On Wednesday, July 8 at 7 p.m., the Westfield Memorial Library will host “Rockin' Roots, Global Reach: The Story of New Jersey's Popular Music.” The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.

Long before Bruce Springsteen earned his nickname as “The Boss” and Jon Bon Jovi became the founder and frontman of one of the best-selling rock bands of all time, New Jersey provided inspiration for musicians writing about their longing, lust and love.

This program, led by Rutgers University Librarian Jonathan Sauceda, will look at themes of songs that have been part of the music of New Jersey for decades. The music is about the Jersey shore and iconic New Jersey towns from Hoboken to Hackensack. The songs describe trysts on the boardwalk, marital infidelity and unrequited love — themes often repeated in contemporary music.

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“Music is such an important part of the human experience,” Sauceda said. “Just like we are familiar with Shakespeare and Shelley, it is important to be conversant in some of the musical greats of the past, and to be able to pick apart a piece of music and understand it critically like you would a book, an article or a piece of poetry.”

Sauceda is the Music and Performing Arts Librarian for Rutgers University and is responsible for collection development, teaching, and fostering collaboration between the libraries and the university community. His research areas focus on Latin American art and popular music from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has published work on the important place of Latin Americans in the history of rock-and-roll for ABC-CLIO.

The program is free and open to Westfield Memorial Library and MURAL cardholders. (MURAL cardholders belong to libraries that are part of the Middlesex Union Reciprocal Agreement Libraries. Visit www.wmlnj.org and click on the “About Us” tab to see if your library participates.) To register for the program, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, click on the Online Calendar, or call 908.789.4090 option 0.

Founded in 1879, the Westfield Memorial Library—the community’s destination for discovery and ideas—engages minds, entertains spirits and facilitates lifelong learning for people of all ages. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and closed on Sunday for the summer.

For more information call 908.789.4090, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, and sign up for the monthly e-newsletter “Library Loop,” or stop by the library at 550 East Broad Street for a copy of the award-winning quarterly newsletter “Take Note.”