Introducing Exhibits at the Joliet Public Library featuring Star Wars Dolls

The Joliet Public Library is proud to be able to host new traveling exhibits at our Ottawa Street Branch. This month will feature a collection of Star Wars dolls in homemade clothing from Star Wars enthusiast, Kathy van Beuningen.


“Thanks to support from sponsorships and grants, we are able to offer exciting exhibits in our new space downtown at no charge to our community,” said Executive Director of the Joliet Public Library, Megan Millen. “The Star Wars Dolls collection is our first, and we are so happy to display these amazing dolls and costumes leading up to Star Wars Day on Saturday, June 3.” 


Van Beuningen is a member of the 501st Legion and researches, designs, drafts and builds the costumes for her dolls.


“I have been exploring the limitless possibilities of my imagination, inspired by George Lucas’s Star Wars stories as a vehicle, to transport me to a Galaxy far, far away,” said Van Beuningen. “I hope to inspire and encourage creativity in others through my creations.”


Van Beuningen builds her doll characters out of mostly repurposed materials and uses 18 inch ‘American Girl’ type dolls.


“I have found many of the dolls that I use to build these costumes at local resale stores,” said Van Beuningen. “They too now have a second-life as characters in my Star Wars universe.”


There are currently about 40 dolls in various character costumes on display in the lower level of the Ottawa Street Branch of the library. They can be viewed until June 5, 2023. The library’s annual Star Wars Day event will take place June 3, 2023 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in downtown Joliet.


Since the Library’s downtown remodel in 2022, Special Projects Coordinator, Val Devine, has been lining up an exhibition schedule. Following the dolls exhibit, the library will host The Questioneers an interactive learning exhibit for children from the DuPage Children’s Museum, based on the book series of the same name. For more information and to see the full schedule of upcoming exhibits please visit:


The Joliet Public Library is a resource for the Joliet community to read, explore, ask and discover. For more information, visit or call 815-740-2660. Library hours are Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00-5:00 p.m.