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Neighbors of Kane County

Here's what's happening at the Batavia Public Library

Jul 13, 2015 09:36AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Egghead was off the wall and all over the building and grounds during the Library site work this summer. Here Egghead oversees repairs in the Reading Garden.

Pow! Blam! Zap!

The Youth Services department now boasts a special section for graphic novels. New shelving was installed in one of the window alcoves, as well as some tween friendly chairs and ottomans. The furniture, a sign, and 100 comics and graphic novels suitable for a number  of young age groups were purchased using funds from an Illinois Public Library Per Capita Grant. The alcove is not hard to find—just look for the large “Graphic Novels” sign on the Library’s lower level.

Board election and officers

During the May meeting of the Board of Library Trustees, three trustees began new terms of office. Richard Henders and incumbent Andrew Deitchman were elected to four-year terms in April. Tom Von Lunen was appointed by the Board to a two-year term to fill a vacancy. Doug Sullivan was elected president of the board; Diane Blodgett, vice president; Cara Schuster, secretary; and Tom Von Lunen, treasurer.

City council on record, online
Batavia City Council meeting minutes from 1874 to 1969 have been digitized and now can be viewed online at The minutes from May 1915 to 1969 are searchable. Funding for this microfilm and digitization project was provided by the City of Batavia. To view the minutes, go to > Local History > City of Batavia. 

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Speaking of, people interested in genealogy and local history also can view online and search 1990–1995 issues of the now-defunct Batavia Republican. Digitization of other issues of the newspaper will be completed as grant money becomes available. Funding for this microfilm and digitization project was provided by an Illinois Public Library Per Capita Grant. To view the newspapers, go to > Local
History > Batavia Newspapers.

PechaKucha 20x20 coming to Batavia

What in the world is PechaKucha 20x20? PechaKucha is an evening of entertainment and socializing, during which individual presenters show 20 images each for 20 seconds as they tell a story or share an idea. Presentations can be funny, inspiring, and/or personal. The brisk pace and time limit allows for multiple presentations in one evening. Batavia’s 
inaugural PechaKucha Night will take place on Thurs., Oct. 1, at Riverview Banquets in Batavia. The evening is being organized by a number of Batavia businesses, organizations, and individuals, among them the Batavia Arts Council, Hix Bros. Music, Riverview Banquets, and the Library. More details will be announced in the September–October issue of Neighbors of Batavia. Any questions regarding PechaKucha Night can be sent to 

Free online courses courtesy of your library
The Library has a new online resource called Gale Courses. The courses are six-week instructorled courses for adults on a huge variety of topics, including computers, business, design, language, writing, and personal development. The courses are free and only require a Batavia Public Library card to participate. To view the list of courses available, visit > Research/Databases > Education > Gale Courses.

Under the Cupola

“Now under construction”

The Library is now making several exterior improvements to the Library campus, totaling about $950,000. This construction project is a great example of how the Library works to be a good steward of the community’s resources: nearly all (95.5%) of the Library’s limited revenues accrue from property tax. 

Contrary to popular perception, the building is no 
longer new. It opened 13½ years ago and construction began 15¹/³ years ago. As a result, much of the work now underway is simply standard maintenance. For example, the sidewalks settled awkwardly in several areas throughout the campus, which is a safety issue, so we are replacing those sections of sidewalk. 

Further, the mortar joints in the cast-stone retaining 
walls were cracked in many places—just like what happens to a brick or stone house over time—so we are repointing those walls. 

During the original construction, when costs were 
higher than anticipated, some less expensive materials were used that now need to be replaced. For example, the metalwork (railings, etc.), was made of steel, which rusts. We are replacing the steel metalwork with low maintenance, powder-coated aluminum metalwork. 

Some materials did not perform as well over time 
as originally anticipated. For example, the wooden column covers at the main entrance split and had trouble holding paint, so we are replacing them with a durable fiberglass-based product, which will stand the test of time.

When the coping caps were removed from the walls, we discovered that not all the flashing (used to divert water away from the walls) was adequate to the task, which suggests that the work of the original contractor—now out of business—was below average in this instance. The caps are being reinstalled with state-of-the-art flashing, which will endure for years to come.

Finally, the Library is responding to community feedback by widening the entryway at the top of the stairway at Wilson and Water streets from 5½ to 10 feet, and adding a sign. These improvements nicely complement the City of Batavia’s previously completed streetscape improvements on West Wilson  Street by improving pedestrian and visual access to the Library and its Reading Garden.

The Library will stay open for business during construction; please pardon our dust.

George H. Scheetz

Beanbags, Shakers, and Scarves - start: Jul 31, 2015 10:00AM

Ages 2–3 with a caregiver Feel the rhythm and get your body moving in this interactive class that incorporates beanbags, shakers, and scarves with music and movement. Toddlers will pract... Read More » 

Let’s Make Music - start: Jul 28, 2015 02:00PM

Grades 3–6. Make your own instruments—drums, flutes, strings, even a harmonica! Raw materials and instructions provided. Registration required. Read More » 

The Rhythm of Nature - start: Jul 22, 2015 11:00AM

Grades 4–7. Learn how plants grow, then plant your own microgreens—which can be harvested and eaten in just two weeks! Each participant will bring home a recycled container with potted mi... Read More » 

Art in Your Mind - start: Aug 05, 2015 07:00PM

We are inundated with images, but how well do we really see them? Artist Ezra Siegel discusses how we can improve our visual literacy. Creator of the 2015 Art in Your Eye poster, Siegel h... Read More » 

John Dziekan

Shoot Photos like a Pro - start: Jul 25, 2015 01:00PM

Improve your image-capturing skills. Go from mundane to memorable by following a few simple tips and tricks from professional photographer John Dziekan. Read More »