Posted by Aurora University on March 19, 2012
The first floor of the Aurora University Phillips Library was even more crowded than usual on Thursday afternoon. Faculty, students and staff were there for the big reveal — the annual READ posters unveiling.
The READ poster program, which features celebrities such as sports figures or movie stars holding their favorite books, was created by the American Library Association in 1985 to encourage young people to read. The ALA offered the rights for libraries to create their own posters a few years ago, and Phillips Library initiated its program in 2009.
Each year, a committee selects one faculty member, one staff member and two students to appear on the posters as AU celebrities. The models select the books they would like to be photographed with and are honored at the unveiling ceremony with a framed copy of the poster. All the posters also brighten the walls of Phillips Library.
As the program became better known on campus, students started approaching the staff about how to get on the posters. So this year, the staff held a contest. The rules were simple: take a picture of yourself reading a book in Phillips Library, post it on the library’s Facebook page and get your friends to vote by liking the photo. Nine students participated, generating almost 1,000 votes.
The winner of the contest was junior health science major Liz Cambron of Chicago, president of the Eta Chapter of Gamma Phi Omega Int’l Sorority, with 274 “likes.” She chose to be photographed with the book “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel because it was one of the first books she read in school written by a Latina, and it helped motivate her to continue on with her education.
The other student model this year was the Girl with the Whiteboard, also known as Lauren Lawson, a senior health science and Spanish major from Oswego. Lawson recently returned from Washington D.C., where she was spreading simple, positive messages of inspiration through her whiteboard project. She modeled with “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros because it inspired Lawson to write her own novel.
The other 2012 READ poster celebrities were Kidada Robinson, Black Student Initiatives and Academic Advisor, who chose “The Little Black Book of Success; Laws of Leadership for Black Women” by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood and AU alumna Rhonda Joy McLean; and Deborah Stevens, Associate Professor of Education and 2011 recipient of the Marcus and Mark H. Trumbo Award for Excellence in Teaching, who was pictured with “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, one of her favorite childhood books.