Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Robots and Resumes

Great kids rocking amazing skills!

We are always excited to showcase the Pipestone Arrowbots robotics team. Today is no exception. If you have time, we highly encourage you to join them in Duluth for their first competition of the season.

Arrowbots 3298 Qualifying Matches

The skills these youth are gaining in robotics are valuable to their futures.

Also valuable is being able to write a solid resume that highlights your personal and professional experience, skills, and accomplishments. At the end of high school, these students will be able to write a fantastic resume.

And so can you. If you’re not quite what a resume is and how to write one,, we invite you to join us at the library on Friday, March 11, for a resume building workshop with local hiring managers.

During the 45 minute seminar, you will learn what managers look for and how you can better showcase your work-related accomplishments. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a one-on-one session with one of the presenters to go over your resume.

Posted in Get Connected, STEAM Room

Look What Blew into the Library

We are consistently amazed at and eternally grateful for the unexpected support we receive from our awesome community.

We were delighted today to be visited by the wonderful staff of Michelle Cheeseman’s State Farm Insurance Agency (for the second time!). Their support and generous donations to Pipestone Area Friends of the Library have been instrumental in creating the Meinders Community Library STEAM Room.

Our maker space was initially funded in its entirety by a $25,000 grant from State Farm. We were able to purchase storage, supplies, and tools to create a space where patrons can come and explore the world of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math through hands on activities.

Since its inception in 2018, thousands of students and community members have enjoyed spending time in the STEAM Room or attending related programs that are supported through donations from local organizations, individuals, and PAFL, as well as through grants such as Legacy funding and the Pipestone Area Community Foundation.

This current $1,000 from State Farm was a matching grant, with Michelle Cheeseman’s agency donating $500 and State Farm providing the other $500. These funds will help us continue meeting the needs of our community’s ever-evolving interests in the STEM field.

So many thanks to those who share our vision in making Meinders Community Library a “community hub focused on enriching lives and supporting success.”

You touch so many lives in so many unique ways.

know you are appreciated~ library staff

Posted in Get Connected

Bring Your Game Face

Originally Soup & Scrabble, we have branched out to include more games. The one thing that remains the same, however, is a bowl or two of delicious soup provided by Meinders Community Library staff.

All ages (10+) and levels of competitive play are welcome!

Posted in Get Connected

Don’t Judge Me For My Upcoming Admission

I don’t love watching sports.

I know. That’s darn near blasphemy to say such a thing. Particularly in the midst of the Winter Olympics. Particularly when the Super Bowl is less than a week away.

So, let me clarify. I love reading about sports more than watching the match, game, set, meet, tournament, etc as it unfolds. Unless, of course, my kids are playing. In which case, I grab a book and learn all there is to know about the newest endeavor my family is embarking on.

My sports MO started waaaaay waaaaay back in high school when a young man sat behind me in my geometry class. He was a golfer. It was spring. He would walk into class the morning after a golf meet and drop his used golf tees on my desk.

Nobody in my life had ever golfed. But, said boy was cute and he flirted with the best of them, so, like the nerdy girl I was, I researched his favorite sport. Mind you, this was back before the internet, making a trip to the library my only viable form of research. It took time.

Fast forward, another boy, another sport. Fast forward more years to children and many new sports. So. Many. Rules. So Many New Vocabularies. So many nuances. So many opportunities to learn and love new things.

Today, I celebrate a few things I do love about sports.

  • Reading about new things: on this day in 1971, Satchel Paige became the first Negro League veteran to be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame. This little tidbit led me down a rabbit hole of books and online articles about Satchel Paige, the history of baseball, baseball greats, poems about baseball, coffee table books filled with beautiful photos capturing amazing baseball moments, Minnesota-specific baseball…. There is no doubt that I like a good educational rabbit hole!
  • Which leads me to another love: seemingly useless information. Seriously, you never know when it might come in handy. Trivia nights. Thanksgiving dinner table talk. Chit chatting in the grocery store line. Impressing my kids and impressing upon them that useless information is fun and helpful.
  • Celebrating people and their contributions to society: in case you missed it, February is Black History Month. Baseball, and so many other things in our world, would be far less robust without people like Satchel Paige. Henrietta Lacks and her stolen genes that have shaped medical advancements since 1951. Richard Allen–minister. Maya Angelou–poet. Arthur Ashe. Ruby Bridges. Mary Fields. Bessie Coleman. And so, so, so many more.
  • Helping people learn: clearly there’s a reason why I work in a library. I’m surrounded by books and technology and information. And my literal day job is sharing that with everybody who walks in the door. It’s a well-known secret that librarians have super powers when it comes to paging through books or googling in search of obscure information.

