April 10, 2019 2:04 PM
Dane Lisser

MU Festival honors National Library Week

The International Edible Book Festival is an annual event normally held on or around April 1. The global event has been celebrated since 2000 in various parts of the world, where "edible books" are created, displayed and small events are held. The creations are photographed and then consumed.

Millikin University's Staley Library is no stranger to hosting its own version of the Edible Book Festival. This year's festival, the 9th annual, was hosted on Tuesday, April 9 in the Doug and Diane Oberhelman Center for Leadership Performance in the University Commons.

Millikin Edible Book Festival

The festival featured a vast array of food-based creations centered on literary works and characters. Guests were able to vote for their favorite edible creation while awards were given out for entries that were the Most Edible, Most Creative, Best Team, Best Solo Entry and the Punniest.

Even though the festival was hosted after April 1, the Staley Library choose to host it during National Library Week (April 7-13) – a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support.

Millikin Edible Book Festival

"This event is for National Library Week, and during this time we encourage our students, faculty and staff as well as community members to participate," said Nancy Weichert, research and instructional librarian at Millikin. "We encourage them to create a rendition of one of their favorite books."

The Staley Library held its first Edible Book Festival in 2009. Over the years, entries have come from Millikin students, faculty and staff, but have also been submitted by teams from Richland Community College, Garfield Montessori, Decatur Christian School and Okaw Valley High School.

Millikin Edible Book Festival

This year's event saw 10 entries, including a 3-D version of Captain Underpants created by Millikin student Emily Ratchford, a senior nursing major from Saint Peters, Mo. Ratchford's display was named Favorite Individual Entry.

An entry for "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," by Emily Lopez, a sophomore biology major from Chicago, and Justin Gionet, a sophomore athletic training major from Saint Charles, Mo., was awarded Most Edible. The Favorite Team Entry was awarded to "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" created by Victoria Echevarria, a sophomore human services major from Chicago, and Joselynn Ali, a sophomore political science major from South Holland, Ill. Most Creative was awarded to "Pet Semetary" created by Millikin's Writing Center and the Punniest Entry was given to "Cereal Killers" created by Marsha Leach, circulation specialist at Millikin.

The festival also featured an entry called "Roulette Pizza," a Sloan's Calzones pizza that included sausage on one slice that had been filled with hot sauce. The person who "found" the slice of pizza won a gift card to Sloan's.

"The library has done this for several years, and most of us library workers do participate," Leach said in a recent interview with the Herald & Review. "As soon as we finish one year, we start thinking about our next one."