The Montclair Public Library will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Little Read in October. The Little Read is a children’s read-aloud marathon that brings together Montclair neighbors, writers, local heroes, and celebrities in a town-wide celebration of literacy and community. The event, entirely free to the public, will take place over the course of five days from October 16-20. Since Little Read is turning 10, MPL will host a community birthday party on Wednesday, October 17 at 5 p.m. And of course, cupcakes will be served.

f Peter Coyl, Montclair Public Library Director, at last year’s Little Read

The Library’s annual Little Read has become one of the fall’s must-attend events for families with young children. Study after study shows that early reading with children helps them to learn to speak, interact, bond with parents and read early themselves. “The Library holds this event annually to help families make sure early literacy remains a top priority,” states Library Director Peter Coyl. “We hope adults and children will join us to celebrate a decade of sharing the joy of reading.”

This year children will be read to by nearly 100 volunteer readers over the five day event. The Library staff select high quality books geared to children in pre-school through grade three. Readings will take place at different locations throughout Montclair.
Funds raised through sponsorships of this free event support the Children’s Department and the Children’s Summer Reading Program. The Children’s Summer Reading Program served more than 1,000 children who read 14,900 books during last years program!

Since the event’s inception in 2009, Scholastic has been a lead sponsor and provides a free book to each child attending the bedtime stories event. We also thank Josh and Judy Weston and HUMC Mountainside who joined as lead sponsors this year. Baristanet, Montclair State University, Rosemary and Al Iversen, Rose Cali, Schumacher Chevrolet, Gloria and John Pak, Sparkles Dentistry, Watchung Booksellers, School of Rock, Cornerstone Montclair, Montclair Orthodontics and TD Bank Montclair are also contributing sponsors.

MPL is anticipating over 800 children will be read to over the five day period. The library has invited local pre-schools and the Kindergarten classes from Montclair Public Schools for readings at the Main Library and Bellevue Avenue Branch Tuesday through Friday morning.
One of the most popular events is the Bedtime Stories evening. Children will enjoy cookies on Friday night while watching Mayor Robert Jackson, Library Director Peter Coyl, and many others read from the “Big Red Chair.”

On Saturday, October 20 at 11:00 am, Fire Chief John Herrmann and his firefighters will read aloud their favorite stories at Fire Station 2 in Upper Montclair. A new location this year is Cornerstone Montclair who will host an inclusive community read for children of all abilities. The Little Read will continue at the Wally Choice Community Center at 11:30 am. The weekend will wrap up at the Montclair Art Museum at 1:00 pm where little ones can hear fabulous stories read by Montclair Art Museum staff.

The Little Read event schedule that is open to the public is as follows:

  • Wednesday, October 17
    5:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Little Read Birthday Party Main Library Auditorium
  • Friday, October 19
    7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Mayor Jackson and Peter Coyl will read Bedtime Stories, Montclair Public Library Auditorium
  • Saturday, October 20
    11:00 am-Noon: Firefighters will read at the Montclair Fire Department, 588 Valley Road
    11:30 am-12:30 pm: Wally Choice Community Center, 115 Bloomfield Avenue
    Noon-1:00 pm: An inclusive community read for children of all abilities at Cornerstone Montclair, 198 Bellevue Avenue
    1:00-2:00 pm: Museum staff will read at the Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Avenue