Montague libraries receive $1K grant from Traprock Center

  • A collection of books, which are available to the public, have been added to each of the Montague libraries surrounding themes of peace, social justice, compassion and others. These books were purchased through a grant from the Traprock Center in July. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Angela Rovatti-Leonard

Recorder Staff
Published: 7/23/2018 6:52:44 PM

MONTAGUE — More than 70 books were added to the collection of the Montague Public Libraries, leading up to “an act of kindness” event at the Montague Center common today at 11 a.m.

Tuesday’s event kicks off the year-long program surrounding themes of peace, social justice, compassion, diversity, tolerance and others.

The event includes a reading of the book “Flowers for Sarajevo,” by John McCutcheon, a performance from local cellist and a paper flower bracelet craft.

As part of the grant — $1,000 from the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice — fiction and nonfiction books falling under these themes of peace and social justice were purchased and are available at each of the three library branches for children ranging from infants to young adults.

Angela Rovatti-Leonard, children’s librarian at Montague Public Libraries, said she’s worked to get “something for everybody,” and there are more books that will be purchased soon.

“I reached out to local organizations with an invitation to be a part of the grant. Some will participate by assisting me with choosing specific books, such as bilingual books, while others will host and/or help plan upcoming programs throughout the year,” Rovatti-Leonard said. “Partnerships include the Gill-Montague Community School Partnership, Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls River Culture and the Montague Catholic Social Ministries.”

This is the third year of the children’s book collaboration, with both Greenfield and Orange Public Libraries recipients of the grant in the past.

Director of the Traprock Center, Pat Hynes, referenced a Frederick Douglass quote when asked why the center started the children’s book collaboration: “It is easier to raise a strong child than to reform a broken man.”

“We want to start with strong children, in terms of values, perspectives and understanding themselves — we are trying to prepare them for life,” Hynes said. “Many adults have told me about the impact of a book on their lives.”

Rovatti-Leonard said one of the goals of the program is to have the events not only impact those in attendance, but to have a ripple-effect on the community.

The second event this summer will be on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 3 p.m. at the Carnegie Library in Turners Falls.

The library will host “Paving a Path for Peace: Paper Crane Project,” in remembrance of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, during which there will be a reading of an excerpt of “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr and “Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace” by Anna Grossnickle Hines.

Origami expert, Mike Naughton, will instruct participants in how to make paper cranes and other designs as well.

The origami cranes will be attached to a quilt and displayed at each of the Montague Public Libraries in turn.

For those interested in reading books in the collection, there are displays at each of the Montague library buildings.

Rovatti-Leonard said she looks forward to the year-long series of programs.

“This is fun, it’s one of my favorite parts of the job — collection development and buying books,” she said. “It’s wonderful and amazing to be part of something like this.”


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