Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Diggin’ Dinos Escape

Put your detective skills to the test on Wednesday, July 19th with Diggin’ Dinos Escape at Meinders Community Library from 10am-7pm! We will have this escape room set up as stations, so multiple groups can work on puzzles at the same time. Diggin’ Dinos is for all ages—the puzzles are geared towards elementary-aged children and older, but younger kids could participate with adult help.

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

July Games & Grub

It’s time for our next Summer Games & Grub, this Thursday, July 13th from 5:30-7:30pm. Bring your best potluck dish to share and come prepared to eat, play, and win! Please let us know if you will be attending either by calling the library at 507-825-6714 or filling out the contact form below.

On Friday, July 21st, the library will be closing at 1pm due to electrical work. We will open early that day at 8am to make up for the early closure.

Posted in Alerts, Get Connected

Upcoming Events & Library Closure

Meinders Community Library will be closed Tuesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. We will be open our regular hours the rest of the week.

Join us on Monday, July 10th for The Ant & the Grasshopper with Climb Theatre. In this continuation of Aesop’s Fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper, two friends compete together in the “Find Your Voice” competition. However, hardworking Ant and playful Grasshopper are having trouble finding their harmony. With the help of Queen Bee and the audience, Ant and Grasshopper will learn to BEE Kind, BEE a Friend, and BEE Together as they work towards creating a sound where everyone’s voice is a part of the chorus.

We also have another Games & Grub coming up on Thursday, July 13th from 5:30-7:30pm. Register to attend by calling us at 507-825-6714 or emailing

Posted in Awareness, Get Connected

Grief and Your Mental Health

It’s June.  School is out and the kids are on the go.  Summer activities are in full swing.  Vacations and holiday gatherings are being planned.  Pools are crowded with people cooling off in the heat.  Lakes are busy with swimming, boating, and fishing.  Campgrounds are bustling with outdoor activities.  Lots of fun and relaxing in the sun.  Summer is finally here.

For some, it may not be all fun in the sun.  For some, it will be filled with tears and memories or thoughts of what might have been.  The could’ve, would’ve, should’ve that never came about.  Anniversaries or birthdays without someone you will never forget. 

This month I am writing about grief and what it can do to your mental health and well-being.  The loss of a loved one is heartbreaking and can cause you to experience a long list of emotions.  This could include shock, confusion, sadness, or even anger.  Whether the death was expected or not, these feelings are all part of the mourning process and are common reactions to loss.  If you are coping with a loss, you may not be prepared for the intensity and duration of emotions or the changing of moods.  Some often question their mental stability, but just know that these feelings are appropriate and can help you come to terms with the loss.  It takes time, but coping with death is essential to a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Coping is a process and the extent of mourning will depend on the individual, the type of loss, and the void left by that loss.  When pain and sadness worsen over time, grief can have an intense effect on one’s physical and mental health.  Prolonged, chronic grief can lead to a complicated bereavement or grief disorder.  The symptoms can be intensive and can include constant focus on the loss, problems with daily routine, and withdrawal or separation from family and friends.

Diagnosing a grief disorder can be difficult.  If you have a history of depression, anxiety or substance abuse, you are at an increased risk of developing a grief disorder.  There are many similarities between complicated grief and depression, but there are also distinct differences. In some cases, clinical depression and complicated grief occur together. Getting the correct diagnosis is essential for treatment, so a comprehensive medical and psychological exam is often done.  Your doctor or mental health professional considers your particular symptoms and circumstances in determining what treatment is likely to work best for you.  This can include psychotherapy or medication.  Antidepressants may be helpful in people who have clinical depression as well as complicated grief.

Although it’s important to get professional treatment for complicated grief, here are some key strategies that may help you cope:

  • Stick to your treatment plan.  Attend therapy appointments as scheduled and take medications, if needed, as directed.
  • Practice stress management.  Unmanaged stress can lead to depression, overeating, and other unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
  • Take care of yourself.  Get rest, eat healthy, and take time to relax.  Regular exercise and physical activity can help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.  Don’t turn to alcohol or recreational drugs to cope.
  • Socialize.  Stay connected to the people that care about you.  They can offer support, a shoulder to cry on, or shared laughter to give you a little boost.
  • Plan ahead for special dates or anniversaries.  These can trigger painful reminders of your loved one.  Find new ways to celebrate or reminisce about your loved one to provide you comfort and hope.
  • Join a support group.  Over time, you may find shared experiences comforting and you may form meaningful new relationships.

Grief is definitely a long, winding road and a difficult journey to be on.  It is not a feeling that you will experience for a set amount of time.  It is a complex set of multiple emotions and feelings that will continue for the rest of your life.  People tend to believe that grief shrinks over time.  What really happens is that we grow around our grief.  I will end with a photo that has helped me during my journey.  It was shared in one of my online support groups.

Stay happy, healthy, and safe!


Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Summer Reading

Summer Reading is in full swing at Meinders Community Library! We have bingo cards for all ages—from tiny tots to adults—with different genre ideas and fun activities like read a book and enjoy a frozen treat to inspire your reading this summer.

When you pick up your bingo card and as you show us your progress all summer long, you can add stickers to our Stick Together poster and try to predicate what our picture will be when it’s all done! When you get your first bingo, you get an ice cream coupon for either Dairy Queen or Dari King. If you read your way to a black out, you will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a bowling party.

Be sure to stock up on your summer reading materials this week, because Meinders Community Library will be closed on Monday, June 19th in observance of our newest federal holiday, Juneteenth.

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Dairy Princess Storytime and More!

Join us on Monday, June 12th at 10:30am for a special storytime with the 2023 Pipestone County Dairy Princesses, Josie and Katelyn. They’ll help us celebrate National Dairy Month with books about dairy cows, milk, ice cream, and more!

Tonight, we have our first Games & Grub of the summer from 5:30-7:30pm. Bring a potluck dish to pass and your friendly competitive spirit!

We also started our Walk & Talk Book Clubs this week. We’re walking at the Pipestone National Monument at 8am on Tuesdays and the Casey Jones Trail on Thursdays at 6am. If you would like to walk and talk with us, let us know by calling 507-825-6714 or emailing

Posted in Get Connected

What’s in a Flag

Thirty-two years ago, I was on my way to Brainerd from Moorhead. I drove past an enormous rock on a hillside that had been painted and repainted ad nauseam to announce any number of celebrations (including a tribute to the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin in 1988. To this day, I can’t see the rock without hearing the song in my head.)

Anyway, on that particular June day, I sped past the rock, now white with “Marry me, Jody” painted across it in black letters. When I finally realized it was a message for me, I pulled over to the side of the road. In the shadow of the rock, Jeff asked me, “Do you know what today is?”

Nope. I was young and dumb and the internet didn’t exist yet.

Jeff proceeded to enlighten me. “Today is Flag Day and it’s my parent’s anniversary. It’s also the day I asked you to marry me.” (Spoiler alert: Jeff took my hands in his and knelt down on one knee beside that rock. I said yes.)

Needless to say, June 14th has always been an important date to me, but in reverse order. Proposal. In-law’s anniversary. Flag Day.

According to my (internet) research, nobody knows the exact origin of flags, though one thing is clear: flags have always been used as a form of communication. Whether declaring victory (or surrender), showing alliances, staking out land claims, or signaling quarantines, flags have proved to be one of the easiest ways individuals or groups can convey messages to each other, particularly over a long distance.

On the battlefield, over seas, and to the peaks of Everest, these simple cloth flags speak volumes through the colors and patterns that adorn them.

  • I stand by my country.
  • Beware, matey, pirates be comin’.
  • I came, I saw, I conquered my fear.
Tribute to Pipestone graduate William H. Genaust, photographer of Iow Jima’s iconic flag raising

Our own American flag represents valor, innocence, and justice. Every Flag Day, I make a point of driving past courthouses to see the beautiful displays of red, white, and blue that promise individual freedom through the unity of all. Something about seeing the stars and stripes en masse fills me with hope.

It is the embodiment of our past and the battles we have fought. It is the mistakes we have made and the promises we have kept. It is about where we are now and where we want to be, or rather, who we want to be. Our flag has undergone twenty-seven official versions. As a country, we continue to undergo transformation on the way to our perfection.

As such, flying the American flag holds responsibility and requires adherence to certain guidelines. It’s not always easy depending on how you choose to display your flag, but the effort is greatly appreciated by service members and their families who have fought for and under our flag. To learn what flying the American flag entails, access the flag flying calendar here and never miss an opportunity to share your patriotism the right way!

Across our nation, other flags will be flown this June for Pride Month. Since its debut in 1978, the rainbow flag has become a symbol of the global fight for equality and acceptance. This June 14th, the Pipestone Human Rights Commission will celebrate Pride Month with a Pride Picnic at Southwest Park from 4-8pm. To learn more about Pride Month or read books by LGBTQ+ authors, stop by the library and check out our June display.

For the remainder of 2023, Meinders Community Library is following iRead’s Summer Reading Program theme: Find Your Voice. We are using this nationwide theme to highlight stories that reflect our unique and diverse community. In addition to Pride Month, other June highlights include Father’s Day (June 18th), Juneteenth (June 19th), and National Great Outdoors Month.

Celebrate with the National Park Service on the second Saturday of June for National Get Outdoors Day.

Learn more about our newest Federal Holiday during the Juneteenth Celebration at Leon Moore Park from 3-8pm on June 19th.

Attend the Pipestone Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored Water Tower Festival Parade at 10am on June 24th to see a beautiful display of American flags, as well as Cartoons on Parade.

don’t worry, be happy~ jody

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!