By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Public Library Director Priya Rathnam and Angela Snell, Shrewsbury Superintendent of Public Facilities & Parks, met in early July to kick-off a summer project – StoryWalk®, at Lake Street Park in Shrewsbury. It has proven to be very popular.
The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt., and developed with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. It is part of a nation-wide initiative “Let’s Move in Libraries.”
Presented through a collaboration of the Shrewsbury Public Library and Shrewsbury Parks and Recreation; it was sponsored by the Friends of the Shrewsbury Public Library who Rathnam said were “thrilled” with the community’s response.
“Librarians saw how successful the StoryWalk® program was in July and heard from many community members that they enjoyed going to Lake Street Park with their families,” Rathnam explained. “Since the StoryWalk® had already been established, and we were swapping books every two weeks, we thought it would be a good idea to continue to install a new book every month during the fall.”
The line-up begins in September with “Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates” by local children’s book author, April Jones Prince. That as it turns out, is perfect timing because “Talk like a Pirate Day” is Saturday, Sept. 19.
Prince was surprised and thrilled to have one of her books showcased.
“I think I can safely speak for the community when I say that I’m so grateful for our librarians’ tireless work since March. The Story Walks at Lake Street Park are just one example of the ways they’ve been adapting, engaging the community, and thinking outside the box,” she commented. “I appreciate their continued support of local creators and of our community of eager readers —they are first-rate mates!”
Her book is followed in October with “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson and “Fall Mixed UP” by Bob Raczka in November.
Snell, and Kevin Esposito, manager of the Parks and Cemetery Division, heartily support the idea.
“We are very happy to share in the enthusiasm generated by the project. When we were asked about extending into the fall, of course we said yes! We would also like to keep it going into the winter months using season themed stories. We welcome the opportunity to get people into the parks and promote the library as well,” Esposito said.