Posted in Get Connected

When History Meets Mystery

I love mysteries, adore history, and am downright fanatical about crime. Put them together, and I’m in literary heaven. Lucky for me, the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime will present all sorts of chaos, crime, and mystery in their presentation, “When History Meets Mystery”.

Check out their bios and join us at 2:00pm on Sunday, July 21, for refreshments and a bit of writerly shenanigans. We have copies of their books at the library. Pick one up before the event or wait until after you hear from the panel before deciding which author you want to read first.

TCSIC panel 2019

Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl Brookins was a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in St Paul. He has reviewed mystery fiction for the St Paul Pioneer Press and Mystery Scene Magazine. Carl is an avid recreational sailor and has sailed in many locations across the world. He writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney, the Sean Sean private investigator detective series, and the Jack Marston academic series.  He lives with his wife Jean of many years, in Roseville, Minnesota. Website:


Growing up in a family of avid readers and story tellers, Barbara Deese developed a keen appreciation for fine writing and sharp wit. From devouring Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries, to her first career as one of only thirty-three female air marshals in the U.S, to writing murder mysteries, she’s always been interested in crime and justice. The protagonists in her No Ordinary Women mystery series, are five middle-aged book club ladies, all mystery lovers, who fall into solving real-life crimes. Website:

Joke: What part of a city would a writer never visit?

Pat Dennis is the award-winning author of Hotdish to Die For, a collection of mystery short stories where hotdish is the weapon of choice. Her Betty Chance Mysteries include Murder by Chance, Killed by Chance, Dead by Chance and Vegas by Chance. Her memoir Fat Old Woman in Las Vegas: Gambling, Dieting and Wicked Fun ranked #1 on Amazon Travel Memoirs. Pat created the coloring book series for reluctant adults including Kill Me! My Husband’s Retired! Her fiction has appeared in numerous publications including: Once Upon a Crime Anthology, Anne Frasier’s Deadly Treats, Who Died in Here?, Hotdish Haiku, Silence of the Loons, Resort to Murder, Minnesota Monthly, Woman’s World, and The Pioneer Press. Pat is a veteran of 1,000 plus performances in comedy clubs, Fortune 500 special events, woman’s organizations, and church basements across the country. She has worked with such notables as Phyllis Diller, Lewis Black, and Tommy Chong.


After kicking around the corporate nonprofit world for over 20 years, Timya Owen escaped to the exciting life of sports production and cat herding. A rabid fan of mysteries since she picked up her first Mary Stewart novel (The Moonspinners), she reached her breaking point after reading one too many bad mysteries; she decided to give it her best shot and write one herself. Countless writing workshops paid off! Her short story “The Last Game” is her first published work under her pen name T.S. Owen. She is the current president of the Twin Cities Chapter of Sisters in Crime, one of the editors and a contributing author of the TCSinC anthology, Dark Side of the Loon. Timya lives in a quiet suburb of Saint Paul with her husband and a multitude of fat and sassy squirrels.


Barbara Schlichting has always been dreamer, so she writes books. She likes to wander through bookstores and fall in love with fictional characters. She also loves to travel and has had an English penpal for about fifty-five years. Barbara is the author of the First Ladies Dollhouse mystery series, historical fiction, as well as, picture books and poetry. She has several short stories published. Originally from Minneapolis, she and her family moved further north to Bemidji, MN.


Answer: a Writer’s Block

Posted in Get Connected

Kindle Your Love of Reading at the Library

Congratulations to our Kindle winner, Thomas Cotterman, and our e-book winner, Cristin Winter.


No bones about it, reading is cool, whether a physical book, e-book or audio book.

For newbies to the Plum Creek Library System, cards are free with a photo ID and PCLS area address. Your Meinders card allows access to the following digital platforms:

  • EBooks Minnesota
  • RB Digital
  • A to Z World Foods
  • Overdrive
  • ELM

We are open today from 10:00am-5:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am-2:00pm.

Get connected with a good book today and enjoy the weekend in style.

Posted in Get Connected

Visit Any Library Today


Never fear, faithful readers, libraries abound everywhere. Even little free ones. Even in tucked away places like this one in Madison, Wisconsin, where we stopped to try our hands…er, feet…at log rolling on our way to Chicago.

How lucky that we live in a country where words and ideas are uncensored and free for all.

Libraries truly are the great equalizers. Let’s keep them that way.

