SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ -  Watchung Library, a branch of Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ), received the New Jersey State Library’s 2015 Best Practices in Early Literacy Programs Award for the Mini-Maker Art Space program, where art and language give emergent readers a chance to imagine, as well as hear and tell stories.

Each year, the New Jersey State Library recognizes four public libraries for their Best Practices in Early Literacy Programs. SCLSNJ’s Watchung Library branch’s Mini-Maker Art Space is a self-directed space for children from preschool through second grade that welcomes the children, their siblings and parents to create. Basic background information, directions and a wide assortment of art supplies are provided. Young children tell stories about their creations share their processes and look at books relating to the theme of a project. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to read a story to the child after the project is completed and check out books related to the project.

In addition to the certificate recognizing the library for it’s program, SCLSNJ’s Watchung Library branch received a $1,000 award presented by Sharon Rawlins, Youth Services Consultant for the New Jersey State Library. This is the second time the Watchung Library has received this award, the first being in 2012 for Watchung Library’s family reading incentive programs.

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SCLSNJ’s Public Relations and Marketing Department is the recipient of a 2015 New Jersey Library Association PR and Marketing Award in the category of Information Literature. SCLSNJ’s Public Relations and Marketing Department is receiving this award in recognition of the promotion and materials created for A Novel November, an initiative held at SCLSNJ during National Novel Writing Month (November) in 2014 that was made possible, in part, by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through funds administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Grant Program. Additional funding was provided by the Friends of the Bridgewater Library.

Submissions were judged on effectiveness of message for target audience, originality and creativity of design, and aesthetic appeal.

Additionally, the County of Somerset Board of Chosen Freeholders presented SCLSNJ’s Public Relations and Marketing Department with a Citation of Commendations and Praise for their NJLA award.

To find out more about SCLSNJ happenings, visit SCLSNJ.org.

About Somerset County Library System of New Jersey

Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) partners with you to connect, to explore, to share and to discover. Together we enrich lives, expand knowledge and strengthen communities. SCLSNJ branches can be found in Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, Manville, North Plainfield, Peapack & Gladstone, Rocky Hill at Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, Somerville, Warren Township and Watchung. Additionally, there are two SCLSNJ reading stations in Branchburg and Washington Valley. Visit SCLSNJ.org for further information about library services offered at SCLSNJ.