Lani the Reading Dog listens to kids read in the OMPS library | Jane Boursaw Photo
Lani the Reading Dog listens to kids read in the OMPS library | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Love Your Pet Day” is this week (Feb. 20), but it’s always a good to celebrate this annual event! Our Reading Dogs at Peninsula Community Library will be in, as they are every Tuesday, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., to listen to children read. Lani and Rosie Gardner are the first in a line of certified therapy dogs who have volunteered here at Peninsula Community Library.

We were the first library in the county to have a Reading Dog. Our first was Bear Kelley, and when his human mom first suggested that she would have him certified for the program, he jumped up on the counter and chewed up a library card! I was not so sure in the beginning, but Bear was duly trained and certified and quickly won my heart.

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We have had Reading Dogs here at PCL ever since. Bring your kids – the program is first come, so no need to reserve a time!

Lani the Reading Dog with pre-schoolers at Old Mission Peninsula School | Jane Boursaw Photo
Lani the Reading Dog with young readers | Jane Boursaw Photo

Peninsula Insights welcomes Allison Metiva, Chief Operating Officer of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. Alison grew up in northern Michigan, attended Northwestern Michigan College and later Western Michigan University. She will speak about the Foundation’s 30-year history of supporting education, culture, environment, health, youth and more in the six-county region.

Michigan Mysteries! Ross Richardson shares fascinating stories of missing persons, aircraft and ships, Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. This hour-long program explores some lesser known mysteries and offers updates on efforts to solve them.

BFFs! We LOVE the Friends of PCL! Next meeting is April 24 at 1:30 p.m. Sign up for their Adult Coloring Party, March 11, in the PCL lobby! Grab a leaf from the Artist Tree; bring in that craft item to replenish our stock, then come to color and enjoy a light supper! Help out with their Bayshore Marathon Aid Station on May 25. Leave your contact info at the library. Thanks to the Friends for all they do for PCL!

Books at the Boathouse! The 18th annual “Books at the Boathouse” fundraiser happens April 22! Support your community library by enjoying a fabulous meal, including appetizers, entrĂ©e, dessert and wine, as well as a live auction with a surprise auctioneer! All funds support our programs and collection. Many thanks to Doug and Erin Kosch and the Boathouse crew. Tickets are $125 per person and are available at PCL – check or cash only.

Our Reading Therapy Dogs and their handlers are specially trained to listen to children read aloud in a non-intimidating environment. Who would not want to lay on the floor and share a story with a calming bundle of fur?

Sometimes they step into other roles, as well. A number of years ago, we had planned a visit from a deputy sheriff to share stories with our Summer Reading Club kids. Unfortunately, at the last possible moment, the deputy was called away. We had promoted the program as “PCL Kids Solve a Crime.” Bear’s human parents stepped in as detectives (one had even shown up inadvertently in a trench coat!) and the kids solved the crime of who stole the dog treat jar from the library office. The culprit was Bear, of course, and all was forgiven.

Enjoy the sunshine this week! Stop by the library for a book, movie, puzzle, game, STEM kit or more! See you soon!

-Vicki Shurly, Director, Peninsula Community Library

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A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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