Update on Library Services

Just a quick update to our patrons:  the Houston Public Library remains closed for the duration of the extended Stay-At-Home order from Governor, Walz, that is until May 4th.  While we would love to reopen curbside pick-up to serve members of our community who are self-isolating at home, staff and the library board are settling on erring on the side of caution, after much discussion. 

Current scientific studies indicate that the coronavirus can live up to 24 hours on paper and 3 days on plastic, which covers the bulk of the books and dvds in library collections system-wide.  The coming few weeks will be critical in determining the number of cases we can expect here in Minnesota before the curve begins to flatten, as well as the severity of the infection in our population.  Our little library wishes to be part of the solution in stopping this pandemic, not part of the problem in potentially transmitting it through library materials–  and for that reason, will revisit curbside service options in the near future.

In the meantime, please take advantage of SELCO’s digital library collection.  You can access ebooks and audiobooks at meet.libbyapp.com using your 13 digit library card number and your PIN.  In addition, remember that our wifi is available 24/7 from the security of your car in our parking lot.  Feel free to contact us by phone at 896-7323, by email at hpublib@gmail.com, or via a message on our Facebook page if you have any questions.   By the way, Beth and I miss you all and we look forward to seeing and serving you as soon as possible.  Fingers crossed!  In the meantime:  Stay informed, stay safe, stay home, and stay healthy, everyone.


Effective Friday, March 27th, the Houston Public Library is suspending curb-side pick-up of library materials, in order to comply with Govenor Walz’s Stay-At-Home executive order. For your safety and as well as our own, we continue to be closed to the public until further notice. Please stay informed, stay safe, stay home, and stay healthy. Questions? Please send us an email at hpublib@gmail.com.

Contactless Curbside Pick-up!

As you are most likely aware, the Houston Public Library is officially closed until further notice, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, effective Monday, March 23rd, we will be offering our patrons contactless curbside pick-up for items ordered online, by phone, or by email.

Here’s how it will work: a table will be set-up outside the library’s front door with bags labeled by patron’s last name and first initial. All items inside will already be checked out. We will call the phone number listed on your library card when your items are ready for pick-up. Hours for pick-up will be M/W/F/Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and T/TH from 4 to 6:30 pm.

Please note that while staff will be in the library during pick-up dates and times, we will NOT answer the door and no patrons will be allowed into the library. Again, call 896-7323 or email hpublib@gmail.com with any questions or concerns. To order online, please go to www.houston.lib.mn.us. You will need your library card number and PIN to place an order. If you do not have this information, let us know and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

For individuals within the city limits who are in need of assistance, we will make home deliveries to outside locations such as a back or front porch. Please call us with requests for this service.

On a final note, remember that you can use our wifi 24/7 from the security of a parked car in our lot. To use the digital collection, go to meet.libbyapp.com!

Stay home and stay healthy, everyone!

CLOSED until further notice!

As many of you are already aware, the Houston Public Library is officially closed to the public for the foreseeable future, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff is currently working on a plan for curb-side pick up of items ordered through our online catalog (www.houston.lib.mn.us), by phone (896-READ), or by email (hpublib@gmail.com), as well as home delivery within city limits. Our concerns as we plan, obviously, are the continued safety of our staff, volunteers, and patrons. Please check our website or our FaceBook page for details in the next few days.

In the meantime, due dates of all items currently checked out have been changed system-wide to April 6th. No overdue fees will be charged during this period. Feel free to keep items at your home until further notice. You may also return materials in our outdoor drop-box. In addition, our wifi is accessible 24/7 from the security of your car in our parking lot. Finally, don’t forget about the great ebooks and audiobooks available for downloading free of charge through meet.libby.com. Need a library card to take advantage of these resources? Give us a call or send an email and we’ll set you up with a temporary card.

Stay home and stay healthy, everyone!

Library CLOSING on Wednesday, March 18th.

The Houston Public Library will be CLOSING starting on Wednesday, March 18th, as part of community health precautions during the coronavirus pandemic. We will remain open today, Monday, March 16th and tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17th from 2 to 8 pm.

We are currently working with our regional library cooperative to extend the due dates of all library items currently checked out (along with items that will be checked out today and tomorrow) until Monday, March 30th. At that time, new guidelines will be released from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Department of Education for us all to consider.

