Keeping The Library Colorful

Kelly Moore presents her art to students at Elihu Library

Alonso Velasquez

Each week as students walk through the lobby of the Elihu Burritt Library at Central Connecticut State University, they are greeted by a different whimsical portrait of a pop-culture or historical icon drawn on a whiteboard.

Every drawing, from Sonic’s Big the Cat to the kids from Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” are courtesy of CCSU librarian worker and student, Kelly Moore.

“Half of the time the drawing depends on what the library events are. A couple of weeks ago, it was Teddy Roosevelt because we were having an event about him- so I had to do him. Otherwise I tend to draw inspiration from whatever game I’m playing at the time, so when [The legend of Zelda’s] ‘Breath of the Wild’ came out over spring break, I said ‘I’ll draw Link,’ and recently I’ve been playing ‘Sonic Adventure,’ so I drew Big the Cat,” said Moore.

During elementary school, Moore was interested in Pokémon and the artwork of Ken Sugimori, which sparked her interest as well.

“I remembered I would order posters and Pokémon cards just so I could have the pictures, I didn’t even play the card game, I just really liked the pictures and the cards, so I tried to collect them all and sort them by the artist,” said Moore, who has been working at the library for over a year and a half.

Moore is planning on transferring to Southern Connecticut State University in the fall semester to pursue a Master’s degree in library sciences, and wants to either be a children’s or music librarian.

The book series “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” inspired her to enter this profession, explained Moore.

“I’ve started reading the books when I was in fifth grade, and it was my favorite series of all time, I reread it every year. I love the amount of care that Lemony Snicket put into every word he wrote. And it’s funny, because drawing and reading, Lemony Snicket is my biggest writing influence and Brett Helquist [the book’s illustrator] is my biggest drawing influence. There are a lot of librarian characters always presented as positive role models. So I decided I wanted to be like Uncle Monty [a character from book],” said Moore, who explained how she began drawing on the whiteboard for the library.

“It was a couple of months into working here, I remember we had an ice cream social event and the person who used to draw the board, wasn’t there and I guess they left. Another person was working less often, so someone asked me if I wanted to try doing it, so I did, and I wrote all the letters in ice cream. After that, I started to draw on a regular basis. I used to draw it with Guillermo Novo, who also worked here, but unfortunately our schedules haven’t been able to match up and he really hasn’t been available on the day we need new boards. So I do them by myself now,” said Moore.

The previous artist had a more black and white style, whereas Kelly is more colorful. “I try to related it to things that are more popular, because I also work with kids in my town library and we do the board there too. I did Olaf from “Frozen,” and I don’t like “Frozen,” but the kids loved it, so I said, ‘I’ll figure I’ll try to do the same sort of thing with college students,'” said Moore. “I definitely want to make people happy and welcomed and feel like it’s a real inclusive environment here.”