Posted in Get Connected

Reading During COVID

My reading habits have definitely changed in the past six months. I take home tons of physical books, but mostly read digitally on my phone. I don’t know why because phone-reading is typically my least favorite way to engage with a good book.

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

I’m also reading less. I have all these good intentions and tons of excitement while checking out a book. I just don’t seem to have the mental energy to slog through a chapter most nights. Weirdly, I’m also reading more nonfiction. Both books and online articles.

In some ways, this new reading trend is troubling to me. I miss falling into someone else’s reality for a bit. I miss going to new places and meeting new (friendly) faces. It seems like so many of the words I’m interacting with are inhospitable.

The only good thing that has come out of my changed reading habits is that I return books to the library on time much more frequently than I did pre-COVID. (Yeah, I know. I work at a library. But this confession should be reassuring, as I often have trouble meeting the two week due date even though I work at a circulation desk!)

Other people I know are having the exact opposite reading reaction. They are reading voraciously, varied, and across all formats. They are reading a book a day and are checking out from libraries for the first time in forever.

Reading habits have shifted for so many of us, just as life has shifted. Some changes may be long-term, while others may be fleeting. Regardless, as a library, our goal is to help you with all your literary and library needs.

Call, email, or stop in, just don’t forget to keep reading in whatever way works best for now~ jody

Posted in Alerts

Password Protect Your Library Card

With the exception of eLibraryMN (aka ELM), all of our library services are accessed through your library card.

  • Checking out a book? You need your card.
  • Putting an item on hold through MNLink? You need your card.
  • Accessing an e-book on Overdrive? You need a card.
  • Reading an audio book on RBdigital? You guessed it: you need a card.
  • Using Plum Creek Library System’s online catalog? Yep. You need your card.
  • Exploring any of our Scholastic platforms such as ScienceFlix and BookFlix? Cards definitely required.

Because of this, it is important that you protect your library card and the information in your account in much the same way you safeguard your debit card–password and all.

I can already see some of you scratching your heads, thinking, What is this password?

I once did the same thing. Who needs a password on a library card, and how do I get one? The answer is easy peasy. You need a password if you ever plan on using your library card to access our digital materials. When your card was made, you were told your password by the friendly librarian at the circulation desk. At some point thereafter, you may have changed your password. In fact, you should have changed your password to keep your checkout information safe and to eliminate the possibility that someone else may be using your card to access your library account and all the platforms your card unlocks.

But, if you’re like me, you maybe forgot to reset your password. Or, you immediately reset it, then years went by, and now you finally want to sit down with your kids and poke around on ScienceFlix together. Well, lo and behold, you have forgotten the little protective gem in the ensuing years.

Never fear, you are in full control of your literary info.

  • If you don’t know your password, call the library and we will reset your password for you. Don’t worry about us knowing your password, you get to change it the second you get off the phone with us. To do so, follow the next step.
  • If you know your current password–which you do, because we just gave it to you, or you are one of the rare rock stars who just memorizes everything easily–you can, and should, change it online through the OPAC (our Online Public Access Catalog) which you can access by clicking here.
Log in to your account on the right sidebar using your library card bar code and password.

Once you’ve gotten into your account, you can do all sorts of things like renew books, put items on hold, and see if you have any fines (hint, you shouldn’t, as we have stopped fines from accruing during COVID to help you get your books back safely without penalizing you in the process). You can also check your reading history, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD, or request that we update your personal information such as email, phone number, or address. These things are found on the left side bar.

Yes, my middle name is now out there for the world to see–as are my latest checkouts.

As you can see from the above image, once you are logged into an account, you have access to all the great stuff the library has to offer. This makes it even more important to change your password. Especially since it’s easy to lose or misplace one of your cards.

When I was cleaning out my desk at home, I came across a stray library card. Having four kids and a husband, I had a pretty good chance of guessing the right name. Nope. It belonged to one of my youngest son’s friends. If I had nefarious intentions, I could have accessed all sorts of personal information from that lone card as long as the password had never been changed. It hadn’t.

