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ALTON - The Hayner Public Library District Friends of the Library building might be temporarily closed, but that won’t stop Hayner from staying busy with plenty of programs, events and activities over the next few weeks.

The Friends Building, located at 327 State Street in Alton, hosts the library’s donations and weekly book sales. The building is currently closed for roof repairs, but Executive Director Mary Cordes said it will be back up and running in no time.

“You want to be transparent and not just say, ‘Oh, everything’s fine.’ Everything is fine, but it’s just one of those things we have to take care of,” she explained. “We’ll have an announcement when it’s ready to go and ready to be open. We’re going as fast as we can but some of these things take time.”

While the library is not currently accepting donations, the Friends are still selling books on a book cart at Hayner’s Alton Square Mall location. Their regular book sales out of the Friends Building will resume soon.

In the meantime, library programs will continue as planned. Cordes is especially looking forward to “St. Louis: The Best Sports Town in America: An Evening with Ed Wheatley,” a presentation by Wheatley where he will talk about the history of sports in St. Louis and why he believes the city is a contender for the best sports town in the U.S.

“Ed Wheatley has written several books. He’s an award-winning author. All of his books focus on sports in St. Louis, so he is a fountain of knowledge,” Cordes added. “He’s won several awards, a lot of them from the Baseball Hall of Fame, so he knows of what he speaks.”

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The presentation will start at 6:30 p.m. on April 3, 2024, at Hayner’s Alton Square Mall location. While completely free, registration is required. Call 1-800-613-3163 to register.

The library will also continue their Teen Crime Stoppers program, a monthly event that invites teenagers to solve a murder mystery at the library. Cordes explained that the program encourages teenagers to get involved in the library and analyze clues to solve problems with critical thinking. She added that the Teen Advisory Board comes up with the ideas for TeenSpace programming like this.

“We know how important it is to have teens at the library and let them see what we have on offer, but we still want them to have some ownership of the programs and services that we provide to them, because who knows teens better than teens? It’s been awhile since I’ve been a teenager, and things have changed,” she laughed. “Behind every program that we have, there’s a point. There’s an educational or informational component to it, but also, especially when you’re dealing with teens, you want it to be fun.”

Teen Crime Stoppers will run from 4–5 p.m. on March 6, 2024. For the adults, the Taps and Tomes Book Club will meet on March 7, 2024, at The Old Bakery Beer Company in Alton. The club will discuss “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus, starting with a social hour from 6–7 p.m. and then the book discussion at 7 p.m.

All of this information and more is available through Hayner’s email newsletter, which comes out every Monday. Cordes explained that Hayner has a quarterly paper newsletter that is mailed to every household in Alton, Godfrey and Foster Township. But the email newsletter allows for more frequent updates about upcoming events. You can sign up at the library’s official website at HaynerLibrary.org.

The next quarterly newsletter will come out in late March with information about programs and activities through June. Cordes said they will “always” send the quarterly newsletter because they want to connect with people throughout the community.

“We realize there’s people that may not come into the library, so how do you reach those people?” she explained. “We feel like it's really important, because your tax dollars pay for the library. So once a quarter you hear from us and we can say to you, ‘Here's how you can take advantage of the library. You’re paying for it. Please come, please use it, it’s here for you. We try to have something for everybody.’ That’s our one way, our one shot once a quarter to send something to you so you can see your tax dollars in action.”

For more information about upcoming events, programs and more at Hayner Public Library District, visit HaynerLibrary.org.

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