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Dog sled racer, Cosmosphere kick off summer reading programs
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Dog sled racer Karen Land and her team crosses the finish line in this undated file photo.

The Great Bend Public Library’s summer reading program kicks off Friday, May 31, with a visit from the Kansas Cosmosphere and Iditarod dog sled racer Karen Land and her dog, Noggin.

This year’s summer library programming is focused on “A Universe of Stories,” a space and exploration theme in celebration of the first moon landing in 1969, 50 years ago, said Michael Adamyk, head of marketing and technical services manager at the library.

Blast off

The Kansas Cosmosphere will be at the library from noon to 5 p.m. to help library goers blast off into a universe of learning.

 Learning stations and presentations on space and technology include “Living in Space,” “The Solar System and Beyond,” and “Robots, Robots Everywhere.” Hands-on activities available throughout the day include LOXIC (liquid oxygen ice cream), solar system bracelets, foam plate gliders, and robotic LEGO EV-3’s. The library will provide a snack bar with cosmic treats.

Mush! With Noggin the Sled Dog

At 5:30 p.m. Friday, nationally-known veteran racer Karen Land will talk about the Iditarod Trail and other dog sled races.

The sport of dog mushing is a dance across some of the most remote wilderness on Earth. Completing the Iditarod is among the most difficult feats in all of sports, Adamyk said. More people have reached the summit of Mount Everest than have made it to the Iditarod finish line behind a team of dogs!

Land is a writer, professional public speaker, and three-time participant in the Iditarod as well as many other endurance dog sled races in Montana, Maine, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada and Alaska. Over the past 19 years she has given over 1,000 dog-mushing presentations.

“Both programs are open to people of all ages, and have already been paid for by our generous summer sponsors,” Adamyk said. “No registration or library account is necessary to attend. Light refreshments will be provided by the library throughout the day.”