In the meantime, we are looking into safe ways to continue to serve our patrons and will perhaps be instigating programs such as porch delivery within the city of Houston and curbside pick-up during specific hours of the day. Feel free to continue ordering items through our online catalog. Also remember to make use of ebooks and audiobooks available through OverDrive through the Libby app: meet.libbyapp.com. We will also post free educational resources for parents on our Facebook page. Finally, our wifi will continue to be available 24/7 to those with their own devices from the safety of a car parked in our lot.

Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ, email us at hpublib@gmail.com, or send us a FB message. Be smart and stay safe and healthy out there!

Programming cancelled until further notice!

Following the unveiling of yesterday’s recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Houston Public Library is making changes to our programming calendar. Until further notice, all events are cancelled, including this morning’s storytime, though the library will continue to remain open for the foreseeable future.

When visiting the library, we are asking patrons to allow social distancing of 6 feet. Hand sanitizer is available at the library’s info desk, as well as at every computer station. For the safety of our community, please stay home if you or members of your family are ill.

This situation is changing rapidly and we are following the recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Heath, which can be found at https://www.health.state.mn.us/dise…/coronavirus/action.html

We will continue to update you as this situation evolves. Thank you for your cooperation. Please give us a call at 896-7323 if you have any questions.

Owl Counting Contest!

It’s the 18th Annual International Festival of Owls here in Houston from March 6-8, which means it is time to count the owls on display here in the library! Two winners will be chosen on Monday, March 9th at 8 pm: the person who has the exact count and another chosen at random from all entries in the contest.

The prize? One of these adorable purple and blue owl beanie boos.

The Rules? Count all owl stuffed animals and owl statues on display throughout the library. Do NOT count owl artwork or owls on bookcovers! Write your first and last name, along with your phone number, on your entry. Limited to kids 18 and under!

Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!

Owl Art Exhibition!

Every year, just prior to Houston’s annual International Festival of Owls, the Houston Public Library is lucky enough to get to display some of the amazing owl artwork submitted by kids around the world. Stop by and check them out! Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!

Valentine’s Day Raffle Results

On Friday, February 14th, the Friends of the Library hosted their 4th Annual Valentine’s Day Quilt and Basket Raffle.  This year’s successful event raised over $1400 to support our upcoming 2020 Summer Reading Program for area kids.  Baskets were donated by members of the Friends group and the library board, while the handmade quilt was created by Janelle Kelleher.  Seed money for the project came from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.  

Angie Weisbrod, pictured here with her three children, was the lucky winner of the Crossroads quilt.  Winners of the 17 baskets that were up for grabs are as follows:

1.  Dreaming of Summer Basket:  Bekki Rohweder

2.  Winter is Coming Basket:  Jon Evenson

3. Relax, Rewind, and Rejuvenate Basket:  Pam Orr

4.  Gardening Basket:  Katie Kabat

5.  Winter Survival Basket: Gene Lundak

6.  Watkins Away Basket:  Taylor Laschenski

7.  Just Color Basket:  Mike Kabat

8.  Family Science Basket:  Mona Feller 

9.  Halloween Food Fun Basket:  Theresa Gavin-Kubitz

10.  Girl’s Night In Basket:  Sarah Erdmann

11.  No Place Like Space Basket:  Sandy Erickson

12.  Be My Valentine Basket:  Shane Loken

13.  Diary of a Wimpy Kids Basket:  Jean Carlson

14.  Puzzle Basket:  Sandy Erickson

15.  Birding Basket:  Evelyn Bartsch

16.  Cozy Weekend Basket:  Irmi White

17.  Reading in Style Basket:  Jean Carlson

Our thanks go out to everyone who participated. It takes a village to run a library!  Questions about this or any other library project?  Give us a call at 896-READ!

4th Annual Quilt & Basket Raffle!

The Friends of the Library will be holding their 4th Annual Valentine’s Day Quilt and Basket Raffle on Friday, February 14th at 7 pm at the library. Need not be present to win! Tickets for the handmade quilt, created by Janelle Kelleher, are $2 each. Entitled “Crosswalk,” it measures 67 x 80 inches. Sixteen different baskets are also on display at the library, each developed by members of the Friends of the Library. Tickets are $1 each. All proceeds from this event will go to support our upcoming 2020 Summer Reading Program. Questions? Give us a call at 896-READ!