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Perhaps you are like me. In January, you catch yourself daydreaming. The glitz and glow of the holidays have passed and the short hours of daylight remain. This is when I find myself turning my energy into coming up with ways to challenge myself in the New Year (read resolutions.) I also dream of fleeing the dull Midwest winter (read vacation.) To escape these doldrums, any librarian worth their library card would urge you to visit the library. This year’s Bettendorf Public Library Winter Reading Program is your ticket to a more productive year and your best vacation yet.

The theme for the 2019 Winter Reading Program is Book a Trip and started on Jan. 7. We have set reading goals for all ages and planned some great events to help you vanquish boredom. We host monthly events perfect for fighting off gray days. In January, we are hosting book discussions for all ages, free concerts at our Community Connections and Brown Bag Lunch events and a Britpop music listening experience at our monthly Trax from the Stax program.

For teens and younger children we will have chess clubs, game playing events, storytimes and more. Our largest event will happen at Bettendorf’s annual Winter Carnival on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Adventures will be held all over the city. The library has some terrific drop in activities scheduled for the entire family. All of these events can be found by visiting the library’s website at

The library will also host a couple of events specifically tied to vacationing. On Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m., I will share with you where I’m planning my next vacation. Having been on over a dozen trips (which means I’ve spent three months of my life in the land of the Mouse), I’ll present Disney on a Dime where I share tips and tricks for a great Disney vacation for a lot less money.

Our event for Saturday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. will teach you the ins and outs of being a Power Packer. Expert suitcase packers Pat Bereskin and Marilyn Buel will demonstrate how to fit a week’s vacation into a carry on. These events don’t require registration and are free thanks to the Friends of the Bettendorf Public Library.

As someone who uses her library card every day, I feel obligated to remind you that the act of reading alone is the ticket for fantastic mental vacations. You truly can Book a Trip for your mind this year and we’ll celebrate your brain’s voyage with prizes. To get started, visit the library’s website to register and record your reading efforts or visit the library and we’ll set you up for the program. Bettendorf Public Library’s Book a Trip Winter Reading Program ends on Feb. 16. Sign up, win prizes for your reading and banish the dullness of winter for good.

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