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St. Pete libraries celebrate Mirror Lake Centennial with loads of fun for kids

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete’s Mirror Lake community has had access to library services for 100 years now. The current library on the east side of the lake is celebrating with several events this month. The first, a Dr. Suess book bash, is this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Local kiddos are welcomed to come bounce around in an inflatable bounce house, make crafts, play games, watch movies and meet story characters. The Dr. Seuss Book Bash is being held in conjunction with the National Education Association’s Read Around America Day and Dr. Suess’ birthday.

Also this Saturday, Friends of the Main Library will host the St. Petersburg Poet Laureate, Pater Meinke, at the Main Library at 3745 Ninth Avenue North. Beginning at 2 p.m. Meinke, who is also a professor emeritus of literature at Eckerd College, will read some of his work. That includes poetry, short stories and children’s literature.

Meinke is also receiving an award for lifetime achievement in letters – the first award of its kind in St. Pete. Another Eckerd professor, Sterling Watson, will be the keynote speaker. Watson is the co-director of Eckerd’s Writers in Paradise conference.

The event kicks off the SunLit Festival celebration of literature in Florida. The festival ends on March 15 at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

The Mirror Lake Library will also host a scavenger hunt beginning on Saturday until March 28. Children 3-11 who successfully completed the hunt will win a book. For more information on how to participate call the library’s youth services division at 727-892-5296.

Teens can participate in celebrations also beginning Sunday. March 8-14 is Teen Tech Week. A history of video gaming will be presented at the Main Library on Sunday at 12:15. That presentation will walk teens through old school favorites on Atari to things like Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis all the way up to current systems and evaluate how the games have changed. During that event teens will also have a chance to play some of the games.

On March 14 from 2-4 the Main Library is also hosting Retro Techno. There teens can get a glimpse of some of their parents’ and grandparents’ technology like typewriters and some of the earliest video games.

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative that began in 2007. It aims at ensuring teens, who are more connected to technology than any generation before them, are “ethical users” of digital media like e-readers, social media and audio books.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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