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Novel Reels is Back and Bigger! Expanded Program to Offer Free Screening of ‘Aquaman’

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – An expansion of the popular Novel Reels program will give families an opportunity to choose books during a free showing of “Aquaman” at Chambersburg Aquatic Center.

“Novel Reels is a way to share the love of reading and books with the community. Along with the free movie, participants will get a free book and a coupon to return to their library to pick up a second book,” said Alice Elia, senior director of development and human resources for Franklin County Library System.

Started in 2017 at one library, Novel Reels offers a free movie screening, snacks and themed activities. Participants also receive a free copy of a book upon which the movie is based, and a coupon for a second book, redeemable at their local Franklin County Library System branch.

A $15,000 grant from the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation allowed the program to expand throughout Franklin County Library System’s six branch libraries.

The program had been postponed through the COVID-19 pandemic, and resumes with the showing of “Aquaman” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, in conjunction with a free pool party, including popcorn and drinks.

“How exciting to come together now, after all we have been through as a community. We are thrilled to see Novel Reels expand to reach all in Franklin County. It has been gratifying to see what started as a small passion project be embraced and appreciated by a larger audience,” said Kirsten Hubbard, founder and CEO of Ghost Writer LLC, a partner in the program.

Elia said a few Aquaman books, graphic novels, or comics books will be available so participants may choose something appropriate for their age, interest, and reading level.

“Our hope is that if this event is someone’s first experience with the library, it will encourage them to find out more about their local library,” she said, noting library staffers at the pool complex will help residents sign up for library cards.

Novel Reels has distributed more than 2,500 books and initiated 1,000 library visits, with roughly 15% of those visits resulting in a new library card being issued.

Novel Reels seeks to celebrate reading, build home libraries and connect families with the many resources available at the public library.

Ghost Writer supports the program through developing resources, grants management and marketing.

“As a consortia of writers and editors, we are very supportive of libraries. They are the great equalizers and are very much founded on ideals of open and free access to information,” Hubbard said. “And, it is still rewarding to hand a child a book of their own.”

“Combining a fun movie like ‘Aquaman’ with a pool party at the Chambersburg Aquatic Center is a wonderful way to conclude our summer reading program called Summer Splash,” Elia said.

A second Novel Reels event is planned for December, with a showing of ‘Little Women.’

For more information about Novel Reels visit or learn more about the summer reading program by calling Coyle Free Library at 717-263-1054.

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