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Neighbors of Kane County

It’s been a very good year at the Batavia Public Library

Oct 25, 2016 11:15AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

It will be hard to top a year like 2016, during which the Library launched new programs, new services, and a new digital collection. In case you missed the announcements for everything new in 2016, here’s the year in review.

January—the Library’s inaugural Science & Art Fair—families participated in a number of hands-on activities featuring experiments and art projects sponsored by local organizations. Mark your calendar—the second annual fair is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2017.

February—My Librarian—a new readers’ advisory service that connects readers with an Adult Services employee who shares their taste in reading material. If you like mysteries or history, chick lit or science fiction, travelogues or time travel, we have a librarian who’s “been there, read that.” Check out My Librarian, listed in the Readers’ Corner at

March—the Library’s first Tournament of Books. In the spirit of March Madness, Library visitors had the opportunity to vote for their favorite 2015 titles from a Sweet 16 collection selected by The Morning News, an online magazine. Bracket-style elimination selected The Sellout by Paul Beatty as the 2015 national winner. Library visitors voted Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf as the Batavia winner. The tournament returns in 2017, with the 2016 titles suggested by Batavians and based on their popularity in Batavia.

April—The Library sitework construction project, which began in 2015, was finished and improvements were made to Library landscaping. New signs on the walls at the corner of Wilson and Water Streets and the widening of the entrance to the Reading Garden at that corner are some of the new enhanced features of the project.

May—The online digitization of Civil War letters and diaries written by Batavians provides 24-hour access to historical information. The project was made possible in part by an award from the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives and Records Administration. To view the searchable text, visit > Local History > Batavia’s Civil War History.

June—The Library began automatically renewing library cards for three years, with two exceptions: Cardholders who have had a change of address and cardholders who turn 18 years old before the three-year period is up. Teens will see their cards renewed until their 18th birthday, at which time they need to come to the Library to register as an adult cardholder.

September—“1000 Books Before Kindergarten”—the newest program in the Library’s treasure chest of early literacy initiatives. Started by a Nevada not-for-profit foundation, the program’s premise is simple: Reading to a child very early in life boosts the child’s learning potential in school. What parent doesn’t want that? Parents can register to join “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” in the Youth Services department.

What does 2017 have in store for the Library? You’ll find out in future issues of this magazine; in Wired, the Library’s monthly eNewsletter; and by visiting the Library and its website.