Posted in Uncategorized

Pamela Nowak, Historical Fiction Author

Join us on Tuesday, June 6th at 4:00pm for a program with historical fiction author, Pamela Nowak and the Pipestone Area Friends of the Library’s annual meeting. Nowak’s books include Never Let Go: Survival of the Lake Shetek Women and Necessary Deceptions: The Women of Wyatt Earp. Light refreshments will be served by PAFL.

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Summer Games & Writer’s Cafe

Games & Grub is back for the Summer! Join us on Thursday, June 8th from 5:30-7:30pm. Bring your best potluck dish, a favorite game, and your competitive spirit! This event is free and open to all ages. Let us know if you will be attending by calling the library at 507-825-6714 or with the form below.

Starting next week, we will also have Writer’s Cafe from 6:30-8:00pm on Tuesdays. Bring your current project and enjoy dedicated writing time with other local writers. No need to sign up for Writer’s Cafe, just arrive before the library closes at 7pm.

Posted in Awareness, Get Connected

Mental Health Awareness Month

Survivor. (noun) A person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died. The remainder of a group of people or things. A person who copes well with difficulties in their life.

Fighter. (noun) A boxer. An aircraft designed to seek out and destroy enemy aircraft in the air and to protect bomber aircraft. A person who fights, struggles, resists, etc. A person with the will, courage, determination, ability, or disposition to fight, struggle, resist, etc. An animal, as a dog, trained to fight or having the disposition to fight.

Advocate. (noun) A person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. (verb) Publicly recommend or support.

With Mental Health Awareness Month coming to an end, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Sally Whittle and I am the face and voice of mental health here at Meinders Library. Why, you ask? Because I am all three of those things listed above. I am a survivor because I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, and for many years, my brain was trying to kill me. I am a fighter because I still struggle with symptoms that make my daily living a rollercoaster and I sometimes can’t function. I am an advocate because I am raising awareness about mental health. Doing so can make the difference in the life of someone struggling and can also save lives.

Let’s recap the messages from this month. Week one was Mental Health Matters. There are many things that can fuel stigma around mental illness. That can make people ignore their mental health or make it harder for them to reach out for help. Some mental health conditions are invisible and you wouldn’t know the person is struggling without asking and having a conversation. Mental health matters and so do you!

Week two was Self Care. Remember, taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body. Make self-care a priority. When it comes to mental health, self-care can help us manage stress, lower the risk of illness, and increase energy. Even small acts of self-care in our daily routine can have a big impact. Something as simple as a walk or chatting with a friend can make a huge difference.

Week three was Finding Help. There is no shame in seeking help for your mental health. It’s OK to not be OK. Start by talking with family and friends, or establishing care with your family doctor. If the problems in your life are stopping you from functioning well or feeling good, professional help can make a difference. It may save your life. Just know you are not alone, there is help available, and healing is possible.

Week four was Supporting Someone Else. Everyone can play a role in supporting mental health. If you notice someone may be struggling or having a hard time, ask “How are you?” and encourage honest answers. This provides the opportunity for others to share and feel heard. Often, just talking about it can be the first step in staying connected and helping get the support or treatment needed.

I hope my posts have helped spread awareness and spark conversation on this important and very stigmatized topic. As a way to promote mental health awareness year-round, I will be posting on a related topic once a month. If there is a specific topic you would like me to cover, please leave a comment or send an email to and I will consider your request. In the meantime, stay happy, healthy, and safe!


Posted in Uncategorized

Walk & Talk Book Club

Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback for walking book club. We have settled on two times to walk and talk books:

  • Tuesdays at 8am at the Pipestone National Monument
  • Thursdays at 6am at the Casey Jones Trail

If you would like to join us for one or both of these book clubs, please let us know by emailing, calling us at 507-825-6714, or filling out the form on our blog post.

We’ve also created a Walk & Talk Book Club design that you can put on your favorite walking shirt. Let us know and we’ll print you a design!

Posted in Awareness, Get Connected

Mental Health Awareness: Friday Facts & Finds

Check in on your friends and family. Offering support is one of the best things that we can do to get them through difficult times. However, it can sometimes feel uncomfortable, daunting, or just plain awkward. The Roadmap to Friends Supporting Friends gives ideas on what support can look like, how to offer support, and where to begin.

Having conversations around mental health can sometimes be uncomfortable, but it can also make a big difference. Not sure where to start? Check out these tips and tools from Seize the Awkward to help you start the conversation and what to do during and after the conversation.

If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, you matter and can be the difference in getting them the help that they need. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has resources on what to look for and how you can help them.

Check in on your friends and family. If you notice someone is behaving differently or seems distressed, do not be afraid to ask if they are struggling or having thoughts about suicide. Talking openly about mental health and suicide can help create an honest conversation and connection.

Stay happy, healthy, and safe! ~Sally~

Posted in Alerts

Closed Memorial Weekend

We are open today Friday 5/26 until 5pm, so stop by for any of your Memorial Weekend entertainment needs! We will be closed Saturday 5/27-Monday 5/29 and will reopen at 10am on Tuesday 5/30. Because of the Memorial Day holiday, we will received our Plum Creek delivery on Wednesday instead of Tuesday.

