Hundreds of residents from Island Park and the surrounding communities flocked to the Island Park Public Library on March 10 for Library Day, an event chock full of activities as well as an opportunity, according to Library Trustee Joe Pontecorvo and Director Jessica Koenig, to see what the community hub has to offer.
“We bring people together,” Pontecorvo said. “It educates them on what the library has to offer.” The services, he added, include programming for children and adults, cooking classes and movies as well as guest speakers and much more.
In addition to parents and their children, Island Park cub and Boy Scouts were present to kick off the event with a flag raising and retirement ceremony, which Pontecorvo said was a good opportunity for the scouts to practice their flag etiquette.
“That’s a very solemn and very touching affair,” Koenig said of the ceremony. “And after it, it’s kind of the party event.” Because for Library Day, the two said, the main purpose is fun.
This year’s theme was Peace, Love and Libraries, and staff members were decked out in colorful gear reminiscent of the late 1960’s and early ‘70s.
“We do arts, crafts and music,” Pontecorvo explained. “It’s a fun day.” He estimated that roughly 500 people attended, which far outstripped the staff’s expectations. “It was amazing,” he said of the event. “To me it’s one of the best things we have.”
“I think of it as we’re throwing a party for the community,” Koenig said, echoing Pontecorvo’s sentiment. She said her staff spends months organizing the activities for both children and adult attendees. In addition to holding a fun event for library regulars, Koenig said, the hope is that Library Day might encourage some who don’t frequent the space to take a closer look at its offerings.
“It generates some additional interest as well as being really fun,” she said.