October at Waukegan Public Library

Mad Love: When I Met Ray Bradbury


"Mad Love" was the inscription Ray Bradbury wrote on the book I took out to California in 2006 on my first, and only visit to his home. I think I was more nervous about this trip than any other event in my life. Traditional celebrities hold very little interest for me, but authors make me swoon, which explains why I have worked in a library for the past 17 years. I was scheduled to visit Ray for a second time this past June, two weeks after he passed away. Needless to say, I was crushed that our visit was not to be.


In society, Ray Bradbury is known as a science fiction writer (which he would disagree with), a futurist, a poet, a dreamer and more. In person he was animated, energetic, enthusiastic and childlike in his ability to show wonder. After our visit he would often send me emails signed "with love." In my opinion, Ray was a humanist who loved every minute of life. In his stories, that often take place in the future or on other planets, the characters experience conflicts and relationships like people anywhere and at any time. His use of language is rich and often poignant. His tales of caution are prescient, as in the futuristic Fahrenheit 451.


My visit in 2006 was primarily to ensure that the Library had archival interview footage of Ray reminiscing about growing up in Waukegan and using the Waukegan Public Library. We also  planned to use it for our First Annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival that October, since Ray could not be there in person. We created the Festival as a way to honor Ray and his work, to connect him to a younger audience, and to bring literature to life through the oral tradition of storytelling. But, we also created the Festival because we have "mad love" for Ray and his profound influence on modern day society.


Experience the Award-Winning Seventh Annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival this October 26 at the Genesee Theatre. Go here for more information. I hope to see you there! 


Elizabeth Stearns
Assistant Director of Community Services
Waukegan Public Library
October Program Spotlight
Hispanic Heritage Month

Sugar Skulls are by far the most popular symbol of Mexico's most famous holiday, "Dia de los Muertos or "Day of the Dead". On October 3 at 6pm, come and decorate your very own Sugar Skull for Day of the Dead, presented by the Academia Cultural Xilotl. All materials are provided to decorate a 6" sugar skull. All ages are welcome, children under 12 years must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required, go here to register.

Calaveritas de azúcar son el símbolo más popular de la fiesta mas famosa de México, "Dia de los Muertos". El 3 de octubre a las 6 pm, venga y decore su propia Calaverita de Azúcar para el Dia de los Muertos! Presenta Academia Cultural Xilotl. Todo el material esta disponible. Todas las edades son bienvenidos, menores de 12 años tienen que estar acompañados de un adulto.
Es necesario registrarse, haga clic aquí para registrarse.

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Waukegan Public Library
128 North County Street
Waukegan, IL
(847) 623-2041
Mon-Wed 10am-8pm
Thu-Fri 10am-6pm
Sat-Sun 1pm-5pm

Hinkston Park Branch
800 North Baldwin Avenue
Waukegan, IL
(847) 263-8077
Mon-Thu 10am-8pm
Fri-Sat 1pm-5pm

Quick Links

Board of Trustees
Charmaine Harris, Ph.D.

C. Myra Gaytan-Morales

John Stein

Jerry Aguilera
Jacqueline E. Herrera Giron, Esq.
Jesus Ruíz
Megan Spaur
Verna Wilson
Pete Zaragoza

Richard Lee
Executive Director
October Programs and Classes

Ages 0-5

Ages 6-12

Sensational Sixes and Sevens: Autumn Artists 

Game Time!

Get Cooking!


Ages 13-18

Zombie Club

Haunted Halloween Party


Grades K-12 

Homework Help  



Digital Divide Free Computer Classes

Digital Divide Open Computer Lab

Adult Drop-In Tutoring and Computer Lab 

Bound to Please Book Club 

Conversational ESL 

HACES, Citizenship Interview Preparation Classes 

Leamos: Spanish Computer Classes 

Job Search and Resume Help Lab  

Literacy Education: ABE 

Energy Impact Illinois: Rebates for Homeowners 



ESL Family Literacy Class 

Family Literacy Class: ABE 

Sugar Skulls Decoration Workshop/Taller de decoracion de Calaveritas de Azucar 


Patrons of the Waukegan Public Library and attendees of its programs and events consent to the taking of photos and videos of themselves and their children for use in all Waukegan Public Library marketing materials. All photos and videos taken on Waukegan Public Library property are for library use only and become its sole property.  

Save $1.00 with your library card!*
Don't forget to buy your Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival tickets early! All tickets sold before October 26th include a FREE haunted tour of the Genesee Theatre. Tours will run every 5 minutes starting at 6pm until 7:15pm. Tours are not recommended for children under 13 or anyone with a heart condition.
*Show your library card at the Genesee Theatre box office to receive $1 off the ticket price! The Genesee box office is located at 203 North Genesee Street and is open Tuesdays-Fridays from 12pm-5pm.
Waukegan Public Library