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Book Club

The library book club says goodbye to Marie and the Better Brew Coffeeshop on Wednesday at 6pm. We will be discussing Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani. There are currently 2 copies of the book at the library if you are a speedy reader! Please join us, even if you haven’t had the chance to read it!

Next month we will meet at Shauna’s Cafe and will be talking about Benjamin Mee’s memoir We Bought a Zoo on the 14th – again at 6pm. (Spoiler alert – it’s really nothing like the movie!)

Our whole year’s book club selections are on our website if you’d like to read ahead. We hope you can join us for the fun conversation!

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Come get some new-to-you books!

Book SaleThe Van Horn Public Library is joining forces with the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce with their Antique & Craft Flea Market. While the Flea Market goes on all weekend, we are only going to be there on Saturday, April 29 from 8:00 – 4:00.

Come find us in the City Parking Lot on the corner of Main Street and 3rd Street SE. We will have used books for all ages along with some DVDs & CDs.


  • Hardcover Books – $0.50
  • Paperback Books – $0.25
  • Books on CD – $1.00
  • DVDs – $1.00

Shop early and often for the best selection!

We would like to thank the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce for letting us have our booth for free!

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Poetry Month – Week 3

We’ve had a classic and a children’s poem so far this poetry month. Here is one that was just published in Poetry Magazine this February.

Wood. Salt. Tin.
By Jane Hirshfield

Little soul,
do you remember?

You once walked
over wooden boards
to a house
that sat on stilts in the sea.

It was early.

The sun painted
brightness onto the water,
and wherever you sat
that path
led directly to you.

Some mornings
the sea-road was muted
scratched tin,
some mornings blinding.

Then it would leave.

Little soul,
it is strange —

even now it is early.

Ocean Sunrise

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Poetry Month – Week 2

We continue celebrating poetry month with another poem! This  week I want to expose you all to a new book in our collection called Grumbles from the Town: Mother-Goose Voices with a Twist by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich. As you can gather from the title, the poems in this book are all based on traditional Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, but they tell the stories from a different point of view. Like this one, based on “Ring Around the Rosie”:

The Rosebush Grumbles (Again)

Every day it is the same:
the children play the Rosie game.
They dance around me in a ring
and they begin to chant and sing.
It’s much too loud, my roots get sore,
and still they sing and dance some more.
My stems grown thorny; my petals fall.
I do not like their song at all.
It’s simply such a boring sound,
I with that they would all stay down.

(Grumble, mumble, fumble, yawn,
I wish they’d just get off my lawn!)

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April is Poetry Month

I was in Speech Club during high school, and I had to memorize a bunch of poems for my speech meets since my category was Extemporaneous Poetry.  To celebrate National Poetry Month, I’ll be sharing a favorite poem each Friday of April.

This week’s poem is not a cheerful happy one, but I remember relishing the last two lines, making them contrast with each other as much as I could. It’s been running through my mind this week, so it gets shared with you all first. I hope you enjoy it!

“The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly”
By Vachel Lindsay
Once I loved a spider
When I was brn a fly,
A velvet-footed spider
With a gown of rainbow-dye.
She ate my wings and gloated.
She bound me with a hair.
She drove me to her parlor
Above her winding stair.
To educate young spiders
She took me all apart.
My ghost came back to haunt her.
I saw her eat my heart.
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National Poison Prevention Week

Poison Prevention Week

It is National Poison Prevention Week! Minnesota Poison Control System has sent us information on common household poisons and has also provided us with handouts like magnets and pens with their contact information on it. Come by the library to check out the display, check out a poison-related book and get some valuable information while you’re at it!

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Minnesota Book Award 2017

SELCO staff along with librarians around the region are reviewing all 36 of the titles up for this year’s Minnesota Book Awards. You can see what they’re saying about each of them on SELCO’s page for these awards.

These reviews are not all posted at once, so come back and take a listen to their thoughts on these home-grown books! (The books with reviews state who the reviewer are under the book cover. Click on the cover to hear the review!)

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Barn Tour Update

The barn tour was cancelled due to weather on February 25, and we are sorry to say that we are unable to reschedule it this spring. Thank you all for your interest and we look forward to seeing you at the library soon!

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Van Horn Library One Town, One Title Finale with Doug Ohman

Van Horn Public Library invites all area residents to the final event in our One Town, One Title program. Each year SELCO works with local libraries to build regional author tours around Minnesota Book Award (MNBA) finalists and winners.  Van Horn Public Library is delighted to be part of the 2017 tour which features regional favorite Doug Ohman at 7:00pm on March 2nd at the Pine Island Area Historical Center, 314 North Main Street. This event, like all in the series, is free and open to the public.

An avid speaker, storyteller, and photographer, Doug has deep roots in Minnesota and has been a part of the creation of eight books featuring his photography.  Prairie, Lake, Forest: Minnesota’s State Parks was a 2011 MNBA Finalist and Barns of Minnesota was a Finalist in 2006.

Ohman has captured the varied essence of the state and has created several photographic series on such subjects as cabins, barns and schoolhouses. In his presentation Vanishing Landmarks he’ll explore the back roads and small towns. We’ll hear the stories and history of Minnesota through historic buildings that are quickly disappearing. Doug will share his own experiences visiting many of these sites from Minnesota’s Oldest Courthouse to the last Civil War recruiting station.

 Along with being an award-winning photographer, Doug Ohman is an author, storyteller, and popular public speaker. His work has been widely published in books, calendars, and numerous state and national magazines. Over the past seven years, Ohman has been working with the Minnesota Historical Society on the popular book series, “Minnesota Byways,” which includes Ohman’s exquisite photographs, coupled with texts by some of Minnesota finest authors, on the state’s vanishing historic sites—churches, barns, courthouses, schoolhouses, cabins, and libraries.

Ohman was born and raised in Anoka, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in history and geography. Before turning to full-time photography, he worked as the director of operations at the Mall of America’s Camp Snoopy. He now makes a living through landscape and historical photography, traveling thousands of miles each year to document his subjects, while at the same time making regular stops at more than 30 art fairs and festivals around the state.

 The SELCO Winter Author Tour project is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

 For more information call 507-356-8558 or email

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