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Paul Ericcson: Warm up with library programs

The cold days of winter are a wonderful time to enjoy the great schedule of special events and regular programs at the Bemidji Public Library.

Children will have a chance to take a step back in time during the Minnesota Time Travel series that has returned to the Bemidji Library. This Tuesday will be the third of the afterschool workshops for students in fourth through sixth grades. The final event in the series will be Feb.12.

Each session will run from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and be full of games, crafting, fun and learning. Topics for the last two weeks include Minnesota before it was Minnesota, and the growing tourist industry that put north-central Minnesota on the map. Space is limited, those planning to attend should call (218) 751-3963 to sign up for one or more events. Drop-ins are allowed only as space permits.

Mark your calendar for 7 p.m. Tuesday when poet Todd Boss returns for a poetry presentation, hosted at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. Todd had enthralled the audience at our 2011 Book Festival and we know that his next reading will do the same, so we encourage you to join us at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. The evening will include his poetry readings as well as a showing of some of his “motion poems”. This segment of the evening with Todd Boss is appropriate for all ages.

Following Todd Boss’ presentation and an intermission, we will host another Poetry Slam at 8 p.m. This competition is open to all Bemidji area poets. Contestants should prepare three readings, in case they make it all the way to the third round. The poems must be the original work of the presenter, may be in any style of poetry, and 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. Thanks to some private donors, there will be prize money for the top 3 finalists in the last round: $75 - $50 - $25. Poets may pre-register at the Library 751-3963. Poets may also sign up starting at 6:30 p.m. the night of the Slam for any available space left on the roster. The audience will want to know that the Poetry Slam event will likely contain adult content and will not be appropriate for children.

Our annual “Snow Time To Read” adult winter reading program runs through March 31 and it is not too late to sign up. To participate you do not need to change any of your reading habits – simply come to the library to register for the program and we will give you a log sheet to keep track of your reading (or listening to recorded books). There are incentive prizes and other fun events along the way for this adult reading program. We want to express our thanks to the Friends of the Library for providing generous funding every year for this program series.

Our monthly book discussion series is reading the current bestseller “The Light Between Oceans” by ML Stedman. I am about half way through the book, and I can easily say it is one of the most captivating books I’ve read in a long time. Our discussion series is offered at noon Monday and an alternate session at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Please note this month that the evening session is moving from Thursday to Tuesday.

While this past week we’ve had plenty of snow and deep freezing cold temperatures, the gardening season is not far away. To get us ready, author Harvey Buchite will present a program on Minnesota Peonies at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 23. Minnesota is known for its peonies around the world. Attendees at this event will learn a bit of Minnesota’s role in the history of peonies and the rich history of developing ever more hardy peonies. Then watch our schedule in March for announcements about the return of the popular gardening series hosted by the Friends of the Library and presented by the Beltrami County Master Gardeners.

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

-- B.A.R.C. reading and literacy program for school age children from 2-4 p.m. Feb. 16. Call to make a reservation. Parent permission form required.

--Senior Surf computer training classes 5-7 p.m. Thursday, and 8-10 a.m. Tuesday and Feb. 19. Advance registration is required.

We hope to see you often in the Library in 2013, checking out books for reading, movies for entertainment, and attending many of these free-of-charge wonderful events.


Paul Ericsson is the branch manager of the Bemidji Public Library