Get in the Fall Mood with a book at our Book and Media Sale

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

      We’ll be going all spooky Halloween-themed at our next Munch and a Movie get together in the library’s Community Room on Tuesday, October 18th beginning at 1 p.m. We’re digging up a fun, not-too-scary movie to get us into the trick or treat mood, so bring the lunch (and a friend?) and we’ll treat you to snacks and beverages. BTW, you can find out the name of the movie by calling the library at 856-665-5959, ext. 3 after October 5th; we’re just not allowed to announce the title beforehand.

    We can announce, though, that after a two-year delay, it’s almost here: our Book and Media Sale. Remember that the last day we can accept donations for this much-anticipated event will be October 8th because then comes the daunting task of sorting and arranging all the books and media donations so you can browse and buy to your heart’s content. Please, please, please do not leave any donations outside the library or directly in the Community Room. Instead, bring them to the circulation desk where you’ll be given a receipt you can then fill out for tax purposes. Books must be in good condition, textbooks and computer related materials shouldn’t be more than two years old, and DVDs and CDs must be in their original sleeves or boxes and sets should be complete. Any other electronic media will not be accepted, nor will any travel brochures, magazines, product pamphlets, etc. In the meantime, if you’d like to volunteer to help us set up the sale, help out during the sale, or pack up leftovers after the sale is over, we’d love to have you. Please call the library 856-665-5959, ext. 7 and leave a message so we can get back to you. We promise no heavy lifting!

     The sale runs Friday, October 21st and Saturday, October 22nd during regular library hours, and Sunday, October 23rd from 1-3 p.m. On Thursday, October 20th from 5-7 p.m. there’s a private preview sale for Friends of the Library members only. If you’re not already a member, you can actually join at the door that night and give yourself the opportunity to be one of the first to check out all that great merchandise!

     Meanwhile, our fall wellness program continues with Chair Yoga on Friday October 7th at 10:30 a.m. This is a hybrid class available in both virtual and in-person in the Community Room. The link for those of you who prefer a virtual session is https://tinyurl.com/folyoga22, and if you’re coming in person, contact the library at extension 3 to register. Mindful Eating Meditation takes place October 14th and 21st at 10:30 a.m., and both sessions are virtual only, using the same link as for Chair Yoga. Then, more Chair Yoga classes are scheduled for November 4th, 11th, and 18th at 10:30 a.m. The November 4th and 18th are both hybrid classes. The November 11th class is virtual only since the library will be closed then for Veterans’ Day.

     Our annual fall raffle tickets go on sale on October 1st at the library’s circulation desk at the cost of $2 each or 3 for $5. Prizes? Five beautiful gift baskets worth a minimum of $250 each filled with merchandise and gift cards from local businesses. All the baskets will be on display at the library starting October 1st. The drawing takes place at the library November 16th, and five lucky winners will each get to take one home.       

    Finally, don’t forget to get your 50-50 raffle tickets from the Friends at various youth sporting events this coming season. You can’t miss us at the Friends table near the snack stand.

And as always, thank you for your support! Remember, everything we do helps us help the Pennsauken Free Public Library.

Book Sale, Raffle, Munch and a Movie, and Wellness Classes- Welcome to Fall With the Friends!

The Friends will start accepting donations for the Book and Media sale on Tuesday,
September 20 th during regular library hours. (The library is closed Monday the 19th for an
in-service training.) Please don’t leave books or electronic media outside the front door. Instead,
bring all your donations to the circulation desk where you’ll receive an acknowledgement of
your donations. Books must be in good condition with no damage or marking (except perhaps for
the classics you made notes in for class)! Textbooks and computer related materials shouldn’t be
more than two years old. We all know how fast technology changes and becomes obsolete. Also,
we can’t accept any travel brochures, magazines, product pamphlets, etc. DVDs and CDs must be in their original sleeves or boxes and sets should be complete. No other electronic media will be accepted, so all those 8-track or Beta tapes you’ve been saving will have to remain in the attic. Sorry. 🙂

The last day for donating items will be October 8 th since we’ll have to begin sorting and arranging tables in time for the sale that runs Friday, October 21 st and Saturday, October 22 nd during regular library hours, and Sunday, October 23 rd from 1-3 p.m. On Thursday, October 20 th there’s a private preview sale for Friends of the Library members only. Might be a good incentive to join if you aren’t already a member? Think of all those wonderful books you could get a first look at!


Other goings-on in September include our regular Munch and a Movie get together on
September 20 th beginning at 1 p.m. in the Community Room. Lunch is on you, and the movie,
snacks, and beverage are on us. Bring a friend and plan to spend a pleasant few hours enjoying a
first rate movie.


