Valentine’s Day Quilt & Basket Raffle

The Friends of the LIbrary are hosting their 4th Annual Quilt & Basket Raffle. Need not be present to win! The drawings will take place on Friday, February 14th at 7 pm at the Houston Public Library. Tickets for the quilt are $2 each, while tickets for the baskets are $1 each. The handmade quilt in the Crosswalk pattern measures 67 x 80 and was created by Friend of the Library Janelle Kelleher. Thanks to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for seed money for this project through their mini-grant program. All proceeds go to support our upcoming 2020 Summer Reading Program. Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!

Library Closings!

The Houston Public Library will be CLOSED on Monday, October 14th in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We will also be CLOSING EARLY on Thursday, October 17th at noon, due to staffing challenges. Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!

Labor Day!

The Houston Public Library will be CLOSED on Monday, September 2nd in observance of Labor Day. Have a safe and happy holiday, everyone! We’ll see you on Tuesday!

Closing Early!

The Houston Public Library will be closing early on both Thursday, August 28th and Saturday, August 31st to allow staff and volunteers to attend Houston’s annual Apollo Music Festival, a series. Doors will close at 6:15 pm on Thursday and 1:45 pm on Saturday. If your children have Summer Reading challenges or reviews to turn in, please place them in the outside library drop box if we are closed. Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!


The Houston Public Library’s 2019 Summer Reading Program is coming to an end.  Staff, young readers, and their parents have all had a wonderful time learning about outer space with our theme this year, “A Universe of Stories,” which honored  the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing.  

Early on this summer, we challenged our community, both young and old, to read our way to the moon just for fun by logging in over 238,885 minutes of reading  —  one minute for every mile it takes to travel there.  Guess what?  We made it to our destination!   Now it is time for a little reward:  an End-of-the-Summer Space Party here in the library’s greenspace on Monday, August 26th, sponsored by the Friends of the Library.   

Highlights will include:

4-8 pm:  Rocket Bounce House

4-8 pm:  Space Chalk Art

5-? pm:  Hotdogs, chips, and lemonade

5-8 pm:  STEM activities and space crafts for kids

6:45 pm:  performances by our Uke-Can-Do-It classes 

7-7:30 pm:  performance by the Cheez Land Uke Band

7:30 pm:  HS FRC Robotics Team demonstrations

8 pm:  Drawing for the winner of our Space Clothing Contest.

One final note:  wear space clothing to our party and get your name entered into the drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Barista’s Coffee House and a special space prize!   
Questions about this or any other library event?  Give us a call at 896-READ. 

2019 Summer Reading Events!

Join us as we blast off to outer space this summer, learning about the moon, the stars, and everything else out of this world during our 2019 Summer Reading Program, “A Universe of Stories!” Here is a list of our special events, all of which take place in the library or outside in the library’s greenspace, unless otherwise indicated.  In case of inclement weather, some outside programs will take place over at the Houston Community Center. Give us a call at 896-READ when in doubt. 

Monday, June 17 from 7 to 8 pm:  LAUNCHES AND LIGHT!

Create a rocket out of clay, paper fins, and straw, then adjust the angle, power, and mass of the straw launcher to send it perfectly into space!  Kids will also explore various types of light through demonstrations and hands-on stations, thanks to Peter Johnson, STEM specialist from Pine Island.

Monday, June 24th from 7 to 8 pm: SCULPTING THE UNIVERSE at the Houston Community Center!

Get ready for a creative workshop run by artist Jen Anfinson!  Kids and their families will make a sculpture of the universe using clay, wire, and other found objects.  Class is limited to 20 families, so call the library to sign up early! This event takes place at the Houston Community Center. This event was paid for with funds from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund through a SELCO Legacy grant.

Monday, July 1st from 7 to 8 pm:  JUGGLING!

Clean enough for kids, smart enough for adults, and edgy enough for teens and young adults  —  come watch Jason Huneke juggle the planets, manipulate a comet of fire, and entertain us with other out-of-this-world experiences. This event was paid for with funds from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund through a SELCO Legacy grant.

Monday, July 8th from 7 to 8 pm:  THE WONDERWEAVERS!

3-2-1-Blast off!  Imagine supersonic stories. . . intergalactic magic. . . out of this world adventures.   Join in the fun as the WonderWeavers Storytellers share stories of the quest to make space travel a reality.  Everyone will become an astronaut and time warp through outer space.  Meet unusual aliens and space creatures as well, as we voyage to the moon and beyond! This event was paid for with funds from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund through a SELCO Legacy grant.

Monday, July 15th  from 7 to 8 pm:  STAR WARS YOGAQUEST at the Houston Community Center!

A unique blend of yoga and fan-fiction storytelling, the YogaQuest class is unlike any other class you’ve ever experienced. Our “Star Wars Quest” will be guided by a narrator and a certified yoga instructor.  Kids will embark on an epic, if often ridiculous, journey, moving through this popular space-themed movie by following a yoga routine designed to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.  This class takes place over at the Houston Community Center.  (Please note:  Kids going into 2nd grade and under MUST be accompanied by a participating adult!) This event was paid for with funds from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund through a SELCO Legacy grant.

Monday, July 22nd  from 7 to 8 pm:  OUTER SPACE BUTTON-MAKING CLASS!

The sky is the limit when it comes to button making.  We’ll have the button making machine and lots of old books on the stars and planets.  You bring your imagination and any other photo/picture you’d like to turn into a (2 inch diameter) button to wear.

