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Paul Ericsson's Library Corner: Library heads into holiday season with Poetry Slam

As we head into the holiday season, there are many special events and a full schedule of our regular library programs for all ages to enjoy.

 On Tuesday, the Bemidji Public Library will host another Poetry Slam – this time we will hold the event in the downstairs room of The Keg and Cork restaurant, 310 Beltrami Ave. NW. The audience is open to everyone who enjoys good poetry. Poets interested in reading their work should pre-register at the Bemidji Library by calling 751-3963. There are limited spaces on the roster for presenters. Poets may also sign up at the Keg and Cork the night of the event starting at 6:30 p.m. if there are still spaces available on the roster. Contestants should prepare three readings (in case they make it all the way to the third round) of original poetry in any style, each reading limited to three minutes or less. Five judges will score each poet on a 1-10 scale, weighted 50 percent on content and 50 percent on the performance of the work.

 Prize money will be given to the top three finalists in the last round. Music will also be provided at the event by Gwenfrewi Burger on cello. We hope to bring in a large audience to cheer on our local poets.

 Santa Claus will visit the Library and provide a special hour-long storytime event at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. 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 also be able to sit with Santa and talk with him about their dreams for the holidays. The library provides four regular storytime events for 3-5-year-olds at 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

 At 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, we offer a “lap sit” storytime, designed for 2-yearolds with a slightly shorter reading time and a simpler craft activity. The weekly themes in December include “Christmas Giant,” “Jingle Bells” (it won’t be too quiet in the Library on those days) and “Snowmen All Year.”

 Our last storytime for 2012 will be at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 22. We will pick up again with the regular storytime schedule Jan. 2.

 You will definitely want to swing by the library for our concert at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8. The Everett Smithson Band will play an interesting variety of music as well as standards that have a unique spin on them and many delightful originals. This five-person band aims to get you hoppin’ and you can count on the band to create a party atmosphere (yes, even in the library). The Everett Smithson Band will bring us their unique blend of New Orleans/French Quarter music along with some Zydeco, Blues, Rockin Roots, Hillbilly Hoedowns, gospel and more. Please note the unique start time for this event and know that we will be open later that day until all have had their fill of this fun musical event.

 Other December events include the Taste of Travel lunchtime series Dec. 13 with the topic on Africa, our regular rotation of Senior Surf computer training (really is open to any age), the B.A.R.C. literacy series for young readers Dec. 15 and our monthly book discussion. Go to our web site for a full calendar of library events or pick up a printed copy on our main service desk.

 And speaking of refreshments, it is our tradition for the library staff, the library board and the Friends of the Bemidji Public Library to share some goodies with you during the holiday season.

 Take a break from your holiday shopping Dec. 15 and come by the library for refreshments. It is our way of thanking you for all of your support during this past year.

 We hope to see you often in the library during this holiday season, checking out books for reading, movies for entertainment, and attending many of these free-ofcharge wonderful events.

PAUL ERICSSON is branch manager at the Bemidji Public Library