Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Library Calendar for March -- Click for full size.

Hands-On for Chinese Culture

Participants in the Feb. 14 session of the University of Idaho Confucius Institute’s
Chinese Cultural Experience class at the library try their hand at creating
Chinese characters using traditional ink and brush.
The second of three classes — examining Chinese festivals, food,
art and crafts — continues Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m.,
in the Community Room. Teaching the class is Eazel Cai,
U of I Chinese and Culture  Instructor. The final class in this
series will be April 11. Participants who  were not
signed up for the first class or who have not previously registered
are asked to do so by contacting David Townsend at or leave a message at 208-769-2315 Ext. 426.


Missoula Author to Share Story of Mining’s Worst Disaster

Doug Ammons
Just before midnight on June 8, 1917, a fire was accidentally started a half-mile down the main shaft – called the Granite Mountain shaft – of the biggest and deepest mine on the Butte Hill, the Speculator. The intense heat reversed the flow of air in the mine within a few minutes. Dense smoke and deadly gas flooded unpredictably into the labyrinthine workings, trapping hundreds of men who tried frantically to escape. Men were plunged without any warning into critical struggles where a single decision led to life or death.
What would follow would result in the deaths of 168 miners in the worst hard-rock mining disaster in the history of the United States.
The story of that disaster is recreated in “A Darkness Lit by Heroes,” by Doug Ammons. The author will discuss the book at the library Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m. The talk is presented in partnership with The Well-Read Moose, with book sales benefiting the Friends of the Library.
As a kid growing up in Montana, Ammons was all over the state east to west, and north to south, from swimming meets to science fairs, from scuba diving in Flathead Lake to backpacking and climbing in the Bitterroots, Glacier, and Pintlers. Later, he attended the University of Montana for degrees in mathematics and physics, and his doctorate in experimental psychology, and has pursued many other interests such as geology and history.
His expedition kayaking got its start on the rivers of Montana and the Rocky Mountains, then spread to first descents of challenging rivers around the world. He made eight films for National Geographic, ESPN, and Outdoor life, and published two books of adventure stories, while also maintaining a day job as a scientific editor and raising a family in Missoula. He has won an Emmy Award for action cinematography, and his book, “Whitewater Philosophy,” was named by the Wall Street Journal as “one of the five best adventure books.”
In recognition of his extreme kayaking descents, many of them unrepeated, he was named by Outside magazine in 2010 as “one of the top ten game changers in adventure since 1900”, together with such people as the polar explorer Roald Amundson, Himalayan alpinist Reinhold Messner, and seven other prominent adventurers. Referring to Messner’s repeated daring forays into extreme territory, the magazine editors stated, “What Messner did for alpinism, Ammons did for kayaking.”
Ammons has turned his adventure story-telling toward re-creating the dramatic historical events of the Western U.S., and Montana’s colorful history in particular. “A Darkness Lit by Heroes” was published last year in conjunction with the disaster’s 100th anniversary. In October 2018, it received the High Plains Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.
While the literal story is about a mining disaster, the core of the book is about the resilience of the human spirit when men are suddenly thrust into life-and-death situations beyond their control.
“The disaster was a crucible that shows a great truth: when people have exhausted all their physical strength and are at the edge of death, what is left is the core of their love for each other, the most powerful force in the world,” Ammons said.
The book is a documentary, but written as a novel. An immense amount of new information was uncovered which allowed portraying the disaster from inside the miners’ experience. The writing extensively uses the recently found direct testimony of the survivors and the specifics of where they were in the mine.
Additionally, Ammons spent considerable time in the mine yards, at the hoist controls of the old engines, and inside the last existing mines to learn specifics of the scenes, mining methods, and the experiences. The author spent several hundred hours interviewing elderly miners in their late 80s and early 90s, who worked directly with machinery similar to that from 1917, and were familiar with the work methods. He also went underground repeatedly in the Orphan Girl and Orphan Boy mines to experience as close as possible the original events – traveling tunnels filled with heavy smoke from blasting, using only candle light, crawling on hands and knees in pitch blackness along the rails in abandoned tunnels.
“Since the disaster occurred 100 years ago, only the outlines of the event could be told because the information was so limited,” Ammons said.  “For decades, rumors swirled and fed each other. Survivors never spoke of their ordeals, and families of the victims struggled on as best they could. The primary source historians sought was the coroner’s Inquest, where 70 survivors had testified just after the disaster, but the document had disappeared. The only information was from one official government report, and the quickly written and inconsistent newspaper stories during the first intense days. There were no maps of the mine available, so none of the descriptions in the newspapers could be placed.”
The missing coroner’s report was rediscovered three years ago in the attic of the Butte County courthouse and its 600 pages of testimony provided a rich source of information which was combined with other resources to finally recreate the disaster in full detail.
“We can travel distances physically, but we can’t physically travel back in time,” Ammons said. “This is what good storytelling and history do. …  The story is set in another time, deep underground mining around the turn of last Century. But the men and women involved were just like ourselves. The goal of this story-telling time travel, is to join their story and live their experience.”

