Posted in Get Connected

Happy Juneteenth!

It’s not often that a Federal Holiday is created. In fact, only eleven such holidays exist: the first being Independence Day (aka Fourth of July) in 1870. The newest, Juneteenth National Independence Day, was signed into law yesterday, and is being celebrated by the Federal Government and their employees today (because June 19 falls on a Saturday, and that’s how holidays roll.)

So, what is Juneteenth?

In a nutshell, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved African Americans in the United States learned they were free. At this point you may feel slightly confused. Shouldn’t Juneteenth describe the day enslaved African Americans were actually freed with the end of the Civil War? The short answer is yes. The long answer acknowledges that over two full years had elapsed between the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the date when the last slaves in Galveston, Texas, finally heard the news of their freedom.

Juneteenth is not a new celebration for the Black community and its allies. The roots were cultivated back in 1865 as a day of remembrance for a hard-won dream. It is only recently that the remainder of America has actively heard the story of those lost 30 months of freedom.

Race, slavery, colonialism, oppression, criminal justice, justice, equality, equity, freedom.

These are difficult topics of conversation to have with ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our communities. They are a fraught history that can bring out the worst in us. But they can also bring out the best.

What can I do about our nation’s newest holiday?

I can read widely, and respectfully listen to as many viewpoints as I am able. I can give myself time to process what I learn–and others the space to do the same. I can recognize that everyone comes to the table with different life experiences than I do, and therefore are entitled to their own emotions, feelings, and ideas. I can educate myself and share my knowledge with those who ask, while listening to those who want to share their knowledge. I can change my opinion as new information is brought to my attention. I can change my actions based on what I learn.

I can take responsibility for my actions and acknowledge that good intentions do not necessarily equal good outcomes. I can treat others with care and compassion. I can engage in authentic and genuine relationships.

I can celebrate Juneteenth with and in honor of my Black friends and the Black community as a whole.

If you would also like to celebrate our newest Federal Holiday this weekend, check out this article by Bring Me the News to find MN events close to you.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Juneteenth or would like book recommendations on this topic, contact the library. We have so many wonderful books that address our nation’s critical conversations.

As for me, I am currently reading Come Juneteenth by Ann Rinaldi. This historical, young adult novel follows “one family’s awakening to the true meaning of freedom and explores the events that led up to the creation of Juneteenth.” It is the perfect complement to other books I’ve been reading such as Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. and How to Make a Slave and Other Essays by Jerald Walker. To name but a few.

keep learning and learn to keep an open mind~ jody

Posted in Just for Fun

Calling All Crafters

Plum Creek Library System has rolled out our newest digital platform, and it’s sure to delight DIYers of all ilk.

Creativebug.com

Perfect for makers, crafters, day care providers, parents, programmers, organizations, families, homeschoolers, and home businesses, Creativebug has thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.

But don’t take our word for it. Click the link to Creativebug and use your PCLS library card to access tutorials on a wide range of projects sure to take your home-decorating and gift-giving to a whole new level.

Posted in Alerts

Meinders Library Closed Friday June 11

Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

All good things need updating. As work continues on the new elementary school, the Pipestone Area Schools campus will be without electricity on Friday–including the library.

Meinders Library will be closed all day Friday, and staff will not have access to the phones or email. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience!

Stop by before close on Thursday to get your weekend reads or utilize our online platforms to satisfy your need for words.

Please share this widely!

Also, we just learned that our annual cleaning and maintenance will take place July 6 & 7. With the 4th of July weekend, the library will be closed Saturday, July 3 through Wednesday July 7. All services will resume July 8.

Posted in Just for Fun

Ode to Summer Morns

sunlight straggles ‘midst leafy canopies

dapples day old coals and dew-soaked chill

embraced in nature’s frieze

I know nothing about poetry in the true sense of the word. My college books taught me little beyond the fact that I know very little. As a whole, poetry is elusive to me. At times, it feels cramped and rigid in a way that defies my passion for all things soft, flowing, and raw.

Nature versus the manmade constructs that confine us to straight lines and inexplicable perfection.

Maybe that’s why the only poetry that feels right to me is the ode. Short and lyrical, introspective and not entirely bound by strict rules of rhyme and meter. Or maybe it’s just that writers love to follow their own paths–kind of like nature does–and the ode is a great place to do so.

