As we are part of the school campus, we must continue to follow the Safe Learning Plan which involves wearing masks through today. According to the CDC and the Governor’s Office, unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to mask up when indoors.
One of my favorite author programs at Meinders Library is one we didn’t actually sponsor. Instead, the Friends of the Saint Paul Library brought us the Moving Words: Writers Across Minnesota panel as one of our last live programs before the pandemic hit.
They did this through a funding program that is currently in jeopardy. Right now, the Center for the Book is making its way through the Minnesota legislature. It has been included in the House version of the proposed Legacy Bill, but so far is absent from the Senate.
A loss of this program can impact the availability of events such as the Moving Words program, the Minnesota Writers Directory, One Book | One Minnesota, Minnesota Writers on the Map, and more.
If you have attended a library program over the years, chances are at least one of them was funded in part or in whole by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (aka Legacy grants). This is true not just for our library, but for many libraries across the state who operate on such small budgets that they couldn’t successfully program without the support of outside funding streams.
It is equally true for large libraries and other partner organizations who create programs that can be shared with communities in Greater Minnesota.
When we hosted Moving Words, I was greatly appreciative of the opportunity to speak directly with author Shannon Gibney. She was so delightful, so grounded, and so passionate in her pursuit of open dialogue with audience members, including students in several PAS English classes she graciously spoke to. In my opinion, nothing beats talking directly with an author to better understand how and why a story came to be. Often, we can learn about things we’ve never even considered. With open, honest, and respectful dialogue, we can also teach.
In fact, every time we engage with others, particularly through great programming like Moving Words, we add our voices to the legacy of a better tomorrow. We create richer and more meaningful connections. We experience the world from a different perspective. As one whose job is to help connect people to each other, to information, and to experiences, I firmly believe funding for things like Center for the Book positively shapes our community’s culture.
This handy dandy website tells you all sorts of great information such as where to vote, which precinct you are in, and important things that the library needs for your library card application like Township and Commissioner District. A simple click on the “Get Involved!” button of this page will provide you access to your state and federal elected officials, your municipal websites, and more.
Like the authors we bring in to share their stories, your perspective matters.
Every year AudioFile Sync offers free YA audiobooks. From now until the end of July, we can download two new audiobooks every week! Their selections are a mix of fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary reads, and a variety of genres. I’m especially excited about They Went Left by Monica Hesse (available from May 6-May 12) about a Holocaust survivor searching for her younger brother in a German displaced persons camp.
To get started, visit the Audiobook Sync website and enter your email into the registration form. From there, you’ll get instructions on how to access the audiobooks through the Sora, the student reading app from OverDrive. You can also sign up for email or text reminders, so you get a notice every week when new titles are available.
The first week’s titles, Come On In by Adi Alsaid, and Illegal by Francisco X. Stork, are available to download through Wednesday, May 5th. On Thursday, May 6th, two new titles will become available. All the titles are only available for a week, but they will remain in your Sora app once you’ve downloaded them.
Sign up now for your Take & Make kit. From solar ovens to fairy gardens to mini robots and more, these kits will engage participants of all ages.
Exploration Kit: activities will target science, technology, engineering, and math. Will include experiments and tinkering.
Craft Kit: geared toward creative minds with activities like painting, fiber arts, and paper craft.
STEAM Kit: this kit will have a combination of Craft and Exploration activities and a DIY fairy garden.
They will be distributed on a first come, first reserved basis and items may differ from kit to kit. Pick up day is Saturday, May 15th at Meinders Community Library from 10am-2pm. If you have questions or want more information, call the library at 507-825-6714 or email email@example.com.
I would lie if I said I wasn’t a little giddy when I opened a box of new books to find them padded with the crumpled signature pages of other books.
So, what exactly is a signature page and just how big is one?
The answer depends. A signature page consists of blocks of text (what we know as pages in a finished book) arranged on a giant sheet of paper. If you look closely, you can see just how messed up the pages can be. The arrangement is upside down, backwards, and not at all in order like you think it might be. This is to accommodate the folding that will later take place.
To see these pages in action, look at the top or bottom end of a book. In traditional publishing, those little bundles of pages are made up of ONE piece of paper which are folded like an origami swan and cut to fit between the covers of a book. These pages are then nestled into each other and are put into a book as a single unit. This is why if your binding breaks, you often lose an entire chunk of pages.
It’s also why we sometimes get books that are still stuck together or even out of order. Sometimes things just get a little wonky when you’re working with something as large as a signature page.
The largest signature page that I’m aware of is made up of 32 blocks of text and/or illustration–16 to a side. This is the most economical way of printing, making many traditionally published books divisible by 32. That said, depending on the capabilities of individual printers, signature sheets can consist of two, four, eight, or 16 pages.
Of course, there are print on demand books and e-books, but that’s a whole ‘nother post!
April is National Poetry Month and we are lucky enough to have blackout poetry from Mrs. Wallace’s creative writing class on display. Students transformed pages into found poems and gorgeous works of art. Click on the individual photos for a closer look or come check them out in person in our kid’s section.
