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The original item was published from 6/7/2023 1:22:35 PM to 6/15/2023 6:05:02 PM.

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Posted on: June 7, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Find your Lifelong Learning Voice with Free Library Events!

Brian Fox Ellis in costume as John James Audubon

Adults and others looking to find their voice for lifelong learning about nature, art, history, and the environment have plenty of options June 13-15 with free summer programming from the Rock Island Public Library.

From spotting birds in your background to learning how to attract pollinators to your garden, you can "find your voice" by developing new interests at the Rock Island Public Library this June! Free library events from June 13 through 15th include a session on birding with the Quad City Audubon Society, a portrayal of John James Audubon himself by noted storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis, and an introduction to landscaping with native plant varieties by the Wild Ones Quad Cities chapter. 

Birding 101, with the Quad City Audubon Society: 6pm, Tuesday, June 13, at the Rock Island Public Library Watts-Midtown Branch, 2715 30th Street.  Curious about those birds in your backyard? Interested in a new hobby? Tim Murphy, president of the QCAS, will present a primer on birding, with tips on identifying birds commonly found in our local area, as well as information about field guides, binoculars, and attracting birds to your backyard. The event is free and open to anyone. Quad City Audubon Society website:

History ... in Person, with Brian Fox Ellis, as John James Audubon: 6 pm to 7:30 pm, Wednesday, June 14, Watts-Midtown Branch. In “Adventures with John James Audubon,” Ellis portrays the naturalist and wildlife artist in his studio, while working on his famous illustrated book of North American birds. As Audubon, Ellis spins tales of the artist’s travels, and his observations of bird behavior, and the natural history of North America of the early 1800s. 

Audubon followed the annual migrations of birds throughout North America in the 1820s and 1830s, keeping meticulous journals on the birds he saw. With lessons on field ecology, the scientific method, art history, and bird migration, the audience is invited to imitate birds and discuss the life histories of their favorite feathered friends. Historian and storyteller Brian "Fox" Ellis has toured the world as a performer and educator since 1980, bringing history to life through stories, song, myth, and poetry. The performance is suitable for all ages, and is presented with support from a generous benefactor as part of the library’s 150th anniversary year. The event is free and open to all. 

Introduction to Native Plants: 6 pm, Thursday, June 15, also at the Watts-Midtown Branch. How can growing native plants help the environment (and your garden?) Find out with this presentation by QC Wild Ones. From supporting bee and butterfly pollinators to providing habitats for caterpillars and other food sources for birds, native plants can play a big role in our gardens. Presenter Becki Wells, co-president of Quad Cities Wild Ones will discuss the role of native plants in a healthy ecosystem, and how to incorporate them into own home gardens. Wells founded the local chapter in 2021. She is an enthusiastic gardener, advocate of native plants, and raises Monarch, Red Admiral, and Question Mark butterflies.  She lives in Port Byron with her husband Wes, who is also an avid gardener. Her presentation is free and open to everyone. 

Adults, teens, and children can also “Find Their Voice” with reading, with the Rock Island Library’s All Ages Summer Reading Challenge. The Find Your Voice, Find Your Story reading contest runs June 1 through July 31 at all RIPL locations. Participants may sign up and participate at any time during the challenge period via the library’s Beanstack reading website or app, or in-person at library locations. With the challenge, readers of all ages earn rewards and extra motivation to meet reading and activity goals. Participants receive a color-changing ruler for signing up, and additional prizes when they log any combination of 10 reading minutes or activity badges. For details, please visit the library's summer reading page or pick up the library’s free summer reading guide. 

For more news about events and services at the Rock Island Public Library, visit the library website, follow library social media, or call 309-732-READ.

Find Your Voice this summer with reading and events for all ages, June 1 through July 31 at the Rock Island Public Library Downtown Library, Southwest Branch, Watts-Midtown Branch, and Library2Go locations. 

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