Gold Medal Gala introduces Library’s Literacy Initiatives

Waukegan Public Library celebrates its 2013 Institute of Museum and Library Services

National Medal with a silent auction and dinner

It has been almost one year since it was announced that the Waukegan Public Library was a prestigious Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Medal winner. To celebrate, the Library will host a Gold Medal Gala on Saturday, April 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Glen Flora Country Club in Waukegan, Illinois. The Gala will include a silent auction to benefit new and existing literacy initiatives at the library.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception where guests will have a chance to mingle and bid on silent auction items. The cocktail reception will be followed by a plated dinner and a program that briefly introduces “Literacy 2020”, the Library’s plan to increase literacy levels by 25 percent by the year 2020.

The event also features special guest speaker Robert B. Barnett, leading attorney for premier authors, government officials, and major corporations. Barnett graduated from Waukegan Township High School in 1964 and is now ranked Number One on Washingtonian magazine’s list of “Washington’s Best Lawyers” and as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal. He was also named one of the one hundred most powerful people in the entertainment industry by Entertainment Weekly Magazine.

For me, the Waukegan Public Library meant Story Hour on Saturday mornings at the Carnegie Building on Sheridan, getting a library card and having access to books, the Bookmobile at the shopping plaza on Lewis Avenue in summer, and, most of all, the wonder, adventure, delight, and inspiration found in books,” said Barnett. “I am thrilled to be returning to the place where I discovered my love of reading.”

The Gala is being planned by the Waukegan Public Library Foundation Board, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which encourages voluntary financial support for the Waukegan Public Library. The purposes of the Foundation include focusing public attention on library services, facilities and needs in the Waukegan area.

The gala is a culminating celebration of Waukegan Public Library’s historic accomplishments, however, it’s also a collaborative initiative for the Foundation Board to continually support and prepare the citizens of Waukegan for 21st Century learning by promoting early learning, the campaign for grade level reading, college and career readiness, the creation of a dynamic workforce, and life-long learners. Our investment in this community is clearly targeted and worthy of a celebration,” said Verna Wilson, Foundation Board and Gala committee member and District Literacy Coordinator for Waukegan Public Schools.

“The ability to read affects everything from graduation rates to employment as well as crime, health care, and our overall standard of living. At the library, we are committed to creating a community of readers with our ‘Path to Learning and Literacy’. When our residents are successful, our city will be successful,” said Richard Lee, Executive Director of Waukegan Public Library.

Ticket prices are $100 for individuals and $800 for a table of eight with available program advertisement opportunities. The library is also looking for donations of silent auction items. For information on how to purchase tickets or become a sponsor through donations or advertisements, please contact Kim Vander Yacht at (847) 623-2041, ext. 244 or kvyacht [at] waukeganpl [dot] info or you can go to the event webpage.