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Amy Roth: Bid on bookmobile party during library fundraiser

Members 2013 Imagine … possibilities committee AurorPublic Library Foundatiinclude: (standing from left) Brigit ReulMarge Nichols Judy DawsJo Fredell Higgins Kelly

Members of the 2013 Imagine … the possibilities committee of the Aurora Public Library Foundation include: (standing from left) Brigit Reuland, Marge Nichols, Judy Dawson, Jo Fredell Higgins, Kelly McCleary and Ree Kline; (seated) library staff members Amy Roth (left) and Laura Stoney. | Courtesy of Bob Lockwood of Full Armour Studios

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Updated: November 4, 2013 3:04PM

Children know how much fun the Aurora Public Library Bookmobile is.

Recently a few adults found out, as well.

Diane Hienton purchased a “party on the bookmobile” during last autumn’s Aurora Public Library Foundation fundraiser. (It’s the only way someone can use the bookmobile for a special event of his or her choice.)

In the past, these parties usually have been children’s birthday parties, with the auction winner often donating them to Hesed House.

But this is the first time the bookmobile has ever pulled up to a book club meeting.

Hienton, a multi-year attendee of the library fundraiser, said last year was the first year she purchased a party on the bookmobile, which has been auctioned for several years with great success.

She decided it would be fun to have the bookmobile come to the book club she attends at New England Congregational Church in Aurora.

Hienton said the book club didn’t actually meet inside the bookmobile, but members toured the library on wheels before their Oct. 15 meeting.

Librarian Magan Szwarek, who specializes in readers’ advisory, read the book the group chose for the discussion (“We Are All The Same,” by Jim Wooten) and attended along with outreach services department staff member Ginger Pebelske, who drove the bookmobile to the church.

“We didn’t realize how big it is or how many books are on there … and that there are plenty of books for adults,” Hienton said. “One of the gals we have in our club moved to Naperville, and Ginger helped her take out a book through reciprocal borrowing.”

Szwarek and Pebelske also participated in the club’s discussion and offered handouts.

“I asked for her suggestion on books we might read in the future, and in fact, a few of the books on her list were some we already have read,” Hienton said. “But it was nice to get a suggestion of books that would be good for a book club. ...

“Magan was wonderful as part of our group that night. It was nice to have someone who has read the books recommend them.”

Szwarek said she was happy to be part of the “special event.”

“Talking with readers about books is the best part of my job, and Diane’s group was great,” Szwarek said. “It was a wonderful discussion.

Hienton said another plus with the bookmobile is that, after checking out a book onboard, one can take it back to any Aurora Public Library location.

“It was fun going on there,” Hienton said. “I was all excited. I’m not a kid, but it was fun to have that experience. I don’t think in my whole life I have ever been on a bookmobile.”

Hienton said it was a treat for others in the book group as well.

“We have people from Batavia, Oswego, Sugar Grove, Naperville and Aurora in the club,” she said.

Usually, a party on the bookmobile includes cupcakes and juice boxes, but for Hienton’s party, the bookmobile staff provided cookies, while Hienton took care of the beverages.

“We weren’t on the bookmobile for the discussion because we are too old to be sitting on the floor,” Hienton laughed. “But I’m sure younger people could do it. It was a lot of fun, and it really is one of the treasures we have here in Aurora.”

Two of the other treasures, Hienton discovered, are Szwarek and Pebelske.

Pebelske was “a joy to work with” and made it all happen easily, Hienton said. “And Magan came and gave her insight and knowledge to the group.”

Pebelske said she heard several comments from participants about how many “new” books the bookmobile has. In fact, it is one of the best places to get the latest books, because they don’t “hold” books for patrons. They are first-come, first-served.

Anyone who would like to bid on a party on the bookmobile is welcome to attend the foundation’s Prom Revisited event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at Prisco Community Center in Aurora. Call 630-264-4154 to reach Laura Stoney, the Aurora Public Library’s Foundation’s development officer, to learn more.

Tickets are $70 each and are available at There will be silent and live auctions, cocktails, appetizers, dinner and dancing at the event.

Amy Roth is the public information manager for the Aurora Public Library.

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