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Paul Ericsson: Concert will look back at the ’60s

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I’ve always felt blessed to have been born in the 50’s and raised in the 60’s. And I suspect most people also look with pride to the decade that they lived during their formative years.

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At the time I lived in Connecticut and was able to attend the 1964 New York World’s Fair. That was an educational experience of a lifetime.

Our country and our culture was going through enormous changes in the 60’s and there were so many landmark events. Many of these landmark events were captured in our popular music. Songs like “Abraham, Martin and John,” which gave tribute to four assassinated American leaders, three of whom (Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy) were killed during the 60’s. Our music was wide and varied, from doo-wop to Motown, from bubblegum to heavy metal, with pop rock, beat, psychedelic rock, blues rock and folk rock to name only a few more styles of music.

At 7 p.m. Nov. 17, we will host a concert featuring the music of the 1960s. This multi-media show, “Tiptoe Through the 60’s” features pianist Dan Choinard and vocalist Prudence Johnson. They will present music, photos, history and dialogue to walk us through the ’60s. This very special evening of music will be held in the Bemidji High School Auditorium, with fabulous acoustics and seating. You can stop in the Library or the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts for free advance tickets. Free tickets will also be available at the door as space permits.

This free program is another in the amazing line-up of programs being presented around the state through the Legacy Amendment approved by the voters of Minnesota.

Our new eBooks service is off to a good start. In fact, it is so popular, the one complaint we do receive is that there are not enough eBooks available for immediate checkout. To that end, the KRL Board has recently approved an additional $10,000 to be spent on e-books in 2012. So be sure to go to our web site KRLS.ORG and follow links to downloadable books.

Here are other special events coming up at the library in the next few weeks:

-- “The Truth in Historical Fiction : An Evening with Author William Durbin” will be from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Thursday. The two-time Minnesota Book Award winner will share archival photos from the topics he’s researched, including homesteading, the fur trade, logging, immigration and labor history, life in Stalinist Russia, overcoming a disability, and the politics of war. Durbin also will answer questions on the writing process and research. Some of his historical novels include “The Winter War,” “El Lector” (recently optioned for film), “The Broken Blade” (Minnesota Book Award) and “The Darkest Evening” (Minnesota Book Award). This program is free and appropriate for adults, teens and children ages 10 and up. Refreshments will be served. This event is co-sponsored with Schoolcraft School.

-- There will be two more after-school programs for kids this fall, focusing on the important theme “REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE”. Games, art, crafts, and of course reading will all be featured. The programs will be from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursdays. There’s limited seating for each session so pre-registration is suggested. Call 751-3963 and if there’s space available, drop-ins will be accommodated. There is no charge, the series is funded through the State of Minnesota Legacy Amendment. The series is presented by Happy Dancing Turtle, an educational organization from Pine River.

-- Children’s author Alison McGhee will be at the library at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 14. Alison McGhee is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a New York Times bestselling author. She writes for all ages and in all forms, from poetry and stories to novels and picture books and essays, and her books are popular with critics and readers alike. During this library visit, she will talk about her writing and read from one of her picture books. She will finish the program with a question and answer period. Adults and young children will find this event to be enjoyable and informative.

-- The Fathers Reading Every Day (F.R.E.D.) series will return on Saturdays with sessions Nov. 17, Dec. 1 and Jan. 12. These special story-time sessions are an opportunity for dads to attend with their preschool child. Children will enjoy a snack and craft project, as well as hearing some seasonal books read. Dads will find rewarding the information that is presented about the importance of fathers participating in literacy in the home. All children receive a free book. Advance registration is encouraged for limited seating, and drop-ins will be welcome as space permits.

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PAUL ERICSSON is branch manager at the Bemidji Public Libary.

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