Messenger Library to hold rally in support of libraries during 80th birthday party

The administrator, board and staff of Messenger Public Library invite the community for a "Rally in Support of Libraries" at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, at the library, 113 Oak St. in North Aurora,

The library is celebrating its 80th anniversary on Aug. 6 with entertainment, contests, prizes, refreshments and more for all ages. Family performer Super Stolie will lead a silly, rockin' good time followed by Phil Passen's "Old Time American Music: Hammered Dulcimer." Concerts will be outside, weather permitting, so bring your sunscreen and blanket or lawn chairs!

The library's annual book sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6.

"For many communities, including North Aurora, their library is the center of town activity," says library administrator Kevin Davis. "Mothers' clubs, garden clubs, writers' groups, the Lions Club, Rotary and other philanthropic organizations and nonprofits regularly use libraries for their meetings. Students work on group projects, independent entrepreneurs conduct business using library wi-fi. There are often waiting lists for children's reading programs and teens and tweens can gather safely there."

"Libraries have the facilities, technology and, perhaps most importantly, the knowledgeable, eager to help staff that gives the public entering their doors what they need to accomplish goals, find resources and jobs or just relax with a good book," Davis continued.

Davis was contacted some months ago by a patron (and former employee) with the idea for a demonstration to show how much people love libraries.

"I wasn't sure she was serious, let alone could it be carried out," Davis says. "But she persisted with the same enthusiasm she demonstrated when she worked here. She's even donating 50 pre-constructed placards to get patrons interested."

It started sounding more and more like a good idea, and more doable. She had the whole thing mapped out in detail, from march route, to loudspeaker announcements and parking issues on the day; safety measures and how to make a sturdy, inexpensive placard of your own. The only thing library staff would need to do is to contact the village regarding any necessary permissions, tell the library trustees and forward on the information to the library's extensive contact list of library organizations, lawmakers and others with influence from the local to the national level.

"When Kevin (Davis) showed me the details for this proposed addition to our anniversary event, I was surprised. Then I was pleased, then I became intrigued with the idea," said Marguerite Treest, library board president.

With talk of federal cuts to library funding, Treest thinks this is the perfect time to show that taxpayers value their libraries. "Most revenue for libraries comes from local sources, but state and federal dollars allow us to add those extras that make the place better and more accessible to more people - large print books are a good example. But any cuts at these levels have a far greater impact on all libraries than the actual dollar amount received by any one library. We all share what we have available and some libraries depend more heavily on those state and federal dollars. Reductions staff or inability to service and upgrade equipment would hamper every library's, academic and public, ability to serve students and patrons. Delivery of materials when and where they're needed would be slowed. That's important for all libraries because that's what's important to our patrons - getting what they need and want as quickly as possible."

Vicki Evans, youth services librarian and North Aurora resident, also finds reason to be excited about holding the demonstration.

"Our Summer Reading Program theme this year is 'Build a Better World'," Evans said. "What a great way for our younger patrons to experience their first involvement in a group effort of support - demonstrating that their library is important to them, something they believe in, because it's something that indeed helps build a better world."

Patron Christina Savattero lives in Wilmette, and often visits Messenger Library. A third-grade teacher, her classroom includes a library stocked with her own books that she enjoyed as a child and loves the book sale here where she can add to the collection. "I give my students 15 to 20 minutes of library time each day. They adore curling up with a book of their choosing and sharing with each other what they've read. A real testament to books and libraries. It's beautiful to watch!"

Savattero recognizes the importance of not only the materials a library houses, but of the staffs there, "Librarians share your journey to knowledge; help you to find relaxation in a good book. They are generous, eager to help. When I hear of a library, academic or public, forced to close for lack of funding, I mourn," Savattero said. "When that happens, the book gets closed on all the books that may have been written, the laughs that could have been shared, the victories of discoveries made - they're the cornerstone of a community."

Jean, a North Aurora resident, has no internet connection at home, and comes to the library to write her blog and connect via social networks. "The library is so gracious about providing technology tools to everyone." She adds a side note: "The 60's music icon, Janis Ian, says her library saved her life (before she became famous). Ian says that she uses the internet for research, but always ends up at the library where she can be certain she's getting the truth. Libraries continue to be a vital part of her life."

Davis says he'll be contacting lawmakers, from the federal level to North Aurora Village Trustees.

"It will literally demonstrate that the public, our elected officials' and constituents, love their libraries."

He also has be using library networks to invite library lovers from all over to join in. "With our enthusiastic patrons and by spreading the word widely, we're confident there will be a substantial group for this event, and that show of support is good for all libraries everywhere."

The Messenger Public Library is located at 113 Oak St. in North Aurora. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (630) 896-0240 or visit

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