Posted in Awareness, Get Connected

Mental Health Awareness: Wednesday Reads

Now more than ever, we need to find ways to stay connected with our community. No one should feel alone or without the information, support, and help they need.

Each Wednesday during the month of May, I will highlight a book that is available for check out at the library. Thanks to a generous donation, we were able to add 8 new titles that feature mental health.

You Are Not Alone: The NAMI Guide to Navigating Mental Health by Ken Duckworth, MD

The following excerpt is from the book cover. You can click this link to find this title in our online catalog.

Written with authority and compassion, this is the essential resource for individuals and families seeking expert guidance on diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, featuring inspiring, true stories from real people in their own words.

Millions of people in the United States are affected by mental illness every year, and the Covid-19 pandemic only further exposed the shortcomings of the American mental health system. Too many are confused, afraid, and overwhelmed, with many asking themselves the same questions: What does it mean when different doctors give me different diagnoses? What if my insurance won’t cover my treatment? Will I ever feel better? Families and friends are often left in the dark about how best to help their loved ones, from dealing with financial and logistical issues, to handling the emotional challenges of loving someone who is suffering.

You Are Not Alone is here to offer help. Written by Dr. Ken Duckworth with the wisdom of a psychiatrist and the vulnerability of a peer, this comprehensive guide centers the poignant lived experiences of over 125 individuals from across the country whose first-person stories illustrate the diversity of mental health journeys. This book also provides:

  • Practical guidance on dealing with a vast array of mental health conditions and navigating care
  • Research-based evidence on what treatments and approaches work
  • Insight and advice from renowned clinical experts and practitioners

This singular resource—the first book from the National Alliance on Mental Illness—is a powerful reminder that help is here, and you are never alone.

About the author:

Ken Duckworth, MD, is the chief medical officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and has worked with NAMI since 2003. Ken is board certified in adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry, and is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He was previously acting commissioner and medical director at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Ken has worked on an assertive community treatment team, at an early psychosis program, at an elementary school, at a health plan, and with people who are unhoused. His passion for this work comes from his loving dad who had bipolar disorder. Ken lives with his family in Boston.

Here are a few other titles that are part of our mental health collection and available for check out.

  • Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life – Christie Tate
  • How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person’s Guide to Suicide Prevention – Susan Rose Blauner, MSW, LCSW
  • Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide – Kay Redfield Jamison
  • Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir – Tyler Feder

Stay happy, healthy, and safe! ~Sally~

Posted in Awareness, Get Connected

Mental Health Awareness Month

As we continue with Mental Health Awareness Month, I will be posting weekly key messages, along with statistics and resources, so that you can advocate and also raise awareness around mental health. By learning the facts and sharing the resources, you can make a difference in the life of someone struggling.

Week 4 Message: Supporting Someone Else

If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, you can be the difference in getting them the help they need. Support leads to greater wellness by:

  • Building connection, which is an antidote to stress.
  • Creating increased vulnerability with someone else, which strengthens a bond.
  • Fostering the feeling that you are not alone.
  • Providing a space to gain perspective on the difficulty you’re experiencing.

To provide support, it starts with being an active listener. This is more than hearing what someone has to say, it is being present with them and asking open-minded questions to get more details about what they are experiencing. It is natural to try and share your own story to let them know that you have gone through something similar, just be careful not to compare because it can make someone feel like their pain isn’t valid. Sometimes people are struggling because of a mistake that they made. You may think that they are overreacting. Nevertheless, they are still feeling these feelings. It is also important to not judge and put your personal opinions and biases aside.

We often feel like we need to find a solution to what they are experiencing, but that may not be what they want. It is important to ask what you can do to support them. Processing what they are going through and letting them know that you are there to walk alongside them can be powerful. Finally, if you have offered your support to someone and told them you would do something, keep your word. When a person is struggling, the last thing they need is to feel abandoned by someone else.

Stay happy, healthy, and safe! ~Sally~

Posted in Awareness, Get Connected

Mental Health Awareness: Friday Facts & Finds

When you are struggling, friends and family can be a great support system, but sometimes it is hard to ask for help. In fact, we should talk about our feelings. It is OK not to be OK. Reach out to friends, family, neighbors, a warm line, or a crisis line if you want to talk. Know that you are not alone, help is available, and healing can happen.

Sometimes it is hard to know when you need extra help with your mental health. If you don’t know where to start, this info graphic from the National Institute of Mental Health may help guide you!

Warm lines and peer support can be valuable for those who are managing stress. You do not need to be in immediate crisis to call the warm line. Anyone seeking support may call the Minnesota Warm Line for peer support connection. For more information, visit Wellness in the Wood: Transforming Wellness into Reality. Mental Health Minnesota also offers a warm line.

Talking with someone about your thoughts and feelings can save your life. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or chat at 988 connects you with a trained crisis counselor who can help.

Stay happy, healthy, and safe! ~Sally~