Posted in Get Connected

Welcome Behind The Scenes Of Your Library

Volunteer in Training

If you think libraries are smooth-sailing, check in and check out operations, your library is doing the right thing. So much goes on behind the scenes to make your experience seamless, and National Library Week is the perfect time to recognize those who make your library visit positive. Info on winning a prize by sharing your library experiences can be found below.

Public library board members serve on boards because they are passionate about a library’s mission to provide free materials and experiences to all people. They work together to create a framework for library staff to carry out equitable, community-oriented services. The pay is terrible (our board members work for free), but the reward of supporting the community is priceless.

Thanks, Meinders Community Library board members, for your public service and guidance.

A close cousin to library boards are friends groups. These dedicated peeps volunteer their time to financially support libraries in vast and varied ways. Pipestone Area Friends of the Library (lovingly referred to as PAFL or Friends) has fundraised and secured donations or grants, as well as spent their own dollars to help us round out our collection, pay for programming expenses, and splurge on big ticket items like new carpet, chairs, and paperback spinners. Each year they buy the Minnesota Book Awards finalist collection and the Camp Read book list for our library. They also support our Summer Reading Program.

I would be lying to say that we could operate without our Friends. Thanks, PAFL!

Similar to Friends, but on an individual basis is the Volunteer. A library’s reliance on generous souls who donate time and effort to help operations run smoothly is very real. At Meinders Community Library, we graciously accept any assistance. Our volunteers quite literally can be hidden away in the back room, covering books, sorting through collection materials, cleaning, painting, promoting, and stickering, or can be found meandering the stacks while shelf-reading. Some run programs entirely for free.

I am afraid to mention our volunteers by name for fear of leaving someone out. In my five years as the director of our beautiful library, our volunteers have ranged in age from 8 to 91. Some give us an hour or two of their time while others keep coming back, month after month and year after year.

Thanks, volunteers, for each and every moment you devote to the library! It makes serving the public far easier.

PCLS, or the Plum Creek Library System, is the mostly invisible rockstar of our behind the scenes kudos each day. Our entire catalog is available to you anywhere and anytime because of the dedicated staff at PCLS. Books from other libraries are delivered to our doorstep because of PCLS staff. We have digital platforms only because PCLS staff do the leg work and up keep. Collective and sometimes free or deeply discounted programming occurs in our library because of PCLS staff.

Joel, Rebecca, Cleo, Anne, Barb, Ken, Dwayna, and Michele, thanks for everything you do. The services you provide are greatly appreciated.

Please share your #LibraryLove for our behind the scenes workers. Also, don’t forget to enter ALA’s drawing for a $100 Visa gift card by posting to Instagram, Twitter, or the I Love Libries Facebook page using the hashtag #MyLibraryIs.

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Welcome to Your Library

Hoppy Easter and welcome to National Library Week–the collective celebration of all the wonderful things libraries provide free of charge to all patrons.

Our peeps are sharing some of their favorite things to do at Meinders Library. You can, too! In fact, you can enter to win a gift card simply by sharing your library love online. So stay tuned this week and join the fun!

From the American Library Association website: “Celebrate National Library Week 2021 by sharing what you love about the resources and services available at your library. Post to Instagram, Twitter, or on the I Love Libraries Facebook page,  about an e-book, audiobook, virtual storytime or bookclub, or how your library has made a difference while you’ve been social distancing at home. Use the hashtag #MyLibraryIs.  We’ll gather all the entries, and one randomly selected winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card.  The promotion starts Sunday, April 4 at noon CT and ends on Saturday, April 10 at noon CT. Don’t forget to tag your library!

“If you love your library, say it loud and proud: vocal community support helps libraries secure much-needed funding and reminds hardworking library staff that their efforts are appreciated. Participating in the #MyLibraryIs promotion is a quick, easy way to help your library thrive.”

As always, thank you for your support of Meinders Community Library.

Posted in Get Connected

Let’s Oust Social Distancing and Embrace the Physical Distance Between Us

As a space filled to the brim with words, we know that words matter. Many of them have multiple definitions and fluid connotations. As an introvert, the term “social distance” is permission to embrace the natural tendency to withdraw from social settings.

Photo by Marta Longas on

For those balancing extroversion against the forced isolation of social distancing, the line isn’t so easily walked. Six feet suddenly feels like six miles of seclusion.

That said, even introverts need socialization and can feel nostalgic for daily interactions. I know I do. I miss the days when our library was filled with patrons bustling in and out, sharing snatches of conversation, and swapping snippets from daily life. I miss the times when all of our staff schedules overlapped and we touched base as a collective, not as individual runners merely passing on the baton in the work relay. I miss the times when social was what you did, not what you thought about day in and day out.

But words matter, and they can help us get through this. Instead of focusing on staying apart and not engaging with those around us, we should focus on staying apart safely. Swapping out “social distancing” with “physical distancing” just feels better. This way, six feet is merely six physical feet. It’s no longer a phrase directing us to stay away from each other at all costs.

Patrons should feel welcome to come into the library and share tiny slices of life with staff and other patrons. From the CDC guideline of six feet apart.

We can be social. And we can be safe. It just might take a change in our vocabulary to keep us from feeling isolated along the way.

Please call or email for a 20 minute browsing appointment. When you arrive, adhere to the state mask mandate and keep your six feet of physical distance while enjoying a moment or two of social connection. For patrons not wanting to enter the building, we continue to offer curbside pickup. Your safety and peace of mind are important to us.

stay safe and keep reading~ jody