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Paul Ericsson: Busy as bees at the Bemidji library

June has historically been the busiest month of the year at the Bemidji Public Library, and this year holds great promise for the same.

Whether you are looking for e-books, e-audiobooks, movies on DVD, books on CD, magazines or regular ol’ book books, the wonderful staff at the library have something for everyone to borrow. And that is before we get to the great line-up of special events and activities.

The children’s summer reading program will begin June 10, with registration open to pre-K children through grade 12. The basic premise is simple — children should read a lot (or be read to for younger patrons) during the summer and keep track of how much time is spent reading.  

When children report their time spent reading, they are eligible for a weekly incentive prize. A new twist to the series will be the availability of optional online tools to track reading, signing up for the special “Tuesday @ 2:00” workshops, submitting online book reviews, and other engaging online features. For families that choose to not use the online tools, all of the reporting can still be done on paper charts and sign-ups by calling or visiting the library. We love to have you come in to talk with us about your reading.

Special events for families and children in June include a musical performance by Jack Pearson at 7 p.m. June 14, and a magic show by Robert and Lynn Halbrook a6 6 p.m. June 24.  Also in June will be a special magic show for teens at 7 p.m. June 25.

The next Poetry Slam for adults is June 17 at the American Legion.

A musical performance by Julie Johnson and the No-Accounts will be part of that event.

Poets are encouraged to sign up now for the slam. This event is free, open to all adults and is funded by the Legacy Amendment and local donors.  

The double-header Poetry Slam and musical event with Julie Johnson will be on the first day of the 2013 Bemidji Library Book Festival. During Book Festival week, June 17 – 22, the library will host presentations by a children’s book author daily at 10:30 a.m., and every afternoon there will be a creative writing or illustration workshop. Every evening, there will be an author of adult literature talking about their writing, with the evening events hosted at various venues in downtown Bemidji. The complete schedule is available at our web page,, and handouts are available at the library. Watch for a complete program insert in The Bemidji Pioneer during the week of June 10 and press releases for each of the individual events.

A special feature of the Book Festival will be the Area Author Showcase from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. June 20.

Following the Showcase, there will be presentations by mystery writers William Kent Krueger and Brian Freeman.

Both the Showcase, as well as “Evening With Mystery Writers,” will be held next door to the Library at Calvary Chapel.  There are a limited number of tables available for the Showcase, so we encourage area authors to contact the library right away (218) 751-3963.

“The Gift of Eagles,” a Geocaching Quest co-sponsored by the library and Lake Bemidji State Park will run through the summer at the park. There will be another introductory session at noon June 11 at the library, as well as other intro sessions available at the park. Free passes to the park are available at the Library and GPS devices are available for loan at the park.

In addition to all of the special events, our schedule of regular events includes:

— In June, we are back to our full schedule of weekly storytime events for 3-5 year olds on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. We will resume the weekly lapsit programs for 2-year-olds at 10:30 a.m. on June 6.

— The book for our June book discussion series will be “Holding Our World Together : Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community”  by Brenda Child. In addition, Child will also be at the Book Festival on June 18. In July, we will discuss “The Bone House” by Brian Freeman (also a Book Festival author).

— During summer, the monthly B.A.R.C. reading and literacy program for school-age children switches to Mondays, with the first session 10:30 a.m. to noon June 10. Please call 751-3963 to make a reservation. Parent permission form required.

— Senior Surf computer training classes will be from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. June 4 and June 18 and from 5 to 7 p.m. June 6. Advance registration 751-3963 required.

We hope to see you often in the library during the summer, checking out books for reading, movies for entertainment, and attending many of the free-of-charge, wonderful events.

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