SuperCroc ending stay at Gail Borden Library
By Janelle Walker For Sun-Times Media August 17, 2013 4:04PM
The large SuperCroc exhibit ends it run Sunday at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. | Sun-Times Media file photo
Updated: September 21, 2013 6:08AM
ELGIN — SuperCroc, the display of prehistoric African super-sized crocodiles, is slithering away after a nearly four-month stay at the Gail Borden Public Library.
The display, up since April 29, was taken down on Monday.
The 110 million-year-old African crocodile was discovered by University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno in the African desert in 1997 and 2000.
His company, Project Exploration, is the same organization that brought “Giants: African Dinosaurs” and Jobaria to Gail Borden in 2005.
In the 3 ½ months that the exhibit of the dinosaur-eating croc and its discovery has been at the library, it has not only brought in crowds to see the display — including a 60-foot-long skeleton replica — but also helped boost summer reading to new heights, said Denise Raleigh, director of marketing for the library.
A total of 2,320 people took official tours of the display, using 540 volunteer docent hours, and 555 volunteer greeter hours at the “base camp” display on the library’s second floor.
People from 17 states and five foreign countries — Ecuador, Belgium, Austria, Mexico and England — visited SuperCroc, too.
The most impressive counts, however, might be the increase in summer reading this year, Raleigh said.
“A Read on the Wild Side,” had total youth registration for summer reading of 9,399 — more than a 10 percent increase over 2012 numbers.
As of Aug. 15, 4,753 youth have reported finishing the summer reading program, too. That, Raleigh noted, is almost a 25 percent increase in the number of youth who reported finishing summer reading in 2012. Youth still have until Aug. 24 to finish, she noted.
The adult summer reading program, also open through Aug. 24, also wants those who registered to log those hours in, Raleigh said. Of the 100,000 hour community goal “We have logged 78,449 hours as a community,” she said.