Illinois libraries offer virtual events with bestselling authors

Starting this month, about 200 libraries across the suburbs and the state will offer virtual events with bestselling authors, thanks to the collaborative effort "Illinois Libraries Present."

Participating local library districts include Barrington, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Schaumburg and many more.

"Joining forces for such events allow libraries to bring speakers to their communities that might not be possible due to budget constraints or production capabilities," the organizers said in a news release.

"And that's just the point of 'Illinois Libraries Present.' By working together, libraries can bring an event to multiple and diverse communities, providing access for many library patrons to attend while at the same time, expanding the platform for the author."

The program's steering committee member Jennifer Czajka of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library said the events aim to reflect the diversity of the communities served by local libraries.

"We believe that diversity of voices breeds creativity and a stronger connection to one another," she said.

The first event Jan. 26 will feature bestselling and award-winning author Silvia Moreno-Garcia, whose novels include "Certain Dark Things," "Gods of Jade and Shadow," and "Mexican Gothic." Moreno-Garcia will discuss her newest book, "Velvet Was the Night," which was included on The New York Times' list of 100 notable books of 2021.

"We're thrilled to welcome Silvia Moreno-Garcia as the first featured speaker. We saw 'Mexican Gothic' become a huge hit with readers and wanted to showcase the talent behind it and her body of work," said Kate Cundiff of the Algonquin Area Public Library District.

In February, "Illinois Libraries Present" will host an event with bestselling romance author Jasmine Guillory, whose novels include "The Wedding Date" and "The Proposal." The event is Feb. 16.

On March 30, there will be an event with award-winning journalist, author and blogger Jenny Lawson, who will discuss her most recent bestseller, "Broken (In the Best Possible Way)," and her body of work.

The virtual events are free and open to the public, but registration is required through local library districts.

For a full list of participating library districts, visit

Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia, whose books include "Velvet Was the Night," will kickoff 2022 programming for "Illinois Libraries Present" with a virtual event Jan. 26. More than 200 local libraries offer registration. Courtesy of Palatine Public Library District
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