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Library is place to be

Summer reading programs at the Austin Public Library have provided a flurry of activity this summer.

Wednesday was no exception. Underwater Adventures from the Mall of America arrived to dazzle and intrigue kids with a hands-on program.

More than 200 kids took a "journey" down the Mississippi River and discussed the animals they saw and how the oil spill affects these animals, especially at the mouth of the river. The kids were led by Laura Holt and Adreon Morgan of Underwater Adventures. The children sat engaged while Holt and Morgan described how difficult it is for animals to live with oil in their habitat because oil and water don't mix, so the animals have to break through the oil to get to clean water.

The children also had the opportunity to pet small animals, such as starfish, and touch shells and artifacts.

"This is a great way for kids to learn and ask questions," Holt said.


The activity is similar to others this summer at the library, which has attraced hundreds of kids to programs such as Mad Science with Jim Birkey and Gator Alley with Shari Ellingson.

The Austin Public Library has been organizing the summer reading program for years, and this year the numbers have been record-breaking.

"It's been a wild summer," said Anita Bruggeman, the library's program director. "We beat last year's attendance record four programs ago, and they keep coming back. One program we had over 250 kids."

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