Lani the Reading Dog listens as Henry, PCL director Vicki Shurly's grandson, reads Harry Potter at the Library | PCL Photo
Lani the Reading Dog listens as Henry, PCL director Vicki Shurly's grandson, reads Harry Potter | PCL Photo

Two-hundred-and-ten years ago this week, writer Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England. At the age of twelve, his father was incarcerated in debtor’s prison. Dickens left school to work in a boot blacking factory, and while he eventually returned to school, many of his experiences became the foundation for his short stories, novels and journalistic articles.

He was an ardent supporter of children’s rights and social reform. His work has been published in hundreds of languages. Most of his novels were published serially, with cliffhangers that made readers wait anxiously for the next installment. American fans, hoping excitedly for the next chapter, would often storm the New York Harbor when ships arrived from Great Britain!

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Life here at Peninsula Community Library (PCL) has been a bit of a cliffhanger over the last two years! Numbers cooperating, I hope to return slowly to a new normal. Beginning February 22, reading dog Lani returns to listen to your children read. We will not be taking appointments but will be on a first come basis. Come on in between 3:30 and 4:30 – Lani cannot wait! Masks required.

The Neahtawanta Room will also be available beginning February 15 for use by small groups of up to four people. Masks will be required for now. We will hold off for a bit longer on outside use of the community room. Please note that you must fill out a facility room use form available at the desk and on our website. The form must be returned in person. You will be notified if your request is approved.

Upcoming Library Programs

Our Valentine Cupcake program scheduled for February 12 will be takeout instead of in-house. Bags will be available while they last that day from 10-2. They will contain everything you need to make a heart-shaped cake for your loved one, except for a square and a round cake pan and a few basic ingredients!

Thinking ahead to Spring, on February 24 at 6:30, we welcome Justin Stockwell of HTG Supply who will share tips on starting your summer garden indoors through the use of grow lights. The program is limited to 15 people, and masks and registration are required. You can email me, [email protected], or call the library to reserve a space.

We are still accepting recipes for a PCL collection! Send me your favorite with a sentence or two about why you like it! You can also drop it off at the desk.

Chapter Chicks, our Mother Daughter Book Club for third through fifth graders, will be meeting via Zoom April 6 at 4 p.m. As the girls are scattered across schools, this group will continue to meet via Zoom. The book, “Wish” by Barbara O’Connor, is available now on a first come basis at the library. The week before we meet for discussion, a bag of themed craft and activity items will be available for pick up at PCL. I will send out the Zoom link at that time. The book, if your daughter is participating, is hers to keep. Email me, [email protected], if you are interested.

Our Men’s Group meets February 16 at 7 p.m. via Zoom with in-person programs resuming later this spring. Let us know if you are interested in attending. They are planning some great programs geared to life here on the Old Mission Peninsula!

Pageturners Book Club continues to meet via Zoom on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m., as this format has proved popular with our snowbirds! Books are available at PCL on a first come basis! (The book for February is “The Night of Many Endings” by Melissa Payne; contact Carol Olson, [email protected], if you’d like to join in! – jb)

Talking Books and Services for Visually Impaired Persons

Finally, just an update for those of you who read our large print books:

“There are many services available to patrons through the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) and Talking Book Library. These services are available through Traverse Area District Library. If you have questions about available programs, please call 1-877-931-8558. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p. m. Did you know that the Traverse City Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) meet each month? Contact Melissa Hollands at (231) 590-0986 or email her, [email protected], for more information.”

Charles Dickens was fortunate enough to enjoy popularity during his lifetime. I would venture to guess that most of us are familiar with at least several of his works.

I leave you with this: “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” From “Nicholas Nickleby” by Charles Dickens, 1839.

See you at PCL soon!

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