Regardless, nature is a great space to exist in, particularly in the early morning solitude.

For those new to nature or wishing to learn more about how to enjoy the great outdoors, we have tons of books at the library that highlight everything from pocket guides identifying plants, rocks, and animals to travel and survival guides. Whether you like camping, hiking, bird-watching, or a weekend at the lake, we have a book (and maybe even a poem) for you.

And always, your local library can point you in the right direction.

let your adventures begin~ jody

*professional poets may have been harmed by reading my ode. To them, I apologize.

Posted in Alerts, Get Connected

Memorial Weekend Closure & Summer Reading

Meinders Community Library will be closed Saturday May 29th through Monday May 31st in observance of Memorial Day. We will reopen on Tuesday June 1st at 10:00am. We’re here today, Friday May 28th until 5:00pm, so stop by for all your long weekend reading needs!

Next week, we kick off summer programming with our first Pipestone County Popup Storytime on Tuesday, June 1st at 10:30am at Southwest Park. On Thursday June 3rd at 11:00am, we have our first Read with a Ranger session at the library.

The following Monday, June 7th at 6:30pm, Trava Olivier will present Fire, Water, and Old City Hall. This program will be preceded by the Pipestone Area Friends of the Library annual meeting at 6:00pm. Refreshments will be provided by PAFL.

Posted in Get Connected

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, join the national movement to raise awareness about mental health, provide support, educate the public, and support people with mental illness.

Here are just a few of the library resources available for checkout.

  • You’re Not Alone – Zachary David Westerbeck
  • Rewire Your Anxious Brain – Catherine M. Pittman, PhD
  • Unglued – Jeffrey Zuckerman
  • Feeling Great – David D. Burns, MD
  • Maybe You Should Talk To Someone – Lori Gottlieb

Additional resources:

http://nami.org
http://samhsa.gov
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/

If you or someone you know is in crisis, there are many resources that can help! Do not struggle alone! Please reach out!

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Expanded Digital Platforms for Young Readers

Just in time for summer vacation, Plum Creek Library System has expanded its Scholastic digital platforms. Accessing them is simple and can help keep the youngsters in your life engaged and learning from the comfort of your own home–or anywhere you have access to internet.

Use your PCLS library card barcode to explore the world and find activities, quizzes, and deep dives into fascinating topics. These platforms are perfect for a variety of ages and interest levels. Some provide content for different reading levels, while others have a Spanish version.

All these platforms are brought to you exclusively through our public library’s membership in the Plum Creek Library System. Stay tuned for adult online resources such as auto repair, legal information resources, extensive DIY tutorials, and Consumer Reports. These platforms are set to roll out shortly.

watch and read your way to fascinating facts on nearly every topic
Scholastic ScienceFlix
dynamic digital content on people, places, and events that shape the world around us
bkflix-web
early literacy pairings of fiction and nonfiction in both Spanish and English
sfx-web
the coolest science topics with leveled reading–also in Spanish
bite sized videos in Spanish and English paired with mini lessons
Scholastic Teachables Logo
activities that teach real-world skills for prek-8th grade

Other benefits of being a full member of the Plum Creek Library System include joint programming, access to Overdrive e-books and audiobooks, as well as book sharing with other member libraries. Each week, PCLS delivers books from across its service area (and sometimes the state) to libraries in the system. They also maintain our library catalog, making it easy for patrons to find books from a digital device and place holds on the materials they want.

check out those sweet websites and learn along with your youngsters~ jody

Posted in Alerts

Masks Still Required in the Library

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.

To read more about it, please click this link to the Governor’s website.

Thanks for doing your part in keeping our community as safe and healthy as possible.

We will keep you updated as more guidance is provided from the district and the state for summer school programs.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Posted in Get Connected

Add to Our Legacy

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.

this awesome event already took place

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.

As with any questions, concerns, or commentary individuals have regarding policy, the most effective and direct route to advocate for the things you care about is to contact elected officials personally. Not sure who they are? Check out this link to learn who represents you on all levels of government.

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.

keep reading and keep learning~ jody

Posted in Book Talk

Free Digital Audiobooks

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.

Happy Listening!

Emily