Workshop Gets Children READY! for Kindergarten

The library will host the third of three workshops designed to help families prepare their children to begin kindergarten on Wednesday, March 13, at 6 p.m.
The free READY! for Kindergarten program is designed to build strong parent engagement and teach families new skills and helpful tips to nurture a child’s development; foster essential early literacy, math, and social-emotional skills; and provides learning targets, and take-home activities and tools equip parents and caregivers to help toddlers and young children develop strong brain connections for success in school.
The workshop, in the library Community Room, will include free materials, toys, child care, and refreshments. Participants are asked to register by calling 208-667-8112 to ensure that sufficient materials are available.
Families are invited to join the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
The free program is a nationwide challenge that encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children. By reading just one book a night, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in three years and provide their children essential early literacy skills.
The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is available to all families with children between the ages of birth and 5 years.
Weekly children’s programs at the library continue through May 1 and include:
► Sensory Story Time: Mondays, 10:30-11:30 a.m. For children ages 2-6 with developmental disabilities or sensory processing disorders, and their caregivers. Sensory Story Time provides a welcoming environment to nurture a love of reading and enhance literacy skills.
► Family Storytime: Mondays, 4 p.m. Stories and a craft for the whole family.
► Book Babies Lapsit:  Tuesdays, 10:15 a.m. and Fridays, 10:30-11 a.m., for children ages newborn to 2 accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver.
► Toddler Time Music & Motion: Tuesdays, 11-11:30 a.m., fun, songs, movement, and a story for 2-3 year olds.
► Stay & Play: Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m., after Toddler Time and Fridays, 11-11:30 a.m. after Book Babies, families can stay for fun and socializing.
► Lake City LEGO Club: Tuesdays, 4 p.m., at the Lake City Public Library in the high school on Ramsey Road.
► Preschool Storytime: Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., stories and a craft geared to ages 3-5.
► Code Club/Minecraft Club: Wednesday, 4 p.m., learn coding basics with robots and video games. For ages 7-12.
► LEGO Club: Thursdays, 4 p.m., free play with the library’s huge collection of LEGOs. Generally for ages 5 -11.
Children and teens younger than 18 are no longer charged late fees. Patrons of all ages are still responsible for lost items. Children under 6 visiting the libraries need to be supervised by an adult or a person who is at least 14 even during programs. Children ages 6-9 should be accompanied by someone who is at least 14 who will remain in the building.
For more information call 208-769-2315 Ext. 438 or e-mail Mandi Harris, Youth Services Librarian, at The Branch Manager for Lake City is JD Smithson, and she can be reached at 208-763- 0814 or

Rescheduled Teen Smash Event March 16

The library will host a Teen Smash-Up Event (rescheduled from last month due to the weather) Saturday, March 16, at 4 p.m.
Make buttons and mash buttons in this program with the ultimate combo of gift-making and gaming. Then duke it out in our Super Smash Bros Ultimate tourney. Bring your own device or use the library's Nintendo Switch. Gamers who are waiting for their turn can also play League of Legends on the library's laptops. Prizes and pizza will be provided.
The Teen Movie will be “Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse,” Friday, March 29 at 6 p.m. Watch the Spiderman of one universe (Miles Morales) team up with his counterparts from other realities to save the multiverse. Pizza will be provided.
Other March teen programs include:
► Scribbler Society Writing Club: Mondays, March 11 and 25, 3-4 p.m., in the Jameson Room. This is an all-ages activity for patrons who want to improve and share their writing skills.
► Anime Club: Tuesdays, 4-5 p.m. Watch anime shows, like "My Hero Academia,” while you interact with other teens who love anime as much as you do. For ages 13-18.
► Teen D&D: Thursdays, 4-6 p.m., in the Gozzer and Jameson rooms. Be part of an epic campaign. Have grand fantasy adventures, using your imagination, strategic skills, and the power of teamwork. Beginners welcome.
► Library League of Legends:  Fridays 4-5:30 p.m., resuming Jan. 18, in the Shirley Parker Story Room. Play the MOBA “League of Legends” with other teens. Use our laptops, or bring your own. Snacks provided.
For more information contact Angela Flock at 208-769-2315 Ext. 463 or by e-mail at

Writers Competition Deadline is March 31

The deadline for entries in the Julie Meier Writers Competition is March 31.
Copies of the rules and entry forms are available at the main library and the Lake City Public Library in the high school on Ramsey Road and are also available online at the Writers Competition link at An updated guide to creating an entry can also be found at this site. Forms can also be requested by email to and can be requested by postal mail.
The age groups for the competition are Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, and Adult – ages 19 and older. Homeschooling families can determine the age group that best suits their children.
Cash prizes will be awarded in each age group and category, $100 for first, $50 for second, and $25 for third.
Participants are encouraged to read through the rules and make sure they are understood before they begin writing. It’s especially important that adults who are organizing classes or other groups to submit entries make sure they read and understand the entry requirements.

Meet Your Friends to Knit and Color at These Library Groups

The Well-Knit Tale Knitting Club meets the first and third Tuesday of the month  – March 5 and 19 – at 2:30 p.m. in the Jameson Room.
All skill levels of knitters and crocheters are welcome. Materials and refreshments are provided.
Coffee and Coloring for adults meets the second and fourth Tuesday each month – March 12 and 26 – at 10 a.m.
Drawing materials and refreshments are provided, or bring your own.