The Otto Bruyns Public Library of Northfield has plans throughout December to bring the holidays home, and plans in January to recognize Northfield's local heroes.

Assistant Librarian Mary Ann Bilazzo, of Mays Landing, leads the storytime and craft hours at the library. The holiday crafts are special for the kids, she said. Children 3 and older are welcome to attend.

On Dec. 14 the library is having a gingerbread house storytime and craft hour. The gingerbread house placemats are made from foam kits and each child can pick and choose items they want to feature on their houses.

"They get all these figures: gingerbread boys, girls, trees, anything they can pick to get their gingerbread place mats (created)," Bilazzo said. "And then we'll play a game, and of course we'll have special holiday treats."

On Dec. 28 the library will have a penguin-making storytime and craft hour.

"They're going to do a 9-inch penguin. They're going to construct it out of foam, and it comes with a thermometer and a magnet so they can take it home and put it on their refrigerators," Bilazzo said.

In January - the date is still being discussed - the library plans to unveil a new ad campaign that director Aubrey Gerhardt, of Linwood, hopes will generate excitement for the library and show the library's support for local public figures.

The ad campaign, called "Neighborhood Heroes," features figures such as Mayor Vincent Mazzeo, local firefighters, and the superintendent of schools.

"We did a big photo shoot of all of them to show the support of the community and the library, it's going to be really awesome," Gerhardt said.

The ad campaign will be printed on canvas and displayed in a gallery at the library. Gerhardt also hopes that the photographs can be distributed to "rotating galleries" within the community at restaurants or businesses.

"We're really trying hard right now to bring in new people and get everyone excited about the library," Gerhardt said.

Both story times with the holiday crafts begin at 11 a.m. at the Northfield Public library at 241 W Mill Rd. in Northfield. Call 609-646-4476 for more information.

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