Chautauqua hits the books for popular annual Library Day event

Greg Funka | Staff PhotographerChautauquans celebrate 2012’s Library Day on the front porch of Smith Memorial Library.

Greg Funka | Staff Photographer

Chautauquans celebrate 2012’s Library Day on the front porch of Smith Memorial Library.

The question on everyone’s mind at Chautauqua Institution’s annual Library Day: What is your favorite book? Kids from the Children’s School and Boys’ and Girls’ Club are provided with stickers to write their answers on. Even some adult attendees spend all year thinking about what title they will proudly display on their shirts.

“It’s a social activity,” said Susan Zorn, president of Friends of the Library for the past 10 years. “It gets everyone talking, and before you know it you have people saying, ‘Oh you like War and Peace? Well, here’s what I think.’ Then you have a whole discussion going.”

This year’s event is from  8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Smith Memorial Library.

Lynn Kinnear, director of the library, has been thinking of writing The Lace Snail by Betsy Byars on her sticker.

“It’s my favorite children’s book,” Kinnear said, “and it reminds me of my doily project.”

Kinnear, who jokes about the unauthorized script font on her nametag, has a season-long exhibition, “I See Doilies Everywhere,” on display on the library’s second floor. It features doilies she has been crocheting since 2001.

This year’s Library Day marks the first time a small art exhibition runs in conjunction with the event. Library Day also features a free continental breakfast for attendees on the library’s front porch. The Summer Strummers, a folk group that traditionally plays the event, will return again this year with a songbook full of “old-time favorites.” They encourage the audience to sing along.

Kinnear expects many Chautauquans will attend, as well as area library professionals who are invited every year and receive a free pass to the Institution for the day.

“The staff at the library all hope they’re scheduled to work on Library Day,” Kinnear said. “Everyone loves it.”