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Special music event coming to DL library April 24

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Beloved children's musician and storyteller Siama will bring his trademark Congolese guitar music to the Detroit Lakes Public Library for a 10:30 a.m. presentation on Tuesday, April 24. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
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This month, the Detroit Lakes Public Library is bringing popular children's musician Siama to the library to perform interactive music and storytelling for young children and their families, featuring his trademark Congolese guitar music.

This event is held in celebration of the children who have read 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, as part of the library's initiative to encourage literacy development.

"Music with Siama and Dallas" is brought to the community free of charge, thanks to funding from the Minnesota Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. All are welcome to come to the library for this performance on Tuesday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the Detroit Lakes Public Library.

As a prolific composer from east Africa, Siama performed with many great entertainers and was a sought after studio musician, recording hundreds of popular songs during the golden area of soukous music in the 1970s and 1980s. Siama launched his solo career in 2014 in Minneapolis, after being awarded a McKnight fellowship. He performs for small children and life-long learners at concerts, festivals and special events.

The Detroit Lakes Public Library is pleased to offer "1,000 Books before Kindergarten", a program that encourages parents and caregivers to read to children from birth to kindergarten and beyond. Incentives will be awarded for each reading milestone achieved, with a special award for those who read 1,000 times before kindergarten. Visit the library to sign up, or learn more at To celebrate the success of the program, families with children ages 0-5 are invited to attend a Reading Success Celebration on Tuesday, April 17 from 10-11 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m.

The celebration will include activities, refreshments and free books for kids. This event is offered in collaboration with Detroit Lakes Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE). All are welcome to either session.

Preschool Storytime: Preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to join us for Storytime every Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (holidays excepted). A different theme is explored each week. Daycares and other large groups are asked to call ahead.

Remembering the Holocaust

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) is April 12. The annual remembrance takes place to honor the memory of the victims of the Nazi regime's evil.

There are many incredible stories written about the Holocaust such as Kristin Hannah's "Nightingale," Tatiana deRosnay's "Sarah's Key," and Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief," just to name a few. Your library also has many nonfiction materials on the Holocaust like the two works highlighted below.

"Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Effort to Save the Jews of Europe," by Rebecca Erbelding.

America has long been criticized for refusing to give harbor to the Jews of Europe as Hitler and the Nazis closed in. Now a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum scholar tells the extraordinary story of the War Refugee Board, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's little-known effort late in the war to save the Jews who remained.

In January 1944, a young Treasury lawyer named John Pehle accompanied his boss to a meeting with the president. For more than a decade, the Jews of Germany had sought refuge in the United States and had been stymied by Congress's harsh immigration policy. Now the State Department was refusing to authorize relief funds Pehle wanted to use to help Jews escape Nazi territory. At the meeting, Pehle made his best case--and prevailed. Within days, FDR created the War Refugee Board, empowering it to rescue the victims of Nazi persecution, and put John Pehle in charge.

Over the next twenty months, Pehle pulled together a team of D.C. pencil pushers, international relief workers, smugglers, diplomats, millionaires, and rabble-rousers to run operations across four continents and a dozen countries. Together, they tricked the Nazis, forged identity papers, maneuvered food and medicine into concentration camps, recruited spies, leaked news stories, laundered money, negotiated ransoms, and funneled millions of dollars into Europe. They bought weapons for the French Resistance and sliced red tape to allow Jewish refugees to escape to Palestine. Altogether, they saved tens of thousands of lives.

Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris," by Anne Nelson.

A story of courage in the face of evil. The tense drama of Suzanne Spaak who risked and gave her life to save hundreds of Jewish children from deportation from Nazi Paris to Auschwitz. This is one of the untold stories of the Holocaust.

Suzanne Spaak was born into the Belgian Catholic elite and married into the country's leading political family. Her brother-in-law was the Foreign Minister and her husband Claude was a playwright and patron of the painter Renée Magritte. In Paris in the late 1930s her friendship with a Polish Jewish refugee led her to her life's purpose. When France fell and the Nazis occupied Paris, she joined the Resistance. She used her fortune and social status to enlist allies among wealthy Parisians and church groups.

Under the eyes of the Gestapo, Suzanne and women from the Jewish and Christian resistance groups "kidnapped" hundreds of Jewish children to save them from the gas chambers.

Library hours

The Detroit Lakes Public Library's regular hours are as follows: Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays and all national holidays.

For more information on local library services and programs, please call 218-847-2168 or visit your Library at 1000 Washington Ave.

Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL), a consolidated public library system comprised of 13 branch libraries and nine LINK sites serving the residents of seven counties in northwest Minnesota. More information is available at, and the library's app, LARL Mobile, is available in the iTunes and Google Play stores for free download.