Which leads us to this post. Please password protect your library card.

keep reading, keep learning~ jody

Posted in Book Talk

Books with Amazing Grandparents

Yesterday was Grandparents Day (and my grandma’s 91st birthday!), so here are some books for all ages featuring fantastic grandparents.

Picturebooks

  • Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  • The Purple Coat by Amy Hest, illustrated by Amy Schwartz
  • Drawn Together by Minh Le, illustrated by Dan Santat
  • In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Middle Grade

  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
  • Chirp by Kate Messner
  • As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
  • Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Young Adult

  • A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
  • We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fielder
  • I Love So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
  • From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

Adult

  • Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann
  • Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins
  • The Second Half by Lauraine Snelling
  • A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
  • In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

-Emily

Posted in Get Connected

Library Hours (Mostly) Back on Track

Beginning Monday, September 14, Meinders Community Library will settle into a new schedule for in-house appointments and curbside pickups. Call to set up a time to visit the library for a 20-minute browsing session or a computer slot.

No-contact, curbside pick up will remain in service until you feel comfortable coming inside.

  • Mondays: 10am-6pm
  • Tuesday: 10am-6pm
  • Wednesday: 10am-6pm
  • Thursday: 10am-6pm
  • Friday: 10am-5pm
  • Saturday: 10am-2pm

Also, we no longer need plastic bags! Thanks to those who graciously donated to the cause.


As always, don’t forget your mask and wash your hands to stay safe.

Posted in Alerts

Construction Hours

Due to construction and the holiday weekend, Meinders Community Library will be open for curbside pickup from 10am-3pm this Tuesday 9/8, Wednesday 9/9, and Thursday 9/10. The library and parking lot will be inaccessible after 3pm on all of these days.

We will resume our normal in-house and curbside pickup hours on Friday 9/11 from 11am-6pm. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Posted in Get Connected

Census Safety

Census information helps secure Federal funding for our schools, our roads, our hospitals, and our libraries. This money is distributed based on how many people live in an area. If our community is under-counted, our community may be underfunded.

One of the ways to make sure you and your family are counted is to answer the door when a Census Worker stops at your home. Use the following chart to determine if the Census Worker is real. Your information will remain confidential whether or not you are a citizen of the United States.

You matter, and so does your count.

If you haven’t yet filled out your Census Form for 2020, you still have time to get counted.

~get counted and get connected

P.S. Please share widely and personally to connect with as many individuals as you can. These Census numbers will impact our community funding for the next ten years.

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Readers and Writers Wanted

While we are not quite ready to resume in-house programming, we are ready to tackle virtual writing groups and book clubs–because one thing the pandemic has taught us is that immersing ourselves in the world of words can help alleviate stress. It allows us to process and lets us escape. It brings a sense of normalcy to this unique and chaotic world.

Reading and writing can also bring us together. So without further ado, please meet the newest page on our blog and one of our newest favorite activities in the world: Virtual Clubs

We have three of them, because, as we all know, the best things come in threes. Except, maybe, poison ivy. Click the pics for more information on what we are reading and writing this September.

Lovely photo of Emily’s to-be-read piles from this summer.

Beyond the Book

This reading group is perfect for lovers of historical and literary fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs. On the first of the month, we will announce a new book. On the 15th of each month, we will post a review along with an invitation for readers to join in the discussion online.


Lovely photo of Nancy Drew, the Lorax, and Cruella DeVille for Storybooks on Parade.

Novel Characters

Genre fiction best describes the books we’ll read in this very social, socially distanced book club. Grab a snack, a drink of choice, and your computer to zoom with fellow bibliophiles every fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm. Participants must sign up to receive the zoom link.


Lovely reminder of how hard it is to be a good writer and why we need other writers to support us.

Pen 2 Page Writers Cafe

If you enjoy penning poetry, short stories, articles, or entire novels, you’ve come to the right place. This local writers group will take place entirely online, beginning with a writing prompt and check-in on the second Thursday of each month. Will include a writing and publishing Q&A forum.

mask up and keep reading~ jody

Posted in News

Welcome Back 2020

School is back in session, and with that comes a few exciting announcements and a few guidelines to help us ensure patron and youth safety for the upcoming months.

