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Thursday, July 30, 2015
Founders' Building Hours: 7:30 am - 10 pm
Founders' Reference Desk: 9 am - 5 pm
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Friends of the NIU Libraries: Activities & Programs

If you are interested in the Friends co-sponsoring an event, please click here to make a request.

2014-2015 Programs


Annual Faculty & Staff Wine & Cheese Social

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 4-6 pm

Rare Books and Special Collections, Founders Memorial Library, 4th floor

This is an invitation-only event. Please watch your mail for invitations!



Fantasy Fiction: Ask the Real Wizards!

Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 pm

Rare Books and Special Collections, Founders Memorial Library, 4th floor

In cooperation with DeKalb Public Library's The Big Read programming

Are you curious about the fantasy genre? Do you have questions about the next book you should read, or the best books in the genre? Whether your interests lean toward the most popular books, the foundational texts, or the more obscure gems of fantasy fiction, our panel is ready to answer your questions!

Please join us at 7:30 PM on Oct. 14 at the NIU Founders Memorial Library, in the Rare Books Room on the fourth floor, for an evening of question, answer, discussion, and discovery. Our panelists include: NIU Professor David Gorman; Hugo Award-winning editor Lynne M. Thomas; author and scholar Mary Anne Mohanraj; and local geek librarian Steven Torres-Roman. Parking is free on the NIU campus after 7 PM, and refreshments are provided.


Co-sponsored by the Friends of the NIU Libraries

This event is free and open to the public.


A Visit by Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Kathy Reichs

Dr. Kathy Reichs

4:00 pm - Public Lecture/Talk with Kathy
5:00 pm - Book Signing
7:30 pm - Museum Gala (Event Registration will begin in Mid-August)

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to life through her fictional creation Temperance Brennan, featured in her books and on the hit Fox TV series Bones. Dr. Reichs is one of only eighty-two forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. She has aided in the identification of war dead from WWII, Korea and SE Asia and assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now a Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, she started her professional career at Northern Illinois University. The Anthropology Museum is excited to welcome her back as the signature event for their 50th anniversary celebration.

This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the NIU Libraries



Chicago: Birthplace of the Skyscraper
with WTTW's Geoffrey Baer

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 7:30 pm


Geoffrey Baer photo

Is Chicago truly the birthplace of the skyscraper? And what makes a building a skyscraper anyway? Find out from popular Chicago Public Television host/film maker and Chicago Architecture Foundation tour guide Geoffrey Baer. In this talk Geoffrey gives a capsule history of Chicago's astonishing and rapid rise from a tiny trading post on the American frontier to a teeming metropolis. The Great Fire of 1871 could have finished off the upstart town. But out of the ashes rose the world's first city of skyscrapers.

As a bonus, Geoffrey will also engage the audience in an interactive quiz based on his newest Public TV program, a quiz show about Chicago history. Whether you know the answers or not you'll have fun and probably learn some things you never knew.

This event is free and open to the public.


That Belongs in a Museum: A Show-and-Tell Storytelling Event

Thursday, Feb 19 from 7-9 pm at The House, 263 E. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb.

Anyone may bring an object of personal, historic, humerous, etc. significance and share its unique story.

This is the first time "That Belongs in a Museum" has taken place outside of Chicago.

Here is your chance to enjoy the generosity of local residents for allowing us a glimpse of the art and objects that enrich their personal lives every day. Featured collectors include Mary-Glynn and John H. Boies, Rodney Borstad, Gerald and Cheryl Brauer, Richard M. Cooler, Robert and Christa Even, Sven Oskar Hansen, Barbara Hulseberg, Ronald G. Klein, David McMahon, Molly Carter and David Menard, Jerry D. and Miriam Meyer, Charlie and Dedrie Rudolph, Dan and Virginia Seymour and Jerry and Ging Smith.

What motivates individuals to select and arrange art and objects in their private living spaces?" asks exhibition co-curator Michael Bennett. "I am fascinated by the way the impulse to collect objects is both universal and highly individual. Each of us, in our own way, asserts our identity by surrounding ourselves with things we love. In a way, the objects become a self-portrait of our aesthetics." For example, at the home of retired art historian Jerry D. Meyer and his wife Miriam, one finds paintings, drawings and prints by colleagues from the NIU School of Art, but also objects with aesthetic and nostalgic appeal, such as vintage toys, a beautifully designedwooden pitchfork and an antique rocking horse. Ronald G. Klein has been active in the community, both as an attorney and board member of several local organizations for many years, and one feels a strong sense of place among his collection of artwork depicting rural scenes, and books documenting DeKalb County history. According to exhibition co-curator Peter Olson, "We are thrilled to highlight the visual richness of our community, and to tell the personal stories behind the objects. We hope to embark on a future series of exhibitions, each highlighting a different group of collectors from our community.

This event is held in conjunction with an exhibition at the NIU Art Museum in Altgeld Hall.

Local Visions: Selections From Area Collections, a diverse exhibition including art from the 18th through the 21st centuries, Indonesian textiles, circus posters, antiques, Roseville pottery, record sleeves, vintage toys, folk art and much more. The exhibition opens on Tuesday, January 6 and runs through Saturday, February 21. The public reception on Thursday, January 15, 4:30 – 6 p.m. will feature a gallery talk by artists, collectors and curators Peter Olson and Michael Bennett at 5 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.


Save the Date!

Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear

Scott Lynch PhotoPhoto of Elizabeth Bear by Kyle Cassidy

Photo credits: (Lynch via Goodreads; Bear: Kyle Cassidy)

Book signing & Q&A

Saturday, March 28, 2015 (likely 2-4 pm)

Join Hugo Award winner Elizabeth Bear, and World Fantasy Award Nominee Scott Lynch

for an afternoon of shenanigans and signing books.

Ellwood House Hearthside Room, Visitor Center

Copies of Karen Memory and The Republic of Thieves will be available for sale.

Scott and Elizabeth will also happily autograph copies of their work that you already have.

More details coming!

This event is free and open to the public.


Friends of NIU Libraries Annual Meeting & Ice Cream Social

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 3:00-5:00 pm

Rare Books and Special Collections, Founders Memorial Library 4th Floor

Featuring frozen custard and homemade hot fudge from Ollie's!

This event is free and open to the public.







{/Past Programs\}

Free parking in the Visitor's Lot and the Parking Garage is available beginning after 7:00 pm. Click here for a map of Founders Memorial Library and parking lots in the central NIU Campus area.

For more information, please call (815) 753-9838 or e-mail libraryfriend@niu.edu.

Click Here to see a listing of Past Programs (some articles and photos from past events are included)

Thank you for your generous support!

Last Updated: February 24, 2015