Highland News Leader

Louis Latzer Memorial Library in Highland offers summer activities for youth, adults

Louis Latzer Memorial Library in Highland has many events and activities available for children and adults this month.

Angela Kim, who has been library director for nearly 17 years, and Donna Plocher, who just started her third year in the role of youth and children services, explained the different ventures. The library’s unofficial theme for July revolves around the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and, unless noted, events do not require preregistration.

Moonwalk with the Illinois Federation of Business Women

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Overview: This event, designed for children ages 2-10, will focus on reading stories about the space and moon, as well as craft activities. Plocher noted children will indulge in a moonsicle (basically an orange creamsicle soda) and fruit kabobs consisting of strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, and a piece of pineapple that looks like a rocket.

Papa and Jackie Wright-Puppet Masters

When: 1-2 p.m. Wednesday

Overview: “The Wrights are coming to perform stories and do different styles of puppet shows,” Plocher said. “They have come to see us many times. They are very interactive with the children. They are really good and are professional story tellers.”

Beginning Genealogy

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Overview: This is basically a beginning family tree event. Plocher got the idea from her time as a teacher at Highland Primary School, where she just retired from. “We did a similar event at school and found out a lot of kids did not know the name of their grandparents. The kids are invited to bring a parent or grandparent with them. They can do a journaling event from their family tree to continue to share as heritage item. Some children may do a simple family tree depending on where they’re at with their family.”

Book Club

When: 9-10:30 a.m. Monday, July 15, through Friday, July 19

Overview: This book club is for girls entering third or fourth grade. Angie Smart, a second grade teacher at Highland Primary School, will head the book club. Plocher noted Smart will combine fiction and non-fiction books with the goal of empowering and encouraging girls through reading. “She has been up here eight or nine times already and has spent a lot of time on it for it to be good for the girls. Angie is seeking to encourage girls to read books about girls and successes they’ve had in life and will do activities that accompany the reading,” Plocher said. Registration is strongly recommended.

Be a Puppeteer

When: 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 16

Overview: For this event, the children will actually create puppets. “Last month they created marionette puppets. This time, they will be simpler puppets. Then, after they make their puppets, the kids will have a chance to go into the puppet theater in the auditorium and use their puppets,” Plocher said.

Paws For Reading

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18

Overview: For this, a therapy dog comes to the library, allowing the children to read to the pooch. “This has been a really good experience. The benefit to this is the dog doesn’t correct the children reading and is just there to listen to them. It’s an opportunity for the kids to just read and relax,” Plocher said.

A Night Of Stars With The Menzs

When: 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 24

Overview: This event directly relates to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and because of the position of the stars that night for the kids to see. The River Bend Astronomy Club from Highland has provided the library with high-powered telescopes for viewing. After a discussion with the children about the stars and the moon landing anniversary, they all will go to the library parking lot to view the stars.

Tumble Book Tuesdays

When: 1-3 p.m. every Tuesday and also just when children are at the library.

Overview: This is an event the library sponsors and that children at both the public and Catholic school participate in, Plocher noted. The children utilize interactive/audio books and can listen to the story or turn off the volume button and read the story themselves. For the older kids, they can modify the page color or the print color to make it more visually appealing.


When: 1 p.m. every Thursday throughout the summer.

Overview: The July 11 STEAM event will be a balloon tower challenge. Plocher said, “Kids will work in groups and follow direction and create balloon towers in their group.” On July 18, the kids will make a modified balloon car, using soda bottles and attaching wheels, with the balloon powering the car. July 25 will consist of various science experiments, according to Plocher.

Chess Club

When: 4-5 p.m. the third Monday of the month.

Overview: Nick Weiss is chess club sponsor and will offering instruction. According to Plocher, Weiss has won many national chess tournaments. “We are lucky to have him,” she said.

Lego Club

When: 4 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month.

Overview: Kids receive a theme and build Legos off that theme. “Then, they place them in the library and give their creation a name for their grandparents and parents to see. We’re hoping to do something with the moon landing,” Plocher said.

Book clubs for adults

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. every fourth Tuesday through October. They take off November and December.

Overview: This month the Book Club will discuss “The Girl with Seven Names” by Hyeonseo Lee. In September, they will discuss “The Alice Network” and then “Frankenstein” in October. “They actually pick out books around the end of the year for the whole next year, which is nice,” Kim said.

Kim noted the other book club is environmentally-focused and, as such, targets books geared toward the environment and that those meeting times are more sporadic. Kim said people are free to show up for either book club.

Additional library information

Kim said the library features the following amenities, among others:

  • A community room and meeting room space available for non-profit groups;
  • 55,000 items to include ebooks, emagazines and downloadable audio books;
  • Two telescopes available for checkout; and
  • Soon, three sets of binoculars will be available for checkout.

Louis Latzer Memorial Library is located at 1001 Ninth St. in Highland. Hours are:

  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday;
  • 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday;
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday;
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; and
  • Closed Sunday and holidays.

“Anybody within the city limits of Highland are entitled to a library card for free,” Kim said. “If you live outside the city limits but within the Highland School District, it’s $85 per year for the household.”

For more information or questions about any of these events or the library in general, call 618-654-5066 or visit http://highlandillibrary.org.