Our Fall Wellness Program continues with ten new sessions as follows: Everyone’s favorite,
Chair Yoga, takes place on Fridays September 9 th , 16 th , 23 rd , 30 th , and October 7 th . These are all
hybrid classes available in both virtual and in-person in the Community Room. The link for those
of you who prefer a virtual session is https://tinyurl.com/folyoga22, and if you’re coming in
person, contact the library at extension 3 to register. Mindful Eating Meditation takes place
October 14 th and 21 st , and both sessions are virtual only using the same link as for Chair Yoga.
Finally, more Chair Yoga classes are scheduled for November 4 th , 11 th , and 18 th . November 4 th
and 18 th are both hybrid classes. The November 11 th class is virtual only since the library will be
closed then for Veterans’ Day. Sign up and get ready for some excelled workouts.

And don’t forget to get your 50-50 raffle tickets from the Friends at various youth sporting events
this coming season. You won’t be able to miss us near the snack stand.


In the meantime, we’d like to thank everyone who showed up at the Friends booth during the
National Night Out event at the Pennsauken Community Recreation Complex. So many families
stopped by our booth and learned about our Museum Pass Program if they didn’t already know
about it. Those who had already used the program told us how appreciative they were that we
were funding the pass to the Elmwood Park Zoo this year. If you don’t know about the program,
check it out on the library’s website to see all the museums, parks, and other places of interest
you can visit free of charge in the area. It’s a great deal, and the price is definitely right!

Poetry Contest Winners!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

     Congratulations to all our Poetry Contest winners for this year! The awards ceremony, our first in-person one in the last two years, was well-attended and our honorees (along with their families) were all there to accept their awards from Youth Services Librarian at the Pennsauken Library, Heather Kristian. Afterwards, everyone posed for pictures. We had 266 entries this year, mostly from grades K through 1st, and most of the topics were more serious than amusing. Here are the 18 winners and their poems: from the Fine Elementary School, first grade, Brianna Veletanga – “Yellow Zone”; Sophia Tavarez – “Happy; Madison Delmarr – “Worried Feelings”; Eric Venables – “McDonalds”, and Dessiret Siri – “Red”. From The Carson Elementary School, first grade: Fadil Uzair Umar Ali – “Goldfish”; and Carson School ELL, Ricardo Perez – “Polar Bear.”  From Burling Elementary, third grade, there’s Carter Cooper – “Green,” Delair School, third grade, Crystal Ruediger – “Dog Life,” and home schooled Quintero Bibelheimer – “Real.”

   But wait. There’s more. From the Intermediate School, fifth grade, Jasmine Spence – “I Can Draw”; Chaziti Montano – “Fairies” and Isis Muhammad – “Tuition on a Mission.” Three from the Phifer Middle School, sixth through eighth grades, include Marienne Mayo – “Hiding in the Dark,” Christine Ortiz – “Falling,” and Hoa Son – “Inner Self”. Finally, our Pennsauken High school winner was Rebecca Boateng – “The Biggest Storm in Human History”, and our adult winner, Dionna Hayes – “Refugee Roads.” Look for a display of the poets and their poems in the library soon. Thanks, too, to all the teachers who helped our winners: Julie Hodges, Jennifer Bowne, Darrah Roberts, Joeanna Landis, Karen Warner, Amber Bibelheimer, Lauren Morgan, Elizabeth Procida, Sonetta Ingram-Murrell, Debra Kobus, Rosemary Faford, and Edward Trautz 

     On another note, this month’s Munch and a Movie will be on Monday, June 27th and, as always, features a great movie and snacks that we’ll provide. See you in the Community Room at 1:00 p.m.

     June’s Yoga for Balance and Posture wellness sessions will be all on-site on June 3rd, 10th, and 17th for a limited number of participants, as well as also virtual for those of you who prefer that. Be sure to have registered at the Circulation Desk beforehand since space is limited. Bring along your large scarf or belt to get the most out of these exercises, which can be done either standing or sitting. The link to join virtually is http://tinyurl.com/FOLbalance.

     We’re still on target for the fall Book and Media Sale and Bake Sale on October 21-24 in the Community Room. Collection will begin in September and we’ll keep you posted when that starts. Meanwhile, we still need volunteers to help sort books, bake, or just become a member of the Friends. Let us know how we can use your talent and ideas by calling us at 856-665-5959, ext. 7.  

Movies and Movement in May!

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

This month’s Munch and a Movie is May 16th. (Don’t forget they’re on Mondays through June instead of our usual Tuesdays.) We’ll see in the Community Room you with your lunch at 1:00 p.m. and treat you to a nice snack and beverage while you watch the movie. 

