June 20, 2018
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On the June Library page: Library spotlights science during summer
5/28/2014 1:13:07 PM

By Tammy Kimberley
Splash Staff Writer

When you mix science activities, summer days and recreational reading, what do you end up with?

These elements make up the summer reading program sponsored by the Liberty Lake Municipal Library. 

Registration begins June 14, and the program runs eight weeks through Aug. 9. As in the past, library patrons can stop by during regular library hours to sign up, start a reading log and pick up a calendar of special summer events. 

While the program offers opportunities for all ages, a majority of the activities are focused on young readers. In 2013, over 800 patrons registered for the summer reading program, children's library associate Amy Dickeson said, with 676 of those being children.

The theme for ages 4 through 12 is "Fizz, Boom, Read!" In addition to story times, crafts and Lego Club, the library is planning a full slate of children's events centered around the science theme. Activities will be available Wednesday mornings, while family activities will be offered some Thursday evenings. Other special items on the summer calendar include a Lego contest and Minute to Win It science night (see sidebar for more details).

"We've researched different activities that will make kids say wow,'" Dickeson said. "I think kids will learn a lot, and it may spark an interest in science that they didn't know they had." 

The Friends of Liberty Lake Municipal Library is once again providing prizes for readers, Dickeson said. She stated that the whole goal of the program is to keep kids reading about things that interest them in order to maintain their reading level during the summer.

"I think it's important for kids to read when they're not being graded," she said. "Having prizes as an incentive gives them that little push and gets them excited about coming into the library."

The teen age group has its own reading theme, which is "Spark a Reaction." Dickeson said a change from previous years is that teen readers (ages 13 to 19) need to read five books in order to be entered in a raffle for gifts cards to local establishments.

The adult portion of the summer reading program is called "Literary Elements." Adult services librarian Dan Pringle said the library recently purchased science DVDs, and there will be a list of reading suggestions along the theme.

"I was looking at the reading list, and a lot of it is stuff I was already interested in reading," Pringle said.  "It's a good mix of what the national program recommends and items particular to here."

Adults who wish to participate can read books or listen to audio books and then fill out a review form or reading log in order to be entered in a raffle for gift cards at the end of the summer.

Pringle said the summer reading program is a great opportunity for community members, especially since it's free and open to all ages.

"It's important for families to have something to do together over the summer," he said. "If we can encourage them to have that thing be reading - either individually or as a family - then that's something the library should promote." 


Summer events at the library

Science activities
Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Fizzy balloons, volcanoes, hot ice, rockets and marshmallow catapults are all part of the weekly lineup. 

Science with Travis!
Various Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
Registration is required for this technology/science event for ages 7 and up.

Lego contest
Awards ceremony, July 2 at 10:30 a.m.
Original entries may be brought to the library June 14-24.

Minute to Win It!
July 24, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
All ages are invited to try fun challenges dealing with science. 

Lego Club, story times and Saturday crafts will continue during the summer, but check with the library for updated days and times. For a complete calendar of events, go to www.libertylakewa.gov/library


Book Review: Novel full of secrets, suspense

By Daniel Pringle
Liberty Lake Municipal Library

Laura McHugh's debut novel "The Weight of Blood" is a dark-toned suspense tale set in the Missouri Ozarks about small town secrets and a family's violent history. Drawing on influences like Gillian Flynn, Elmore Leonard and Daniel Woodrell, a single horrific crime exposes the tangled roots of a hidden, criminal underworld. 

Lucy was raised in Henbane by her widowed father, uncle and a small community of friends and neighbors, but she still feels out of place. Her mother, Lila, came from Iowa, and her dark features and clouded past led to rumors of witchcraft among the secluded, superstitious villagers. Lila's apparent suicide during Lucy's infancy, combined with the strong resemblance between them, further set Lucy apart, since she is conflated in people's minds with an outsider she never knew. When her friend's body is found dismembered and abused in the hollow of a tree, the community's outrage and fear eventually fade, but Lucy feels obligated to track down the truth. Her search ultimately reveals ties between the crime and her mother's mysterious origins and disappearance.

Switching between past and present and multiple narrators' perspectives, McHugh shows how an approximation of the truth emerges from the discrepancies between each character's version of the same events, and how a community-and individuals-can willfully bury portions of the past to preserve those truths. Imbuing the story with a sense of place, colorful mountain-folk, squirrel dumplings and an oppressive Ozark summer, McHugh grounds it in the land, the people and the defiant pull of home.

Daniel Pringle is adult services and reference librarian at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library.


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