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Newmarket library, businesses inviting you to read via downtown walk

Library and BIA partnering on summer reading club initiative, with pages displayed at multiple Main Street businesses
May 5, 2022
Joseph Quigley

Newmarket Public Library wants you to read a book this summer by walking through the downtown.

The library is planning a story walk with downtown businesses, pitching it to the Main Street BIA May 4. Approximately 18 pages from a book in the TD Summer Reading Club are set to be displayed in the windows of businesses.

Library CEO Tracy Munusami said it is a way to get residents moving throughout the downtown.

“It’s a really simple activity to get people out and exploring their communities,” she said. “People can pick up the map from the library and go on an adventure exploring local businesses.”

The concept, which began in 2007, is used in libraries around the world. Munusami said libraries have partnered with chambers of commerce and BIAs since 2016 for downtown story walks, which usually take between 45 minutes and an hour. The TD Summer Reading Club is providing the story walk pages, which in Newmarket will be I Am Scary, a children’s book by Elise Gravel, with both English and French text available.

BIA members spoke positively and supported the concept. 

“This is just great, having families to go walk around the downtown,” member and Councillor Bob Kwapis said. “I have a feeling 18 pages just might not be enough because I got a feeling everyone will want one.”

Board director Ken Sparks said it is a great idea and it would be good to find local authors for it. He added that it could be worth running multiple times.

“There would be enough interest to do it more than once in the summer,” he said.

Munusami responded that it is something they could explore, more likely around Christmas time to encourage shopping then.

The pages are scheduled to be up by July, with QR codes also included to link for more information about the summer reading club. Munusami said it would require little effort from businesses.

“People can learn about new businesses they’ve never visited before,” she said. “Some really excellent places some of these stories could go.”