    Our six-week Yoga for Balance and Posture classes will start Friday, May 6th at 10:30 a.m. as a virtual program. The second class, May 13th, will also be virtual, but the following classes on May 20th, June 3rd, 10th, and 17th will be on-site for a limited number of participants as well as virtual. Be sure to stop by or call the circulation desk to sign up for on-site classes beforehand. The link to register for virtual sessions is https://tinyurl.com/FOLbalance

     Please note that each on-site participant must bring and use his or her own “supplies,” either a large scarf or a belt, in order to fully participate and benefit from the exercises. The sessions will use both standing and sitting activities that can be adapted to fit individual preferences as needed. 

     Our Art Show and Sale was a success that everyone enjoyed after the two-year hiatus. One lucky winner even received a $25 gift card to Michael’s!

     We’re excited to remind everyone that we’re starting to plan our Fall Book and Media Sale on October 21st – 24th in the library’s Community Room. We’ll let you know when collection will begin but until then, please start checking through closets, basements, attics and wherever to find all those books you read and media you watched to get through Covid. We should have quite an impressive display with all of us contributing! And don’t forget the bake sale that will take place then as well. 

    In the meantime, if you didn’t get your Friends membership renewal form or if you want to receive one, please call us at the library at 856-665-5959, ext. 7 and let us know. And if you’re willing to volunteer for an event coming up, say sorting books, helping out during the sale, baking something, etc., let us know that as well. We’ll look forward to your help.

Yoga, Movies, Art Show, and Poetry!

Photo by Marko Blazevic on Pexels.com

    For those who can’t get by without their in-person or Zoom Chair Yoga sessions, take heart: you’ll have three more to look forward to in March — on Friday March 4th , 11th and 18th (snow cancellation make-up) beginning at 10:30 a.m. Remember, there’s a 20-person limit for the Community Room, and if you haven’t already registered, you still can do so either at the Circulation Desk or by calling the library at 856-665-9595, ext. 3. The other option of course is to Zoom, so if you’re doing the workout from the comfort of your home, click on this link to connect: https://tinyurl.com/FOLYOGA.

    Our other regular monthly event, Munch and a Movie, meets again on Tuesday, March 15th from 1 p.m. till the movie is over. Say it with me now: bring your lunch and the Friends will supply snacks and a beverage, not to mention a first-rate movie to watch while you’re eating. Masks will still be required while you’re not eating, and of course we’ll maintain safe distances. You can check out what’s playing by calling the library’s Circulation Desk before the 15th. Otherwise, just come prepared to enjoy the show.  

    Speaking of shows, let’s hope you’ve narrowed down what you’ll be submitting for our Art Show and Sale coming up April 25th to the 30th.  It’s our first show in two years, and we want to make it special. Brochures are available at the front desk in the library explaining everything you need to know about the show and how and what to enter.  Our “Meet the Artists” get-together on Saturday, April 30th from 2-4 p.m. is an opportunity for the public to chat with your favorite artist and make a purchase if you so choose.

     As a supportive lead-up to our Art Show week, we’ve scheduled a watercolor workshop on Saturday, March 12th from 1 – 3 p.m.to give participants a chance to show their creative side. The maximum number of attendees is 20, and all participants get to use a set of paints we’ll furnish. The instructor, Fran Bennett, plans to cover basic techniques, then help participants finish a unique spring landscape to take home with them. Who knows? Maybe some of our participants will enter their paintings in the show! (As usual, it’s advisable to call the library’s Circulation Desk to sign up to make sure you have a slot.) We’re still busy putting together another pre-show workshop for April 9th, but more about that next month once it’s finalized.  

    Next up, our Annual Poetry Contest. Flyers and application forms will be available at the library’s Circulation Desk. The contest is open to all Pennsauken and Merchantville residents from kindergarten to adults, and applicants cannot have won in the previous two years. All entries must be original and not previously published for print or electronic publication. Entries are due by 6 p.m. Friday, April 29th either through the mail or electronically. You can get all the how-to details in the flyer. This year we hope to return to an in-person awards ceremony on May 18th, but as with all things these past few years, we’ll have to wait till closer to the date to see it that will be possible. Fingers crossed.      In the meantime, you have a lot to do: movies to watch, lunches to pack, artwork to be created, and poetry to be written. Have fun and remain safe.

New Year, New Activities!

