Posted in Get Connected

Read, Share, Connect

20191002_084705Community reads provide opportunities for individuals to connect via a shared experience. By reading the same book, participants have a basis for conversation and a shared language that transcends everyday interactions.

For instance, the person you bump into at the grocery store might have nothing in common with you other than the fact that all people eat. So, you talk about the pomegranate you are buying and how the heck do you actually get the seeds out? (Yes, I’ve had those conversations because we eat weird things at our house!)

Yet if you have both read “The Witness Tree”, you immediately have common ground besides the potato chip sale or getting said chips to your car in the pouring rain. Instead, you can talk characters, plot, and the impact that the novel had on you. The connection is deeper and more meaningful. And it actually helps bond a community. Pretty cool concept, if you ask me.

This November, Meinders Community Library is hosting its 5th Annual Community Read.

Thanks to a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Fund, residents of Pipestone can partake in this year’s event. We have 30 complimentary copies of “The Witness Tree” by Amy Pendino.

Stop by and pick up your copy today. When you are finished reading, you can return the book to the library for someone else to read, pass it along to a friend, or keep it for your own collection.

This book will also be read by the library book clubs. If your book club would like to read it, please contact the library for assistance in check-out options.

Amy will join us on November 16 for a reading and book discussion. Or, if you prefer, you can have those discussions waiting in line at the grocery store.

keep reading~ jody


Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun


Banned Books Week 2019

One of the more difficult tasks library staff is asked to perform is purging library shelves of materials that are deemed offensive. This request in our library is validated along with a phrase similar to the one that follows:

“The beauty of living in America is that we all enjoy the freedom to read–or not read–what we want. The Constitution guarantees this right. If we took out every book in our library that might offend someone, we would have no materials left in our collection.”

Truth. Everything from the Bible to Zombies would be gone from our shelves.

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We all have different experiences, morals, values, beliefs, and desires. Despite that, we all share the same Constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. This means we have the right to say and feel and do within our own belief system. It also means we do not have the right to censor other’s words and expressions just because they do not align with ours.

If you would like to show your support for First Amendment rights, stop by the library and get your mug shot taken. Share your “Caught Reading Banned Books” pic on your favorite media site and don’t forget to tag us #BannedAtMeinders.

For more information about banned or challenged books, please look up this great article on intellectual freedom.

keep reading~ jody

p.s. our beautiful banned books props are courtesy of Meredith Vaselaar–longtime librarian and tremendous supporter of us at Meinders Library.

Posted in Get Connected

Antique Appraisal Event


Mark Moran will be at Meinders Community Library from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, September 28th to appraise community members’ antiques and treasures. You can still sign up for a slot in the 11am or 12pm hours by calling Meinders at 507-825-6714, emailing, or asking at the desk. While you need to register ahead of time to have your item appraised, everyone is welcome to attend and watch Mark Moran in action.

Posted in Get Connected

Writer’s Cafe

The general statistic for those who want to write a book someday hovers around 80%–give or take. That’s nearly 200 million Americans who are itching to write a book.

Beginning on September 12, Meinders Library will help you reach your goal. On the second Thursday of each month from 6:30pm-8:00pm, we will host the Writer’s Cafe, a place where aspiring writers can gather, write, discuss, support, and connect.

The Writer’s Cafe will be open to ages 12 and up. Light snacks and beverages may be brought in by participants as long as beverages can be closed and participants clean up after themselves.

At the beginning of each session, we will spend a few minutes talking about projects, progress, and goals. The remaining time will be flexible, with participants able to share excerpts and provide feedback as desired, to discuss writing questions and concerns, or to simply write.

As a writer myself, the hardest thing to do is prioritize and carve out solid writing time. I’ve been off the train more than I’ve been on it since I began working at the library. It’s time I dig deep and get back into the habit of writing.

If time isn’t your only barrier to writing, we have desk top computers for participants to use, as well as two laptops if necessary. In addition, all writing styles, lengths, and genres are welcome. The only limit is your commitment.

Please share this information with anyone you know who has ever exclaimed, “I should write a book!”

get connected to the story in you~ jody

Posted in Get Connected

The Twine that Binds

Once upon a time, our family visited the great ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota. On occasions we have returned to see it. The last time was approximately 17 years ago.

Today, my sibs and I returned to this astounding product of one man’s passion. It’s a unique and quirky part of Minnesota that draws people to this tiny town from all ends of the nation–as evidenced by the locations cited in the guest book. In the ten minutes we were there, two other groups stopped by to do the tourist thing and snap a pic.

Commemorating our own pilgrimage with a decent photo was not an easy thing to do with the noon sun overhead. Yet, despite the difficulties, we got an amazing and eerie image.

Our ghostly reflections below highlight just how easy it is to blur reality and just how frighteningly easy it is to forget.

56505As we left Darwin, we reminisced about that day, remembering the experiences leading up to the moment in front of the celebrated twine and those that followed. We shared laughter and a bit of sorrow.

Seventeen years ago, 16 people gathered in front of the twine ball. Of those, some have moved halfway across the country, others have grown up and moved out. Still others have simply moved on. Great aunt Toody is no longer with us.

This simple snapshot is rather profound. Without retelling stories and keeping them alive, we are in danger of losing a piece of who we are, where we came from, and where we need to go.

Seventeen years is but a microsecond blip on the vast and varied clock of our nation’s history. Yet the four of us remembered and forgot different things. As citizens of a global family, our collective memories are similarly complex. As such, we should strive for actively and accurately remembering.

The library is filled with resources to help you do this. We have a robust nonfiction collection and a genealogy section with local and regional histories. We have books that discuss multiple points of view on a wide array of topics. Further, we can help guide you through the internet and the tangled strands of digital information.

At the core of that giant ball of twine is a decades old story of one man. The end result draws people together in unexpected ways. In a way, this is our global story. We just have to own it.

The past is a part of who we are, and it most definitely continues to shape who we will become.

Get connected~ Jody


Posted in Get Connected

Mass Murder Survivor to Visit Meinders Library

As summer winds down, we wanted to give you plenty of time to mark your calendar for 10:00am Saturday, September 14.

Gitchie Girl Uncovered Cover Concept

Back by patron request, Phil and Sandy Hamman will provide a detailed look into the investigation of the 1973 Gitchie Manitou murders. Lone survivor, Sandra Cheskey, will join them.

This event is free and open to the public, in part with support from the Pipestone Area Friends of the Library.