Patrons Get Caught Reading at Library

May was “Get Caught Reading” Month, and the Friends of the Watchung Library made it fun! The Friends set up a series of “Catch ‘Em Reading” Scavenger Hunts – stuffed toys were placed around the library, each with a favorite book, waiting to be found. Participants had to find all of the reading animals in order to complete a quiz sheet with questions like “Who did you catch reading Hop on Pop?” (Answer: A bunny.) And “Who is boning up on his reading?” (Answer: The puppy.) Prizes were offered for completed quiz sheets. The Friends expected children to enjoy the hunts, but it turned that young and old alike joined in. Librarian Sharon Orlando reported “I had the best time searching for animals and books!!! It was a delightful experience – and I wasn’t alone in doing it. Another grown-up was on the prowl, looking to catch animals reading.”
Another activity the Friends set up just for fun was the Reading Rogues Gallery. Patrons of all ages posed for mug shots with the books they had been caught reading. One young man was so determined to wear a serious expression for his photo that he practiced in front of the mirror in the lavatory, only to have his sister tease him and make him laugh! Photos of Watchung readers can be found on the Friends’ web site under the tab “Reading Rogues Gallery” ( g-rogues-galler.html).
Noting that May 6th was the 16th annual Free Comic Book Day, the Friends decided to participate with a give-away of their own – Free Book Day. A couple dozen library patrons chose their favorites from 79 selected graphic novels, Star Trek books, and fantasy novels. Friends’ board member Gayle Bernhaut was enthusiastic about the results, “Not only did we attract people into the library who might not have visited otherwise and might not have even known about our book store, Second Story Books, but, by giving away these books, we are also encouraging literacy.”

(above) A stuffed elephant was caught reading in the children’s section in the “Catch ‘Em Reading” Scavenger Hunt at Watchung Library

(above) Library patron Marcia Walsh got caught with a whole stack of books!

(above) Library patron Peggy Ellis got caught reading a novel by Janet Evanovich – one of her favorite authors.