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Come Harvest Our Fall Activites at the Altoona Public Library

Posted August 15, 2012 in Altoona, Community Blogs


It’s going to be a busy fall season at your Altoona Public Library. Story times will start back up, as well as programs in music and clowning around.

Patrons are reminded that there are no programs in August so we may plan for next year’s activities. This is a good time to get your kids back in the swing of reading. It will help get their learning processes up to speed.

OWN THE NIGHT – 6th Grade and Up

How are you doing with your “Own the Night” book logs and event attendance?

Receive one punch on your prize pass for every book checked out (up to five a day) and three punches for attending any of our special events.

Remember to complete your prize pass and turn it in by August 31 for a shot at winning shirts, water bottles, books or a Nook Simple Touch.

Check the circulation desk for a calendar of special events.

“BETWEEN THE COVERS” – Adult Programs

Our adult “Between the Covers” contest continues through August 31. When you check out a book remember to enter your name for luggage, shirts, stadium blankets and more. Three entries per visit.

You also receive entries for attending a special event or program. Check the circulation desk for more details.


We’ll soon be back in another school year and the Altoona Public Library is offering a new slate of programs for both young and old. It promises to be a busy and exciting fall season.

Please remember that the library will be closed on Monday, September 3, for the Labor Day holiday. Please return books in the slots on the south side of the building.

Story time for ages two to six (Smiley Faces) will start off the month on Tuesday, September 4 at 10 a.m. Other Smiley Faces story times are September 11, 18 and 25.

Moonlight stories and crafts, for ages two to eight years, are every Thursday night in September at 6:30 p.m.

We will offer Small Steps on Friday morning, September 14 and 28 for little children, ages six to 24 months.

Busy Bees, for ages two to six years, will be held every Friday in September at 11 a.m. It combines stories and a craft.


The ever-popular Deb Paul presents another Tiny Tots Music program beginning Monday, September 10 at 11 a.m. It’s for children up to age six. Altoona and rural Polk County residents may sign up beginning August 20. After August 27 it will be open to anyone.


We’ll all have an extra special, fun time with an extra special clown named Lots O Dots, on Wednesday, September 5 and 19 during our “Creative Capers” programs. Lots will teach your youngsters about clowning, makeup and costume on August 5 at 3 p.m. Kids from kindergarten to third grade are welcome. There is no registration required.

Kids from third through sixth grade can learn about balloon sculpting on September 19, at 3 p.m. You’ll need to pre-register for this class. Altoona and rural Polk County residents may sign up beginning August 20. After August 27 it is open to all.


Long before the days of the internet and satellite television there was radio. Please stop by the lobby case to learn about the interesting hobby of shortwave radio.

Many hobbyists, in the “old days,” listened to worldwide broadcasts in English from many distant nations via shortwave radio. Shortwave signals possess a different wavelength that enables it to literally bounce around the world. Shortwave radio was a fun and educational way to learn about different countries, people and culture.

Shortwave radio stations would give the news and even offer language lessons over the radio. Listeners were called DXers and would send in reception reports to the station engineers. In return you would receive a QSL card (QSL means “confirmation”) as a souvenir. The lobby display illustrates the hobby of shortwave listening with a QSL collection.

Stations would send books, newspapers or other souvenirs along with their QSL cards. Occasionally, the station would actually acknowledge your letter and greet you during a broadcast which was quite a thrill!

We have cards from Radio Moscow, Uganda, Cuba, Egypt, South Africa and even Papua New Guinea. Look on the map in the display to see if you can match the country with the card.

Even a small radio with equipped with a shortwave band could pick up an amazing number of stations (especially if you clipped an extra length of copper wire to the existing antenna). A couple of radios are displayed that are capable of receiving shortwave.

Budget constraints, satellite radio and the internet have dictated the phase-out of shortwave by many nations. Few opportunities exist for the exciting moment in the middle of the night when you were able to hear a crackling, fading signal over the static from a tiny country such as Albania.


Whenever the weather does cool down a little be sure to enjoy our picnic tables and patio? It’s a great place to eat your lunch in the shade, then check out a book for later.


As always, continue to shop for bargains at our book sale. There are quite a few books which are nearly new. You’re sure to find a bargain.


A very innovative course will be offered in October so put this one on your calendar. “Baby Chatter, Too,” a class geared for youngsters ages two to eight to help them learn American Sign Language. The class teaches communication with sign language which also creates the foundation for reading and math skills in children. It also incorporates children’s stories and songs. Plus, it will be fun. Parents are welcome to attend. Sign up will start September 11 for Altoona and rural Polk County residents. After September 17 it will be open to anyone.


The next book discussion is set for Tuesday, August 21, at 7 p.m. The “Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield will be discussed. It deals with a reclusive author, who now old and ailing, reveals her own extraordinary and dark secrets to a young biographer-also troubled by her own painful history.


It’s always the season for genealogical research. We have an ample supply of Altoona newspapers on CD and microfilm. It’s very helpful for looking up obituaries and other events of the past. Besides that it’s just fascinating to look up what prices used to be in the grocery store. Why not reminisce by looking up some news from your days in high school?

The Altoona Public Library is a great place for education and entertainment.

“So many books, so little time.”
Singer, composer Frank Zappa

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