Library fest features movies, magician

COVINGTON -- Newton County Library System is celebrating National Library Week this year in a big way.

"We were thinking of having a signature event for the library that the whole community could come to. The idea was to have a library festival," said Director Lace Keaton, adding that the Twin Lakes Library System in Milledgeville had been hosting such an event for more than 30 years.

This will be the first library festival for the Newton County system, and Keaton said she hopes it will turn into an annual tradition that will grow each year.

This year's event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Covington branch, located at 7116 Floyd St. Two movies filmed locally will be screened at 10 a.m. and noon. Visitors to the library's website and Facebook page voted on which movies would be screened, and Keaton said the votes are still being tabulated. Magician Chad Crews will provide entertainment at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and there will also be story time. In addition, Friends of the Library will host a book sale in the media room.

"Admission is free but donations will be accepted," Keaton said.

National Library Week takes place April 14-20. Caroline Kennedy is the honorary chair and the theme this year is "Communities matter@ your library." National Library Week was first celebrated in 1958 following a study that showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on TVs and radios. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954 to encourage people to read in their leisure time, and National Library Week was born.