CLOSED on Labor Day

The Houston Public Library will be CLOSED on Monday, September 6th in observance of Labor Day. Have a happy and, above all, safe holiday, everyone! We’ll be back on Tuesday and hope to see you then.

Saturday Morning Storytimes!

Saturday Morning Storytimes are back! This summer our storytimes will take place outside in our adjacent greenspace, weather permitting, from 10 to 11 am. Our theme will be “Tails & Tales,” so get ready for some special animal guest stars! Kids will go home with materials to make a craft as well! Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ. Here is a list of upcoming storytime dates and guest stars:

Saturday, June 19: Therapy Dogs

Saturday, June 26: Draft Horses

Saturday, July 3: Rabbits

Saturday, July 10: Donkeys

Saturday, July 17: Mini-horses

Saturday, July 24: Fish

Saturday, July 31: Sheep

Saturday, August 7: Ducks

Saturday, August 14: Goats

Saturday, August 21: Leopard Gecko

Saturday, August 28: Robotic Mice

2021 Summer Reading Program!

Learn about music, dance, metal detecting, robots, eagles, and more during the Houston Public Library’s 2021 Summer Reading events.

  • All events take place outside at the city park, unless otherwise indicated. 
  • In case of inclement weather, outside performances will take place over at the NEW Houston Community Center at 109 West Cedar.
  • We will follow all state COVID guidelines and regulations that apply at the time of the event.
  • Please bring your own blankets/ lawn chairs to make your viewing experience more comfortable, as we will NOT be providing seating. 
  • Don’t forget that our Wednesday partners, Meet Up & Eat Up, will be distributing free bagged lunches to local kids ages 18 and under at the city park just after our events.  Show up for the fun from 10-11 am, stay for lunch, which is available from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm, while supplies last.  For the record, our STEM Kits will be handed out during Meet Up & Eat Up lunch times.  See details below.
  • All event times, locations, and pandemic protocols subject to change.  Give us a call at 896-READ if you have any questions! 

Wednesday, June 16th from 10 to 11 am:  LAND OF 10,000 TUNES with Nate Hance at the city park!

Come on a journey through the best of Minnesota’s musical landscape.  We’ll explore iconic works by Minnesota artists and experience the state’s heritage through polkas, waltzes, and marches, shining a light on Minnesota’s musical diversity through the past 60 years.  You’re invited to an exciting hour of Minnesota music filled with variety, fun, and even a few virtuosic tricks thanks to professional musician, Nate Hance!

Wednesday, June 23rd from 10 am-11am: FAMILY YOGA FUN with Katie Kabat at the city park!

Licensed yoga instructor, Katie Kabat, will take us all through an hour of fun yoga poses that encourage flexibility and strength during this all-ages family-friendly event.  Bring a blanket or yoga mat to make your experience more comfortable!

Wednesday, June 30th from 10-11 am: NATIONAL EAGLE CENTER at NEW Houston Community Center, 109 West Cedar!

Join us as the National Eagle Center provides the opportunity to learn all about eagle biology, ecology, natural history, and cultural connections in an engaging and entertaining presentation by one of their naturalist interpreters.  This program features a live eagle ambassador!

Wednesday, July 7th from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm:   THINGS THAT FLY KIT at the city park!

Does something have to be an airplane to fly? What about flying cups and tumblewings?  You can make a paper airplane launcher and then improve it or have a distance contest with a friend.  This bag offers many opportunities to investigate unique flying objects.

Wednesday, July 14th from 10-11 am:  THE MAGIC OF CELTIC MUSIC with Laura MacKenzie at the city park!

Enjoy this opportunity to experience the magic of Celtic music!  Professional musician, Laura MacKenzie, will play an extraordinary variety of traditional wind-powered instruments, including a special collection of wooden flutes, whistles, a concertina, an array of different bagpipes, a gemshorn or two, and, of course, her voice.  In this intriguing program, we’ll learn how air is transformed into music.

Wednesday, July 21st from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm:  NATURE AROUND TOWN KIT at the city park!

Scavenger hunts, figuring out the age of a tree, and experimenting with sunlight are just a few of the activities in this STEM bag.  Our “Nature Around Town” kit will get you outside to look at the clouds and start a collection.  You might even do a craft with samaras.

Wednesday, July 28th  from 11:15 am-12:15 pm:  ROBOT KIT at the city park!

Who doesn’t like robots?  In this STEM bag, you will balance robots, craft a robot or two, and learn about coding.  Our Robot Bag also includes a Bot-in-a-Box  —  a dancing, bouncing robot you can make at home.

Wednesday, August 4th from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm:  SCIENCE OR MAGIC KIT at the city park!

In our last STEM bag of the summer, you will learn how to do several magic tricks, along with the science behind them.  A magician never reveals their secrets, but a scientist does!  You may even be able to put on a magic show for your family.

Wednesday, August 11th  from  10 to 11 am:  SIAMA’S MUSIC FROM THE CONGO at the city park!

