Central Library Serves Up a Hunka-Hunka Birthday Bash


(Friday, January 12, 2007 10:44 AM EST)

Elvis is in the building - at Central Library!

To celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the birth of the King of Rock on Jan. 8, a life-size cardboard cut-out of the pop icon (complete with gold lamé suit and birthday hat) was prominently displayed in the library's lobby, along with an Elvis-themed book display.

“I like pop culture, and I thought this would be fun,” said Diane Kresh, the county government's director of libraries and a long-time Elvis fan. “It celebrates not just someone who is famous, but also an age. He can speak to so many people on so many different levels.”

The library system also has a section of its Web site dedicated to Presley, including short samples of his songs and links to many other informative Elvis sites.

Kresh, who became library director last year, said she likes having displays of this nature because she wants to make people feel at home at the library. The library strives to create a fun, comfortable coffee-shop atmosphere, she said.

“People should come in and see an extension of who they are,” Kresh said. “I wear jeans and a jean jacket to work, because that's who I am.”

Recently, Central Library commemorated the lives of former President Gerald Ford and singer James Brown, who each died in December.

The Presley birthday bash is in its infancy. Next year, Kresh hopes to expand the celebration even more, with Elvis look-alikes and karaoke.

“We have a great auditorium. The sky's the limit,” she said. “We like that the community is interested in what we're doing. Hopefully, next year, many Elvises will be in the building.”

For those interested in listening to some Elvis tunes, check out the favorites of some of the library staff members:

* Kresh: “Return To Sender.”

* Jason Rodgers, reference librarian: “Suspicious Minds” and “In the Ghetto.”

* Carmen Leon, library clerk: “Hound Dog.”

* Julia Karell, youth services librarian: “Jailhouse Rock”

* David Bishop, reference librarian: “Suspicious Minds”

* Debbie Clayson, library assistant: “Jailhouse Rock.”

* Judy Knudsen, Virginia Room manager: “Love Me Tender.”

* John Stanton, library assistant: “Suspicious Minds.”

* Kevin Dauray, office aide library assistant: “Love Me Tender,” “One Night” and “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.”

* John Conroy, library assistant: “Heartbreak Hotel.”

* Vicky McCaffrey, library assistant: “Suspicious Minds.”

Libraries director Diane Kresh stands in front of an Elvis cut-out that was displayed at Central Library.
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)

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