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Paul Ericsson: After the festival, fun continues at Library

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BEMIDJI — The summer is off to a great start at the Bemidji Public Library. The 2013 Book Festival was a resounding success, but our summer certainly does not end there.

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The children’s summer reading program “Dig Into Reading” is well under way, with registration still open to pre-K children through grade 12. The basic premise is simple — children should read a lot (or young ones should be read to) during the summer and keep track of how much time is spent reading. When children report their time, they are eligible for a weekly prize. A new twist to the series is 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.

The Bemidji Public Library will host two magic shows next week — 6 p.m. Monday, “Professor Marvel’s Amazing Archeological Adventure” will be presented as part of the “Dig Into Reading” program series. Professor Marvel will lead a quest where kids learn that every time they open a book, they become part of an amazing adventure. This event is suitable for all ages.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, “Vampires, Witches & Ghosts” will provide a spooky and interactive entertainment experience for teens and for adults. “Vampires, Witches & Ghosts” introduces its guests to a variety of books authored by topical and classical writers; authors such as Elizabeth Kostova, Chad Lewis, Deborah Harkness and many others. Magicians Robert & Lynn, who entertain the Bemidji crowd every summer, will return for this pair of summer magic shows.

The Tuesday@2:00 programs for school-age children are hands-on events. On Tuesday, we will “Dig into the Garden” as master gardener Lois Jenkins will be visiting the library and teaching us about gardening. This program is intended for children in grades K-2. Other Tuesday@2 events include: July 2, “Come and Build with Home Depot” (grades 3-5); July 9, “Learn About Fairy Houses” (grades K-3); July 16, “Explore the Deep with Dan from Dive Depot” (grades 4-6); July 23, “Rocks and Minerals with the Science Center” (grades 2-4); July 30, “Learn About Archeology” (grades K-3). Programs for teens include “Black Out Poetry” on June 26 at 2 p.m.; “Craft This! Travel Case” on June 27, 2 p.m and other teen workshops in the “Craft This!” series. It is best to call the Library at 751-3963 or register online as drop-ins are allowed at workshops only as space permits.

The library will host a creative songwriting workshop from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Friday.  The workshop is multi-generational for adults and for students in grades 3 and older. Please pre-register. Following the workshop, at 4 p.m., there will be a concert open to the public and suitable for all ages. Both events take place at the Diamond Point Park Pavilion and are held in partnership with the city of Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department. The workshop will be lead by singer-songwriter Paul Spring and will challenge the group to tap their creativity as they work together to turn stories into song. Musical training is not required

“The Gift of Eagles” a geo-caching event co-sponsored by the library and Lake Bemidji State Park will run through summer out at the Park. If you are not familiar with how to use a GPS device, there are introductory sessions available at the State Park and the  Geocaching Quest is a great way to practice your skills. Free passes to the State Park are available at the library and GPS devices are available on loan at the State Park.

In addition these free special events, our schedule of regular events includes:

— Weekly storytime events for 3 to 5-year-olds on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., with the weekly lapsit programs for 2-year-olds at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays.

— The book for our July book discussion series will be “Bone House” by Brian Freeman, who also spoke at the Book Festival. In August, we will discuss “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg.

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

— Senior Surf computer training classes continue in July. Advance registration at 751-3963 required.

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

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