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CHECK IT OUT: Library is a gift you open all year long

Winter reading program registration begins the week after Christmas.

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Jan Schilling chooses a Mr. Goodbar from the basket of chocolates Dec. 22, 2021, Day 1 of the Park Rapids Area Library's two-day "Jolabokaflod!" Christmas book event. Assisting her is library staff member Mary Schwartz. Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise.

Holiday greetings from all of us at the Park Rapids Area Library!

Just like Santa’s elves, we’ve been scurrying around and working behind the scenes all year to provide materials, services, and opportunities to area residents and visitors.

In August, we made the long-anticipated migration to a new computer system and catalog. Learning new things is hard, and the patience our patrons extended during those initial weeks was a gift.

If you haven’t yet explored our new online catalog, we recommend you give it a try. Log-in is simple. You can view your list of checked out items, renew items that are overdue and request more items for check out.

Besides the physical items available at our library, patrons have access to digital materials including e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines, even movies, music and television shows.

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In addition to Cloudlibrary (e-books and e-audiobooks) and Flipster (magazines), we now have streaming options through Hoopla. Come in and ask us about BingePass – a new way to maximize on the three Hoopla check-outs allowed per month on your library card.

We’re thrilled to be able to provide platforms for our patrons’ digital needs. But there’s no virtual substitute for an in-person visit to the library. Come see us and enjoy our Take and Make craft kits (for kids in the summer and adults in the winter), packaged snacks available in the youth and teen space, and our recently rearranged reading room complete with lush green plants. Use our internet, computers, wi-fi, copiers, scan to email, fax, read the local newspapers, and browse our collections of books, movies, music, and audiobooks.

Our annual Winter Reading Program for patrons ages 18 and up begins Jan. 1 and runs through February 28. Registration begins Dec. 27. You can choose the paper or online version.

Looking ahead, we are planning a return to in-person programs. Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m., we’ll host “Casita” at the Armory Arts and Events Center. Choreographed and directed by Susana di Palma of Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, it’s a poignant work inspired by the true stories of women experiencing homelessness.

We are hoping to host author Anton Treuer in March to discuss his latest book, “The Cultural Toolbox.”

Our library is a gift we get to open and use all year long. We are thankful to the city of Park Rapids, Hubbard County and many townships for their ongoing support.

If you would like to contribute to the continuation and success of our existing and future library programs, including author visits, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, maker space, community outreach, reading programs, etc., we are happy to accept your donation. Checks should be made payable to Park Rapids Area Library and delivered directly or mailed to us at 210 1st St. W., Park Rapids, MN 56470.

Happy Holidays to all! We’ll see you at the library!

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Jodi Schultz is the Park Rapids Area Library branch manager.

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