Paris Carnegie Public Library joins more than 200 Illinois libraries participating in Season 3 of Illinois Libraries Present (ILP), a collaborative effort featuring virtual events with bestselling and award-winning authors and esteemed speakers. The season continues with A Conversation with Jerry Craft: From Mama’s Boyz to New Kid and Beyond. Craft is an award winning children’s author and illustrator, as well as a syndicated cartoonist. Listen in as Craft talks about life and art, and gives a drawing demo that will be fun for the whole family! This event will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, February 6 at 7 PM. Please note that this event will not be recorded or available for viewing at a later date. Be sure to register and attend the live presentation to enjoy the fun! Register at To learn more visit our Facebook page, or call us at (217) 463-3950 for additional details.

Craft is the author-illustrator of #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novels New Kid, and its companion book, Class Act. New Kid was the first book in history to win the Newbery Medal (2020), The Coretta Scott King Author Award (2020), and the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (2019). He uses his personal life as fuel for his stories and creates compelling stories and characters to represent his community. His works tackle complex themes with humor, heart, and a deep understanding of the human experience.

Craft will be joined in conversation by Ronnell Whitaker. Whitaker has over 15 years of education experience and is a champion for comics in the classroom. He has presented across the country at conferences and conventions on the virtues of comics in the classroom. He currently serves as the English Curriculum Director for Community High School District 218 in Oak Lawn, Illinois and sits on the Board of Directors for Reading With Pictures.

“Season 3 of Illinois Libraries Present [ILP] has been amazing so far. We can’t wait to host such an accomplished author and illustrator as Jerry Craft and the ability to offer our patrons this interactive event,” says Ceili Boylan, Head Librarian.

Later this month ILP will host Julia Quinn, author of the popular series of novels about the Bridgerton family on which the Netflix series BRIDGERTON was based. The Quinn event will take place via Zoom at 7 PM on Tuesday, February 20.

Author events are often a cornerstone of library programming. Throughout the pandemic these events continued virtually as libraries collaborated to host authors and speakers. This ensured that Illinois communities had access to events that may otherwise be unattainable for a single library due to budget or production constraints. ILP brought together diverse communities, ensured access to patrons across the state, and expanded the speaker’s platform.


The event with Jerry Craft is made possible by Illinois Libraries Present (ILP), a statewide collaboration among public libraries offering premier events. A Conversation with Jerry Craft: From Mama’s Boyz to New Kid and Beyond will begin at 7 PM on Tuesday, February 6. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information or to register, visit, or our Facebook page, or call (217) 463-3950. 

Illinois Libraries Present (ILP) is funded in part by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library, a department of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Illinois Libraries Present is committed to inclusion and accessibility.

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