Detroit poet and writer M.L. Liebler will be performing a multimedia presentation of one of his works about growing up during the British Invasion as part of the kickoff to the Harper Woods Public Library’s summer reading program.

Detroit poet and writer M.L. Liebler will be performing a multimedia presentation of one of his works about growing up during the British Invasion as part of the kickoff to the Harper Woods Public Library’s summer reading program.

Photo provided by M.L. Liebler


Harper Woods Public Library to kick off summer reading program

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published June 11, 2018

HARPER WOODS  The Harper Woods Public Library is encouraging children, teens and families to read through its summer reading program, which will kick off on Monday, June 18.

The summer reading program is an initiative that the library joined. The program itself is run by the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children, teens and adults at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries.

The national program provides materials, such as posters and bookmarks, and chooses the theme, which is “Libraries Rock” this year. The Harper Woods library then has autonomy to run the program in whatever way it sees fit to best accomplish the Summer Library Program mission.

“Our summer reading program is for adults, children and teens,” said Suzanne Kent, the adult services librarian. “The children read for prizes and have an ice cream social at the end. … You choose your own book, you read on your own, and you keep a reading record of how much and what you read.”

The age groups for the program are 2-11, 12-18, and 19 and older. Those interested can sign up at the library’s adult reference desk. Those who read three books or more over the course of the summer are eligible for prizes.

“At the end of the program, we will have prizes for children reading so many books, as well as raffles,” said Kent. “We’ll also have entertainment, crafts and a balloon artist. For adults, we have a discussion on the books everyone read and some food during a soiree.”

The program will begin with a kickoff celebration for all three age groups. There will be music and other attractions for those who attend.

“Our kickoff program is 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 18,” said Kent. “M.L. Liebler, who also came last year, is coming and doing his special Beatles Forever program. It’s a musical memoir about growing up in St. Clair Shores during the British Invasion. They call their band the Beatles Forever Band and will play more than 20 of the Beatles’ most popular songs.”

Liebler has performed at the Harper Woods Public Library before, but this is the first time he has performed his Beatles Forever program. He described the performance as a passion project for him.

“I teach the Beatles and I do study-abroads on the Beatles for Wayne State University, so I’m a Beatles fan,” Liebler said. “In 1984, I wrote a short story about growing up with the Beatles, and it was funny and touching about growing up during that time. I used to read it at readings I would do, and people liked it, but I put it away a while ago. In 2014, it was the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to the United States, and that goes well with that story; it covers the same period. So I strategically placed Beatles songs me and some other great musicians would play while I read it.”

Liebler said the presentation contains a lot of improvisation and lasts about 70 minutes. He also said there is something in it for everyone, both his fellow Beatles aficionados and those who have never even heard the band’s music.

“I hope they get to appreciate the unique history that this band has made,” remarked Liebler. “Even after almost 60 years, they are still popular. A lot of people grew up with the Beatles like me, and they mean a lot to them. Every time we do this show, it’s a full house.”

Kent said she hopes the performance will encourage people to join in on the summer reading program at the kickoff event, and more people will pick up a book or two this summer.

“We want to make reading fun for both adults and kids,” said Kent. “When people come together at the end of the program, I give them a list of all the books they read over the summer. It’s fun to come together and talk about what they read, and I think the kids really like the prizes.”