Alpena County Library offering summer programs, events

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Alpena County Library Director Debra Greenacre, left, and Assistant Director Jessica Luther hold items from the Library of Things, which allows patrons to check out items such as a telescope, sewing machine, or even a pasta maker.

ALPENA — The Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library is excited to present many upcoming programs and activities to the community, as well as the valuable service of lending books and materials to patrons.

In case you were wondering, the library has 62,902 books, audiobooks, and magazines to choose from.

The Library of Things is one example of an expanded service the library offers, with everything from the Alpena Seed Library, ukuleles, an outdoor movie kit, STEM activities, telescopes, hotspots, Kindles, sewing machines, and a pasta maker. To browse the Library of Things collection, click on the Resources tab at alpenalibrary.org and then the Library of Things button.

Upcoming ACL events include:

¯ The Spring Into Romance Author Panel at 1 p.m. today, featuring four romance authors: Lyssa Kay Adams, author of the “Bromance Book Club” series; Meryl Wilsner, author of “Cleat Cute”; Kelly Ohlert, author of “To Get To the Other Side”; and Sonia Hartl, author of “Rent to Be” and “Heartbreak for Hire”.

¯ New York Times best-selling author Shelby Van Pelt will be the 2024 Spring Author. Van Pelt, the author of runaway bestseller “Remarkably Bright Creatures,” also known as “That Octopus Book,” will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 3. The event will be held in the Stanley Beck Auditorium at Alpena High School. Tickets are available for purchase at the library and Parallel 45 Books & Gifts in downtown Alpena. You can also purchase tickets online by clicking on the link at alpenalibrary.org.

¯ Mark your calendars for a fantastic summer reading kick-off for all ages on Saturday, June 15. This year’s program, titled Adventure Begins at YOUR Library, is filled with fun activities for all ages, with a community goal of 300,000 minutes of reading. For more information, call the Youth Services Department at 989-356-6188, Ext. 23.

“We have the opportunity to bring in experiences for our community that they would otherwise not be able to experience,” said Jessica Luther, assistant director at the Alpena County Library. “We like to do a wide range of experiences, whether it’s bringing in Michigan authors or national authors, or scholars, musicians, we want to make sure we have a wide depth of opportunities for our community.”

All the library programs are free, except for the major author event, which will be Shelby Van Pelt on June 3.

“We make sure that we keep the price point reasonable,” Luther said. “We are very cognizant of the one event a year that we do charge for, that we make sure that it’s not cost-prohibitive for the population that we’re serving.”

Tickets to the Van Pelt event are $20 to $30 per person, depending on which seats you select. Main floor and mezzanine seating is $30, and balcony seating is $20.

“It’s part of our priority to provide equitable access to library services, arts and culture opportunities, humanities programs,” Luther said. “We want to make sure we are checking all the boxes.”

She said it takes a lot of planning and coordination to bring in national authors and speakers.

“One of the benefits of living in the state of Michigan is that we have a great state library that helps provide us with a lot of resources for things like this,” Luther said.

Luther is particularly jazzed about today’s Spring Into Romance Author Panel.

“I’m super excited about that,” she said. “It’s really nice to highlight best-selling Michigan authors.”

She loves hosting programs that give the community a wide variety of options to participate in.

“It’s really nice to be able to bring in people who love what they do,” Luther said. “It’s making those community connections.”

She hopes the programs presented inspire people to learn something new, make new friends, and maybe even take up a new hobby.

Luther added that the library is happy to take suggestions for new materials to order to best serve the Northeast Michigan population.

“If anybody has suggestions of books or authors that they’d like to see in the library, or have us bring in, we’re always open to suggestions,” Luther said. “We want to make sure that we’re bringing the community what they’re looking for … We’re not always going to know every author, every book that’s coming out that people might be interested in … Shoot us an email, and we’re happy to look into it. We’re here to serve the community.”


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