The winners in the 2020 Julie Meier Writers Competition at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library were announced Friday, June 26, in an online presentation streamed live on Facebook. The presentation can be viewed on the YouTube channel for the City of Coeur d’Alene.
This year’s competition was impacted and delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic which closed the library for nearly two months. The awards ceremony was moved online because in-person programming and meetings are currently suspended at the library.
 In its 31st year, the competition is for fiction and nonfiction prose of 2,000 words or less with age groups from kindergarten to adult. The late Julie Meier, for whom the competition was named in 2018 created the program to encourage writing excellence and to recognizes talented writers. Prize money - $100 for first, $50 for second, and $25 for third – is provided through grants from the Coeur d’Alene Kiwanis Club, the Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation.
The competition is judged by professional writers and editors, educators, and by library employees.
The number of entries was reduced this year. In categories where there were three of fewer entries, they were judged on their merit and scored as they would normally would have been. All entries in the competition, winning or not, are bound into books that are added to the library’s collection. These books can be viewed in the History Room at the library.
The winners for 2020 are:
► Grades Kindergarten to 2 Fiction/Nonfiction: First, Evalette Treto, Stanley the Exploring Turtle.
► Grades 3-5 Nonfiction: First, Sean M. Farrar, “A Young Man Changed,” and Second, John Paul Heresey, “Everything is Better in Cowboy Boots.”
► Grades 6-8 Nonfiction: First, Adison Harrison, “The Gift of Laughter,” and Second, Elijah Harrison, “Itchy the Cat.”
► Grades 9-12 Nonfiction: First, Meilin Scott, “Nighttime in the Neighborhood,” Second, Katie Langford, “My Story,” and Third, Isaiah Harrison, “The Boat House.”
► Adult Nonfiction: First, Meagan Myrberg, “How to Achieve the Perfect Skin,” Second, Rebecca S. Lacock, “About a Nurse,” and, Third, Dr. Carol Graham, “The Tooth Fairy Wants It Back.”
► Grades 3-5 Fiction: First, Lydia Kirkbride, “Tides of the Cove,” Second, Alyssa Harrison, “Through the Garden,” and Third, Lexie Fisher, “Twinning.”
► Grades 6-8 Fiction: First, Thayen Treto, “Dear Pimple,” Second, Quinn Michael, “Frontlines,” and Third, Abigail Wilson, “Playground of Hope.”
► Grades 9-12 Fiction: First, Brayden Smart, “Whitechapel,” Second, Elizabeth Ana McComas, “In Honor of Aleah,” and Third, Blessing Allen, “A Day in the Life of a Grand Piano.”
► Adult Fiction: First, Alahna Harrison, “Venom and Desert Paintbrush,” Second, Tina Rodeen, “In a Circle of Sheep,” and third, Glenn K. Graham, “It Came from the West.”


The Coeur d’Alene Public Library’s Outdoor Summer Concert Series is returning.
The first event for 2020 will take place on Monday, June 22. All concerts are 6-7:30 p.m. and are provided free by the event sponsor, the Coeur d'Alene Library Foundation.
The concerts, performed on the park side of the library, will follow current social-distancing guidelines. There will be no access from inside the library for the first concerts in June.  Attendees should bring their own seating and sit in groups of no more than six and maintain 6 feet of distance between groups. 
The initial concert will feature Sondahl, Hawkins, & Thomsen. The group plays a modern improvisational version of American old-time music, which is the sort depicted in the first of Ken Burns' recent Country Music Video series. Performances generally include music by Uncle Dave Macon, the Delmore Brothers, and Elizabeth Cotten. 
Brad Sondahl plays fingerstyle guitar, 6-string banjo, and sings.  He has gotten more than two million views of his music on Youtube, but is best known in this area for his pottery shop in Spirit Lake for the last 38 years.
Jonathan Hawkins has been playing sophisticated upright bass with Brad for many years and also plays in a newer area bluegrass band called Northbound.
Don Thomsen was a founding member of the Spokane Folklore Society and plays mandolin with the popular Celtic group Floating Crowbar, as well as adding his mandolin chops to this trio. 
Upcoming concerts include:
► June 29: Four Peace – popular tunes ranging from the 60s to today
► July 6: Kathy Colton and the Reluctants – original popular & Folk tunes
► July 13: Arvid Lundin and Deep Roots – original traditional Celtic, Scandinavian and North American Roots music
► July 27: Pamela Van Kirk – a multi-instrumentalist and composer.
► Aug. 3:  Dr Phil & the Enablers – Rockin’ Blues!
► Aug. 10: Rusty and Chrissy perform classic country and Americana as well as a few of Rusty’s compositions. Harry Batty joins them on bass guitar.
► Aug. 24: Crooked Kilt – Spokane’s amazing Celtic band
► Aug. 31: Spring Tonic, traditional and contemporary bluegrass and roots music with uncommon intensity.


The Coeur d’Alene Public Library will take another step toward normal operations June 20, by resuming Saturday hours and evening hours the following week.
The library will be open six days a week – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
“We feel like we can provide more hours for the patrons and still maintain uncrowded space in the building,” said Library Director Bette Ammon. “We are still asking people to practice distancing with other patrons and staff and we are encouraging patrons to wear masks while they are in the library.”
The library will resume Sunday hours when staffing levels and other factors make that possible, she said.
Other measures intended to slow the spread of the COVI-19 virus will continue for the time being.
Check-out and reference desks will use Plexiglass screens and staff will minimize handling library cards. The teen and children’s areas and the meeting rooms remain closed. Computer use is limited to one hour, per patron, per day. Also, seating will be increased, but will be arranged to encourage distancing.
“We are moving ahead using the guidance provided by Gov. Brad Little’s Phase 4 plan to reopen the state,” Ammon said, “but we also have to consider the proximity of a major population center just over the state line and the advice of regional health officials.”
She said that for patrons who prefer to remain isolated, or who may have mobility or health issues, some form of curbside service will continue. Patrons can place holds by logging on to their accounts at www.cdalibrary.org or by calling the library at 208-769-2315 during open hours.
Lake City Public Library will be closed for the summer, due, in part, to construction at the Lake City High School.
Programming will continue to be primarily online for children, teens, and adults. Nonetheless, Summer Reading has begun and children and teens can begin tracking their reading time using reading logs they can pick up at the library or online by visiting a special website set up for all Cooperative Information Network libraries – summer.cinlibraries.org. Participating libraries will award prizes based on the log.
For adults, an outdoor concert – with distancing – will be offered Monday, June 22, at 6 p.m. The initial concert will feature Sondahl, Hawkins, & Thomsen performing in the park on the west side of the library. (No access through the library will be available.) This will be the first of a summer concert series funded by the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation.