RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rutherford interior designer Joyce Thomas has dedicated her skills to an uncommon cause -- getting kids into the local library.
Her elaborate window displays are an eye-catcher for anyone who happens to walk by the Rutherford Public Library on Park Avenue.
"When I make a window arrangement I, want to make people go 'Hey, wait, what's going on?'" said Thomas, who has been changing the window displays at the library every month for the last four years at no charge.
Thomas's day job is as an interior designer at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan.
Her volunteer work is the manifestation of a childhood spent reading and sewing.
"I grew up with my grandmother in Baltimore, and she taught me to sew," Thomas said. "I think that is where my interest in creating and manipulating things with my hands come from.
"I also have always had a love affair with books because they take me places I have never been before."
Because the library is foreign to many youngsters, Thomas this month constructed a display of cakes in the shape of books to promote the library's "Edible Book Festival."
"The library has so many interesting and fun events," said Thomas, 50. "The trick is to connect that message with the kids.
"I want people to look in the window and see the potential of learning something new if they come inside."
Thomas is getting design certification from Bergen Community College so she can one day launch her own company.
But the Rutherford Library window will always be on the house, shes said.
"This is my way of giving back to the community and exercising my creative muscles," Thomas said. "I find it an honor to be able to take what they are doing and get that message out to the public."
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