Monday, July 29th from 7 to 8 pm:  VOYAGE TO THE STARS!

Ever wonder exactly what you can see in the night sky with a little help from a telescope?  Thanks to a local astronomy enthusiast, Tom Diana, we’ll be checking out some amazing photos of the stars and constellations —  taken right here, in his own backyard, just outside of the city of Houston!

Monday, August 5th from 7 to 8 pm:  DIY SPACE-THEMED TREASURE BOXES!

We’ve got old books on the planets and constellations, boxes of all sizes, scissors, and glue.  Stop by and make a space-themed treasure box to keep souvenirs or other precious things in! 

Monday, August 12th from  7 to 8 pm :  DRONES at the Houston Bandshell!

Meet us over at the bandshell to learn how a drone works and what people do with them  —  then watch as local photographer and drone owner Craig Stanislowski launches one off (at a respectable distance!) to film us all from above!  

Monday, August 19th from 1 to 2 pm and 2:30 to 3:30 pm:  STARLAB at the Houston Elementary School gym!

The STARLAB program features an inflatable planetarium showcasing 3,000 stars of different colors and sizes, as well as the constellations.  We’ll be learning the stories behind the stars and about the stars of the seasons.  Please note that STARLAB’s planetarium can hold no more than 60 kids, so we’ll be hosting two back-to back sessions, one starting at 1 pm and another at 2:30 pm.  This event will take place at the Houston Elementary School gym. This event was paid for with funds from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund through a SELCO Legacy grant.

Saturday, August 24th from 10 to 11 am:  STORYTIME WITH STARS FROM THE APOLLO MUSIC FESTIVAL

We host storytime at the library every Saturday morning from 10-11 am all year round, but we only have professional musicians and their instruments as our guest stars (get the space joke?) once a year  — when the Apollo Music Festival is in town!  Stop by for an informal and fun way to introduce your kids to the world of classical music.  You’ll be glad you did!

Monday, August 26th from 4 to 8 pm:  ROCKET BOUNCE HOUSE!

On average, the moon is approximately 238,885 miles away from planet Earth.  As a community this summer, let’s try to read our way there by logging in 238,885 minutes of reading over June, July, and August!  Our reward for arriving at our destination in space?  How about an end-of-the-summer party featuring a Rocket Bounce House? Get ready to blast off in search of fun.

 Sponsored by the Friends of the Houston Public Library, the Apollo Music Festival, SELCO Legacy grants thanks to the Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Sub-Zero Pizza and Ice Cream, memorials in honor of Teresa & Banjo Erickson and Illa Sweet, and a generous donation from Jayne & Jim Gilmer.   

2019 Summer Reading Program!

Your child/children are invited to participate in the Houston Public Library’s 2019 Summer Reading ProgramOur theme this year is “A UNIVERSE OF STORIES!”

The stars are fascinating:  unknowable and mysterious, they seem so far away —  and yet you feel you could reach out and touch them.  They’ve always been the perfect inspiration for both the dreamers among us and the more practically-minded scientists.  Tap into all that wonder this summer with projects, games, books, STEAM programs (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and more at the library — all celebrating outer space in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing.  We hope that you and your kids come along for the ride as together we explore “A Universe of Stories!”

Every Monday, we’ll be hosting special events, focusing on the stars, the planets, space, and science. All events are posted on our Facebook page and a list is available at the library as well. We are NOT doing individual reading logs again this year, but will instead offer weekly challenges for kids that may be turned in anytime during the summer to be entered into weekly drawings for $10 Barnes & Noble gift certificates.  We’ll also be hosting a Community Read Contest for both kids and adults to see if together we can read 238,855 minutes over the course of June, July, and August  —  the average distance in miles from the Earth to the moon!  The prize for succeeding?  A party featuring a Rocket Bounce House!

Our Summer Reading Program is open to all children, preschool through young adult, with games, prizes, drawings, story hours, and more.  Remember:  kids who read (or are read to) over the summer keep their brains active, entering school in the fall ready to learn and succeed.  We hope that your family will take advantage of the free materials and services provided by your local libraries over the course of this coming summer. 

If you or your child would like a library card, please stop by during our regular hours of operation with your current Minnesota’s Driver’s License.  Now that we are fully automated and part of the online SELCO system, we require this piece of current photo identification from a child’s mother, father, or legal guardian to issue a library card.  By providing this information, you accept responsibility for any overdue fines, damage charges, or replacement costs that your child may incur.   For the record, as of the beginning of 2019,  the Houston Public Library no longer charges overdue fees on children’s books and audio books, from board books all the way up to Young Adult materials! Questions about Summer Reading or any other library program? Give us a call at 896-READ!

When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Stories of Refugees in America.

Join us at the Houston Public Library at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, April 16th for documentary artists, James A. Bowey, who will share stories and photographs from “When Home Won’t Let You Stay,” his traveling exhibition about refugees in Minnesota. This compelling talk remind us all that empathy is an essential mindset for contemporary education, business, and democracy. This program was made possible by a SELCO Legacy grant through the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

The Barns of Minnesota with Doug Ohman

Enjoy a rural journey exploring the greatest of all rural icons, the barn. Freelance photographer, author, and public speaker Doug Ohman tells the story of Minnesota from the early days of statehood through the era of agribusiness. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back to the farm as Doug examines the importance of our rural roots. Ohman has degrees in both geography and history from the University of Minnesota. His work can be viewed at Questions about this or any other library program/ Give us a call at 896-READ!