Posted in Get Connected

Welcome Behind The Scenes Of Your Library

Volunteer in Training

If you think libraries are smooth-sailing, check in and check out operations, your library is doing the right thing. So much goes on behind the scenes to make your experience seamless, and National Library Week is the perfect time to recognize those who make your library visit positive. Info on winning a prize by sharing your library experiences can be found below.

Public library board members serve on boards because they are passionate about a library’s mission to provide free materials and experiences to all people. They work together to create a framework for library staff to carry out equitable, community-oriented services. The pay is terrible (our board members work for free), but the reward of supporting the community is priceless.

Thanks, Meinders Community Library board members, for your public service and guidance.

A close cousin to library boards are friends groups. These dedicated peeps volunteer their time to financially support libraries in vast and varied ways. Pipestone Area Friends of the Library (lovingly referred to as PAFL or Friends) has fundraised and secured donations or grants, as well as spent their own dollars to help us round out our collection, pay for programming expenses, and splurge on big ticket items like new carpet, chairs, and paperback spinners. Each year they buy the Minnesota Book Awards finalist collection and the Camp Read book list for our library. They also support our Summer Reading Program.

I would be lying to say that we could operate without our Friends. Thanks, PAFL!

Similar to Friends, but on an individual basis is the Volunteer. A library’s reliance on generous souls who donate time and effort to help operations run smoothly is very real. At Meinders Community Library, we graciously accept any assistance. Our volunteers quite literally can be hidden away in the back room, covering books, sorting through collection materials, cleaning, painting, promoting, and stickering, or can be found meandering the stacks while shelf-reading. Some run programs entirely for free.

I am afraid to mention our volunteers by name for fear of leaving someone out. In my five years as the director of our beautiful library, our volunteers have ranged in age from 8 to 91. Some give us an hour or two of their time while others keep coming back, month after month and year after year.

Thanks, volunteers, for each and every moment you devote to the library! It makes serving the public far easier.

PCLS, or the Plum Creek Library System, is the mostly invisible rockstar of our behind the scenes kudos each day. Our entire catalog is available to you anywhere and anytime because of the dedicated staff at PCLS. Books from other libraries are delivered to our doorstep because of PCLS staff. We have digital platforms only because PCLS staff do the leg work and up keep. Collective and sometimes free or deeply discounted programming occurs in our library because of PCLS staff.

Joel, Rebecca, Cleo, Anne, Barb, Ken, Dwayna, and Michele, thanks for everything you do. The services you provide are greatly appreciated.

Please share your #LibraryLove for our behind the scenes workers. Also, don’t forget to enter ALA’s drawing for a $100 Visa gift card by posting to Instagram, Twitter, or the I Love Libries Facebook page using the hashtag #MyLibraryIs.


Meinders Community Library is a combined school and public library that serves the residents of Pipestone County in Southwestern Minnesota. It is part of the Plum Creek Library System.