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March 26, 2014

Hazel Park Memorial Library holds flea market

Shopping at sale supports Adult Summer Reading Program

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

HAZEL PARK — Vendors are sought for the Hazel Park Memorial Library’s annual flea market, where guests can expect the unexpected.

One thing is certain, however — vendor fees are a critical source of funding for the library’s Adult Summer Reading Program, which rewards those who keep the pages turning.

The flea market will be held from noon-4 p.m. March 29, with vendor setup at 11 a.m., in and around the Quiet Room at the library, 123 E. Nine Mile.

Vendors can rent tables for $15 and are free to bring racks to hang clothes, or smaller tables to place alongside the library tables for additional room.

“They can use anything that they want to maximize their space, so long as people are not tripping over them,” said Liz Colombo, the adult reference librarian.

Colombo spearheaded the flea market as a way to pay for the prizes that are central to the library’s Adult Summer Reading Program. The prizes are usually baskets stuffed with all sorts of goods: brand-new books, bookmarks, reading lights, gift cards to restaurants, candy, snacks, pens, pencils, notepads and more.

An Amazon Kindle is the grand prize, awarded during the library’s picnic held at the end of summer. The prizes are major incentives for participants to keep reading — aside from the great tales to be read in the pages of the books, of course. And so the flea market is a way to support good reading habits — but it’s also a great way to offload unneeded items in a well-trafficked venue.  

“We have many patrons who come in on Saturdays,” Colombo said.

Vendors set the prices on the items they’re selling. The selection runs the gamut, Colombo said, noting that last year featured a mother selling new and gently used children’s clothing, while another woman was selling Avon products, and yet another woman was selling Depression-era glass dishes and collectible items, such as Coca Cola décor, Elvis memorabilia and more.

There is always an eclectic variety of children’s toys, DVDs and CDs to buy — one never knows what they will see.     

The Adult Summer Reading Program will be on Tuesdays, starting June 24 and ending July 29. The Children’s Summer Reading Program — sponsored by the Hazel Park Library Friends — will run during the same period. Both share this year’s chemistry-based theme, “Fizz, Boom, Read!,” and both reward reading with prizes. The kids’ program also has performers and craft programs.

“Studies have proven that if children read over the summer, they don’t lose their skills, and when they go back to school in September, they’re not far behind,” said Linda Sims, assistant library director and children’s reference librarian.

Since the library’s fundraising arm, the Hazel Park Library Friends, contribute so much to the Children’s Summer Reading Program, Colombo said it’s vital that the flea market is a success, so that the library can deliver a quality program for the adults.

“Last year, the flea market worked out perfectly, raising enough money for us to do what we needed to do,” Colombo said.

As for what she will be bringing to the market: “I’m planning to bring ornamental birdhouses.”

For more information, call the library at (248) 546-4095.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1104.