On this very special musical journey to Africa, Siama plays the guitar and fascinating traditional instruments like mbiri and balafon, while Dallas Johnson encourages everyone to sing along to happy songs in Kikongo, Lingala, and English and shares stories that bring Siama’s rural homeland to life.  Kids will have a chance to play shakers and participate in a fun dance party.  Come ready to have a great time.

Wednesday, August 18th from 10-11 am:  SEARCHING FOR HIDDEN TREASURE with Doug Ohman at the city park!

Join us as we search for buried treasure over at our city park with Doug Ohman, Minnesota author, speaker, and historian.  Doug will be bringing his metal detector to use, along with interesting artifacts he has found over the years for kids to examine.  Nothing brings local history to life faster for kids than actual relics from the past found in our present! 

Wednesday, August 25th from 10- 11 am:  WORLD DANCE VACATION with Christopher Yaeger at the city park!

At our last event of the summer, we’ll be celebrating music and movement as we journey through different world cultures and communities, featuring family-friendly dances that can be easily learned and enjoyed with or without partners.  Get up, get moving, and dance with professional dance instructor, Christopher Yaeger.

FYI:  Beginning on June 19th we’ll begin hosting our weekly Saturday Morning Storytimes again, weather permitting, outside in our adjacent green space from 10-11 am.  Our theme this summer will be “Tails & Tales,” so get ready for some special animal guest stars!  Bring your own blanket or lawn chair.

The Houston Public Library’s 2021 Summer Reading Program is sponsored by the Friends of the Houston Public Library, SELCO Legacy grants from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Sub-Zero Pizza and Ice Cream, and generous donations from the public. A big shout-out to Friend of the Library, Ann Markegard, for creating this year’s STEM kits, as well as to our Wednesday partners, the Meet Up & Eat Lunch Lunch Ladies!  It takes a village!

“Storytime At Home” Kits

Our favorite pandemic project is quickly coming to an end: only three more weeks of providing our youngest patrons with “Storytime At Home” kits! This 18 week program began in January 2021 and was funded by the Houston Area Community Foundation, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the Friends of the Library, and the Houston United Campaign. Our goal was to bring the fun of our Saturday Morning Storytimes directly to the safety of your home, offering kids 2-8 years of age crafts, STEM activities, letter/number recognition worksheets, songs, and games which promote the development of early literacy skills.

We’ll be taking a break for a few weeks then relaunching storytimes at the library in-person. Starting on Saturday, June 19th at 10 am, storytimes will be held in our outside adjacent greenspace, weather permitting. Our summer theme will be “Tails & Tales,” so we’ll be focusing on different farm animals each week, with animal guest stars as often as possible. Hope you will join us. We’ve missed our weekly fun and are looking forward to a return to normalcy. Masks and social distancing will be required for the safety of our staff and patrons. Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ. In the meantime, don’t forget to pick up the remaining three “Storytime at Home” Kits over the next three weeks. Our themes, in case you are interested are worms (5/8), bees (5/15), and butterflies (5/22)!

Quilt Raffle Results!

This year’s winner of our annual Valentine’s Day Quilt Raffle, Carol Coventry, just stopped by to pick up her handmade baby quilt. Congratulations to Carol — and thanks to all of you who supported this yearly fundraiser by purchasing a ticket or two! The Friends of the Library made just under $500 on this event, all of which will go towards sponsoring the library’s 2021 Summer Reading Program. Special thanks go out as well to Janelle Kelleher for making and donating the quilt and to Thrivent for providing the seed money to get this fundraiser rolling.

“Storytime At Home” Kits

Thanks to financial support from the Houston Area Community Foundation and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the Houston Public Library has launched a new project focusing on young children and their families. Our new “Storytime At Home Kits” provide crafts, songs lyrics, counting and letter recognition activities, STEM projects etc, all linked back to a theme, much like our former storytimes at the library would. Geared towards kids ages 2-8, new kits will be available out on our curbside pick-up table every Saturday morning at 10 am through the end of the schoolyear. Thanks to Ella and her cousin Hailee for sharing a photo of fun with their first kit on penguins! Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!

Valentine’s Day Quilt Raffle

Despite the pandemic, the Friends of the Library will be hosting their annual Valentine’s Day Quilt Raffle to support our upcoming 2021 Summer Reading Program. The raffle will take place at the library on Saturday, February 14th at 7 pm with results posted online immediately afterwards. Tickets for this year’s beautiful baby quilt, which was created and donated by Friend of the Library, Janelle Kelleher, are $2 each. It measures 49 inches x 55.5 inches. Additional support for this project comes from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Let us know if you are interested in buying raffle tickets by calling 896-7323, emailing hpublib@gmail.com, sending us a private Facebook message, or stopping by the library during our hours of operation . Ticket sales can be done in a contact-free manner to keep us all safe and healthy

CLOSED for MLK Day

The Houston Public Library will be CLOSED on Monday, January 18th in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Day. Have a safe and happy holiday, everyone. We resume our regular hours of operation on Tuesday and hope to see you then. Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!