The Book Ark Program is an opportunity for community groups and individuals to provide access to books for underserved children in and around their communities by constructing and managing a three-shelf structure that can be filled with a variety of children’s books. This is a great program for community organizers looking for a project that will create community involvement, and for groups or individuals looking to bring their talent and resources to communities in need throughout New Jersey.
It has always been our mission to reach as many children as possible who do not have access to books. The Book Ark is a natural extension of this philosophy. When the pandemic hit, it became more difficult to reach children through our normal distribution routes. Having seen the success of the Book Arks in Camden, we realized Book Arks would be another effective way to distribute books to communities that need them. We reached out to CCPUL and this collaboration was born to help spread Book Arks across New Jersey!
Installing a Book Ark in a community is an opportunity for kids and adults to take ownership in creating access to books for themselves and each other. With the help of Miss New Jersey for America Strong 2022 and new Bridge of Books Board Member, Danielle Sammut, we recently had the opportunity to install a Book Ark outside the Red Bank Primary School. The kids and staff were delighted!
Many thanks to Patrick Murray, TJ Eyerman, Mr. Grillo, Visual & Performing Arts Set Construction teacher, and all the Red Bank Regional High School students who joined forces to build two “test-run” Book Arks for us as part of bringing this program to our community.
Book Arks were originally designed and built for the Camden County Pop Up Library. Tom Martin, the founder of CCPUL, identified a need and figured out a way to solve it. He wanted to take the concept of the Little Free Libraries and bring it to Camden. He enlisted his good friend John Martin, DDS to design and build the structures. Book Arks are located throughout Camden and beyond. We are grateful to John and Tom for sharing their design and look forward to seeing their vision for Book Arks expanded throughout New Jersey.