The Madison Public Library's Summer Seminar Series, is in its 26th season this year. The series is made possible by cooperative effort and funding from the Friends of the Madison Public Library and the Madison Senior Center. It was created with the purpose of providing thought-provoking programs to entertain and educate, to support life-long learning and to help people stay connected. An advisory board plans the series with input from community members.

The series, which began in early July and ends the first week of August, generally draws approximately 100 people per event. The Summer Seminar Series is free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary. The Madison Public Library is located at 39 Keep Street in Madison. For more information, call (973) 377-0722. The remainder of this year's program schedule is:

Monday, July 19th, 2:00 pm -"American Foreign Policy" - Dr. Douglas Simon, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Drew University, last spoke at our series in 2007 and since then significant changes in global policy have occurred with far-reaching implications that he will discuss. While at Drew University, he specialized in international affairs, U.S. foreign policy, international organization, and national security. A graduate of Willamette University, Dr. Simon served as an officer in U.S. Air Force Intelligence, including a tour in Vietnam. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. An award winning professor, he is co-author of three books and has contributed to many publications.

Thursday, July 22nd, 10:30 am -"The Jersey Shore: from Pirates to Playground" -Kevin Woyce, author, photographer and lecturer, will recount the regional history of the legendary New Jersey coastline with a lecture and slide show. Included in the slide show are original photographs of Jersey Shore lighthouses, amusement parks, piers, motels, as well as historic maps and images. Mr. Woyce will explain the origins of popular shore resorts, and tell the stories behind such landmarks as Cape May's oldest hotels, Lucy the Elephant, and today's most colorful boardwalks. Mr. Woyce is the author of Jersey Shore History & Facts and Hudson River Lighthouses & History. A lifelong resident of the Garden State, he grew up in East Rutherford and now lives in Lyndhurst, NJ. The hour-long program will be followed by a question and answer session and a book signing.

Monday, July 26th, 2:00 pm -"The Changing Iranian Scene" - Niki Javidani - Born and raised in Iran, Javidani shared her story of growing up in Iran last summer and returns with a cultural and social view of pre- and post-revolution Iran. Javidani holds a doctorate in Education from Widener University. She served as an adjunct professor at LaSalle University. Dr. Javidani has an extensive background in Human Resources, having worked for West Chester University, Downington Area School District, and Aetna U.S. Healthcare. Prior to leaving Iran, she was Assistant Principal of a high school, and taught English as a second language.

Thursday, July 29th, 10:30 am - "The Golden Age of Broadway" - Allen Cohen, Associate Professor of Music at Fairleigh Dickinson University, takes us on an historical exploration back to the days of Rodgers & Hammerstein, the Gershwins, and the stars who shone on the Great White Way. Dr. Cohen has been a professional composer, arranger, conductor, vocal coach, and pianist in New York City and on Broadway for years. While his main love is composing classical music, of which five pieces have so far appeared on CD, he has also composed songs and arrangements for Broadway, incidental scores for films and off-Broadway plays, and music for many radio and television commercials. He has conducted three musicals on Broadway and many elsewhere.

Monday, August 2nd , 2:00pm - "The Museum as Cultural Innovator" - Deborah Farrar Starker, Arts and Museum Education Consultant and President of the Madison Arts and Cultural Alliance, discusses changes in attitudes toward the lifelong learning experience and its effect on the programs and future of museums. Starker is an arts education consultant and has a diverse background that includes marketing and museum education management. She was formerly Vice President for Programs and Exhibitions at the Morris Museum, and Director of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts. . As a member of the board of the New Jersey Association of Museums, she works collaboratively with other museum professionals on many issues relating to museums throughout the state. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from NYU and a M.A. in Museum Studies from Seton Hall University. Starker is currently the President of the Madison Arts & Culture Alliance.

Thursday, August 5th, 10:30am -"Creating a Fine Dining Experience" - Rob Ubhaus, local restaurateur, explores the secrets to success in the dining business including developing a menu, finding the right space and assembling a congenial staff. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Ubhaus started his career at Green Gables on Long Beach Island. He also studied at the American University in Paris. Prior to opening Resto and Rob's Bistro in Madison, he was the executive chef at the Crystal Springs resort in Sussex County. He worked at New York's Firebird and Pershing Square, in addition to stints at several highly regarded California restaurants. Ubhaus is a graduate of Lafayette College and a native of Edison, NJ.