Caroline Kennedy set to help celebrate Highland Park Library’s 125th anniversary
Updated: March 27, 2013 4:53PM
HIGHLAND PARK — Highland Park’s first public library opened in a former hardware store on Central Avenue in 1888 and immediately began lending out books from its 400-tome collection.
Patrons made a special point to visit that first library because it was only open six hours each week.
Next month, the Highland Park Public Library will cap off its 125th anniversary party with two literary fundraisers that have collectively been dubbed Librarypalooza.
On April 5, Caroline Kennedy will discuss her new book, “Poems to Learn by Heart,” a diverse collection of more than 100 poems that she has selected for inclusion. Kennedy, who has edited eight books on the New York Times best-seller lists, has selected poems covering nature, sports, family and friendship, and has written introductions that reflect her family’s enjoyment of poetry.
The new bookis seen as a companion to her bestselling, “A Family of Poems.” She also has edited books on American history, politics and constitutional law as well as another poetry collection, “She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poetry.”
Kennedy is the honorary chair of National Library Week that runs from April 14 to April 20.
Tickets for “A Literary Event with Caroline Kennedy” cost $175 and include a signed copy of “Poems to Learn by Heart,” wine and cheese and a ticket to the library’s fundraising event later in the month. The Kennedy event, which starts at 5 p.m., also will feature a performance by children who participated in Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages children to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation.
The 125th anniversary celebration will conclude on April 27 with a literature-themed dinner and cocktails, as well as music by Kelly Hogan. Poets from Poems While You Wait will provide guests with commissioned, typewritten poems. A photo booth will capture guests against literary backgrounds. Tickets to the fundraiser cost $125.
Tickets for both celebrations can be purchased at www.hplibrary.org or at the library, 494 Laurel Ave., Highland Park. For more information, call (847) 432-0216 or visit the library’s website.
The 125th anniversary festivities kicked off in September, marking the date when the town’s elected leaders adopted an ordinance to create the first public library at citizens’ request. At one event, more than a dozen Chicago area celebrities read excerpts from books that had influenced them personally. In October, the library brought in author, humorist and radio host Garrison Keillor to headline an evening program. Other anniversary events have featured children’s authors.