All Library branches will be closed Sunday, April 20, in observance of Easter.

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Bilyeu Concert, Observatory Night and Other Unique Events Make Summer Special at the Library

The week ahead holds great “edu-tainment” for kids and teens – StarLab on Tuesday at the Library Station, Laughing Matters comedy on Wednesday at the Brentwood Branch – and so much more. (See Bookends or thelibrary.org/programs.)

The Library also has several unique events of special interest to adults as part of the Library’s Summer Reading program, including a free concert under the stars on Saturday with Mark Bilyeu, of Ozarks family band Big Smith.

On Friday, we’re going Under the Stars at Baker Observatory, near Marshfield. The event begins at 8:30 p.m., and you can register or get more information by calling 882-0714 so the observatory can stagger the tours.

We’ll look at the setting crescent moon, constellations, planets and deep-sky objects with Becky Baker and students from the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science, Missouri State University. If it’s overcast, the program will be at 7 p.m. in the Library Center auditorium. (Call 882-0714 to check on location.) Maps to the observatory are available at the library branches.

From 7-9 p.m. Saturday on the Library Center patio, grab a spot or bring a lawn chair for a free concert by singer, guitarist and songwriter Mark Bilyeu. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. If it rains, the concert will move indoors. Mark continues to perform and tour after the recent retirement of Big Smith.

Mark had served as front man for the band of five cousins, and shared songwriting and lead vocal duties with the other members. In January 2005, he began working on an album of his own. “First One Free” showcases Mark moving from his trademark acoustic hillbilly-bluegrass sound to what he calls country-folk-rock.

All ages are welcome to enjoy this rare opportunity to hear Mark perform his original work.
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Tickets go on sale Monday at all library branches for another rare performance treat: “Walking Toward America,” with two shows at 7 p.m. July 14 and 2 p.m. July 15 at the Library Center.

Former Springfield author Sandy Asher wrote this one-woman script based on the memoir of Springfieldian Ilga Vise. Former Springfieldian and actress Annie Meek Montgomery portrays young Ilga during her flight with her family from their homeland in Latvia during World War II.

Tickets for this Library Foundation fundraiser are $10 for adults and $5 for students grades 5-12.


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