Get Connected at a library near you…or seek one out in strange and exciting new places.

happy reading~ jody

Posted in Get Connected

Storybooks on Parade

Characters on Parade

This past Saturday, we had the honor of being the Grand Marshals for the Water Tower Festival Parade. As such, we knew we had to go all out. So we recruited friends and family to walk with us and bring beloved literary characters to life. Here are the books and characters that marched with Meinders Community Library for Storybooks on Parade.

  • Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh from books by A. A. Milne
  • Nancy Drew from the series by Caroline Keene
  • Cruella de Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
  • Charlie Brown and Snoopy from Peanuts comic strips by Charles Schulz
  • Cat in the Hat and the Lorax from books by Dr. Seuss
  • Paul Bunyan, American folklore character
  • Fancy Nancy from the picturebooks written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
  • Anna and Elsa from Frozen, based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder, author and character in the Little House series
  • Harry Potter from the series by J. K. Rowling
  • Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • Explorer Academy series by Trudi Trueit
  • Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming
Posted in Get Connected

On Parades

Naturally, I can’t let the Water Tower Festival parade occur without comment. As with all things, parades have a fascinating history, wrought with purpose. Military parades touted victories and established rule. Religious parades utilized the gathering of many as a giant platform to spread beliefs.

Throughout the ages, parades have boosted morale, spread news of a changing world, ignited passions for social reform, provided much-needed lightness in a dark world, and created a purpose to gather in fellowship with others. For more history on parades, click here.

Humans are social creatures. We like to celebrate together. Or commiserate together. We like to speak about the things we are passionate about and share our sorrows with others. Parades are the perfect way to express this need.

This year’s parade theme, Storybooks on Parade, has a lot more depth than what one might think at a quick glance.

Stories enlighten, educate, entertain, and engage people of all ages. Most stories have a message or two tucked between the pages. In a way, our bookshelves and To Be Read piles are a parade of who we are and what we believe. They are filled with hope and faith, love and joy, trial and tribulation. They excite the senses and engage us in what could or should be. Or conversely, what shouldn’t.

Books have as much power over shaping who we are as the military, world leaders, religion, or social justice.

books on parade
A peek at my TBR list

Celebrate the books you have read and the ones yet to come. And don’t forget to join us at the library for all your literary needs. Because the great thing about libraries and parades: they are free and open to the public.

Please join us at the Water Tower Festival parade on Saturday morning. Afterward, the library will open at 11:30am for you to stop by and register for a chance to win a free Kindle. For those new to the library, pick up a library card and a few books to enjoy after the Water Tower Festival is over.

happy marching~ jody

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun, News

Digital Escape Rooms and Free Kindles

In honor of the 2019 Water Tower Festival, we are hosting an online escape room in conjunction with a drawing for a free kindle. Anyone can enter the drawing and/or join in the challenge to Escape to the Water Tower Festival.

  • What do you win?  A chance to win a free Kindle just in time for the Fourth of July  weekend. With a Kindle (or Kindle App) and a PCLS library card, it’s easy to access free library books from our Overdrive catalog.
    • If completing Escape to the Water Tower Festival, you also get the satisfaction of winning our first ever digital escape room, your name entered into the Kindle drawing, and a bonus drawing for a free e-book (value up to $15). Kudos to you! Your first name will be listed as an escape room winner on the blog.
  • What do you have to do? Stop in the library and enter your name in the drawing.
    • If completing the escape room, you must beat the challenges to enter your name into the bonus drawing.
  • Who can enter? Anyone who uses Meinders Community Library for checking out books, borrowing DVDs, reading the paper, attending programs, or just hanging out.
  • How many times can you enter? As many times as you use the library between now and July 1, 2019.
  • When will winners be notified? We will contact winners by phone at the close of business on July 1 to verify eligibility. Winners will be posted on the blog July 2, or after verification.
  • Who is eligible to win?
    • Anyone 8-108 who is a resident of the Meinders Community Library service area.
    • Winners must provide a valid phone number.
    • Winners must be willing to pick up their prize at the library and have their photo taken for the blog.

Digital Escape Room


  • Click on the library doors to enter the game.
  • Complete the challenges found within.
  • Once you’ve completed all the tasks, be sure to fill out the comment card on the last page to get your name in the drawings for the free kindle and e-book.
  • Only one digital entry is accepted per person.

If you would like to learn how to make your own escape rooms, contact the library to sign up for our DIY Escape Room Workshop on Wednesday, June 19. This hands-on program is perfect for educators, parents, youth leaders, librarians, and coaches who want to challenge those around them in new and exciting ways.

Good luck, enjoy, and hope to see you at the Water Tower Festival next week!