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Paul Ericsson: Something for everyone at the library

Continuing with our robust schedule of literary, cultural and history events, we have something for everyone in March and April.

There will be a creative songwriting workshop for sixth- through eighth-grade children from 12:30-3:00 p.m. Saturday.  Songwriter Paul Spring will lead the workshop. This is the second event in the “Story and Song” series, and we know from the first event that something special happens at this creative songwriting workshop.

Musical training is not required (Paul will write the music), the children will create the lyrics for the song based on their stories. Then following a break, from 4-5 p.m., Spring will give a free concert for the community and appropriate for all ages, which will include the piece the children create during the writing workshop.

Both the workshop and the concert for the public will be held at Headwaters School of Music. Middle school age children must pre-register at the library for the workshop.  The final event in the series for high school age students with singer/songwriter Larry Long will be April 20.

American icon and poet Emily Dickinson will visit the library at 10:30 a.m. March 20. Actually, it won’t really be Ms. Dickinson, but she will be portrayed by Rhoda Jackson, who has studied her work in depth and has provided this historical and poetic presentation to many audiences. This event will be appropriate for all ages.

Our annual “Snow Time To Read” adult winter reading program runs through March 31 and it is never too late to sign up. To participate you do not need to change any of your reading habits – simply come to the library to register for the program and we will give you a log sheet to keep track of your reading (or listening to recorded books). Those who read 15 books or more between Jan. 1 and March 31 are eligible for prizes.

The Winter Reading Program finale event will be part of a double-header afternoon at the Library. At 4 p.m. April 6, we will host a raffle for the additional prizes for those that reach the 15 book goal, and distribute the other final prizes. Following this brief awards event, we will host Minnesota author Chad Lewis, who will give a presentation about his book “Minnesota’s Gangster Past – Land of 10,000 Crimes.” This will be a humorous yet fact filled presentation about Minnesota history. We want to express deep thanks to the Friends of the Library for providing generous funding every year for this program series.

Our monthly book discussion series is reading “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Our discussion sessions are offered at noon March 4 and an alternate session at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The great turnout at last month’s presentation about peonies tells me that I am not the only one with an itch to get my garden started. We will help you satisfy that itch with the return of the popular gardening series hosted by the Friends of the Library and presented by the Beltrami County Master Gardeners.

At noon March 28, Master Gardener Candy Barthel will give a presentation on “Growing Sweet Corn in the Home Garden.” Other events in the series will be at noon on April 11, April 25, May 9 and May 23.

We know that many people look to the library to provide the community with paper tax forms, and we are happy to put the effort and space in providing the government forms as a courtesy to the community. This year has been especially frustrating for many due to the late changes to the tax code. We actually ordered the paper forms back in the fall, but some still have not arrived. Please be assured the library gets these out on the shelves as soon as we receive them. Library staff is not trained or able to provide tax assistance, but there are several places in the community such as the Senior Center and the VITA program at BSU.

In addition to all these special events, our regular monthly events include:

— B.A.R.C. reading and literacy program for school age children from 2-4 p.m. March 16. Please call 751-3963 to make a reservation. Parent permission form required.

— Senior Surf computer training classes from 8-10 a.m. Tuesday and March 19, and from 5-7 p.m. Thursday. Advance registration 751-3963 required.

We hope to see you often in the library in 2013.

Paul Ericsson is the branch manager of the Bemidji Public Library.