Whoooo’s Ready for an Owl StoryWalk?

In celebration of the 17th Annual International Festival of Owls, the Houston Public Library is hosting our third owl-themed StoryWalk, this time featuring “White Owl, Barn Owl” written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by John Michael Foreman. 

What in the world is a StoryWalk?  Well, imagine you and your kids are walking around downtown Houston and all along the way you keep coming across pages from a children’s picture book mounted in the windows of local businesses.  Before you know it, you’re reading a story as you go!    The concept of a StoryWalk was developed in 2007 by Anne Ferguson of Montpellier, Vermont, with the goal of “combining three critical elements for overall family health:  early literacy learning, family engagement outdoors, and physical activity.”

Our StoryWalk begins on the front door of the Houston Public Library, crosses over Sherman Street to the International Owl Center, heads around the corner to Grant Street and comes back to Cedar Street– so basically a trip around Houston’s busiest commercial block.  As the pages of “White Owl, Barn Owl” are prominently displayed in front windows/doors and are clearly visible from the sidewalk, you can go about your own StoryWalk at any time of day or night!  Have fun on your StoryWalk, dress appropriately, and don’t forget to support Houston’s local businesses that are making this event possible.   Questions?  Call the library at 507-896-READ!

Introduction:  Houston Public Library  —  202 East Cedar

Pages 1-2:  International Owl Center  —  126 East Cedar

Pages 3-4:  Bremer Bank  —  108 East Cedar

Pages 5-6:  Snow’s Beauty Salon  —  134 South Grant

Page 7-8:  United States Post Office  —  127 South Grant

Page 9-10:  American Legion Club  —  121 South Grant

Page 11-12:  H&R Block  —  109 South Grant

Page 13-14:  Cox True Value Hardware  —  101 South Grant

Page 15-16: Carlson Coffee Roasting & Mini-Doughnut Lab  —  101 West Cedar

Page 17-18:  Barista’s Coffee House  —  110 North Grant

Page 19-20:  Mound Prairie Mutual Insurance  —  115 East Cedar

Page 21-22:  Root River Market Cooperative  —  119 East Cedar

Page 23-24:  JT’s Corner Bar & Grill  —  125 East Cedar



Valentine’s Day Quilt & Basket Raffle!

Congratulations to the winners of the Friends of the Library’s 3rd Annual Quilt and Basket Raffle, which took place on Thursday, February 14th at 7 pm! Thanks to all of you who supported our upcoming 2019 Summer Reading Program by participating and donating! Special thanks go out to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for providing the seed money to get this project started, as well as to Janelle Kelleher for making and donating the quilt!

Here is a list of the lucky individuals:
Quilt: Jeanne Tippery!
Pioneer Girl Basket: Eileen Hegland!
Tea with the Queen Basket: Joan Redig!
Adventures with Gary Paulson Basket: Sarah Erdmann!
Happy Camper Basket: Jean Carlson!
Cozy Reads Basket: Lynn Carr!
Murder in the North Basket: Hein Bloom!
Family Science Basket: Amy Kulas and Helen!
Mini Maker Space Basket: Jean Carlson!
I survived Basket: Barb Swenson!
Day at the Beach Basket: Sarah Erdmann!
My First Easter Basket: Ann Markegard!
Get Gardening Basket: Eileen Hegland!
Never Quit Drawing Basket: Twyla Peterson!
Car Lovers Basket: Beth Peterson-Lee and John!
Zen/Meditation Basket: Averi Hunter!
Family Staycation: Amy Kulas and Aden!

Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!

CLOSED for Dr. MLK Jr. Day

The Houston Public Library will be CLOSED on Monday, January 21st in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Have a safe and happy holiday, everyone. We’ll be back to our regular schedule on Tuesday, January 22nd. Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!

Fine Free Children’s Books!

It’s a new year out there  — and as it begins, your five Houston County Public Libraries are happy to announce an exciting new county-wide policy:  as of January 1st, 2019, children’s books and audio books from our region will no longer accumulate overdue fees!

The group decision was an easy one for the library directors from Caledonia, Hokah, Houston, La Crescent, and Spring Grove to make.  Encouraging early literacy is one of our primary goals. Fines, no matter how small, can become barriers for families of all shapes and sizes, eventually preventing them from using our services.  With this new initiative, we hope to welcome back parents and kids who may have avoided the library because of fines on their accounts, while continuing to build goodwill (and great reading skills!) within our communities.   

As a result, we will also be waiving outstanding fines that were incurred on overdue children’s books on current library accounts anytime in the past.   Please note that this change does not apply to adult books or to movies for any age group. In addition, charges for lost or damaged items will still apply.   

Questions?  Give us a call at 896-READ or stop by the Houston Public Library during our regular hours of operation.  We’re delighted to start off the new year with such a positive change — and hope you will be too!


The Houston Public Library will be CLOSED this holiday season on:

  • Monday, December 24th
  • Tuesday, December 25th
  • Monday, December 30th 
  • Tuesday, December 31st.

Have a safe, peaceful, and happy end of the year, everyone!  Please give us a call at 896-7323 if you have any questions!

CLOSED for Thanksgiving!

Just a reminder a bit in advance:  the Houston Public Library will be CLOSED on Thursday, November 22nd in observance of Thanksgiving Day.  Have a safe and happy holiday, everyone.  We’ll be back to our regular schedule on Saturday, November 24th.  Questions?  Give us a call at 896-READ!

New Bike Racks at the library!

Thanks to a SELCO Legacy grant through the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, the library just installed two decorated bike racks out in our adjacent greenspace!  For those of you who have not stopped by and seen them yet, here is a photo just for fun.   

Another Successful Library Book Sale!

Thanks to an army of volunteers and customers, the Friends of the Library’s annual fall book sale was a success despite the cold grey weather!  We earned $365 which will all be spent on programming or collection development.  Not bad for a half a day’s work!  Thanks go out as well to all those of you who donated books for us to go through  —  some donations make it into our library collection, some are used to fill the five Little Free Libraries we host in town, and the rest form the basis of our two yearly book sales.  Questions about this or any other library activity?  Give us a call at 896-READ!