The 3rd Annual Community Mobile Information Literacy Fair last Saturday, which signaled the start of “National Library Week” from April 3 to April 9, drew about 250 parents and children of all ages to the JKPL parking lot, which featured several informational booths and some demonstrations.
This fair invited community partners who have mobile units to share about their special programs and services. Community members were welcome to walk around and learn about the special services of each. The Department of Public Safety Car Seat Program demonstrated how to properly install car seats, while the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services did a demonstration on how they put on their gear during fires. A trained dog from the CNMI Division of Customs and Biosecurity demonstrated how they sniff out packages for contraband.
The fair was missed for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and this was the first fair since then. Erlinda Naputi, library director said in an interview during the fair, “We’re back and we are actually happy. We’re glad our partners are here and we’re happy to see all these community members come out to support and take advantage of this literacy fair.”
When asked how the library use and turn-out is going, Naputi said it had been slow going because of the pandemic. “From the beginning of the pandemic to last month, it was really slow. But three Saturdays ago, we saw about over 100 some people in the library; Saturday is one of our busiest days. That’s actually a good indication that the people are a lot more comfortable to come out to enjoy freedom again. …That’s another reason why we wanted to bring this mobile information literacy fair back because it’s outdoors.”
Leora Terlaje, Bookmobile supervisor, hopes the fair had a great impact on participants because “there’s a lot of important information here in regards to emergencies. …So that’s very important for the children and the adults to know who are all out there.”
Naputi dedicated this year’s fair “to our library team, because they actually worked so hard to put this together. It’s a very successful turnout, we have so many people here.” She also thanked the sponsors, donors, and “of course most importantly, our community members that are here today.
And, of course, a shoutout to all our partners or collaborating partners that are here. I’d like to thank them for their continued support not only of the library but of the community. It’s great. Thank you so much.”
In attendance at the fair were first lady Diann Torres and family. Among the government and non-government agencies present were CNMI Priority Care, Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority, Department of Youth Services, and Northern Marianas College Nursing Club, and several others.