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Shaun Klee: Are you ready for summer at the library?

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shaun klee

Shaun Klee

Where has the year gone? It is already the first of May!

The Grand Island Public Library has a lot of great activities planned for the rest of spring and for our annual all-ages Summer Reading Program. Are you ready to spend your summer with the library?

For plant and gardening enthusiasts, our Community Seed Library volunteers have been working hard to plan a seed and plant swap and exchange. All of this is happening this afternoon (May 1) in the foyer and in front of the library. Come get some seeds, seedlings, tubers and gardening supplies.

You can also come trade gardening tips and secrets and ask questions for how to get your garden to grow its best.

Later in the week is the annual Go Big Give for Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties. If you have not yet read Youth and Family Services Librarian Laura Fentress’ previous column from April 17, “What’s A Library Worth,” I highly recommend it — you’ll see that the library is more than just books.

On Thursday, May 5, come out to the library and support all we have to offer our community. There will be a “Buy One, Get One”book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Library. There is also the opportunity to bring unwanted materials and have them professionally shredded. There is a limit of two boxes per patron and a suggested donation of $10 to support the Grand Island Public Library Foundation Go Big Give fundraising campaign.

Later in May we kick off the “Oceans of Possibilities” summer reading program. There are a lot of great things planned for adults this summer. As always, reading minutes can be tracked on our Beanstack reading app. There will also be programs for a wide-range of interests.

For craftier patrons stop by and enjoy a guided painting session with Jill from Arts and Drafts at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 5. We will also be hosting our first Community Art Show for adults 18 and older. The show will run from Aug. 5 to Sept. 25. Watch our website, for more information.

Our Book Club has two great selections this summer. The June selection is this year’s One Book, One Nebraska winner “The Bones of Paradise” by Jonis Agee.

The discussion is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 6, and we will have a very special guest, the author herself, to discuss her book. The author visit is provided through the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau program. In July, the book club will discuss Matt Haig’s “The Midnight Library” at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 11.

For history enthusiasts, our second Humanities Nebraska Speakers program will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 19. Learn all about true stories from World War II from presenter Charlotte Endorf, and her program, “Kind Nebraskans: True Stories of World War II and the Holocaust.”

At 1 p.m. Sunday, June 26, we will host a Brown Bag Lunch & Learn. Bring your packed lunch and listen and learn all about the women of the Abbott Family, presented by Michelle Setlik of the Hall County Historical Society.

Hall County Extension staff mbers will also present programs for adults this summer. At 2 p.m. Sunday, July 17, Elizabeth Exstrom will present, “Let’s Talk About Houseplants,” and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 25, Cami Wells will teach you some great recipes for cooking in your Instant Pot.

Of course, there are also many great books to help you meet your summer reading goals. Stop by, pick up your next great reads, and register for the summer reading program. Follow our website and our Facebook and Instagram pages to keep up-to-date with all that is happening at the Grand Island Public Library.

Shaun Klee serves as the adult and technical services librarian for the Grand Island Public Library. Email him at


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