July 24th Newspaper Column

One of the many things I love about working in a library is the daily opportunity to learn new things. As I’m typing this on Monday morning, a room full of kids and grownups are meeting a screech owl named Eula and learning tons of other Wisconsin wildlife facts. Every day I receive notices about amazing new books and DVDs that are available for the library to purchase, so many of which sound good that I have no hope, ever, of catching up on them all. Program ideas get batted around among the staff members or in online discussions, and most sound brilliant. But the best insights for me seem to come from the young people who come to the library and ask (as children do) about EVERYTHING. No need for online brain-building games here – just trying to keep up with the kids helps us stay sharp.

One of the ways our young friends are keeping sharp this summer is by participating in one or more of our reading programs. Participation is about to pay off in a big way for a couple of lucky readers, as we have a four-pack of tickets to the Packers Family Night football game and an autographed football to give away. The drawing will be held at noon on July 31st. One entry per reading program participant, please.

A couple of bigger learning opportunities come our way this week. Tonight (Thursday, July 24th) we welcome the Science Alliance for a hands-on, fast-paced, family-friendly program called “Close Encounters of the Chemical Kind.” Last time they were here everyone got the chance to make a bouncy ball and take it home with them. I can’t wait to see what all we make this time. “Close Encounters…” begins at 6:30 p.m.

Next Monday morning a nationally renown (and Wisconsin based) singer, author, and story teller comes to the library for a special program of songs and stories. Stuart Stotts travels all over, connecting with audiences of all ages through the power of story and song. We are thrilled that he had time in his schedule to visit Green Lake this summer. Stuart’s concert begins at 10:00 and is open to everyone.

Then on Tuesday night, July 29th, we host another speaker in our series on the Great Lakes. This time it’s Moira Harrington from the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Sea Grant Institute. The Sea Grant Institute is on the front lines of research on Great Lakes ecology. We are very happy to welcome Moira to Green Lake for a 6:30 presentation.