Community partner spotlight: jaZams

To extend our community outreach, the library partners with many of the municipal, non-profit, and business organizations that make Princeton such an extraordinary town. This month, jaZams is in the spotlight and we spoke with owners Joanne Farrugia and Dean Smith to learn more about this partnership.

There are many reasons why the library is grateful to partner with jaZams. Our shared commitment to connect children to books and the people who make them forms the foundation of our collaboration. While we work together on a number of different projects, our two biggest initiatives are the Princeton Children’s Book Festival and the jaZams@theLibrary store. For the book festival, we work together to choose the poster artist, consider authors and illustrators, select titles for sale and carry out many other essentials tasks required to create a dynamic community event. The jaZams shop is a wonderful addition to the library with book-related T-shirts and reading glasses being particularly popular.

JaZams’ mission is to “strengthen and sustain our community,” and they put their money where their mission is by generously donating a portion of proceeds from both the book festival and library store to the library.

How long has jaZams been in Princeton? 

We have been in Princeton since 2000. This is our 20th Christmas downtown!

What is your primary area of focus?

Our primary focus is “magic” (and not like disappearing). A more conventional answer would be that we focus on children’s books and toys and gifts for all ages.

Why do you like partnering with the library?

We want to help enrich children’s lives through stories. We want to spark their imaginations and provide them with the toys and objects that bring those imaginative thoughts to life. Our friends in Youth Services in the library help bring children’s imaginations to life each and every day. We are honored to work with them on projects like the Princeton Children’s Book Festival among others. Being able to make a difference in the lives of children in our community is integral to the work of both of our organizations.

With whom do you work most in the community?

We would like to think we work with everybody. But truly, we work with just about any folks or organizations that are involved in the lives of our children. Those include non-profits, public and private schools, other businesses Palmer Square, merchant associations and our municipal government.

What is something that you do that people might not know about?

There are many charitable contributions that we make that are anonymous.

Here are some books that jaZams is excited about.

This post was written in collaboration with Susan Conlon and Sonja Vloeberghs.

Photo taken by the author.

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