Baldwin rocks through summer with special events

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published July 9, 2018


BIRMINGHAM — Rebekah Craft, associate director of the Baldwin Public Library, said the summertime — when kids get a break from school books — is actually the library’s busiest time of year.

“A lot of kids and parents are coming in to make sure kids aren’t losing any reading comprehension,” she said. “It’s a great place for activities and to cure boredom.”

Thwarting summer monotony is a tall order, so the BPL has a jam-packed schedule of events, with a little something to do every day and lots of options for all ages throughout the season.

The theme of this year’s summer reading program, one of the library’s most popular draws, is “Libraries Rock.” And even though the official kickoff event was last month, guests can come in at any time to get started.

“While school is out for the summer, there is no better place to be inspired and to stay in the learning more than at the public library,” Stephanie Klimmek, head of youth services, said in an email. “If you don’t do it already, consider making Baldwin one of your routine places to visit this summer.”

Participants get a starter packet filled with information about reading goals, games and, of course, events at the library tied to the program theme. Family story times, a stuffed animal sleepover, craft hours and Ruff Reader days — opportunities for new readers to practice reading aloud to specially trained pups from Therapy Dogs International — are just a few of the opportunities available to kiddos in July and August.  

Of course, teens and adults have an appropriately curated schedule of programming and entertainment. Everything is free to members, courtesy of the Friends of the Baldwin Public Library.

But you can’t get into the Libraries Rock theme without some tunes, right? Baldwin has you covered there too. The library’s summer concert series features performances from a string ensemble, a blues band and an electronic music DJ, with complementary lectures and activities.

A Franz Schubert-centered string ensemble performance will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 15; followed by the “History of Blues in America” with Joey Leone at 7 p.m. Monday, July 30; and “The Art of Electronic Music” at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.

“Detroit has a special place in the history of electronic music as the Detroit techno scene of the late ’80s helped the music evolve and change in fundamental ways,” DJ Steve Tappen said in a prepared statement. He’ll host the Aug. 10 concert.

“I’m looking forward to delivering a unique presentation that BPL’s patrons will enjoy. It’ll be 100 percent authentic.”

This year, the library can hone in even more on the arts thanks to a grant provided by the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. The funds will go to two family-friendly events this month, including a performance of “Once Upon a Time” by the Ann Arbor-based acting troupe Wild Swan Theater.

On Thursday, July 26, musician Guy Louis will bring guitars, a mandolin and a ukulele to the library at 1:30 p.m. for a high-energy, interactive performance that touches on classic rock favorites.  

Heading into August, visitors can look forward to music trivia, a Harry Potter-themed concert and even more events. For a full schedule of programs and special activities, visit or call (248) 647-1700.

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham.


To keep youth programming alive into the future, Birmingham City Commission members approved a request for proposals 6-0, with

Commissioner Mark Nickita absent, June 25 seeking design drawings for the expansion of the Baldwin Public Library’s youth services department.
The project, which is Phase 2 of the total three-part renovation plan, will be paid for with library funds. Phase 1, a renovation and expansion of the adult services department with a price tag of $2.1 million, was completed last June.

Library Director Doug Koschik said he hopes the designs will be completed by the holiday season so that an RFP for construction can go out in January, with plans to build in the summer of 2019.