Parkland library celebrates National Library Week

Photos by Kelcey Williams | The Cupcake-A-Book contest takes place in front of the library entrance in the X-wing.

Photos by Kelcey Williams |
The Cupcake-A-Book contest takes place in front of the library entrance in the X-wing.

EvyJo Compton

Staff Writer

During the week of April 10, libraries around the country celebrated National Library Week, and Parkland’s is no exception.

The theme of National Library Week this year was “Libraries Transform.” Parkland’s library held events throughout the week that included free coffee, Cupcake-A-Book, and a “READ” poster unveiling.

On Monday, Parkland’s library celebrated the beginning of the National Library Week with a free food event hosted in the library. Students, staff and faculty were invited to enjoy free coffee, tea and donuts.

“We had coffee and donuts on Monday morning,” Raeann Dossett, a Parkland librarian, said. “It was a way to reach out to the community and say ‘thank you,’ and how much we appreciate the community.”

Following the theme of National Library Week, some of Parkland’s library staff had transformed some books into artwork. This included cutting pages into shapes and decorating older books. These were on display all throughout the week.

For the past few years, the library has put on an event called Cupcake-A-Book in which cupcakes are decorated and arranged as to represent favorite books. This event was held in front of the library this year. A few of the books mentioned were “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake,” “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” and “Star Trek Cats.”

“Cupcake-a-book has been done five or six times,” said Sarah Meilike, a Parkland administrative assistant. “People take a book and make a cupcake interpretation of the book. [Anyone] can vote; the one with the most donations wins. The donations go to the food pantry. [Anyone] could have joined—faculty, students, and staff.”

The final event that Parkland sponsored was the “READ” poster unveiling. Derek Dallas was the sponsored “READ” person. He is the faculty chair of the computer science department, and has been a staunch supporter the 3-D printer in the library.

“One of the reasons he got picked, and one of the reasons that we’ve been working with him is because of the 3D printer.” Dossett states. “That’s his relationship with the library.”

Derek Dallas presented “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” a small novel written by Jim Henson. This book has been out for a few years, and is filled with inspirational stories, quotes, and pictures.

“[Derek presented] ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green,’” Dossett stated. “It’s about Jim Henson…not really a biography about him, but it is filled with inspirational quotes—things he’s said, things the Muppets have said; that sort of thing. It’s a nice little pocket size or table top book.”

National Library Week was started in the 1950s. Whether it is huge libraries like the University of Illinois’ or a small library like the Onarga Library, National Library Week was and is a way for libraries to reach out to their communities and community members.

“The first National Library Week was back in 1958, and I think there was a lot of reasons it started, and has continued,” Dossett stated. “It was fundamentally started to promote libraries. It was about reaching out to the communities and stating that this is what we have, what we do, how we can help, and what the public could do.”

Parkland’s library has been involved in the National Library Week for quite some time. There has always been the same purpose—reaching out to the community.

“We consider ourselves a resource and a service for the community,” Dossett says. “Here at Parkland we serve not only the students, faculty and staff, but also the public. We also serve the whole [Parkland] community—those who aren’t employed or enrolled by Parkland. It really is about reaching out to the community.”

The Parkland library hosted three events this year, and Dossett says their event honoring the National Library Week was “modest” compared to public libraries, which will go all out trying to encourage the public to come use the library.

“So, we do a pretty modest library week,” Dossett states. “Most academic libraries do a modest one. The big splash will be with the public libraries. It’s usually a big deal. For us, it’s usually just to have some fun.”

For more information about the library, visit them on the second floor in the X-wing or online at library.parkland.edu.