live streams of past concerts that we can experience together.

Like a real show, these events require that you make a plan to show up at a specific time. But you can keep your lazy clothes on!

A few tips:

  • Monitor the social media accounts and YouTube channels of your favorite musicians–many have started streaming live performances from their homes on an occasional or regular basis.
  • Instagram LIVE videos can only be viewed on a mobile device, but there’s a workaround if you want to watch on your computer. Watch or read how to do this by adding a browser extension!
  • Make sure to translate times to EDT so you don’t miss a west coast or European show–all times below have been converted where needed.

Free free to contact us with questions about using any of these social media platforms!

Instagram Live, previously a place for celebrities to offer the public slick glimpses into their worlds, has been repurposed as a cabaret, abuzz with performing artists doing what they can for us from their living rooms.

Here is a list of some shared listening opportunities to check out. Let us know if you have others to recommend!

Living Room Live Classical Music

Living Room Live is a platform where classical musicians stream live recitals from their living rooms into yours. Check their website for the schedule of performances, taking place daily at 1pm.

Phish’s “Dinner and a Movie”

The jam band is streaming a full recorded show every Tuesday beginning at 8:30 pm at Phish will also provide fans with recommended in-home recipes so they can cook along and enjoy dinner while watching the show!

Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge invites you to join her these next couple of weeks on Facebook Live daily at 6pm for 15 minute sing-along get-togethers. Invite your friends and family! 

Drew Holcomb

Drew Holcomb of the Americana band The Neighbors is streaming his “Kitchen Covers” series every evening at 9:00 pm via Instagram and Facebook. Artists he’s covered include Tom Petty, U2, and Kenny Rogers.

Daniel Hope

British violinist Daniel Hope, one of the world’s most prolific classical recording artists, is offering a series of daily concerts live at 12 noon from his living room. The concerts will be live streamed daily on Deutsche Grammophon’s Deutsche Grammophon and Arte Concert YouTube channels.

Feinstein’s 54 Below

The Manhattan club known as “Broadway’s Living Room” is now a virtual living room where at-home audiences can enjoy performances, comment, and chat with each other. They will be streaming live shows and past performances as one-time only events on their YouTube channel, most evenings at 6:30pm. Upcoming performers include Lorna Luft and Ben Vereen.

Marie’s Crisis Café

Marie’s Crisis is a “West Village is a dive bar that epitomizes a deep love for show tune music, community, and fun.” Join their Facebook group (currently accepting all applicants) and sing along every night as their pianists live-stream sets of Broadway tunes to audiences at home. They’re on-duty from roughly 4pm to 9:30pm on weekdays, and a little later on Saturdays. They’ll take requests!

Royal Irish Academy of Music

The Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin is livestreaming concerts on Facebook every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday at 2pm, offering live music from the living rooms of RIAM’s staff, students, and special guests.


The drummer for The Roots is DJing live sets of R&B tunes and deep cuts on YouTube and Instagram nightly at 10pm.

Verizon’s #PayItForward LIVE

Verizon is offering is weekly livestream concerts on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8pm. Watch popular performers live from their living rooms via Verizon’s Twitter account and Yahoo Entertainment.

As we all polish off our self-isolation snacks and try to do something other than binge Netflix, musicians are doing their best to replicate the effects of traditional gigs online as best they can.

Adult Library Bingo Challenge

Just for fun, we’ve created an Adult Library Bingo Challenge card. We hope that it will help you find new and interesting activities to keep you busy while you’re safe at home. The library’s mission is “to welcome and support our entire community with resources and services that enhance lifelong learning”, and that doesn’t stop just because the building is closed.

We encourage you to explore our many resources with activities such as borrowing digital books and magazines, watching streaming videos, and listening to music (did you know you can create and share your own playlist with us on Freegal?). You might even find something you never knew the library offered.

There’s a link at the bottom of this post to a printable version of the Bingo card. While we’re not requiring you to report back to us when you get a BINGO, if you want you could post a picture of your Bingo card, or how you earned a particular square, and tag us on Facebook or Instagram. We’d love to hear how you’re using the library at home.

Library-Curated Collection of Free Online Resources

Scotch Plains Public Library subscribes to many digital resources to support and entertain you while we Stay at Home. To add another level of variety, the librarians curated this list of free online resources.

Looking for something outside of our RBdigital or Overdrive collections? Try these free online resources…

Project Gutenberg – Over 60,000 public domain books available in ebook format.  Read online in html or download in ePub or Kindle format.

LibriVox Audiobooks – Audiobooks in the public domain. Listen on your computer, download with iTunes or as a zip file. Audiobooks for adults and children.

Sync Audiobook Collection – Beginning April 30, teens ages 13 + can download one selected audiobook title every week via the Sora app through July 29. These titles do not expire once downloaded.  Sora is the student version of Overdrive.

Missing our museum passes? Try a virtual tour instead…

American Museum of Natural History – Explore AMNH’s exhibits, take a museum view virtual tour, and enjoy guided tours of some of the museum’s halls via Facebook Live.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Discover the gardens online, learn about the flowering cherry tree collection, and read gardening how-to articles to prepare for spring.

Cooper Hewitt – Explore this national design museum’s virtual exhibits.

Frick Collection – The Frick is known for its Old Master paintings and examples of European sculpture and decorative arts. Take a virtual tour, explore its online exhibitions and watch videos of lectures on the museum’s YouTube channel.

Guggenheim – Visit the Guggenheim from home. Tour the building virtually, download audio guides about the museum, the building, and its collections, and watch archived live-stream interviews with staff members.

Intrepid – Take a virtual tour of the museum, explore the collection, watch videos and animations, and hear the stories of those who served on the aircraft carrier.

Looking for a replacement for our Gentle Fitness and Walk with a Librarian programs? Visit our Wellness Programs page for free online fitness and meditation resources.