Saturday, Oct. 5, the Friends of the Solon Library will be having their first ever Halloween costume sale. Come early for best selection of the dozens of Halloween costumes (adult and children’s sizes) available at bargain prices. We also have many great outdoor Halloween decorations, donated by the family of the late Don Ochs. Sale hours are 9 a.m. until noon in the meeting room. Almost everything is priced under $10.
The latest display window created by Toni Russo is now complete. Stop in and see the incredible collection of fire house memorabilia in this stunning tribute to fire-fighters and first responders.
The next meeting of the LEGO® club is from 6 until 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7. This group meets the first Monday of every month for an hour of creativity and fun.
The next early out program will be on Thursday, Oct. 3, with the showing of the movie, “Epic” (rated PG). Program time is from 1 until 2:45 p.m.
Carey, children’s services librarian, has announced the following Storytime themes for October: Oct. 8 is Firefighters, Oct. 15 is Bedtime, Oct. 22 is Monsters and Oct. 29 is Halloween. Storytime meets every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in the meeting room for preschoolers aged two through five with their parents or caregivers.
The library’s annual Halloween costume party will be Monday, Oct. 28, from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. Children should come in costume for an hour of food, games, crafts and indoor trick-or-treating. There is no charge or registration for this event.
The library’s annual Gingerbread House Workshop will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14. Registration is required for this event and sign up will start near the end of October. Santa will be making his annual visit to the Solon library on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m.– mark it on the calendar now so you don’t miss it.
The library has books pulled and on display for the Reading Bingo sheets for third graders and their families. We enjoy the challenge of providing books, magazines, newspapers and additional items that will help each third grader reach their goal. In the month of October, we have pictures of Iowa birds, photographed by Dee Meister, on display in the windows in the children’s area. Included with each photograph is a description of the featured bird. Enjoy and then check it off of your Bingo sheet.
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In the spring of 2012 the Solon community read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot and discussions were held at the high school led by the anatomy and physiology students. This year’s Iowa City Book Festival is having a program called “An Evening with the Lacks Family: The Story Behind The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” presented by Integrated DNA Technologies. It will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, in the lower level ballroom of the Sheraton Iowa City. The event is free and open to the public. The bestselling book details the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor African-American woman whose cells, taken without her knowledge in 1951, became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in-vitro fertilization and more. Henrietta Lacks’ great-granddaughter and grandson will speak. The National Institutes of Health has reached an agreement with the Lacks family regarding the continued use of these cells in research. Researchers now will apply to NIH for access to the full genome sequence data from her cells, and a six-member panel, including a Lacks’ descendant, will review the proposals. The Solon library has multiple copies of the book to check out.
Our continuing series of profiles of long-time volunteers concludes this week with Sue Ballantyne. Sue is originally from Cedar Rapids and ended up in Solon in 1986 by marrying a local. Sue attended the University of Iowa and has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Secondary Education/English.
She taught junior high and high school for two years, and did substitute teaching for a year and a half before leaving teaching and taking a job at the University of Iowa’s admissions department. She left that position after nine years to assist aging family members, and from 2000 until 2012 she served three terms on the Solon City Council.
Sue started volunteering with the library around 2000, helping sort books for the used book sales and selling donated books online. She became the secretary/treasurer of the Friends of the Library in 2003 and has also volunteered at various times with the Solon Senior Advocates and the Library Foundation Board. Through the friends, Sue organizes the used book sales, makes the garage sale map, and assists with other friends fund raisers.
Since January 2013 she has written the library columns for the Economist and NoJoCo.
Sue is also a film buff and helps with the selection of DVDs for the library’s collection. Sue and husband Darrel are volunteers with American Brittany Rescue and fostered and re-homed over 20 dogs before their house was full up with four rescue pets.
Sue can often be seen on her walks around town with all four dogs at one time. Sue enjoys reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres, and while most of her reading time is spent with audio books while walking the dogs, she’s always got a book (or two or three) on the nightstand as well. Fun fact about Sue? Most people seeing the menagerie of animals around her now would be surprised to know that she never had a pet until she was 28 years old.