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Paul Ericsson: Santa will be coming to the Bemidji Library this month

We’ve had an exciting fall season of programs at the Bemidji Public Library. And as we head into the winter holidays, there are a few more events to enjoy in 2013.

On Dec 7., at 10:30 in the morning and again at 1 p.m., Santa Claus will visit and provide a special hour-long storytime. It is always rewarding for children to see and hear this literary side of Santa.

Parents and grandparents will also want to bring along their cameras and capture those special moments when children will be able to sit with Santa and talk with him about their dreams for the holidays.

Plans are under way for a family friendly New Years Eve in downtown Bemidji. The library is informally partnering with the Headwaters Science Center, Glazed and Amused, Bemidji Parks and Recreation, Harmony Co-op and an ecumenical faith group to offer a schedule of activities for the day and early evening.

The idea is simple — come downtown, park once, and travel from location to location, enjoying the fun and treats along the way.

Take in all of the events, or take in a few, or maybe just one — it is up to you.

On Dec. 31, we will be hosting a storytime for pre-school children at 10:30 a.m., along with a craft activity for elementary school age children from 2 to 4 p.m.

And also at 4 p.m. the library hosts a magic show for all ages with our favorite magicians, Robert & Lynn Halbrook.

There will be many other events in downtown Bemidji throughout the day and early evening so watch the library’s website, upcoming press releases and fliers in area stores for a complete schedule.

Poetry slam

We want to say congratulations to the winners at our Poetry Slam on Nov. 21. With very tight scoring — indicating the quality of all the poets presentations — Julia Oxenreider took first place honors, Charles Pulkrabek, second place and Alyssa Hale, third place. Special thanks to Stacy Truedson who provided wonderful music on the keyboard, and thanks to the American Legion for hosting the event.

We will have three more Poetry Slam events through June 2014.

As we keep an ear open to your suggestions — at least one of the upcoming poetry events will be “family friendly” and appropriate for all ages.

Board openings

There are two openings on the Bemidji Library Board, with applications due at City Hall by Dec. 16. Library Board members should be regular in their attendance at board meetings, which are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. for approximately an hour and half.

Library Board members are also expected to regularly use the library and be familiar with our services, participate in some of the Legacy and special events and help to promote the library’s services to the community.

Upcoming series

Looking ahead to 2014, in partnership with the Beltrami County History Center, we have scheduled a series featuring the biographies of people who had an influence on our area’s history.

The series will run for four weeks on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. starting Jan. 16.

Elaine Fleming will talk about Shaynowishkung/Chief Bemidji and native culture, John Eggers will talk about Giacomo Beltrami and exploration, Barry Babcock will discuss George Bonga and fur trading and Cecelia McKeig will talk about Charles Scrutchin and early Bemidji.

These events are funded by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment and appropriate for all ages.

The planning is also going well for the new Legacy series the library will offer in 2014, which will focus on authors from Bemidji and the surrounding area.

Our final planning meeting is 4 p.m. Dec. 3 in the library’s front meeting room.

The January Library Corner column and our website will soon have details about how area authors can submit their work for consideration in the series as well as the schedule of events.

Regular events

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

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

We will take a week break starting Dec. 23 and resume our regular schedule Dec. 31.

● The next session for our monthly B.A.R.C. reading and literacy program for school-age children is on 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 21.

Please call 751-3963 to make a reservation. Parent permission form required.

● Senior Surf computer training classes are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday and Dec. 17 and also 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5. Advance registration is required.

● Our monthly book discussion series will read “The Happiness Project: or, why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun” written by Gretchen Rubin.

We will discuss this book at noon Jan. 6 and at 7 p.m. Jan. 7.

The subtitle of this book caught our attention and we are hoping it will catch yours too as we all think about New Year’s resolutions.

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

And do not forget that we offer a range of downloadable materials from our website,

PAUL ERICSSON is the Branch Manager of the Bemidji Public Library Bemidji.