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Duluth's worst year and other library events

The 1918 Cloquet fire. (Photo courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth)

The Duluth Public Library, 520 W. Superior St., is hosting a free talk on 1918: Duluth's Worst Year 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8 in the Green Room. 1918 is remembered as one of the most horrific years in Duluth's history. Many loved ones were sent overseas to fight in World War I, some never to return. Near the end of the year, the Spanish flu arrived in Duluth, and in order to keep it from spreading, the city closed down all major gathering places, from churches to schools to theaters. A few days later, the Cloquet fire erupted. The city of Cloquet and all of Duluth's neighboring communities were evacuated, meaning that people were temporarily crowded together, which resulted in the Spanish flu exploding in the city. Dan Hartman, director of Glensheen, will talk about this terrible year that tested the mettle and courage of Duluthians.

The Duluth Public Library is joining bookstores, libraries and retailers worldwide in celebrating Star Wars Reads Day on Saturday, Oct. 10. At 10:30 a.m., kids in grades K-5 are invited to a LEGOs @ the Library program in the Green Room focusing on building Star Wars-themed LEGO creations. Registration is required; call 730-4200/option 4 or sign up at At 3 p.m. the movie “Star Wars: the Clone Wars” will be shown in the Green Room. This computer-animated 3-D film takes place between the “Star Wars Episodes II” and “Episode III” feature films. A Star Wars scavenger hunt will be available all day in the Youth Services area, with small prizes for kids completing the hunt.

At 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12 in the Duluth Public Library Green Room, 520 W. Superior St., author Sarah Seidelmann will talk about the ups and downs of the writing process, as well as self-publishing. This will be an opportunity for all writers, especially those who are getting ready to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Duluthian Seidelmann, sister of comedian Maria Bamford, is the author of two nonfiction books; her most recent title is “Born to Freak: A Salty Primer for Irrepressible Humans.”NaNoWriMo is a fun, creative writing project for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel. On Nov. 1, participants of all ages begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30. To help aspiring writers, the Duluth Public Library will be making the Gold Room available for writers during November at weekly “Write-Ins” that will include a quiet space with free Wi-Fi, coffee, and snacks:  
  • Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 16, 2-8 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 23, 2-8 p.m.

After 30 days of writing, authors can come to the library to celebrate for a ‘Thank God It’s Over Party’ 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3 in the Gold Room. These events are free and open to the Duluth community. For more information about these events or NaNoWriMo, call the Duluth Public Library’s Community Services office at 730-4236, or visit

Teens in grades 6-12 are invited to drop in at the Duluth Public Library’s Gold Room, 520 W. Superior St., 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 for free gaming fun. The WiiU will be set up, and there will be a variety of tabletop games to play. Games include: MarioKart 8, Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt, Pandemic, Zombie Dice, Tsuro, and Smash Up. Refreshments will be served, while supplies last. The Teen Anime & Manga Club will be meeting from 4 to 6 pm also, next door in the Green Room. For more information, call the library’s Youth Services at 730-4200/option 4.

The Duluth Public Library, 520 W. Superior St., is hosting a free Goosebumps Gala for kids in grades K-5 a 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16 in the Green Room. To celebrate the theatrical release of the Goosebumps movie, artists from the Northern Expressions Arts Collective will be teaching kids how to make their own ooze. Choose some Goosbumps books to check out for a scary read during October. There will be a prize drawing for a copy of The Goosebumps Monster Survival Guide, based on the new movie. No registration necessary. For more information, call the library’s Youth Services desk at 730-4200/option 4.

Certified hypnotist Amye Scharlau will be presenting a free program in the Duluth Public Library Green Room, 520 W. Superior St., at 3 pm on Saturday, Oct. 17.  Be amazed as your friends and family fly spaceships, speak a different language, or forget their own names in this fun, fast-paced show suitable for all ages.  The presentation will also include post-hypnotic suggestions for the audience volunteers to achieve their goals and improve their lives. For more information, call the library’s Fiction/Media desk at 730-4200/option 6.