Libraries ready to mark big week

WINNEBAGO – Libraries in Faribault and Martin counties are planning activities in observance of National Library Week today through April 18.

This year’s theme is “Lives Change at Your Library,” said Heidi Schutt, director of the Muir Library in Winnebago.

The week will kick off today with Doug Ohman visiting the Martin County Library in Fairmont at 4 p.m. and the Muir at 7 p.m. with his photography.

“He’s been commissioned from different organizations to take pictures all around the state,” Schutt said.

Ohman has a vast collection of photographs and compiled them into numerous books. The subjects include libraries, barns, churches, schools, cabins and others.

“He’s actually doing ‘Barns of Minnesota’ for us,” said Jenny Trushenski, director of the Martin County Library.

“We’re going to have the library program,” Schutt said.

She will be busy all week.

On Friday, the Muir will host the final Adult After Hours event of the season from 7-9 p.m. with games, puzzles and treats.

“That means winter’s done because we only have them in winter,” Schutt said.

The Blue Earth Community Library will have a popcorn machine and hand out free popcorn, said Eva Gaydon, director.

Blue Earth also will have a Facebook promotion all week for folks to share stories about reading, such as a favorite school librarian, or someone who got them interested in reading or who told them about a great book, Gaydon said.

Saturday will be National Drop Everything and Read Day. Beginning at 11 a.m., Schutt will be available at the Muir to read stories to families.

“Usually, I pick the books, but the kids who come in Saturday, I’ll let them pick the book off the shelf,” she said.

“I’m inviting families to come in and read,” Schutt said. “We’ll be getting donuts from Casey’s. It’ll be a fun morning, I think.”

April 16 is Family Story and Craft Time at 7 p.m., and Schutt has a novel idea.

“We are going to make our own book,” she said.

Attendees can make a page with a partner and Schutt plans to scan each page into a computer program to create a hardcover book.

“The book will be available for people to read when they come to the library,” she said.

Friends of the Muir will be hard at work with the New Book Sale, Window of Wishes and membership drive, all of which begin today.

For the New Book Sale, people buy a new book, take it home to read, then bring it back as a donation.

“We put it on the shelf for other people to check out,” Schutt said.

Window of Wishes includes tags listing items such as tissues, crayons and magazine subscriptions that people can buy and donate to the Muir.

Of course, the Friends are always looking for members. The annual membership fee is just $5.

“Pretty good deal when you think of all the good things the Friends do for the library,” Schutt said.

The directors want everyone to remember the libraries exist to offer services, help and, above all, reading material year-round.

“We are open our regular hours and always happy to have people come in,” Trushenski said.

“It’s going to be a busy week, but fun and worthwhile,” Schutt said. “It’s not a lot of work when you’re really excited about it. This is one of my favorite weeks of the year.”