Dowagiac District Library participating in third annual Library Hop

Published 9:38 am Monday, April 1, 2019

DOWAGIAC — Last week, Dowagiac District Library Youth Services Coordinator Melissa Phillips opened up an old, battered copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to a page covered in dense, black ink. On the page, only a select few white spots remained, the words contained within them creating a short, unique poem.

The poem was an example of blackout poetry, which the library will be offering throughout April as part of a collaborative program.

Starting today, the Dowagiac District Library is participating in the third annual Library Hop. Library Hop, which takes place April 1 to April 31, brings together several local libraries in collaboration with each other. This year, 20 area libraries are participating in the annual program.

Throughout April, each of the participating libraries will be hosting either single day events or month-long programs to celebrate Library Hop. Events range from Lego Day at the Cass District Library to pottery and painted glass classes at the Athens Community Library to several author visits and many more.

“This is a chance for people to get out and visit a library different than their home library just to see what other libraries are doing,” Phillips said. “There is so much going on everywhere, and it is usually free programs.”

The Dowagiac District Library’s Library Hop program will be a way to celebrate both Library Hop and National Poetry Month, according to Phillips. The library will be hosting blackout poetry throughout the month of April where patrons take a page from a book no longer in circulation and use a pencil to black out some of the text while strategically keeping other words visible, which creates a new and unique poem. The books from which blackout poetry can be made will be available for patrons to use anytime the library is open during the month.

Phillips said the Dowagiac District Library hosted blackout poetry for last year’s Library Hop and that she brought it back this year due to popular demand.

“I think it is a really cool thing,” she said. “It is just a different way to get creative. It is a different outlet. You can be as creative with it as you want.”

Though she is most excited for the Dowagiac District Library’s blackout poetry, Phillips said she would encourage people to participate in the various Library Hop events as it gives people a reason to try something new and see what local libraries have to offer.

“This is a way for us to say, ‘hey, we have more to offer than just some books on a shelf,’” she said. “There are things we are doing in the community. … If you see something at [another library during Library Hop,] bring it back to us. Anytime there is a cool new program, we want to hear about it.”

Libraries participating in Library Hop include:

• Athens Community Library

• Burr Oak Township Library

• Cass County District Library

• Colon Township Library

• Comstock Township Library

• Constantine Township Library

• Dowagiac Community Library

• Galesburg-Charleston Memorial Library

• Lawrence Memorial Library, Climax

• Wood Memorial Library, Marcellus Township

• McKay Library, Augusta-Ross Township

• Mendon Township Library

• Nottawa Township Library

• Parchment Community Library

• Richland Community Library

• Schoolcraft Community Library

• Sturgis District Library

• Three Rivers Public Library

• VanBuren District Library

• Vicksburg District Library

For more information or to see a schedule of special events, visit or find Library Hop on Facebook. Also at, visitors can print off a Library Hop passport to use during the month of April.