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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Closed Friday

Due to the snowstorm, we are closed tomorrow, 2/24.

Stay safe & warm everyone!

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Barn Tour Cancelled

Saturday’s Barn Tour is cancelled due to the pending snow storm. We hope to reschedule it for for sometime in March or April, so stay tuned!

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Closed for Presidents Day

We are closed Monday, February 20 in honor of Presidents Day.  We reopen with our regular hours on Tuesday the 21st.

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Join our Library Board!

WANTED: Two Library Board of Trustees Members

Are you a library lover? Do you enjoy volunteering and serving the community in a variety of ways? Then come join us!

The Van Horn Public Library currently has two openings on our Board of Trustees. Board members serve three year terms. Meetings on the second Monday of every other month at the library at 7pm.

Preference will be given to citizens of the City of Pine Island, although you may also represent Goodhue, Dodge or Olmsted Counties. Applications are available at the library or on our website: PDF or word doc.

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HRCN: Published in 2016

I almost feel like I am cheating for this box on my bingo card… Almost, but not quite. I decided earlier this week to include How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex as my book published in 2016 because it was so clever and fun. It only feels a bit like cheating since it is a picture book. But a wonderful one at that!

How This Book Was Made takes a look at the process of taking an idea and turning it into a book. And while it highlights the draft upon draft upon draft that are written before that nugget of an idea flowers into a published and read book. I love the story as it goes off onto tangents like angry tigers, pirates and astronauts. The illustrations are a fantastical match to the whimsy of this story – some pages have models that seem to pop off the page, others are pencil drawings on colored paper. When the story talks about places like Malaysia (where the book was printed), Malaysia is highlighted in a picture of an actual globe.

I would recommend this book to just about anyone, not only children, who is interested in book publishing or likes looking at their world from a slightly skewed point of view. I will leave you with the last couple of sentences, which do a great job of tying it all together. “Because a book can have words and pictures and paper and tigers, but a book still isn’t’ a book until it has a reader. And then you came along. and you read this book through to the very last page, which was how this book was made.”

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HRCN: Published the Year You Were Born

I was born in 1974. I was happy to search the catalog for this publication year and find a Nancy Drew book in our collection – The Strange Message in the Parchment by Carolyn Keene. I was a bit disappointed in this one.

The story takes place at the sheep farm of one of Nancy’s friends, June. June’s family has a parchment that has a mystery behind it that Nancy is invited to solve. In the process of investigating this mystery, Nancy is attacked by a flock of birds, a ram and an intruder. She also gets to show off her amazing art skills and gets a tour of a slaughterhouse and parchment factory.

I was disappointed at the obvious villain of this story – it is obvious from the first time you meet him that he is behind all the strife and chaos in the book. The Strange Message… seems to be written by a staff writer as quickly as possible in order to cash in on the Nancy Drew craze. It’s plot is much more linear than other Nancy Drew Mysteries I’ve read. It is also bit more political in tone and specifically seems to be pro-vegetarian and anti-labor unions.

Nancy got the bad guys in the end, of course, but I will not be returning to read this book again.


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