Patrons' self-portraits decorating Wauconda Area Library
More than 200 self-portraits of Wauconda Area Library patrons have added some extra color to the facility this week as part of a national celebration of libraries and their communities.
Children, teens and adults have been creating the 4-inch-by-6-inch drawings for the last month or so, using crayons, pencils and markers at stations inside the library, 801 N. Main St.
The self-portraits can be found in the lobby, on tables in the center of the main floor and on windows in the lower-level Kid City department.
The project coincides with National Library Week, an American Library Association promotion that runs through Saturday. This year's theme commemorates libraries' strong communities.
Terri Suda, the collection development coordinator at the Wauconda library, said the self-portraits "(show) us the face of our library community."
Most of the self-portraits have been drawn by children. Patty Gmitrovic, the library's kids programming coordinator, said she typically asks children to draw how they feel rather than to draw how they think they look.
Many depict smiling people, with the figures occasionally accompanied by rainbows, flowers, balloons and other decorations.
Gmitrovic's favorite self-portrait was drawn by a teenage girl who portrayed herself as a smiling potato with rosy cheeks.
"You never know what one is thinking," Gmitrovic said.
Suda said it's important to celebrate the library's connection to the community. The library is a place people can go to create, to work, read, relax or spend some quality time with their families, she said.
"This place is buzzing from morning until night," Suda said. "I can't imagine our community without this library."
In addition to the art exhibition, the library will host two free programs this weekend to conclude National Library Week.
Chicago activist Lowell Thompson will appear at the library at 2 p.m. Saturday to present an interactive art project called "Some of My Best Friends Are Colored."
Finally, on Sunday, Grammy Award-winning songwriter Terry Abrahamson will visit the library at 2 p.m. to share personal stories, historic photos and video footage in a program called "In the Belly of the Blues."
Abrahamson's photography is on display in the library's Genevieve Lincoln Room, and he will sell and sign copies of his book, "In the Belly of the Blues," after the presentation.
For more information or to register, visit the library or go to wauclib.org.