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No slowing down in August for the library

This morning, as I was serving one of our patrons at the checkout desk, this person's comment to me was "So, August should be a slow month around here since the kids summer reading program is wrapping up and the Book Festival is over."

Well, as a general rule I don't like to argue with our patrons, but in this case, I was happy to point out that she was not quite correct. Here are just a few of the events and activities on tap at the Library for our "slow month," ahem, of August.

Our local author series "Bemidji Writes" continues at 7 p.m. Thursday with Jeanette Lukowski, the author of "Tarnished Dreams" and "Heart Scars." These books are her memoir of parenting a teen runaway and about tough love. I started to read "Heart Scars" this morning and was immediately captured by her honesty and ability to describe the pain and difficulties as well as healing that she and her family have gone through. The "author's note" at the beginning of the book sets the stage so well: "It's hard to share this story, but too many families live in silence. We shouldn't be ashamed of our strength -- or our survival." I recommend that you come to hear Jeanette talk about the stories that went into these memoirs, and also to hear her talk about her process of writing. I find her books to be well written and recommend you request them from the Library or buy books from her that evening.

Also mark your calendar for 7 p.m. Aug. 11, when Christina Baker Kline, the bestselling author of "Orphan Train," will give a presentation about this powerful book. Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from East Coast cities to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, "Orphan Train" is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances and unexpected friendship.

At noon Aug. 18, Bart and Ross Sutter will be giving a presentation at the Library "North Country Characters: Songs, Stories & Poems from the Land of 10,000 Lakes." Some of you may recall the great event when Ross was at the Library a year ago. This time, both of the Sutter Brothers will share with us the music, literature and culture of Minnesota. Refreshments will be served during the noon event at the Library and people are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch. The Sutter Brothers will also be at the Amphitheater at Lake Bemidji State Park at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 17 hosted by our friends and partners at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. The Sunday event is titled "Greet the Folks at Home: Songs & Poems with a Scandinavian Accent." While there will be some common threads throughout the two events, they will be different presentations and we encourage you to come to both. They are free and appropriate for all ages.

The library's annual book sale will be at the Armory from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 20-21. This is always a fun community event, and there will be something for everyone on our sales tables. From 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 19, members of the Friends of the Library are able to attend an early-bird sale. Registration to join the Friends for a modest fee can be done anytime at the Red Door Bookstore in the library, or that night at the Book Sale. Remember that your modest membership fee helps with all of the literacy projects they do in our community, and the donations they make to the library. And I absolutely have to give a huge expression of thanks to the volunteers from the Friends of the Library, the other Library volunteers and the workers from STS who labor all year long on sorting, packing and storing the thousands and thousands of donated books that go into the annual Book Sale.

Speaking of thanking people -- have you walked by the gardens in the front of and along the east side of the library? The gardens are absolutely stunning again this year, thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Bemidji Garden Club. Also note that Marcia Larson and the staff from the city of Bemidji Parks & Recreation Department did a great job installing the new bike rack close to the front doors.

The children's summer reading program officially ended this past week, but we hope that children will continue their reading throughout August as they get ready to return to school This summer, children again reported more reading than they did in previous years, and we are proud of their participation in our program. Incentive prizes should be picked up at the library by Aug. 20.

In addition to all the special events and services, our ongoing 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 next session for our monthly B.A.R.C. reading and literacy program for school-age children is 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 11. Call 751-3963 to make a reservation. Parent permission form required.

• Senior Surf computer training classes offered three times a month. Advance registration is required.

• Our monthly book discussion series next meets at noon Aug. 11 and 7 p.m. Aug. 12; sessions run for approximately an hour. The book for discussion is "The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion.

• Continuing through August, the Art Wall will feature artwork created by children that participated in the SummerKids program at the Bemidji School District in 2013.

• Keep your calendar clear for the weekend of Sept. 26-28 for a series of wonderful poetry events that will be featured in my September Library Corner column.

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 don't forget that we offer a range of downloadable materials from our web site at