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

    Start planning what you’re going to bring for lunch because one of our most popular get togethers — Munch and a Movie — starts up again this month after waaaay too long an absence!   On Tuesday, January 18th, we’ll meet in the newly-reopened Community Room at the Pennsauken Library from noon – 3:30 to chow down on what you’ve brought for lunch (we’ll supply coffee and water) and watch a first rate movie while we’re noshing. Masks are required while you’re not eating and we’ll maintain safe distances. As always, licensing regulations don’t allow us to divulge the name of the movie, but you can find out by calling the library’s circulation desk before the 18th to see what’s in store on the silver screen. See you on the 18th.

    In keeping with our reopening theme, we’ll be starting in-person Chair Yoga sessions again this month, after two long years, and carrying over for the next two months. The one-hour sessions will take place January 7th, 14th, and 21st; February 4th, 11th and 18th; and March 4th and 11th beginning at 10:30 a.m. Since attendance will be limited to 20 in-person attendees, there will also be the opportunity for hybrid virtual participation via Zoom with unlimited participation. Our popular wellness instructor, Michele Carlino, will conduct the sessions.

     If you want the option to attend in person, either stop by the Circulation Desk to register or call the library at 856-665-9595, ext. 3 to sign up. Once we register the maximum number of in-person participants, you can request to be on the waiting list. Everyone who registers to participate in person will also be registered in Zoom, so they’ll have the option to attend virtually any time. If you’re Zooming the sessions, here’s the  link: https://tinyurl.com/FOLYOGA .

    Finally, even though it’s still winter, we’re thinking and planning ahead to June 5th when the Friends will be holding our second Spring fundraiser — a Silent Art Auction and Wine Tasting event taking place at the beautiful Strain Estate (known locally as Inglesby & Sons on Cove Road). Mark your calendar and stay tuned for specifics. We’re also working out details for the resumption of our annual Art Show and Sale again in April and will have more info as they’re finalized.     

September Events- Raffle and Return of the Wellness Program

Thanks to everyone who visited our drive-through lemonade stands over the summer for our Lemonade 4 Change fund raiser and who helped us nearly reach our goal of $4500. To ensure that we go over the top, the Friends of the Pennsauken Free Public Library will be holding a 50/50 raffle this fall. Tickets go on sale at the library on Tuesday, September 7th and will be $2.00 each or three for $5.00. The winning ticket drawing happens on Friday, October 15th, which would have been the opening day of our annual Book and Tech Sale but, because of Covid safety concerns, won’t be taking place again this year. Fingers crossed for 2022!

Good news, though. Our popular wellness programs will be starting up again mid-month continuing at first virtually on Friday mornings then in-person as soon as the library is able to open the Community Room to the public. You can contact the library at 856-665-5959, ext. 7 after September 13th for additional information on how to sign up or check out our Facebook page for the registration link.

And here’s another way of helping out the library – next time you order something from Amazon (is there anyone who doesn’t?), why not consider signing up for AmazonSmile if you haven’t already done so? Write in smile.amazon.com, and you’ll see all the same merchandise, pricing, and delivery information you usually see. Only this time you can designate the Friends of the Pennsauken Library as your charity of choice, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to the Friends. There’s no fee and no cost to you — and you’ll get a double whammy for having bought something from Amazon: you got what you needed, and the Friends got a donation. How perfect is that?

Finally, a reminder that the Museum Pass program at the library is fully sponsored by the Friends organization. Most of the previous museum passes have been renewed this summer and are available for members to check out at the library. Sadly, two of the most popular (and expensive) passes — Discovery Museum and PAWS — did not renew because the museums closed at the beginning of the pandemic and will not be reopening. On a good note, though, we were able to approve the purchase of one new museum pass at the National Liberty Museum on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, and there are still a few more we’re waiting to hear back from (e.g., the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts) to see if they will be renewing their pass program. You can contact the library at 856-665-5959, ext. 3 to check on the availability of any passes you’re interest in.

Don’t forget to consider joining the Friends to lend your ideas and support to our organization. We’re looking forward to eventually resuming all our favorite activities and fund raisers and know you are as well. In the meantime, thanks again for all the support you’ve shown us, always but especially during the pandemic. And good luck with your 50/50 ticket!   

July Events

We’re still getting back in the swing of “normal,” and with summer coming up and people venturing out again, here’s a reminder of our second upcoming Lemonade 4 Change event to help raise funds to increase the library’s collection of books on diversity. It’s important, especially these days, that we all try to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” to see things from different perspectives. You can help us help the library by coming out on Sunday, July  11th from 1-3 p.m.at the Pennsauken Library located at 5605 Crescent Boulevard in Pennsauken for this fun, drive-through event (no bikes or walk-up, please). 

