There’s treasure in your neighborhood if you know where to look! Southwest Philadelphia families are invited to hunt down treasure troves of books to kick-off Summer of Wonder in June. Saturday, June 4th, starting at 10am until all books are gone, Kingsessing Library and A Book A Day are hosting our second ever Summer of Wonder Treasure Hunt.
Where exactly will families go hunting for brand new children’s books? They’ll find them in their neighborhood’s little sidewalk libraries. Sidewalk libraries such as Little Free Libraries, where neighbors leave and take books, have been a staple of Philadelphia reading culture since before the pandemic. Sidewalk libraries exchange stories and ideas. They help people declutter (or maybe re-clutter) their home libraries with love towards the next reader. Philadelphians are not only proud of this community resource, they often collectively experiment with ways to push the concept further. Art and posters get exchanged. In communities dealing with food insecurity community pantries and fridges help neighbors feed one another.
We at Kingsessing Library and A Book A Day have been continuing in that spirit of experimentation with our summer treasure hunt. All children in Philadelphia have a right to read. By taking over the libraries for one day this summer with children’s books we hope to expand our communal understanding of reading culture to include children and the books made with them in mind. By putting together maps for families to use and keep, we also hope to expand the way children and families see their neighborhood and the resources available for sharing.
Treasure maps will be available at Kingsessing Library’s Summer Reading Kick-off Party on Thursday June 2nd. They will also be available at the library that Friday and at Bindlestiff Bookstore (4530 Baltimore Ave) that Friday and Saturday while supplies last. A digital version of the map can also be downloaded at our Eventbrite page.
Finally, out in front of Kingsessing Library at 1pm on Saturday June 4th will be a Treasure Hunt Refresh for hunters in need of a water (or water ice!) break. You can chat with the children’s librarian Ms. Rachel about your progress and meet fellow treasure hunters.
Our Summer of Wonder Treasure Hunt is made possible by Team First Book Philadelphia, Bindlestiff Books and Pippin Properties Inc. Additional support provided by Penn GSE, Penn LGBT Center, and Netter Center for Community Partnerships.