On Sat., Oct. 7, readers and book lovers from Warwick and beyond gathered on Railroad Ave. to celebrate children’s literacy and a love of the printed word at the Warwick Children’s Book Festival. An event of this scale thrives on the goodwill of the community. Together with my fellow festival coordinators Judy Pedersen and Kate Eicher, I’d like to recognize and extend our thanks to some vital contributors.
- Glenn P. and Susan D. Dickes are well known in Warwick as thoughtful, committed, generous benefactors of a number of worthy organizations dedicated to the well-being of children and families. The Albert Wisner Public Library – and by extension, the Warwick Children’s Book Festival – is proud and grateful to be counted among them. Glenn and Susan have underwritten the Festival since its inception; if you visited the Festival and experienced the magic that occurs when children, authors and books intersect, please join us in thanking them.
- Tom Roberts and the staff of Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe partnered with us for a third consecutive year as the Festival’s bookseller. They made sure the Festival was well-supplied with the books you took home to enjoy, and indeed, are committed year ‘round to offering the best in literature for all ages at their shops in Warwick and Greenwood Lake. We are delighted to collaborate with a local merchant in this endeavor.
- Special mention to Justin Trone, who is an IP Network Senior Technician with Warwick Valley Telephone. WVT donated Justin’s expertise and time to developing and implementing a plan to secure the Festival’s access to a robust internet connection. Justin’s work was completely effective and crucial to the Festival’s success. Moreover, his professionalism, patience and good cheer never flagged, through multiple sessions of testing and on the day of the Festival itself. We simply cannot thank WVT and Justin enough for such community-minded support.
- The Book Festival Teen Committee added life and dimension – and hard work – to the Festival and took the day from good to great. The teens spent the summer learning American Sign Language in order to present a Sign Language Storytime at the Festival. They also promoted the Festival at school and on social media, and created gift bags for the authors and illustrators. At the Festival, they were ever-present – setting up, cleaning up, and everywhere in between – offering a smile and a helping hand. Many thanks to all the teens, and to the parents who encouraged their involvement.
- The Friends of the Library and many other adult volunteers were wonderful ambassadors for both the Festival and the Library, welcoming guests, reading to children, fundraising for the Library and managing the checkout line. Collectively, the volunteers who gave so selflessly of their time, energy and goodwill were essential to the day’s success. They’re too numerous to list by name, but we thank them, each and all.
- We owe a debt of gratitude also to the Village of Warwick: to the Village Board, for sponsoring the Festival; to the Village DPW for efficient and cheerful logistical support; to ShopRite of Warwick for donating delicious snacks and beverages for the authors and illustrators; and to Penny Steyer and the Farmers’ Market for donating space there to enable us to promote the Festival.
- Last, but not least, our colleagues at Albert Wisner Public Library helped in countless ways throughout the preparations for the Festival, which took over 10 months. They’re the heartbeat of the 2016 Best Small Library in America, where the Festival has its roots. We thank them all.
CO-COORDINATOR, WARWICK CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL