Star Michaelina makes a dog out of a balloon during a special summer reading kick-off program. The dog would get popped, but later reappear!  PHOTO BY ANTON ADAMEK/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Star Michaelina makes a dog out of a balloon during a special summer reading kick-off program. The dog would get popped, but later reappear! PHOTO BY ANTON ADAMEK/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Kids will have no excuses to be bored this summer if the Lanesboro Public Library has anything to say about it. The library will play host to several programs for school-age children June 3 to July 31 through its summer reading program, "Dig Into Reading."

Librarian Tara Johnson is looking forward to seeing the influx of younger kids at the library. "There is a definite increase. We double our circulations this time of year because the school kids are out," she shared.

Getting kids to continue reading throughout the summer is the mission of any library like Lanesboro's. "It's great to see kids finding books they are interested in," Johnson said.

In order to keep them coming in, the library is utilizing its partnership with SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) to bring in entertaining and educational activities.

The first event occurred on June 3 when magician Star Michaelina arrived to inspire kids to dig into their favorite books with several magic tricks.

On June 11, at 3 p.m., balloon artist Daniel Poe will be paying a visit to the library with "A Totally Twisted Library Show." The show will combine his signature balloon art, storytelling and also allow kids to show off their acting skills while wearing balloon costumes.

There will be a Readapalooza with local author Nancy Huisenga on June 17 at 6 p.m. Huisenga will be presenting her new book, "Does A Zebra Know It's Striped?"

On July 10, at 5 p.m., a Mad Science program will allow kids to participate in experiments relating to earthquakes, volcanoes, underground creatures and stalagmites.

The following Monday, July 15, at 6 p.m., artist Judy Ostrowski will be showing the ancient art of Mehndi Moon Henna Body Art, which is present in various cultures.

July 22 at 6 p.m. will have musician Pop Wagner playing folk music on his fiddle, banjo, harmonica, guitar, or any other instrument he might have with him. He will talk about folk music and also ask audience members to sing along with him.

The final event will be on July 29 at 6 p.m. when the Book Swap takes place. In its second year, kids will again be allowed to bring a gently-used book from home to trade for another book. Kids will be allowed to bring books before July 29 and receive a coupon to use at the Book Swap.

Throughout the next two months, each Tuesday morning will have Dig Into Reading Storytime with a volunteer reading a selected book. All readings begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Rose H. Bell Room at the library. The story times are aimed to preschool children, but anyone is welcome.

The summer reading program is open to children 13 and under and it doesn't matter if they read on their own or have a parent/caregiver read to them. When there aren't programs going on, kids are encouraged to check out and read books throughout the week. If they do this every week, they can earn a small prize and get entered into a grand prize drawing.

"It's important to keep kids reading," explained Johnson. "It's a good way to expose kids to different ideas and stories. I think everyone should enjoy reading."

For those kids or parent with kids who still haven't made it to their library or who don't make it very often, the summer is a great time to start.