While I publicly outed myself, those who have sat in the bleachers with me already know I’m a rock star at reading between half-times. Sometimes it’s fiction, sometimes not. Regardless, books teach us how to navigate all the nuances of the world around us. They help us communicate. And learn. And appreciate. They impart wisdom and knowledge and history. They celebrate the past and help prepare us for the future.

In short, they help us connect with others on new levels. Case in point, I married that cute golfer from geometry. And while I don’t hit the links with him on a regular basis, I know exactly what he’s talking about when he comes home on Tuesday nights after men’s league.

If people are important we learn about what matters to them. And my family’s passions are why I know way more than I should about sports I have never played. It’s why I am willing to put my books down and actually sit in the moment, in the stands or on the couch, and experience life from a new perspective.

so, how ’bout those bengals?~ jody

Posted in Get Connected

Have You Ever

I recently filled my shopping cart with delicious stuff both on and off my grocery list before methodically unloading all million and a half items onto the conveyor belt. I’m a bit obsessive, but I like to put like items together like its my job. Dairy. Veggies. Science Fiction. Inspirational. Young Adult. Meat. Fruit.

The lovely cashier patiently scanned each item, while a delightful youth carefully nestled my items into bags for safe transportation home.

Then came the moment of reckoning. The one we all dread. And the one I gracelessly accomplished on a very cold and windy day when I least wanted to go back out into the subzero temps.

I didn’t have my debit card. I checked my keychain, my coat pocket, and my bag. Nothing. I checked my memory and realized it was in my other bag. The one in the closet two miles away. I didn’t ask, but I’m fairly certain the cashier would not have given me my groceries had I simply rattled off my debit card number by heart. Even though she knew me quite well and trusts me.

Fortunately, I had a back up in my truck. After a very shame-faced admission that I had failed the one job that a shopper has–that important contract of exchanging goods for dollars–I sprinted to my vehicle and returned quickly enough that I didn’t inconvenience another shopper.

Unfortunately, it’s not the only time I’ve ever been unprepared. Those stray dollars I thought were in my wallet? That photo ID that was *right there*? Or the insurance card at the doctor’s office, or the license and registration sitting on the kitchen counter–not the glovebox?

Or, that pesky library card that seems like it should hardly matter at all, but actually serves a purpose? I have done it all. And, if you are anything like me, this next section is for you.

What does your library card do, and why do you need to physically bring it into the library with you?

Your Plum Creek Library Card is actually proof of your contract with the library to take responsibility for the materials you check out. It says, “I will return these materials in good condition so that others may enjoy them.”

Your card also protects you from charges or fees that you did not incur. By providing your library card at the time of check out, it ensures that you–not someone else–is checking out the materials. If you lose or misplace your library card, you should immediately let your librarian know so they can get you a new card. When this happens, the old library card will no longer work and nobody can find it and check out items under your account. This equates to rock solid protection for you.

Your physical library card makes our job much easier and eliminates costly mistakes. While it is true that we can look up your account with a valid photo ID on occasion, doing so takes time. It is also imperfect, as there are a surprising number of individuals in PCLS that share the same name. Having your physical card in hand means your checkouts will definitely go on your account. Not the other PatronX. Or conversely, it means PatronX can’t accidentally check out under your account and rack up huge fines.

Most importantly, it is policy. Just like actually paying for groceries with real money before taking them home.

Enforcing policy is hard on the person doing the enforcing. Nobody wants to make you run into the blowy cold or rain. Nobody delights in asking you to trek back home to the other bag in the closet so you can complete your grocery store transaction. Nobody likes giving a ticket because you forgot to put your tabs on your vehicle. Certainly Nobody wants to kick you off the plane because you forgot your ID (not me). And Nobody would have to do any of those things if we simply remembered our check books, library cards, driver’s licenses, and passports.

While librarians get that sometimes life is hard and it’s easy to forget some things now and again, we would like the above story to serve as a reminder that using your physical card to check out materials is required. Every time. Even though we know you. And trust you. And maybe even invited you to our birthday parties.

It makes the whole experience better for all involved. And, it’s policy. And because even worse than asking you to run back into the cold to grab your library card, would be holding you accountable for materials on your account that you didn’t actually check out.

If you don’t know where your library card is, you can purchase a replacement card at the library for $1.00 through the month of February. After that, replacement cards will once again be $3.00.

If you don’t have a library card at all, your first one is free. They come in a set of two for maximum convenience. One fits nicely on your key chain or back pack, while the other is wallet sized. The perks of being a library user in the Plum Creek Library System are outstanding. Stop in with a current photo ID to get your library card and shop our shelves for your next great read. We have science fiction, inspirational, westerns and a whole lot more!

may your weekend be filled with remembering the little things~ jody

Posted in Get Connected

See What’s New at Meinders Community Library!

