READING TAKES YOU EVERYWHERE is our theme this year for Summer Reading at the Houston Public Library, so make sure to check out our list of special events running from the beginning of June through the end of August. We’ll be traveling around the world this summer, learning about other cultures and places! All events take place in the library or outside in the library’s greenspace, unless otherwise indicated. In case of inclement weather, some outside events will take place over at the Houston Community Center. Give us a call at 896-READ when in doubt.
Monday, June 11 from 7 to 8 pm: CHIONE QUARTET!
The woodwind quartet, Chione, will be here to present an hour-long concert featuring classic children stories, thanks to a partnership between the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra. This family-focused program will introduce audiences to the instruments of the flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon in an up-close and personal environment with hands-on arts activities for children. This program was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
Monday, June 18th from 7 to 8 pm: GLOBAL GAMES with Mr. Fun!
Learn about the fun side of world cultures as we are introduced to a variety of toys and games from different countries and get to try our hands at playing them. Global Games helps kids develop skills and build self-esteem while gaining new respect for world cultures. This program was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
Monday, June 25th from 7 to 8 pm: THE MAGIC OF CELTIC MUSIC with Laura MacKenzie!
Enjoy an evening of Celtic music and instruments from a number of areas including Ireland and Scotland, regions of France, Northern Spain, Wales, and Nova Scotia. Laura MacKenzie will perform traditional music on a fascinating array of wind-powered instruments, from wood and tin whistles, various types of bagpipes, concertina, gemshorn, and voice. This program was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
Monday, July 9th from 7 to 8 pm: AFRICAN DRUMMING with Sosthenes Kwesi Nunyapke!
Stop by for an exciting evening focused on the drum, perhaps the oldest instrument in the world as well as one of the earliest forms of communication. In this presentation/class, kids will learn about a variety of drums ranging from the kenkeni and the sangba, to the the dun dun and the djembe. With as many as 40 drums available, we’ll all have a hands-on lesson in traditional African drumming which will resonate with participants for years to come. This program was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
Monday, July 16th from 7 to 8 pm: PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER SLIDESHOW on the Central African Republic!
What’s it like to live and work as a Peace Corp volunteer in a very different part of the world? Find out as former Peace Corps Volunteer Liz Gibson-Gasset shares a slideshow and stories about her life-changing years of service in the Central African Republic.
Monday, July 23rd from 7 to 8 pm: DYI TRAVEL-THEMED TREASURE BOXES
We’ve got old maps, boxes of all sizes, scissors, and glue. Stop by and make a travel-themed treasure box to keep souvenirs or other precious things in!
Monday, July 30th from 7 to 8 pm: FABULOUS FRANCE with Christian Gasset!
Discover the charm of small-town life in southern France with Christian Gasset, who was born and raised in the heart of the Pyrenees Mountains near the Spanish border.
Monday, August 6th from 7 to 8 pm EXCHANGE FAMILIES INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM FOR KIDS!
Come and listen to Minnesota kids, ages 9-16, talk about their adventures living abroad on an Exchange Families International Exchange! Based on personal experiences in France, Germany, and Spain, these students will share their incredible international adventures and discuss how easy it is to learn a foreign language through immersion!
Wednesday, August 8th from 1 to 2 pm: MUSIC OF THE CONGO with Siama !
Transport yourself to the dance floors of East Africa, as we listen to traditional Congolese music layered with familiar elements from the blues, reggae, and calypso, all written and performed by Siama and Dallas Johnson. This program was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
Monday, August 13th from 7 to 8 pm: INCREDIBLE INDIA with Kim Hammer of SUTRA global imports
Experience the wonder of India through stories and photographs with Kim Hammer, world traveler and owner of SUTRA global imports in Dakota, MN.
Monday, August 20th from 7 to 8 pm: TRAVEL TO THAILAND with Ashley Dress!
What’s it like to live and work as a Peace Corps volunteer in a very different part of the world? Find out as former Peace Corps Volunteer Ashley Dress, now the director of the Caledonia Public Library, shares a slideshow and stories about her life-changing years of service in Thailand.
Saturday, August 25th from 10 to 11 am: STORYTIME WITH 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 guests 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!
This year’s Summer Reading Program is sponsored by the Friends of the Houston Public Library,a grant from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, SELCO Legacy grants, the Apollo Music Festival,Sub-Zero Pizza and Ice Cream, memorials in honor of Teresa & Banjo Erickson and Illa Sweet,and a generous donation from Jayne & Jim Gilmer.