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Park Hills library is about much more than just books

The Park Hills Public Library, like many modern libraries, offers its patrons and the community much more than just books to read.

“People aren’t always aware of what we offer here a lot of times that are totally free,” said Library Director Lisa Sisk. “In order to get people into the library and see what services we have, you have to do different things. And usually any activity that we have, we have people that have never been to our library before that will come in and a lot of times they become patrons. And that’s a good thing.”

This month, for example, the library has several events planned, including a class on the benefits of essential oils, which was held May 2 and will be offered again in the coming months.

Coming up on May 17, Park Hills quilter Carol Richardson will be teaching a class on the history and basics of quilting. The class begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the library’s activity room.

“One of our patrons is going to be teaching the class,” said Sisk. “We’re going to try to do something with her every month. She makes a lot of different (types of) quilts; she does T-shirt quilts that are really popular now so if we get people in and they’re interested in it then we could have Carol teach them how to make one.”

The class is free for anyone to attend, although registration is required.

“Come learn a new hobby,” said Sisk. “It’s relaxing, too.”

On May 23, the library is hosting its first “Singing in the Stacks” event featuring the musical talents of Donald “Duck” Nelson and Ted Byers. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the night promises “something for everyone.”

Sisk was “just thinking of something different to do” when she decided to invite Nelson and Byers to perform.

“We do classes and workshops and stuff like that, but we thought we’d like to do something just for fun,” she said. “(They) sing at a lot of the nursing homes, they go to the senior center and sing in the afternoons and people just love them. They’re very talented.

“It’s a program for people of any age … If it’s something that takes off, we may do it a couple of times in the summer and maybe (again) in the fall. It’s just something different … Not everything has to be reading-related.”

Two other non-reading-related programs being offered this spring and summer at the library have to do with fishing.

Library staff have teamed up with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to encourage families to get outside, do a bit of fishing and make some happy memories together.

Patrons with a valid library card can check out fishing rods and tackle free of charge through the MDC’s “Discover Nature: Rod and Reel Loaner Program.”

The library is also offering free fishing classes for kids ages seven to 15 years old and their families through the MDC’s “Discover Nature: Free Hands-On Fishing Instruction for Kids and Families” program.

The program is intended to help kids and their families gain the skills and confidence to go fishing on their own. Inexperience shouldn’t prevent anyone from enjoying Missouri’s great outdoors.

There will be four classes offered for four weeks on June 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. Each class is two hours long.

Registration is required and will be limited to the first 20 participants to sign up for each class. All youth must be accompanied by an adult. People age 16 and older cannot register alone for the classes; they must register as part of a family.

Participants can take just one class or complete the entire program, but everyone must take the first class before registering for any of the others.

Each class period will consist of one hour of class time followed by one hour of outdoor hands-on time at one of St. Joe State Park’s fishing spots.  All gear will be provided by the MDC, but participants should come to class wearing clothing and footwear that is suitable for the outdoors and waterside activities. 

Lesson one of the program will cover equipment, casting and proper fish handling. Participants will learn how to tie a knot and bait a hook during lesson two. Aquatic biology, ecology and conservation will be the topics for the third lesson. The final class will focus on fishing with lures.

In addition to the four fishing classes, Sisk said staff from the MDC may also be offering other fishing and hunting related classes at the library if there are people interested in them.

“They were telling me they have classes about how to make lures, how to clean fish and prepare them — recipes to make with fish—and then in the fall and winter we’ll have different hunting-related programs,” she said.

Adult coloring book nights, an event that has already proved to be popular, will continue to be offered on the second Monday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

“We’ll continue to do it as long as we have a turnout,” said Sisk, who expects to possibly cancel the events once people become busy with summer activities and then begin them again in the fall.

“People enjoy it,” she said, “and a lot of them bring a group of friends and they come in and color and sometimes it gets pretty loud downstairs, but that’s OK. They’re having fun.”

Adult coloring night is for adults only and is free to attend. Bring your own coloring book and supplies or, if you’re new to the activity, use coloring pages and supplies provided by the library.

Other Events in May and Early June

“iPad Hour” is scheduled for May 18 at 2 p.m.

Later in the month, there are two events for young library patrons.

The Teen Book Club will meet on May 24 at 5 p.m. for its regular end-of-the-month meeting plus “YouTube Teen Night.”

On May 25 at 4 p.m., preschool story time’s featured book will be “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

In early June, the library will be hosting a “Canvases ‘N Corks” event with artist Doug Howell. There will be a $30 fee to participate, paid to Howell, to cover the costs of materials.

“He sketches everything, provides the canvas, the paint, the easel, everything,” said Sisk. “And everyone just shows up and paints a picture … Everyone loves him.”

Howell regularly hosts Canvases ‘N Corks events at restaurants and wineries around the Parkland that include food and wine along with painting.

“No wine will be served here,” said Sisk with a smile, “but we’ll have sparkling grape juice and snacks.”

She said there must be a minimum of 10 participants for the event and registration is required.

The Park Hills Public Library is located at 16 S. Coffman St. For questions, for more information or register for any event or class, call the library at 573-431-4842 or stop by the circulation desk. You can also follow events at the library on Facebook.  

Adult coloring book nights, a popular monthly event at the Park Hills Public Library, is held on the second Monday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. 

Adult coloring book nights, a popular monthly event at the Park Hills Public Library, is held on the second Monday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. 

The Park Hills Public Library offers its patrons and the community a variety of events and activities to participate in, along with plenty of books to read. 

The Park Hills Public Library offers its patrons and the community a variety of events and activities to participate in, along with plenty of books to read. 

Amy Patterson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or

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