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Librarians give free books to campers

When the Junior Govs Summer Camp ended July 31, the 75 children campers who spent their summer at APSU each went home with a brand new book.
When the Junior Govs Summer Camp ended July 31, the 75 children campers who spent their summer at APSU each went home with a brand new book.

The Junior Govs is a recreational-based summer camp that gets kids active in sports and games, but on several occasions, campers found their way into the APSU Woodward Library. That's where they met instruction team librarians Christina Chester-Fangman, Philenese Slaughter, Inga Filippo, Nancy Gibson and Sharon Johnson. Over the last few weeks, the professors conducted enrichment activities for the campers, such as story times and lessons on research with the “age-appropriate” database Kids InfoBits, provided by Tennessee Electronic Library or TEL.

When the camp ended last Friday, the librarians decided to offer a special farewell to the children they'd come to know. That's why they contacted the Clarksville Arts and Heritage Development Council and the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts about providing free books to each camper.

“The two organizations agreed to fund the project,” Chester-Fangman said. “With that money, $1,000, we were able to order 75 age-appropriate books.”

The librarians handed out those books on Friday afternoon. The children, ages 5 through 8, were hesitant at first. They reached their small hands forward and picked up hardbound copies of “The Ugly Duckling” or “The Boy Raised by Librarians.”

After a few minutes, when they realized it was safe, the stacks of books quickly disappeared. The 9-12 year-olds were more confident when it was their turn to choose between “Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion” or the “National Geographic Kids Almanac 2010.” The campers then sat on the floor or ran over to their friends to flip through the pages together.

Inside the front cover, they found a custom bookplate commemorating the Junior Govs Summer Camp 2009 and the two sponsors of the book giveaway.

“We thought it was a nice opportunity to introduce the children to the Woodward Library, and we had such a great time doing it. We hope we will be asked to participate again in the future,” Chester-Fangman said.

For more information on the book distribution, please contact Chester-Fangman at 931-221-1267 or chester-fangmanc@apsu.edu. -- Charles Booth