NASA splashes down in Niles

Published 8:51 pm Thursday, April 7, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Niles District Library is celebrating National Library Week with a number of activities for the whole community.
NASA has arrived at the library. In conjunction with the conclusion of the community-wide reading program Read, Share, Grow: Bringing Communities Together there is an exhibit entitled "The History of Rocketry" in the library's rotunda.
The exhibit goes along with the book that was chosen for the reading program called Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam.
The exhibit features information on the history of rocketry from the earliest pioneers in this field through what is being done today at places like NASA.
This exhibit will be on display until April 22.
On Saturday April 16, the library will be offering three programs about rocketry and space exploration.
At the 1 p.m. program, Don Palac from NASA's Glen Research Center will be presenting "Rocket Propulsion." Palac will then present "The U.S. Space Program: Past, Present and Future at 2 p.m. and at 3 p.m. Shannon Murphy, who is an ambassador for NASA's Johnson Propulsion Laboratory, will present "The Importance of Rocketry in Space Exploration."
Another event the library is holding to celebrate is the Friends of Niles District Library Silent Auction.
Collectables and works of art are among the many items available in the silent auction to benefit the library.
Other items include paintings, signed books, commemorative plates, and hand made goods.
The auction is being held from April 11-16 and winners will be announced on Monday, April 18. In order to bid on an item, you must register at the circulation desk.
Some of the more interesting items featured in the auction are handwritten letters from artists and illustrator that are addressed to Anne Frese, who as the librarian at the Niles District Library for almost 30 years.
In the early 1970s Frese wrote to many different illustrators asking them if they would donate illustrations that could be used by the Michigan Library Association on bookmarks used as part of its summer reading program.
The Friends of Niles District Library will also be having a book sale to raise funds.
The Friends only pre-sale (requires a paid membership in Friends of Niles District Library) will be held on Thursday, April 14 from 9 a.m to 8 p.m.
The sale will then be open to the public on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Finally the Fort Saint Joseph Museum and Niles District Library will be making the official public presentation of Once Upon a River: A Children's History of Niles on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m.
Copies will be available for purchase for $15.
There are also a few activities planned around the celebration of the book. On Tuesday, April 12, at 1:30 and 4 p.m there will be art classes offered for children between the ages of seven and 12.
On Wednesday, April 13, "Michigan History for Kids" with Susan Degraw will be presented at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. and then again at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Friday, April 15, will be Niles Game Day which will feature a scavenger hunt and puzzles. And on Saturday, April 16, Jason Weesaw will be presenting "Potawatomi Culture Comes Alive" at 1 p.m.
The book was funded in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, which is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.