It starts with a book fair, tickets, and kids looking through piles of new books. Adira Fuller-Warren, the young adult associate, explained that this is just the start of the summer programming. “If you have a book, you always have something to do; you can always read it. It stops the summer slide,” Fuller-Warren said. “The goal is to get as many kids as possible to read as many books as they can before school starts.”
The TFPL does this by offering various programs. “Oceans of possibilities is the theme for this year,” Stephanie Hampton, Library Assistant for Youth Services, said. “It’s mainly just to get as many kids as possible to know that their imaginations can take them so far so that they know that there are endless possibilities for them.”
Trenton residents came in to get a head start on the summer reading list. Lynn Richardson, a Trenton resident, brought her seven-year-old son to the book fair.
“I came here because it was a good idea to get books for the kids, so they won’t lose everything they learned in the school year…I want to keep them smart,” Richardson said.
The book fair lasted from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., serving hundreds of Trenton residents who came by. There was a book signing by Brittany Johnson, Trenton’s author of I Am, I Can, I Will. This event was made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in honor of the Katherine Hatton Book Fund.
Damaris Ratara, a bilingual assistant librarian, explained that every kid who got a book left with a smile on their face.
“My favorite thing is the kid’s faces when they get that book. When you give them that book, you’re like, you could get five books, then their faces light up. That’s my favorite part,” Ratara said.
Four programs are happening in the TFPL this summer. The Read to Me Reading Club is designed for kids who are not reading yet, anyone can read to the child, and any book is available to be read to the child. The kid’s summer reading club is for kids K-8, while the young adult is for teenagers 9-12. There is also an Adult Summer Reading Club where all Trentonians with a valid Trenton Free Public Library card is invited to participate in the summer reading.
Trenton resident Leah Brndjar brought her son Kaleb who loves manga and left the library with a large stack of the graphic novels to work through over the summer, “I think it’s a good way to start the summer off for the kids who are out of school and always looking for things to do besides screen time,” Brndjar said. Her son agrees, “I love anime books, and I feel like, for the first time, I’m getting amazing books.”