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CHECK IT OUT COLUMN: Library offering Snow Time to Read program and more

With the frantic pace of the holiday season behind us, we settle into the rest of a Minnesota winter. If you're looking for ways to pass the time, Park Rapids Area Library has you covered!

Come in and check out a book, audiobook, magazine, movie or music CD. Spend time in the stacks browsing. Catch up on your favorite series. Peruse local and regional newspapers.

And, of course, sign up for the winter reading program, Snow Time to Read. The starting date was Jan. 2, but don't fret. There's still plenty of time to join as the program will run through the end of March. Participants must be 18 years of age or older. (Don't worry, kids, we'll catch you in the summer!) Turn in a slip for each book you read, and take a turn at our Plinko game to determine which of our fabulous prizes you've earned. You might leave with a packet of tea or cocoa, a new pen or pencil, a tasty snack or even a hardcover book by one of your favorite authors! Those of you who read 15 books or more will receive a Snow Time to Read water bottle or coffee mug. All participants will be entered into the drawing for other prizes.

With the arrival of a new year, we've found a new way to serve our community. We have added a small charging station for your phones and tablets. If you're out and about, and your battery is running low, stop at the library to recharge.

It's a great time of the year to read and to write. Mark your calendars for the next Friends of the Library Book Sale: Thursday, Feb. 14 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Friends work year 'round to sort and organize donations, and they always make it worth your time.

We're looking for area students in grades 6 through 12 to enter the 13th annual Park Rapids Area Library's Young Adult Writing Contest. This year's writing prompt is "I could only think of one reason why this wouldn't work." Look for details on the Park Rapids Area Library facebook page, or come to the library to inquire.

We can't forget our youngest patrons. Parents and caregivers, bring your little ones in to play and explore in the children's area. We have a cozy, cushioned reading nook, safe for crawling, climbing and snuggling up with a book. Or join us for story time Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Whatever your age and interests, we look forward to seeing you at the library!