Meinders Community Library has a new email newsletter with Wowbrary! Every Wednesday, you’ll get the scoop on all the new materials the library has added in the past week. Wowbrary sorts the books into genres to make it easy for you to find what you’re interested in and links directly to the Plum Creek Library catalog so you can place holds right away. Visit to sign up or ask a librarian to help you.

Posted in Get Connected

Ho Ho Holy Cow That’s a Lot of Books

Not that we are complaining. In fact, we love everything about researching, purchasing, and processing books so much that we wanted to thank Pipestone Area Friends of the Library via a grant from the Pipestone Area Community Foundation for the opportunity to open, catalog, and offer up these boxes and boxes of books to our young patrons.

This three part grant will infuse our juvenile collection with $6,000 worth of books over the next two years.

Here’s how it worked: PAFL wrote a grant to the Pipestone Area Community Foundation for $2,000. Included in the grant was a pledge by both PAFL and Meinders Community Library to each dedicate $2,000 to purchase books for our young readers.

The first allotment was used to subscribe to Junior Library Guild for 2022. This provides the library with a fresh influx of books each month for youth roughly 3-13 years-old. The second donation will continue our subscription service through 2023. The final third was used to bulk purchase books for our junior collection–which rolled in between the holiday weekends.

And that is how we ended up with eight boxes of books all at once. With more still to come!

Thank you so much to our wonderful community organizations like the Pipestone Area Community Foundation and Pipestone Area Friends of the Library who support community literacy. Our patrons will love this treasure trove of new and favorite authors.

if you can read, you can succeed~ jody

Posted in Alerts, Get Connected

Library Service Q&A

Questions abound regarding possible changes to library services after the school board vote last week to terminate the Public Library Agreement. I will aim to answer the most pressing ones within the scope of my job as the director of Meinders Community Library.

As the current Public Library Agreement remains in effect until December 31, 2022, these answers are relevant through that time frame only.

Will your hours change? The short answer is no. Library hours are set by the library board based on MN state statute requirements for combined school and public libraries. Once COVID eases up a bit and the library board deems it appropriate, the library will resume pre-pandemic hours.

Where do I park to visit the library? The same place you always have. The parking lot to the south of the school campus is the designated parking lot for Public Library patrons. Students and school staff continue to use their own designated parking lots.

Will I still get books from the Plum Creek Library System? Yes. As long as Meinders Community Library remains a public library in good standing with PCLS, public patrons will have access to all the amenities of Plum Creek, including but not limited to:

  • Physical materials such as books, DVDs, cakepans, audiobooks, and magazines from all PCLS libraries.
  • Digital audio and ebooks from Libby/Overdrive.
  • Digital platforms for adults and youth from Ebsco and Scholastic–check out our quicklinks tab to see all of them.
  • MNLink materials from libraries across the state of MN.
  • Digital resources for students, faculty, and public from eLibraryMN.
  • Wi-fi hotspots.

What about my student? Will he continue to have access to all of Plum Creek Library System services at school? The short answer is yes–at least until December 31, 2022. The complicated answer is that school contracts are very different than a public library membership with the Plum Creek Library System, so services may change. If you have questions regarding a specific offering, please inquire at the library.

What will happen to library programming? Nothing different. Right now, our biggest concern with library programming is how to host safe events during COVID. As we deem it appropriate, we will continue to offer programs for all ages and interests. In fact, we have a great family friendly escape room happening this week. Just call to reserve a time that works for your crew!

Can I still check out whatever I want or will I be limited in my selection? There will be no short-term changes to the current collection, and ideally all materials will remain available to all patrons through the end of the year. That said, if a new agreement is not reached, the collection will be divided per the 1993 Public Library Agreement. This may affect your access to materials while staff physically divide and pack up the collection.

Can the public still use the library spaces like the computer lab and conference room for meetings? Yes. MN statute is very clear that the spaces, collections, and programming of combined school and public libraries are to be made available to both public and school. We schedule room reservations for individuals and organizations. As long as a room is available, you are able to use it.

What about the STEAM Room? Can we still use that? Yes. Except for the 3D printer, all of the tools and supplies in the library makerspace came from several grants, generous donations from community members, support from the Pipestone Area Friends of the Library, and through library funds. As such, the STEAM Room will remain open to our patrons until such a time that it may need to be packed up. Please feel free to call, stop by, or email us if you wish to use the space. As long as it is available, you are free to tinker away.

Until and unless a new agreement is made between the city and the school, the public library will operate under the current agreement through the end of 2022. We will keep you updated on any changes that impact our service to you and remain dedicated to providing quality materials and opportunities to all our patrons, from tiny tots to teenagers and those long into adulthood. ~ jody