Speaking of poetry, with our nonfiction reorganization, our poetry section has a new look. Whether you’re searching for collections by a single poet, works by Minnesota authors, or anthologies focusing on a variety of topics, we’ve got you covered.
I know I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. Today’s youth are amazing. Take our three state speech competitors from PAS. Jori, Will, and Brooklyn are a fraction of Minnesota’s talented speakers heading to State Speech this weekend. Their journey to this point has been years in the making. As their past speech coach and huge fan, I am so proud of their hard work and dedication to their craft. They have overcome obstacles we never imagined and succeeded in ways we adults can, and should, learn from.
Let me explain. Competitive forensics requires youth to stand up in front of a judge (or 3 or 5 depending on the level of competition) to be, well, judged. Speak more clearly. Don’t mumble. Check pronunciation. Stop fidgeting. Don’t sway. Make eye contact. Connect with your narrator. Where’s your emotion? Too much emotion. Too loud. Too soft. Where are your facts? I don’t understand your point. Why is this important? Facial expressions, please.
These youth subject themselves to this confusing array of commentary three or four times every single tournament during a speech season. For this reason alone, I respect each and every competitor regardless of how they place. I also learn from them. Perseverance. Grace. Poise. Ability to listen to feedback and learn. Willingness to be critiqued time and time again. How many of us would flat out quit what we were doing if we were criticized for every little thing we did or didn’t do? How many of us would lose our passion, fold up shop, and move on?
Yet, these young speakers have learned to analyze feedback. They have learned to find fact to support their positions. Successful speechies have learned to research, to understand intent, and to marry their opinions with supporting data, and to convey all that in a ten minute presentation. They don’t eschew history, but build on it, taking into account the culture of the times. They thoughtfully weigh their words and actions (yes, they are critiqued on how well they gesture) and use them to show others the value in the words they share. They are asked to look beneath the surface message and make us consider the greater impact of the words they read.
In our current political, social, and cultural climate, we could all put into place the lessons our young competitors have learned through their years on the speech team. We can all take the time to research, listen, and engage in meaningful dialogue about things that are important to those around us.
To that end, Meinders Community Library has mindfully purchased nonfiction books that can aid in researching some of the critical conversations that are currently taking place between families, friends, communities, organizations, and governments. These books aim to inform, as well as present different perspectives.
I am currently reading Think Again by Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and top-rated professor. If Jori had one more year in speech, I’d recommend she check him out. She would love his message to argue like you’re right, but listen like you are wrong. As a mother and a librarian, I love his passion for creating lifelong-learners through the art of rethinking all we “think” we know. I can hear Brooklyn and Will reading aloud–beautifully, fluently, and passionately–from some of the books we have recently added to our collection on poverty, immigration, or the justice system.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I will not have the privilege of listening to them. Will, Jori, and Brooklyn will not have the audience they deserve. They will not have their teammates, families, and other competitors cheering them on in real-time. For this reason, they will shine. Because they know that it is the skills they have learned that matter. Not the accolades of performing in front of others.
I firmly support (free) speech and the absolute necessity of opening our hearts to really hear what others have to say. Good luck, PAS Speechies. You amaze me!
keep reading, keep learning, and keep thinking~ jody
Gift cards provided by Pipestone Area Friends of the Library and Coborn’s. Thanks, as always, for your support of our library and the work we do!
Also, just a gentle reminder that Minnesota is still under a mask mandate, so don’t forget your mask at home! Currently, our doors are unlocked during open hours and patrons are free to use the library in-house when it is convenient for them. We want to keep offering this. However, as we are a public (and educational) setting, we need mask compliance to do so.
Curbside pick up of materials is one of our favorite pandemic adaptations, and we plan to continue this service into the future. Simply call us to check out your holds the day you would like them, and we will set them in the vestibule for you to pick up at your convenience.
Saturday night brought us a beautiful spring evening, a socially distanced crowd, and meteorologist Mike Lynch.
Fast forward a few days, and Wednesday brought a surprise package to the the library: a beautiful, signed photograph, “To all my friends at Meinders Library and everybody in Pipestone! Mike Lynch”
So, if you missed Stargazing with Mike Lynch this past weekend, enjoy this view from his telescope. Also, know that we are already in conversation about his next appearance in Pipestone and the potential glimpse of Saturn in the fall 2022 skies.
keep looking up and keep learning new things~ jody
Early Bird Book Club will return in May on a new day of the week! Our next book club will be on Thursday, May 20th at 8:30am. We will be reading the cozy mystery, Books Can be Deceiving by Jen McKinlay. Let us know if you would like to read with us and we’ll get you a copy.
If you have a book club of your own, we are happy to help your members get their next read. Book club kits with multiple copies of a selected title and a discussion guide are also available to check out thanks to Marshall-Lyon County Library and Plum Creek.
Here are some favorite selections from all of our book clubs and stories featuring book clubs.
Favorite Book Club Reads
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Moo by Sharon Creech
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Books Featuring Book Clubs
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Murder at Spirit Falls by Barbara Deese
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows