In an era of The Kindle and IPad the fact public libraries have had to adapt or die. In Collingswood, N.J. the library plays an important role in the community both inside the building and outside.
The Collinswood Public Library organizes a major book festival for the region each fall. This year, one of the featured authors will be veteran Philadelphia broadcaster Larry Kane who will release another book about The Beatles this year.
But if you were wondering if Collingswood High School native author Matthew Quick would be there, we’re told that he is unable to attend.
Quick took part in the 2008 Collingswood Book Festival to promote his debut novel, “The Silver Linings Playbook.” You may have heard of it. The one that was adapted into an Oscar-winning film. Quick was also at the festival last year for his latest novel, BOY21. “They get big after they come here,” joked festival committee member Beverly Michaels.
The Collingswood Book Festival is scheduled for October 5, 2013. Book Festival patrons have more than six blocks of literary events to fit into their day.And the Festival is geared toward all ages, from children’s sections to Sages of Ages, an area featuring authors, games, and prizes for those aged 50 and up. Committee volunteer Sidra Hobbs-Fernie calls the children’s area a “festival within a festival.””We hosted 35 authors in four children’s areas last year,” Fernie said. “Dan Gutman (from Haddonfield) is our rock star for the kids.”
Today the Collingswood Public Library has about 65,000 resources, and library patrons have access to over 2500 eBooks available for downloading through a system called Overdrive at www.collingswoodlib.org, while children’s books can be downloaded there at Tumblebook Library.
Library Director Brett Bonfield says its been beneficial to offer a choice, “I think some people feel there’s a competition between e-books and regular books, but the more books people read, the more they want to read.”
He also says circulation numbers are up. “People line up whenever new books come in,” he said. “People always want more books.”