Orange libraries to showcase community bookmarks next month

  • The Orange libraries will be giving out bookmarks in September with photographs of residents and community members. —Contributed photo

  • The Orange libraries will be giving out bookmarks in September with photographs of residents and community members. CONTIRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/29/2019 8:29:56 AM

Pick up a bookmark at one of Orange’s libraries next month, and they might have some familiar faces on them.

Local firemen, dance students, a coach and library fans are just a few of the people pictured on a series of bookmarks the Orange public libraries have been creating this year.

In a project funded by the Friends of the Orange Libraries, library staff have been hosting photo shoots of different members of the community, printing their images on bookmarks, and will be giving the bookmarks out for free at both libraries — Moore-Leland Library on Athol Road in North Orange, and Wheeler Memorial Library on East Main Street — in September.

“This has been a really fun way to recognize supporters,” said Jessica Magelaner, director of the Orange libraries.

The idea for the project came up during a Friends of the Orange Libraries brainstorming session last year on ways to promote the library.

Having heard of other libraries creating custom bookmarks, Magelaner said inviting members to have their photos taken seemed like a natural decision for the community-driven libraries.

“It’s just a really fun way to get the community involved at the library, and it’s a small way but it gets them involved,” Magelaner said.

While the Orange libraries already frequently host events to bring people in the doors — from book clubs to children’s book readings, crafts and classes — they are also constantly looking for new ideas to get people interested in the library, Magelaner said.

“People might come in sometimes for a book or a movie, maybe they will say, ‘I want to come in to see the firefighters’ and get a bookmark,” she added. “These are the people that make up our community.”

The bookmarks are made using the service Vistaprint, Magelaner said, and photo shoots happened in a few locations.

Most photos were taken at the library, but others were taken elsewhere, including at Orange’s downtown fire station, where firemen were photographed leaning against an engine and reading.

Others depicted on the bookmarks include “Emmy,” the libraries’ Labrador retriever and therapy dog — who quite enjoys being read to, Magelaner said — and Helene Holmes, basketball coach with the Orange Recreation Association.

Some of those photographed, like “lifelong library supporters” Doris and Karl Bittenbender, gave book included quotes or book recommendations to be written on their bookmarks.

Magelaner said there were probably around nine photo shoots — with photos taken by Pam Gobeille — to make the bookmarks, but could be more in the future if the items become popular. And, while not every picture necessarily got made into a bookmark, people will be able to see them anyway online.

“We’re going to make these available to everyone. They will be at Moore-Leland and Wheeler and each month we will be posting the photos taken to our Facebook page,” Magelaner said. “We want to showcase our community.”


Reach David McLellan at or 413-772-0261, ext. 268. 


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