Hello From the Library!

We have some exciting events coming up over the next few months and we would love to have you join us at the library! 

Because our library hosted the “Testify: Americana from Slavery to Today” exhibit at our library during April, we have the opportunity to also offer a program by Nancy Vaillancourt, the library director in Blooming Prairie. She has done extensive research and written books about the KKK in Minnesota. She will be presenting her program, “Hooded History: The Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Minnesota,” on Tuesday, May 21, at 6 pm in the conference room.

We are continuing our author series into May as we welcome Michael Hall, a children’s book author and illustrator, to the library on Thursday, May 9, at 7 pm. A few of his bestsellers are “My Heart Is Like a Zoo,” as well as the critically acclaimed “Perfect Square,” “It’s an Orange Aardvark,” “Red: A Crayon’s Story” and “Frankencrayon.” Before becoming a children’s author, he was an award-winning graphic designer whose work has been widely recognized for its simple and engaging approach. We hope you will join us to hear how he weaves his stories and creates his unique illustrations.

The Summer Reading Program this year will follow the theme “Adventure Begins at Your Library.” Registration will begin the week of June 3 and the program will run through July 26. As always, there will be weekly activities and programs – fun for all ages! The summer programs will be held at 1:30 pm at the library and will include musician Will Bjorndal on June 5; storyteller Chad Lewis talking about Minnesota legends on June 12; Eagle Bluff with their raptors on June 26; magician Jim Jays on July 10; and Tales by Terry on July 17. We will not have a program June 19 due to the Juneteenth Holiday or the week of the Fourth of July. However, there will be many activities going on in the library those weeks as well. Bring your children in for seek-and-find activities; guessing games; puzzles; activity sheets and more!

Sarah Hansen, president of our Friends of the Spring Valley Public Library, is holding a Beginner Organic Gardening class on Saturdays, May 4 & May 11, from 1 to 3 pm in the library conference room. The class costs $25 (includes both sessions) and will give participants the basics of plant biology in simple terms. The class will discuss how to prepare growing places and how to choose the best garden. Upon completion of this class, you’ll have a list of possible produce to grow tailored to your own particular space and to the amount of time you want to devote to your garden. Register for the class by calling or stopping into the library. 

Sarah will host a second class, “Preserving the Harvest,” on Saturdays, June 1 & 8, also from 1 to 3 pm in the conference room. This beginner’s class covers topics of cold storage, freezing, dehydrating, and canning. Upon completion of this class you will understand how to safely store food in a variety of ways; be able to choose a food preservation method fitting the food type and intended use; know how to choose a dehydrator, blancher, canner, and other tools for food preservation; and have a list of food items you can begin preserving right away. This class is also $25 for the two sessions and one can register at the library.

The Library Board of Trustees has a vacant seat on its board. This seat is for a rural candidate, living outside city limits but within the Kingsland School District. If you are interested, have questions about the position or would like to discuss the responsibilities, please email svlibraryboard@gmail.com for further details.

Please follow our Facebook page, “Spring Valley Public Library,” and the Facebook page of our friends group, “Friends of the Spring Valley Public Library” to keep current on upcoming events and announcements. 

We are open Monday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 noon to 7 p.m. We are also open the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Testify Exhibit now on display at Spring Valley Public Library

The Spring Valley Public Library is hosting the “Testify: Americana Slavery Today” photo gallery exhibit from Monday, April 8, through Friday, April 26. This event is free and open to the public during normal library hours.

Former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and NFL Hall of Famer Justice Alan Page and his family are again presenting their exhibit “TESTIFY: Americana from Slavery to Today.” This impactful exhibit of the Diane and Alan Page Collection of African-American art and artifacts was originally presented at the Hennepin County Library in 2018. 

Following the overwhelmingly positive response from the public, the exhibit returned in 2023 with a renewed call to action and a wider reach. It is now accessible to the public in Southeast Minnesota as a large-format, high resolution photo gallery. The family hopes the exhibit will help bridge divides, deepen dialogue and encourage action on justice. 

“The objects in the exhibit…juxtapose artifacts from our often-painful shared history with inspiring imagery and works of art that help us rise above it,” the late Diane Sims Page once said of the collection she started. She hoped that “by coming to grips with our past, we can come together in the future.” 

The Pages produced the traveling exhibit in collaboration with local artist and designer Kurt Mueller and with the support of SELCO, Great River Regional Library, the Friends of the Hennepin County Library and The McKnight Foundation. For more information on Library Legacy funding, and a complete schedule of Legacy-funded events in the region, visit https://legacy.selco.info/.

About SELCO

SELCO, Southeastern Libraries Cooperating, is a regional library system based in Rochester, MN. Covering an 11-county region, its membership is made up of 37 public libraries. Member libraries share resources, programs, personnel and technical innovations to achieve common goals and meet the needs of individual communities. For more information, go to www.selco.info.

About Library Legacy Funding

This program is made possible by the people of Minnesota through Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF). The ACHF was created in 2008 from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution. Minnesota’s 365 public libraries receive funding distributed through existing formulas to the 12 Minnesota Regional Library Systems to provide programs and services in four areas: arts (visual, performing and media), culture, literature and Minnesota history.