Mural is from teen Summer Reading Program

The good works of the Shawnee Public Library’s Summer Reading Program live on through the knowledge gained by children and teens who participate, but also through a series of projects that by local teens that keeps adding to the look inside the library.


More than 60 participants in the project, local dignitaries, members of the Junior Service League of Shawnee and interested local residents, gathered for the unveiling of a new mural for the lobby of the library on Tuesday, Sept. 2.


This year’s mural, titled “A Book is Like a Magic Carpet Ride of the Imagination,” was designed by Julie Blackstone, Assistant Professor of Art at Oklahoma Baptist University, who then guided teens during a daylong program this summer in putting together the actual mural.


This is the fourth year teens at the library have undertaken such a project. Past mural projects, which also featured Blackstone’s guidance, now permanently hang in the lobby, the library meeting rooms and the children’s department.


“This was an all-day project the teens worked really hard on, and is such a great addition to the lobby,” said Mary Sims, Teen Librarian. “We are thrilled to have it.”


A big part of making the project happen was the funding help from the Junior Service League of Shawnee, who have aided each of the four recent summer projects.


“We are so grateful for the Junior Service League of Shawnee,” said Karen Bays, Branch Manager of the library. “We would not be able to create this project without their support.”


Among the attendees at the event were Shawnee City Manager Brian McDougal, State Sen. Ron Sharp and State Rep. Justin Wood, each of whom represent Shawnee in the Oklahoma State Legislature.


Sharp and Wood did the actual unveiling, pulling down paper covering the mural to applause from the gathering.

“About the only artistic ability I have it to draw flies,” Sen. Sharp joked. “I’m very impressed with the work here.”


Added Rep. Wood: “I grew up going to this library, I now have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old who I bring to this library. I’m proud of what’s being done here.”


For more information on any of the programs and services offered at the library, call 275-6353 or go online to