The best news: Plum Creek Library System received a collective grant that provides enhanced digital services to all PCLS patrons for the upcoming year. Thanks to the diligent work of the Marshall-Lyon County Library director and staff, these services will help round out the educational experiences for our community’s kids.

So, what new things are we offering at Meinders Community Library?

  1. 4 Hotspots: available for one week checkouts with an adult PCLS library card. We realize life is digital right now and hope that we can provide a bit of at-home connectivity. The one caveat is that these devices are only as good as Sprint services in our community, so we may need help mapping any blackout areas around town.
  2. Early literacy, reading and STEM databases from Scholastic: the only requirements for these awesome platforms is a valid PCLS library card and internet connection. These online subscriptions pair fiction, non-fiction, activities, labs, and resources to dig deeper into vast and varied topics. Two of the platforms have content in both Spanish and English, while all can be used by parents, grandparents, home school families, educators, or patrons of all ages to enrich their understanding of the world around them.
    • BookFlix: prek-elementary level books and activities, read-along format option, some Spanish translations, and links for more information and activities
    • ScienceFlix: inquisitive elementary through middle school adult activities, videos, articles, experiments, and so much more. Seriously, I have spent hours hopping from one fascinating topic to the next and always learn something new. This platform is perfect for anyone wanting to explore and know more.
    • Watch & Learn: this video platform is a mash-up between BookFlix and ScienceFlix. Geared toward younger learners, the Spanish and English versions aim to build vocabulary and comprehension, while the Think Sheets provide the opportunity for youth to process and translate into writing what they saw and heard.
  3. Extra OverDrive and RBDigital purchases: access a more robust catalog of middle grade and young adult audio and e-books with a PCLS library card and a digital device. Titles were purchased with an eye toward enhancing curriculum and encouraging leisure reading among middle and high school students.

Guidelines

  1. Currently, 3rd and 4th grade student classrooms are housed in the middle school. Their drop off spot is on the south side of the building and will utilize the library parking lot. To help keep these little ones safe, minimizing book returns between 7:30 and 8:15am would be appreciated.
  2. A quick reminder to those who don’t love a packed parking lot: school lets out at 3:15pm. Traffic increases both entering and leaving the school campus between 3:00 and 3:30.
  3. Due to the new school parking lots, two exits enter the drive on the south/library side of the school. To help maintain effective traffic flow, all students should be picked up in the circle drive. No students should be picked up in the library parking lot, as this increases traffic congestion.
  4. To minimize cross-over between asymptomatic youth and vulnerable public patrons, we are taking a wait-and-see approach for the next few weeks to gauge what, if any, impact a return to school will have on COVID-19 cases in our community. We will operate through Labor Day weekend with the following precautions in place:
    • Appointment only in-house use of library. This includes after-school use by students.
    • Continued curbside pick-up for any patron Monday through Saturday.
    • Continued open hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 11am-6pm, and Saturdays from 10am-2pm. This will be reassessed after Labor Day with an eye to expanding our hours to the public.
    • Adherence to the State Mask Mandate while inside the library.
    • Adherence to Social Distancing guidelines. Our floor is marked to help patrons maintain six feet of distance between themselves and other library users while waiting to check out. To help with this, we will operate only one check-out station.

We appreciate your patience and hope that the above guidelines will keep all our patrons reading, learning, and safe!

welcome back~ jody

Posted in Book Talk

Romance Awareness Month


August is Romance Awareness Month and we couldn’t let it pass by without highlighting some of the amazing romance reads available at the library!

  • Contemporary
    • Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
    • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
    • Beach Read by Emily Henry
    • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
    • Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim
  • Historical
    • The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
    • The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton
    • Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
    • A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger
    • A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley
  • Inspirational
    • Like a Love Song by Camille Eide
    • A Reluctant Bride by Kathleen Fuller
    • Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky
    • Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt
    • Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh
  • Rom Coms
    • Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
    • Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
    • You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
    • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
    • Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
  • Supernatural
    • Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
    • The Waking Land by Callie Bates
    • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
    • The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle
    • Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts
  • Young Adult
    • Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali
    • This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kacen Callendar
    • I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
    • There’s Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
    • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins