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Shelf Life: MPL hosts ‘Access to Justice’ program – The Missoulian

Did you know you can lose your house, job, or children without the right to an attorney? Many folks in the community face potentially devastating civil legal problems. Unable to afford a lawyer, they must face our complex justice system alone, often leading to catastrophic legal results for them and high costs for our society.

Are you interested in learning how civil legal aid impacts your community by providing free legal services to those in need? If so, be sure to join the Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) for “Access to Justice,” a community conversation at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the library’s Large Meeting Room.

Emma O’Neil, Development Associate for the MLSA, will offer a presentation that explores what civil legal aid is, how it works, and why having fair and equal access to the justice system matters to you. Come hear stories of lives impacted by civil legal aid, and ask questions to find out more information. This is your chance to learn more about how our justice system can provide justice for all, regardless of income, and find out how you can make a difference in your community.

Preschool Scissors Clinic

Children between the ages of two and six are invited to come perfect their skills with scissors during the Preschool Scissors Clinic, which is scheduled from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday in MPL’s Children’s Department.

Children’s librarians will be leading this activity, which features an art project that requires the use of scissors. For more information, call the department at 721-2665.

Pinwheel Coloring Contest

MPL’s Children’s Department invites children between the ages of one and twelve to color a pinwheel in conjunction with April Awareness Month for the Prevention of Child Abuse. The department will post completed pictures and randomly select winners from different age groups at the end of April.

Pinwheel coloring sheets are currently available in the Children’s Department and are due by April 5.

Appraisal Fair coming up in April

Antique collectors can find out just how valuable their valuables are during the Fifth Annual Friends of Missoula Public Library Appraisal Fair, which is scheduled 1-4 p.m. April 10 in the Large Meeting Room.

Expert appraisers from across Montana will be available to evaluate the price of your antiques and collectables for $10 per item, or $15 for two items. Proceeds support library programming.

For more information, call Public Relations Specialist Karl Olson at 258-3851.

We Have It: Staff Reviews

“Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog” by Ted Karasote (Harcourt, Inc., 2007) Call Number: 636.7096 KERASOT

I selected this title because of the Trail 103.3 Radio Book Club. A listener had suggested it, saying simply “Best book yet. It’s a must read whether or not you have or love dogs!” Well, I do have dogs and I love them, so how could I pass up the challenge?

“Merle’s Door” didn’t disappoint. From the book’s beginning — where author Ted Karasote states “He looked at me and his eyes said, ‘You need a dog, and I’m that dog!’ ” — all the way to the ending of both the book and Merle’s life, I found myself laughing, crying, and rethinking how I interact with my own pups. The “door” discussed in this book is both a physical pet door, and the analogy of a door into the nature of dogs.

Merle was free to come and go as he pleased, and he used this freedom to teach the author as much about dogs as Karasote believes he taught Merle about human life. The listener was correct – this is a must read.

Reviewed by Jodi Teeple Christophe

Hot Happenings

Here’s a sampling of some free programs coming up at the Missoula Public Library. Check the full events calendar at missoulapubliclibrary.org.

MakerSpace offerings

Computer Electronics: 3-6 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

Open Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  Mondays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and  Wednesdays.

Community Creative Writing Workshop: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

Jewelry Making Workshop: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Watercolor Painting Drop-In Class: noon-2 p.m. Fridays in the Large Meeting Room

Computer classes

Intro to Email: 6-7 p.m. Monday.

Learn the basics of creating an email account including sending and receiving messages, and adding attachments.

Excel: 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Learn the basics of working with spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel 2010. Topics include entering data and formulas, moving and copying data, formatting, and print previewing worksheets.

Registration is required to attend MPL’s computer classes. Call 721-2665 to secure your spot.

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