by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—It’s unlikely that William Shakespeare had the Sugar Grove Library Friends’ “A Midsummer Knight’s Read” reading program theme in mind when he penned the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the 1590’s. Nevertheless, Shakespeare still would’ve certainly appreciated the hard work and sheer artistry that has gone into the Library Friends’ summer reading program this year.
After all, this program includes a reading castle constructed inside of the library, and it’s protected by dragons … sort of.
The plywood castle is 12 feet high and 12 feet wide, and was built by Mike Sawicki of DNM Builders, INC. Sawicki’s wife, Donna, painted the castle, which also features a painted knight and princess with head cut-outs so people can pose and look the part of a medieval warrior or maiden.
Library staff used the “Dragon Maker’s Handbook,” by Dan Reeder, to construct the dragons by hand.
Donna said she and her husband began the castle project in late March/early April, and started taking measurements to make sure the castle fit exactly where the Library Friends intended the structure to go.
“It fit perfectly,” she said. “I (initially) drew it out on the plywood for my husband and painted it while it was in pieces, and then my husband put it together in the library,” Donna said. “I pretty much painted throughout the month of April. His (job) was probably the quickest part.”
Donna, a skilled artist who helps run Mike’s building business, as well as her own Simply Donna Designs business, was recommended for the project by her neighbor, Ken Wiesner, a Library Friends member who was aware of Donna’s painting prowess. Donna then met with library staff and began working out the details of the castle.
“I do all kinds of artistic things. I’ve done murals, and I do graphic design,” she said. “So I drew up a sketch of an idea we could put together, and the (Library Friends) liked it, so we started building it. They said they wanted it to be a faНade so that people could walk through it.”
Sugar Grove Library Friends President Pat Graceffa said the Library Friends are thrilled to once again work with the library to provide the summer reading program to library patrons.
“Our members and local businesses have really stepped forward to support the program, both financially and with their time, to make this year’s program the best ever,” she said.
The Sugar Grove Library’s summer reading program begins June 11.