The Newton Free Library will not be the usual quiet space this weekend.
Staff, Trustees and Friends of the Newton Free Library are teaming up for a community event Saturday that will feature activities for the whole family, information about library resources and Cabot's ice cream scooped by local elected officials.
The event will also highlight the library's permanent art collection, marking the launch of a new audio tour and guidebook.
"We're absolutely delighted about this community event," says Ellen Meyers, the library's program and events director.
The free "Get the Scoop at the Library" event will be held this Saturday, Sept. 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to ice cream and activities, Saturday's event will give the public a chance to meet new Library Director Phil McNulty, who was appointed by the Trustees in May following the retirement of former Director Nancy Perlow.
The Friends of the Newton Free Library will be holding a library card drive during the celebration and locals will also have an opportunity to learn more about the library's "eResources," including eBooks, online classes, a resume builder and a wide range of databases.
New life for an art collection
One of the biggest highlights at the event will be the launch of the library's new self-guided tour of its permanent art collection, which includes a audio tour and a new limited-edition glossy booklet.
For the last 18 months, Meyers says she has been working on the new tour and art guide, which will replace an older pamphlet last updated in 2007. The process involved updating the tour and booklet with new pieces in the art collection, redesigning the tour route, photographing all the artwork and recording the audio for the tour.
As many Newton locals know, the library's permanent art collection includes a number of pieces by well-known artists including sculptures by Nancy Schön, who is known for the famous "Make Way for Ducklings" sculpture in the Boston Public Garden.
Throughout the booklet, each piece of art is listed with a photograph, description and information on the artist as well as who donated the art to the library.
Although Meyers and former Library Director Nancy Perlow did much of the coordinating behind the new art tour and booklet, the project was very much a community effort. The photographs in the booklet were taken by Newton Camera Club President John Utter and the audio tour was co-produced and co-narrated by Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library Studio Director Robert Pierson.
In addition, the art booklets were made locally at Newton North High School's new printing facility. These limited-edition guides will be available for patrons to pick up at Saturday's celebration.
To access the audio tour, patrons simply scan a QR code on their smartphones and plug in to the audio with a set of headphones. The QR code will be available on flyers at Saturday's celebration, in the glossy booklets and, starting this weekend, on the library's website, Meyers says.
Patrons who do not have a chance to get their own copy of the new, full-color art tour booklet, copies will be added to the library's collection and made available for patrons to check out, Meyers says. A digital version will also be available on the library's website (starting this weekend).