Library celebrates ‘Read Across America Day’ with book swap

By Tom Phelan - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Mar. 3, 2011
Twins Olivia and Nicholas, 4, look for books they might like at the book swap. Photos by Tom Phelan.
Twins Olivia and Nicholas, 4, look for books they might like at the book swap. Photos by Tom Phelan.

On the anniversary of the birth of children’s author Dr. Seuss, the Enfield Public Library held its “Read Across America Day” book swap for children. It has become an annual event, but one that has not usually drawn a great deal of traffic.

Although somewhat sparsely attended during the two hours allotted, the event picked up almost as soon as schools released elementary students for the day. Each child toted along a bag of books from their own collection they wanted to leave at the library, in exchange for others they hoped to find to replace them. The head children and teen services librarian, Ellen Phillips, helped children find the right table full of books to peruse. Aiming to please as many customers as possible, she headed to the reserve stash of children’s books to round out one child’s outbound stack. Phillips said that although the number of participants is never great, she always sees a good number of return visitors from year to year.

Although the concept of a “swap” implies that you take home as many books as you leave, Phillips remarked that the library always seems to end up with more books than it hands out. Since the library holds books swaps on other occasions, there seems to be a net gain. The intent is what matters, however, and on Wednesday, March 2, the intent was to encourage children to read as part of the national “Read Across America” program.

As an addition to the book swap, the library arranged for a visit from local children’s author Cindy Ruvolo Lurie, who read her newly-published book, “Carolyn and Her Tiny Red House.”

It is a story that Lurie loosely based on her move from a large house in Barkhamsted back to Enfield after her children grew to adulthood. “It’s a wonderful story about a little girl who lives in a really tiny house, who decides she wants to move next door, to the mansion where her friend lives,” Lurie explained. “In the end, Carolyn decides that family is where the heart is, and she moves back home.” Lurie presented the audience members with a copy of her book, along with a small memento.

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