New local book at library

Karen Danner

"A Book for Children by Children” will be featured at a book release party with refreshments from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Chillicothe Public Library.

Fourth- through sixth-grade students in the Chillicothe community recently tried their hand at being authors, resulting in a 64-page booked titled, “Our Community.”

The free book is the culmination of a year-long grant project sponsored by the library.

Students in Illinois Valley Central District 321 grade schools and at St. Edward Catholic School interviewed community members about their roles, then wrote articles, created artwork and designed their pages using Adobe CS3 software.

Funded by a $17,697 Library Services and Technology Act grant in October, the project highlighted the technological resources available at the library.

“After the scandal over Internet filters, it is nice to see that something so positive can be done using the latest technology, and making it available to the public,” said children’s librarian Laini Greenstein.

“We set out to teach children to use current publishing software, Adobe Photoshop and In-Design, so they could make their own book about the community they live in,” said Greenstein.

“Our goals were to reinforce to the community that the library can provide unexpected services, to interest more children in coming to the library, to offer children new writing and technical skills, to promote community organizations and businesses and to boost the self-esteem of residents at our local long-term care facility.”

The book, with 24 articles, took about six months to complete, and 2,250 copies of the book were printed.

Children in grades four through eight will receive copies of the book at school.

Adults who want copies can get them at the book release party.

Half of the 48 people involved in compiling the book were children.

“For all of the children, writing an article was a first-time experience, but they came through it with shining colors,” said Greenstein.

Children involved in the book not only interviewed and wrote their own stories, they also created their own artwork or took photographs.

They also attended training sessions and learned how to alter their artwork in Adobe Photoshop. They created new artwork utilizing professional graphics software.

The final step was an Adobe In-Design training session, during which they actually made their own book pages.

The final product was put together by Garrick Reid.

The book contains four sections — history, community organizations, jobs people do and parks and recreation.

Greenstein said some of the books will have surveys inside.

Students who fill out the survey and return it to the library will receive a prize.