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Local libraries combat summer boredom

Two Harbors children's librarian Amber Koenig reads the book "Friendshape" to a group of children Tuesday at the Two Harbors Public Library. (News-Chronicle photo by Adelle Whitefoot)1 / 4
After listen to a book about shapes, a group of children create their own pictures using the shape of a popsicle stick Tuesday at the Two Harbors Public Library. (News-Chronicle photo by Emily Sweatt)2 / 4
As part of the Storytime program at the Two Harbors Public Library, the children also make a craft. Shown is a child tracing a popsicle stick to create a picture Tuesday at the THPL. (News-Chronicle photo by Adelle Whitefoot)3 / 4
A group of children listen as Two Harbors Public Library children's librarian Amber Koenig reads a book Tuesday at the THPL. (News-Chronicle photo by Emily Sweatt)4 / 4

In small towns during the summer, young people can often find themselves bored. However, the Two Harbors and Silver Bay public libraries have come up with some solutions for this annual problem.

"We have a number of recurring programs that run every week, especially for kids. These programs include Summer Stories, Lego events, Read to Lucy the Whippet, and Kids' Movie Day," said Nicole Anderson of the Two Harbors Public Library.

Every summer, THPL has a reading program with a theme.

"Our summer reading programs for kids, teens and adults are currently running, and we provide additional incentives for patrons to read with prizes and the chance to win in a grand prize drawing," Anderson said. "We also have an all ages book group discussing a new book each month this summer. During the summer, we always try to have something for everyone."

THPL also has a group by the name of North Shore Poets and Writers. The group meets the second Wednesday of every month to read and critique each other's writing. Being a member of the group affords people many great opportunities, such as performing at open mic nights and working with radio staff to have their work read on the local radio station 99.5 FM KTWH-LP. The group meets year round, while other programs only last the summer.

The Silver Bay Public Library is using the same "Reading By Design" program as the THPL, with equally exciting events. They have a theme laid out each day, and have featured events like Building Creations, where children made things using Legos and Knex. They recently held a Simple Excavations: Rocks and Bones event, where children could imagine themselves as archeologists as they dug up rocks and gems. They learned how fossils are formed in sedimentary rock and were later able to create their own fossils in salt dough using plants and dinosaur toys.

"The goal is to get kids to come in and use the library and to log time spent or pages read in order to earn a reading incentive. They can have either a free ice cream ticket from Jimmy's Pizza or a book to take home with them at the end of the summer," said Julie Billings, SBPL librarian. "We're a pretty small library, we're one building, so it can get pretty loud, but people understand because it's nice to see kids enjoying the library."

At 1 p.m. on Tuesday, children who visit SBPL will be making stop motion animation creations. The theme that day will be cameras, with fun photo-booth props laid out for kids to use and take pictures of their friends with. On July 28, there will be a do-it-yourself fairy garden tutorial sponsored by the Silver Bay Marina, where volunteers will help kids create their own miniature worlds.

SBPL has three programs specifically for teens in grades 7-12, including a leather design and woodworking class and an exploring robotics program.

"It's actually harder to be in the teen program, because they have to read 200 pages or two hours for book incentives," Billings said.

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