Highland News Leader

A library card is as good as a million-dollar investment

Chess Club at Latzer Library is for ages 6 and up. The club meets on the third Monday of each month. Instruction time is 4 to 5 p.m., but players may practice until 5:30.
Chess Club at Latzer Library is for ages 6 and up. The club meets on the third Monday of each month. Instruction time is 4 to 5 p.m., but players may practice until 5:30. Provided photo

Libraries bring tremendous value to the communities in which they serve.

If every item that was checked out from Latzer Library last year was purchased individually, the total amount spent by the community would have been $1,322,126. And that’s assuming low cost estimates for those items.

And keep in mind that some things offered at the library are priceless, for example using the free public access computers with internet or Wi-Fi to connect with family and friends who live in other areas or to find a job, using resources to learn a new skill/hobby or become healthier, or tracing your family tree.

Latzer Library offers many services in addition to all of the resources that are available. Some of the more popular services are voter registration, notary public, faxing, photocopying, scanning, meeting room space for nonprofit groups and inter-library loans.

April 9-15 is National Library Week. This year, the theme is “Libraries Transform.”

A library card gives you the ability to explore new books, e-books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, movies, and many other resources. Being able to explore far-off lands, learn a new skill, or trace your family tree is both exciting and invaluable.

To celebrate, Latzer Library patrons are invited to participate in our “fine free” week during National Library Week. All fines will be forgiven on any over-due materials that are returned during this week in exchange for items that we will be collecting for the Highland Food Pantry. With that said, now is the time to check under the seat of your car, in your trunk, in the attic, and under your couch. You would be amazed at all of the unusual locations where long lost library items have been found.

Or, you may find items you want to donate. Donations are always welcome at Latzer Library. If it’s time for spring cleaning, remember the library. Gently used books, DVDs, CDs, puzzles, games, and Legos are welcome additions. We do not accept magazines, textbooks, or books that are moldy. Another way to help build the library collection is to donate money to purchase an item in honor of or in memory of someone. A nice acknowledgment plaque is placed in the cover of the book, which will be read and enjoyed again and again.

Also, join us for our Patron Appreciation Day and Used Book Sale on Wednesday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the auditorium. There will be refreshments, giveaways, prizes, and more. Bring in your tablet and learn how to download our e-books and e-magazines.

Stop by Latzer Library and see everything that we have to offer.

Activities For Youth

▪ Summer Reading Program: This year, the summer reading program theme is “Reading by Design.” The design them will encourage the opportunity to explore books and activities about creativity, building, architecture, and incorporate ideas about community, self-improvement, and STEM/STEAM. Many of the performers are already set up for this summer. Enjoy Mad Science, Chris Egelston, Circus Kaput, Hampstead Stage, Mr. Steve, Glen Wright Jr., Animal Tales, and much more.

▪ Chess Club: Join others in learning how to play chess. Advanced players are also welcome to learn new strategies. Join us on the third Monday of each month. Instruction time is 4 to 5 p.m., but players may practice until 5:30. Chess has many educational benefits and is fun. Nic Weiss, state chess champion in 2005, will be leading the club. Chess club is for ages 6 and up.

▪ Lego Club: Open to everyone interested, there is no need to sign up. Children can work on their own creations, or build as a team. Legos will be provided by the library; the children provide the imagination. Each month, a different theme will be given and the masterpieces will be displayed in the library. The program will run from 4 to 5 p.m. on the forth Monday of each month. If you have Legos to spare, please consider donating them to the Lego Club.

▪ PAWS Program: The PAWS for Reading Program places dogs in a classroom or library setting in the St. Louis metro area. The dogs act as an incentive for children to read. Dogs are viewed as a non-threatening entity to promote reading, writing, increased interaction and social skills in the child. Join us on the third Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Children’s Library.

▪ Young & Restless: Join us once a month to learn nursery rhymes, songs and stories. This program is specially geared toward children ages up to 18 months.

▪ Telescopes available: Read the night sky with telescopes that you can check out are here. New this year to Latzer Library are two custom-adapted telescopes that can be checked out for a week at a time. The telescopes are made possible through St. Louis Astronomical Society. The Orion StarBlast 4.5-inch telescopes are a very good quality instrument that are powerful enough to see the moon’s mountains and craters, along with Saturn’s rings and four of Jupiter’s moons. The telescopes come with a quick-start guide, user manual, constellation booklet, moon map, lens cleaner, and a headlamp with a red light so you can read in the dark. The staff is trained to assist patrons with the telescopes and the River Bend Astronomy Club assists in keeping them in good working order. The telescopes are built twice a year for libraries all over the St. Louis area, so that they are all pretty much alike. They are modified to be more durable, and parts are zip-tied on to prevent lost pieces. In addition to being able to check out the telescopes, look for “Star Parties” at the library.

Activities for Adults

▪ Looking Glass Prairie Genealogy Group: The library has an impressive genealogy room housing local and state of Illinois history items, as well as an abundance of genealogical research tools, including online databases and microfilm reader/printers. The Looking Glass Prairie Genealogy Group meets the third Thursday of every month (except for July and December) at 6 p.m. in the Everett Genealogy Room at the library. The group is open to patrons of all levels of genealogy expertise and is not limited to Highland research.

▪ Adult Coloring Club: Come and experience the latest trend in relaxation, adult coloring books. Coloring can have a calming effect on the adult mind and can promote overall wellness. Coloring pages from books designed especially for adults as well as colored pencils and crayons will be provided. You are welcome to bring your own pages if you are working on something already. This group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7:50 p.m.

▪ Book Club: Join us on the third Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for our book club discussion. The schedule for the rest of 2017 is: April 27, “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman; May 25, “You” by Caroline Kepnes; June 22, “Skinny Dip” by Carl Hiaasen; July 27, “The Bell” by Iris Murdoch; Aug. 24, “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead; Sept. 28, “Portnoy’s Complaint” by Philip Roth; and Oct. 26, “The Hangman’s Daughter” by Oliver Potzsch.

▪ Community Education Partnership with SWIC: Check our website regularly to see what is available through SWIC. Some of the classes that we have been able to offer include sign language, various photography classes, computer, social media, and small business classes. These classes do require registration and a fee, but they are very well presented and worth the time and money.

Latzer Library At A Glance

Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 9 am to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: 1001 Ninth St., Highland

Phone: 618-654-5066

Website: highlandillibrary.org

Facebook: facebook.com/louislatzer