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Joyce Hoag was the winner of the grand prize basket of “bookish” goodies at the end of the Lonsdale Public Library’s adult winter reading program in 2019. This year’s program, “Chill Out with a Hot Book” offers another chance for patrons 18 and older to win a grand prize. (Photo courtesy of Marguerite Moran)

Let’s face it: it’s cold outside. For book lovers, it’s the time of year to curl up with a blanket and a book and feel no shame in staying inside.

But while the Lonsdale Public Library is the perfect place to check out an assortment of winter reads, it’s also becoming a hub for social events for the next couple of months.

Renamed “Chill Out with a Hot Book” per the recommendation of a patron last year, the adult reading program at the library offers its traditional contest in conjunction with new weekly outings.

Participants in the bingo contest must be 18 or older and have a library card from Lonsdale or a neighboring community. Registering for the bingo game gives patrons an automatic entry into the grand prize drawing. Participants then fill in their bingo cards by reading books in specific categories as listed on the bingo squares. Every completed bingo card results in another entry into the grand prize drawing, a basket of “bookish” items. The drawing will be held at the end of six weeks, and those who complete cards may pick out candy bars and tea in the meantime.

Apart from the annual bingo game, the library hosts six “Something Fun” events at 6 p.m. each Tuesday night for the duration of the adult reading program. While these events are marketed to adults, parents may bring their teens, and sometimes younger children, for a family outing.

The first, held Jan. 14, was a classic bingo game with fun prizes. The next event, held Jan. 21, is a craft night with guest artist Terinee Stangler. Participants are welcome to create their own bracelets with the materials provided and make donations if they choose.

TV trivia is the focus of the Jan. 28 library outing. Featuring 10 questions from each decade from the 1960s to the 2000s, the trivia night gives adults of all ages and their children opportunities to show off their television knowledge. Prizes will be rewarded.

For a more relaxing event, the library offers an adult coloring session Feb. 4. The library will provide coloring sheets, markers, colored pencils and refreshments.

Lonsdale Librarian Marguerite Moran expects one of the most popular events of the season to be a chocolate tasting held Feb. 11. Participants will sample a variety of treats, not knowing what they are, and vote for their favorites.

Another likely hit, based on previous attendance, is the Feb. 18 escape room. The library will offer five different sessions of this team-based activity. Moran has already created two escape rooms for young patrons in the past, but this third event, which is Harry Potter themed, is suitable for adults and teenagers. Sessions will be held at 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 p.m. and allow no more than six people at a time.

“The one [escape room] this summer we did multiple sessions, and they were all attended, so that’s a good sign,” said Moran. “And hopefully Harry Potter will appeal to a wide range of people.”

There is no charge for any of these events, but Moran encourages registration for the craft and trivia nights, and especially for the escape room.

Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. ©Copyright 2019 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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