A walk through a book

Chad Frey
The Kansan
Newton Public Library and Kauffman Museum have started a book walk this spring.

A walk on the Kauffman Museum grounds along the trail can be a chance to slow down and smell the flowers — and, thanks to an effort that started this year, a chance to read  a book. 

The museum and Newton Public Library have started a book walk series — pages of a children's book posted on what resemble real estate signs along the museum walking path. The latest in the series is titled "It's Spring!" by Samantha Berger.

"We want to provide a fun reading experience for families while we get people out in nature," said Sharon Cepeda, assistant youth services supervisor for the library.  

That book will be posted through June, when the next title will be carefully recreated by library staff for posting along the trail. 

"A book walk is a story divided into segments and placed on signs for you to read as you walk along," said Sharon Cepeda, assistant youth services supervisor for the library.  

The library recently posted the third book in the series —  "It's Spring!" by Samantha Berger.

"This is a nice book that speaks a lot about nature and spring," Cepeda said. "It is appropriate for preschoolers, and the whole family."

The effort grew out of a request from the museum for a book walk to tie into an exhibit at the museum in January, when the book "The Other Side," by Jacqueline Woodson was posted to coincide with the museum's "Sorting Out Race" exhibit.

Previous selections also include "D is for Drum: A Native American Alphabet," by Michael and Debbie Shoulders, and  the upcoming book will be "A Tall Grass Prairie Alphabet" by Claudia McGehee.

After approval of a book, which will almost always be a book the library owns, staff goes through the process of copying pages, fastening them together, laminating them and mounting them on sign frames donated by Graber's Ace Hardware of Newton and backing boards purchased by the library..

The library consulted with Hesston Public Library, which created something similar at Dyck Arboretum.  

'It' s Spring'  is the third book in a series of book walks at Kaufman Museum and will be on display through the beginning of June.

Cepeda said while the first couple of times through the process was time consuming, it has become easier for library staff. 

"It is a bit of a procedure, but now on our third one we have developed a system so it is taking us less time each time. ... We consult with the director at Kaufman [to pick titles]  and we put the books together," Cepeda said. "They tend to like things about nature or about things they are doing."

There are plans for the next two titles in place — picked to coincide with Uncle Carl's Camps hosted at the museum. Each book remains posted for about six weeks. 

Library publicist Sam Jack has  been announcing each new Book Walk with a speeded-up video on the library Facebook.