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Kaneland Connection: Libraries getting ready to celebrate

A 50th anniversary celebration in Maple Park. A rousing year-end celebration for the summer reading program in Elburn. And “Awesomely Bad Shark Week Movies” in Sugar Grove, as well as a puppet show.

It’s party time this week at libraries in the Kaneland area.

The Maple Park Public Library, 302 Willow St., Maple Park, will celebrate its 50th birthday from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday. There will be a cake, hot dogs and lemonade. Youths can participate in a craft, and there will be magic and balloon animals. Events are free.

The event is a celebration of the library’s journey in Maple Park. Ruth Cain, the library’s treasurer, arrived in the town in 1970 and said she didn’t realize the library had been in existence for only seven years at the time. She said the library began in 1963 as a reading room, and when she moved to town, it was housed in the upstairs area of the American Legion building.

The library eventually moved to the site of the old Village Hall, Cain said, which is where it sat until the early 1980s, when it moved to its current spot, the former site of Maple Park Elementary School. In 1998, it became a public library district.

All of that activity in 50 years is a reason to celebrate, she said.

“We’ve gone from what amounted to a reading room to a full library,” she said.

For details, visit or call 815-827-3362.

Maple Park Library Director Kimberly Martin said the celebration also is a recognition of the end of the summer reading program, something that also is being celebrated this week in Elburn.

The Town and Country Public Library, 320 E. North St., Elburn, will have a celebration from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. There will be balloon sculptures, music from Jutta and the Hi-Dukes and the Reamtet, as well as comedy magic from Dave Marcus.

Dwayne Nelson, the youth services and reference librarian, said the reading program had about 1,000 youths and 400 adults participate. There are grand prizes to award at the event, and he said there is still time to enter. One boy signed up late last week, Nelson said.

“It’s never too late to get a few prizes and have a little fun,” he said. “And come to our last, big hurrah.”

Last year’s year-end celebration in Elburn took place on a weekend afternoon, but Nelson said it’s good to shift the times to make the event accessible to people with different schedules. Some events are inside. Both concerts are outside.

Jutta and the Hi-Dukes, on the band’s website, is described as “a slamming six-piece band that will rock the largest festival crowd to a budget-pleasing trio.” The Reamtet group is known as the jazzy side of Ream’s Elburn Market.

Nelson stressed that attendees do not need to be participants in the summer reading program. And all events are free.

“Anyone can come,” he said.

Visit or call 630-365-2244 for details.

The Sugar Grove Public Library, 125 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove, already has had its 50th anniversary celebration. But this week, the library has been celebrating “Awesomely Bad Shark Week Movies,” with more set for Thursday and Saturday. At 2 p.m. Thursday, it’s “Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus.” On Friday, it’s a marathon of “Jaws” movies.

Carol Dolin, the library’s director, said the idea for the shark week movies came from Christina Keasler. Keasler’s last day with the library is Saturday, so she will mark that with the “Jaws” marathon.

Also, at 6 p.m. Sunday, the Sugar Grove library will welcome the Madcap Puppets to perform the “Cinderella Files.” There also will be a grand prize drawing for the summer reading program. Dolin said the summer reading program did well.

Call 630-466-4686 or visit for details.

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

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