Black Voices Reading Challenge, Youth Activities and More at the Library


The Monroe County Public Library provides opportunities for local residents to read, learn, connect and create. The downtown library is at 303 E. Kirkwood Ave. and the Ellettsville branch is at 600 W. Temperance St. All events are free. Funding for the event is provided by the Friends of the Library Foundation.

MLK Day: Storytime and crafts

Attend a story hour featuring “Hands Up” by Brianna J. McDaniel and “Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race” by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, followed by crafts to celebrate Black lives and honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. For all ages. It’s 9:30-10:30 a.m. Monday in the downtown library auditorium. Come in.

MLK Day: Bloomington Peace Choir

Join Bloomington Peace Choir, a community choir that sings to uplift their spirits and the world, for a short performance for all ages as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Day. It’s 11-11:20 a.m. Monday in the downtown library atrium. Come in.

MLK Day: Tween Walk, Journey Forward

Carol-Anne was 13 when she met Martin Luther King Jr. It was in the 1960s, at the height of the civil rights movement, and she was beginning to pay attention to the inequality that plagued the country. Walk along with local author Carol-Anne Hughes Hossler as she talks about her book, “Dr. King, The Rabbi, And Me,” what she learned, and leads activities and discussions to get you thinking For ages 7-12 It’s 1-2pm Monday in Town Center Library meeting room 1c.

MLK Day: IU African American Dance Company

Indiana University’s African-American Dance Company presents “Good Dancing – Good People!” as part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Celebration. This spirited, interactive talk/performance combines the legendary dance company’s energizing dances with insights into service in African and African American cultures. For all ages. Come and watch performances on Mondays from 3 to 3:30 p.m. or from 4 to 4:30 p.m. at the downtown library.

MLK Day: helping hand

Help set up Dignity Kits for members of the homeless community as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. For ages 12-19. It’s 4-5 p.m. Monday in the teen space on the ground floor of the downtown library. Come in.

Celebrating the Black Voices Reading Challenge

The Library’s Celebrating Black Voices Reading Challenge will kick off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Available from January 17 to March 31, this game for all ages challenges you to discover books that have received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and attend related library events. Participants who complete the challenge will earn $2 to spend in the Friends of the Library Bookstore! Visit to register.

Following: Things to do in Bloomington include plenty of ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Story time and preschool discovery

In preschool story time, stories, songs, and rhymes get your preschooler talking, singing, and playing with books and words, followed by Preschool Discovery – fun, open-ended art experiences , STEAM adventures and letter exploration. It’s 10-10:25 a.m. and 10:30-11:15 a.m. Thursday in Ellettsville meeting rooms A and B. For 3-6 year olds and caregivers. Please register at

Miniature painting 101

The library offers figurines, paints, brushes and know-how –– come and learn about miniature painting! All skill levels are welcome. For ages 12-19. It’s 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday in the downstairs teen space at the Downtown Library or 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday at the Ellettsville Teen Space. Come in.

Crafting in stacks

Come hang out and try new hands-on DIY projects while learning new crafting skills every month! Supplies are provided. For 7-10 year olds. It’s Thursday from 6-7 p.m. in the Tween Space at the Downtown Library. Sign up at

Saturday Story Time

The whole family is invited to this weekend story time. Books, puppets, music, movement, crafts and more encourage early literacy skills. For babies up to 6 years old. It’s 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays in the Children’s Program Room of the Downtown Library. Sign up at

QueerTalk Book Club, Virtual Edition

Join library staff as they create a safe space to discuss books written by and for LGBTQ+ people. In January and February. You will discuss “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It’s 1:30-3 p.m. Sunday on Zoom. For ages 16 and up. Sign up at the Zoom link and book by emailing Linds Badger at

Teen Magic the Gathering Draft

The library is hosting a Magic the Gathering draft for teens! They will provide all the maps and know-how for the event. Only eight places are available. It’s 2-4 p.m. Sunday in meeting room 1c of the downtown library. Sign up at For ages 12-19.

LEGO club

Unleash your imagination and creativity with other LEGO builders and LEGOs from the library! For 5-12 year olds. It’s 4-5 p.m. Monday in meeting room A in Ellettsville. Sign up at

Dine at the Library at Mother Bear’s

Dine at the library on Tuesday at any of the Mother Bear’s Pizza restaurants! Show your flyer and Mother Bear’s will donate $5 to Friends of the Library. You must have a separate flyer for each large pizza. Valid for indoor dining, takeout, delivery and all Mother Bear specialties from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays. Electronic coupons will not be accepted, download and print the flyer at

Virtual comics and cookies with Kaleidoscope Youth Community

UPDATE — ONLINE: Join this special session of Comics and Cookies, the library’s graphic novel book club for teens. You’ll discuss “The Witch Boy” by Molly Knox Ostertag, eat cookies, and share your thoughts on this graphic novel! Reading “The Witch Boy” before the event is encouraged, but not required! For 12-20 year olds. It’s 4-5 p.m. Tuesday on Zoom — sign up to get the event link. Program kits, including book lists, bookmarks to read, coloring bookmarks and stickers are available for pickup on the ground floor of the Downtown Library.

Talking tacos

Come chat about relationships, dating, and other tough topics, stay for the tacos! For ages 12-19. It’s 4-4:45 p.m. Tuesday in the teen space on the ground floor of the downtown library. Come in.

Tuesday night music club

It’s like a book club, but for albums! Join other music fans to discuss Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” a landmark 1971 record. Listen before the meeting, then come share your reaction! You will also listen to selected songs as a group. Albums are available to stream on Hoopla with your library card, For ages 18 and over. It’s 6-7 p.m. Tuesday in Meeting Room 214 of the Downtown Library. Sign up at

Wonderful 1 and Super 2

Families with children under 3 can play, sing, read and talk with other toddlers, then enjoy play time. 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. (18 months-3 years) in the Children’s Program Room of the Downtown Library. Sign up at

Reduce the size of your house

As you go through the different stages of life, priorities and needs change. Downsizing after many years in the same house can feel overwhelming. Cheryl Smith, owner of Consider It Done Transition Services, will share practical tips on how to mindfully remove unnecessary items from your home and simplify clutter. 18 and over. It’s Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon in Ellettsville Meeting Room B. Sign up at

Conscious movement

Join yoga instructor Lauren Volpp for mindful physical and mental exercises. You’ll set intentions, talk about identity and self-reflection, learn skills for balancing in transition, and more! All abilities are welcome. Yoga mats are provided. For 7-12 year olds. It’s 5 to 5:45 p.m. Wednesday in the Children’s Program Room of the Downtown Library. Please register at

Evening family storytelling

Stories, songs, and rhymes get your preschooler talking, singing, and playing with books and words! For ages 3-6 and caregivers, but all are welcome. It’s 6-6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Ellettsville Meeting Room B. Sign up at

More online events

This is a sample of this week’s library events. For the full schedule, visit

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: At the library: Reading challenge, youth activities and more


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