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!

The Friends Poetry Contest, Yoga, and More

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

   We’re not out of the woods yet, so count on the Friends of the Pennsauken Free Library for more wellness events to keep your spirits and body in tip-top shape along with a contest to get your creative juices flowing! 

      In March, we’ll be starting a month of Tai Chi Chih, a mindfulness moving meditation. The set of 19 movements and one pose is soft, flowing and easy to learn. Benefits are said to include peace of mind, improved health and a sense of well being, qualities these trying times have been draining from us. Our Tai Chi Chih classes take place from 10 – 11 a.m. Fridays, March 5th and 12th.  Two more sessions in March, on the 19th and 26th, focus on Eating meditation, and, finally, we’re back to Chair Yoga on April Fridays:  the 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th. All Chair Yoga sessions take from 10 – 11 a.m., so plan for gentle stretching and a good workout!

      You can register for all these classes by clicking on the following link, completing the form and submitting it: https://bit.ly/3cs4hqO. You’ll receive a confirmation email along with a direct link to the classes. 

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

      In the meantime, it’s not too early to start working on a poem for our upcoming annual Friends of the Library Poetry Contest. All submissions must be sent by Friday, April 30th at 6:00 p.m. via any one of three ways: an electronic PDF to folpennsauken@gmail.com or hand delivered or mail delivered to Friends of the Pennsauken Free Public Library Poetry Contest, 5605 Crescent Blvd., Pennsauken, NJ 08110.

     The contest is open to all Pennsauken and Merchantville residents, and applicants cannot have won in the previous two year. All entries must be original and not previously submitted for print or electronic publication. 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 on our website or at https://www.pennsaukenlibraryfriends.org and attach it to the back of your poem. 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.  

     So, whether you’re exercising your body or your mind (or better still, both) this month, please stay safe and think positive. Things are bound to get better! 

Friends Wellness Series- Spring 2021

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It looks as if we’re in for a few more months of our ongoing “stay at home, stay safe” routines. Take heart, though: the Friends are extending our Wellness Series of events to help everyone cope, relax, and get the right amount of exercise to get us all through till the weather warms up and we can get outside more often. 

On Friday, January 22 and 29th, we’ll be offering Chair Yoga virtual online classes from 10 – 11 a.m. with instructor Michele Carlino. And for anyone who’s taken a Chair Yoga class, you’ll know it’s a great gentle workout that leaves you glad you invested the time. 

 Then we’ll start six weeks of Tai Chi Chih virtual online classes, a mindfulness moving meditation. The set of 19 movements and one pose is soft, flowing and easy to learn. Benefits may include peace of mind, improved health and simply, joy — and who can’t use a little joy these days? Our Tai Chi Chih classes take place Fridays, February 5, 12, 19, 26, and March 5 & 12, from 10 – 11 a.m.      

We’ll be offering additional meditation and relaxation sessions soon but more about those later. No sense getting ahead of ourselves. For now, just get ready to relax and stretch while you’re stuck inside.

You can register for all these classes by clicking on the following link, completing the form and submitting it: https://bit.ly/3cs4hqO. You’ll receive a confirmation email along with a direct link to the classes. (Please note that the confirmation will say “Chair Yoga” for all sessions. To keep things simple, we’ve used the same link for all our virtual Wellness classes including Chair Yoga and Tai Chi Chih classes.)

Annual Poetry Contest

In recognition of April being NATIONAL POETRY MONTH, the Friends of the Pennsauken Library are sponsoring a Poetry Contest open to ALL Pennsauken and Merchantville residents.  

Rules:

    1.  Only ONE entry per person

    2.  All entries must be original and not previously submitted for print or electronic publication.

    3.  Applicants cannot have won in 2018 or 2019

    4.  Entries must include the following information:

            Applicant’s full name

         Applicant’s full address

         Phone # (if under 18, parent/guardian phone #)

    5.  If student, additional information required:

        Name of School and Grade level

         Name of Teacher & Teacher’s contact information

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:

    First Place in each category:  $25.00 Visa gift card from Republic Bank

    Second Place in each category:  $10.00 cash

Winners will be notified by phone; prizes and certificates will be sent out via US mail mid-May.  Winners will also be announced in June’s All Around Pennsauken and the Friend’s FaceBook page. 

 ALL submissions must be sent by Friday, May 1st

       Email to:  friendsoflibrary@yahoo.com (PDF or ‘read-only’ format)

                               Mail to:  Friends of the Pennsauken Library

                                               5605 Crescent Blvd

                                               Pennsauken, NJ  08110

The Library and the Municipal Building are closedPlease do NOT drop off entries!                  

(The above information supersedes the event flyers and submission forms available before March 13th.) 

Please feel free to pass this information on to friends and neighbors, and we look forward to seeing all of your entries- Good luck!