Participants will place their cash donation in the bin (checks are also welcome) then drive through to receive their cold lemonade. Simple, easy, and a pretty cool (and refreshing) way to help our library and treat yourself in the bargain! We thank you in advance for your support. Finally, if you haven’t done so already, check out the pictures of the winners and their poems on our Friends of the Library Facebook page. 

Short but sweet. We’ll be picking up more events toward the fall— so stay tuned.

Poetry Contest Winners

Here are the results of our annual Poetry Contest!  

Two of our contestants with their certificates- great job!

This year’s participation was considerably higher than last year’s — three times as much to be exact with nearly 300 digital and quite a number of handwritten entries to judge.  It seems staying indoors for a year influenced everyone’s creative juices positively because this year’s collection of poems showed incredible thought and diversity— and hope.

Judges did their decision making from the comforts of their homes, and the awards presentation will be a virtual event televised on YouTube by Pennsauken TV. Look for it.

Our winners run the gamut from 1st grade through 12th and into adulthood, and schools represented include Carson, Fine, Franklin, Pennsauken Intermediate, Pfifer Middle and PHS. Topics covered animals – “Gorillas,” “I am a Dolphin,” “Seagulls,” “and “T-Rex,” — and boasted such intriguing titles as “The Mask of Masculinity,” “Leaving Me in Shambles,” “The Wicks-End,” “Sibling Blues,” “Letter to my Only Friends,” “A Sign of Hope” and “Bloom,” among others.  

Now on to our winners. These 1st graders took first place, second place and honorable mention in the Serious category Primary Level respectively: Vivaan Dhanotiya, Francella Sang Espinales, and Matthew Taeras and in the Creative category, Jayden Ngo, Hoang Nguyen and Laila Lewis.

In the Elementary 2 & 3 Level, 1st and 2nd prizes in the Serious category are Jeislyn Javier Cespedes and Devanshi Mukherjee. The winner in the Amusing category is Bianca Lusardi.    

In the Elementary 4 & 5 Level, Serious category, we congratulate Elizabeth Ngeth, Anthony Jose Nunez and Debbie Suleiman-Arab for their first, second and honorable mention prizes. In the Amusing category on the same level are first and second prize winners Aasir Redd and Jada Rubio.  

Elementary 6-8 Level, first and second prizes in the Serious category go to Esther Suleiman-Arab and Merari Vega respectively and in the Amusing category, first prize went to Michael Padilla and second prize to Fatina Losier.

High School winners, Noah Talley and Marquai Chestnut took first and second prizes respectively, and our adult level entry first prize winner is Reed Starwind. 

Look for the pictures of each winner along with their winning poems on the Friends of the Library Facebook page! (https://www.facebook.com/friendsofthepennsaukenlibrary)

It’s National Poetry Month- Send in A Poem!

The 2021 Friends of The Pennsauken Library Annual Poetry contest is in full swing, and we are accepting submissions now through April 30th, 2021, 6pm.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com


There are three ways to submit your poem:

Email it– A PDF of your poem can be emailed to folpennsauken@gmail.com.

Snail mail it– Friends of the Pennsauken Library Poetry Contest, 5605 Crescent Blvd. Pennsauken NJ 08110

Drop it off in person– Right at the library.

The contest is open to all Pennsauken and Merchantville residents, and applicants cannot have won in the previous two years. Entries must be original, not previously published, and by only one person. One entry per person.

If you’re submitting a paper copy by hand or through snail mail, please complete the submission form which can be picked up at the circulation desk at the library, or click and print https://pennsaukenlibraryfriends.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/2021_submission-form_.pdf then fill it out and attach it to the back of your poem. If emailing, include the entry form in your email. Entries must include the following information: Applicant’s full name and address, Phone # (if under 18, parent/guardian phone #). If a student, please include the name of the school and grade level and teacher’s name and contact information.

Here are the contest levels & categories:

Kindergarten and 1st grade, 2 categories – Serious & Creative;

2nd and 3rd grades, 2 categories – Serious & Amusing; 

4th & 5th grades, 2 categories – Serious & Amusing;

6th through 8th grades, 2 categories – Serious & Amusing;

High School, single category; 

Adult,  single category.

Prizes include a $25.00 Visa gift card from Republic Bank for each first place winner in each category and $10.00 in cash for each second place winner in each category. In addition, every winner also receives an honorary family membership to the Friends of the Pennsauken Library. Winners will be asked to read and video their winning poem to be included in the Contest Award Presentation video to be posted to YouTube by Pennsauken TV on or about May 12th, 2021. 

And if you need some inspiration, check out last year’s winners – Good luck !

Good luck and write on!