Gibraltar School To Host First Community-Wide Book Fair

Kinga Jacobson setting up the community-wide book fair, which begins May 4 and runs through May 14.

Before bidding the students of Gibraltar farewell for the summer, the secondary school’s Director of Informational and Technology Services, Kinga Jacobson, will make a big push for staying in touch with reading with the first Community Wide Book Fair, May 4 – 14.

The fair, which is the largest custom book fair offered by Scholastic, will bring thousands of non-fiction and fiction titles, as well as art supplies, to the Gibraltar Secondary School Library to help local libraries stock their shelves and encourage families to continuing reading into summer break.

It is also an opportunity for the school library to extend its reach into the community at large.

“As the director, I thought that you always have to be more engaged with the community,” Jacobson said. “You have to be more embedded – you have the school, everyone knows about the school – but the library, we need to create an identity and be a central part of the community. We are looking for ways to extend that collaboration and this is a great opportunity.”

In conjunction with the book fair, the Gibraltar Secondary School library staff has organized a reading contest for students in grades 7 – 12. The contest, which kicked off April 15 and runs until May 15, encourages students to read as many books as they can during the 30-day period. With every book that is read, students will make their way to the library for a photo with the book, which will then be pinned up on the library wall.

After the conclusion of the contest, the student in each grade who has read the most books will receive a $50 gift card to be spent at the book fair. The grade that reads the most books collectively will be rewarded with an end-of-the-year pizza party.

Gibraltar students check out the offerings during setup of the Community-Wide Book Fair.

The Community Wide Book Fair isn’t just for browsing, either. On May 7 from 4 – 8 pm, the fair will offer a Build-A-Book Event for families and community members interested in assembling a small book using a bookmaking kit. The kit includes premade pages and a cover that children and families are invited to fill in with doodles or writings. The nine-day book fair will open May 4 with presentations by former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland (2013 – 14).

Although the Friends of Gibraltar has collaborated with school libraries to bring guest authors in for many years, Friends of Gibraltar Coordinator Vinni Chomeau said the addition of Garland to a book fair rounds out the experience, bringing it beyond just shopping for books.

“Max Garland was at the Washington Island Literary Festival this past fall and after hearing him recite his poetry, I asked him if he could visit Gibraltar in the spring and be our guest author,” Chomeau said. “We are excited to have him visiting school! The poet visit, book making, writing workshop, reading competition and book fair are all grouped together to create a book fair experience that goes beyond shopping for summer reading materials.”

All purchases made at the book fair will benefit the school in the form of reward points, which in turn may be used to purchase other books and educational technology.

“It’s really a win-win situation all around,” Jacobson said.

The Community Wide Book Fair runs May 4 – 14 in the secondary school library from 8 am – 5 pm everyday (except Sunday, May 10). Individuals interested in volunteering for the Build-A-Book event May 7 may contact Jacobson at [email protected].