April kicks off the Great Decisions program series at the Chanhassen Library.

The first event is 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 6. It will cover the topic of the rise of populism in Europe.

The Great Decisions programs feature a guest speaker, who is an expert in the field, presenting and leading a discussion. Great Decisions events are organized nationally by the Foreign Policy Association and locally by Global Minnesota. The 2019 Great Decisions guide is available for check out. Great Decisions presentations are sponsored by the Friends of the Chanhassen Library.

Need to decide what great book to read next? Then check out this book review courtesy of Kathy Perschmann.

“The Forgotten Place” by Charles Todd. Nurse Bess Crawford is now helping to nurse amputees from the Great War in England and becomes especially concerned about a group of Welsh miners who are despondent. They have no way to earn a living since they had been miners before the war, and they do not want to be a burden on their families.

After several of the men from the same regiment and valley in Wales succeed at suicide, the rest of the group is released to go home. When Bess get some leave, she decides to check on them, but does not tell anyone where she is going. She finds the valley, and discovers one more man dead, and one ill with pneumonia, not expected to live. But their Captain has left, to go help with widowed sister-in-law on a remote farm.

Bess hires a car and driver and arrives late in the evening. She finds the village oddly hostile and observes a man in a boat who washes up on the shore during a storm with no ID, buried secretly in the churchyard without any authorities being contacted. Several village men are severely beaten, then one is found dead. Who is to blame?


Tails for Reading: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 6. Preschool and elementary school age children are welcome to read books aloud to specially trained therapy dogs to encourage confidence in reading. Presented by North Star Therapy Animals. Children read for a 15-minute session on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration required.

Great Decisions: The Rise of Populism in Europe: 10 to 30 p.m., Saturday, April 6. Mass migration, and the problems associated with it, have directly abetted the rise of populist parties in Europe. Opposition to immigration was the prime driver of support for Brexit. It brought a far-right party to the German Bundestag for the first time since the 1950s, and propelled Marine Le Pen to win a third of the vote in the French presidential election. In addition to calling for stronger borders, however, these parties are invariably illiberal, anti-American, anti-NATO and pro-Kremlin, making their rise a matter of serious concern for the national security interests of the United States. The speaker is Christa Tiefenbacher-Hudson.

Arts in April with Landscape Drawing with Artistry: 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 7. Learn to capture the essence of a landscape. Discussions and demonstrations will teach you how to use a viewfinder, determine the underlying structure of a scene, and how to simplify and organize what you see. Whether you like to draw, paint, or take photographs this workshop will improve your drawing and composition techniques for capturing and rendering outdoor landscapes. Please bring to class at least six photos of your favorite places. Registration required.

Teen Advisory Board: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 9. For ages 13-18, no registration required. Join other teens that have an interest in library programs and more. We meet monthly to help plan programs, activities and volunteer as Teen Advisors. We also enjoy some snacks and discussion about books and more.


Arts in April with Paper Collage for Teens and Adults: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 6. Come and learn a serious side of scrap craft/reuse collage from Kristin Arneson, MFA. Bring found objects if you like but supplies will be provided. After you have completed your greeting card, scan it to use again and again. (Bring a flash drive if you wish.) Sponsored by the Friends of the Chaska Library.

Search Engine Optimization: 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, April 11. Search Engine Optimization helps maximize traffic to your website, and it's not as complicated and mysterious as it seems. You will leave this class understanding how to incorporate keywords and other easy tips and tricks for increasing traffic to your website. Bring your own laptop or device.


Stuck on Science Storytime: 10:30 to 11 a.m., Monday, April 8 and 10:30 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 10. Join us for a special preschool STEM storytime. After stories and songs, we are going to have fun with magnets. Rotate to different stations to build with magnetic tiles, find a “stuck truck” to drive through town and more.


No registration is required for storytime.

Family Storytimes: For all ages, with a focus on children age 2 and up. Children, parents and their caregivers are invited to share 30 minutes of singing, playing, reading, writing, and talking that encourages the development of early literacy skills. Chanhassen Library: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; Chaska Library: 6:30 p.m. Monday and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday; Victoria Library: 10:30 a.m. Monday and 5 p.m. Thursday.

Toddler Storytimes: Toddlers and their caregivers are welcome to join us for 20 minutes of action-packed fun with sto ries, rhymes, fingerplays, and musical movement for this age group. Co me shake your sillies out with us. For ages 18-36 months. Chanhassen Library: 10:30 a.m. Monday; Chaska and Victoria libraries: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Lapsit Storytime: For ages birth to 18 months. Babies and their caregivers share quality time in a 20 minute session designed to encourage language development through board books and movement activities, followed by time for visiting and play. Chanhassen Library: 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Patrick Jones is branch manager for the Chanhassen and Victoria libraries. He can be reached at pjones@co.carver.mn.us.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.


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