Posted in Just for Fun

Calling All Crafters

Plum Creek Library System has rolled out our newest digital platform, and it’s sure to delight DIYers of all ilk.

Creativebug.com

Perfect for makers, crafters, day care providers, parents, programmers, organizations, families, homeschoolers, and home businesses, Creativebug has thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.

But don’t take our word for it. Click the link to Creativebug and use your PCLS library card to access tutorials on a wide range of projects sure to take your home-decorating and gift-giving to a whole new level.

Posted in Just for Fun

Ode to Summer Morns

sunlight straggles ‘midst leafy canopies

dapples day old coals and dew-soaked chill

embraced in nature’s frieze

I know nothing about poetry in the true sense of the word. My college books taught me little beyond the fact that I know very little. As a whole, poetry is elusive to me. At times, it feels cramped and rigid in a way that defies my passion for all things soft, flowing, and raw.

Nature versus the manmade constructs that confine us to straight lines and inexplicable perfection.

Maybe that’s why the only poetry that feels right to me is the ode. Short and lyrical, introspective and not entirely bound by strict rules of rhyme and meter. Or maybe it’s just that writers love to follow their own paths–kind of like nature does–and the ode is a great place to do so.

Regardless, nature is a great space to exist in, particularly in the early morning solitude.

For those new to nature or wishing to learn more about how to enjoy the great outdoors, we have tons of books at the library that highlight everything from pocket guides identifying plants, rocks, and animals to travel and survival guides. Whether you like camping, hiking, bird-watching, or a weekend at the lake, we have a book (and maybe even a poem) for you.

And always, your local library can point you in the right direction.

let your adventures begin~ jody

*professional poets may have been harmed by reading my ode. To them, I apologize.

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Expanded Digital Platforms for Young Readers

Just in time for summer vacation, Plum Creek Library System has expanded its Scholastic digital platforms. Accessing them is simple and can help keep the youngsters in your life engaged and learning from the comfort of your own home–or anywhere you have access to internet.

Use your PCLS library card barcode to explore the world and find activities, quizzes, and deep dives into fascinating topics. These platforms are perfect for a variety of ages and interest levels. Some provide content for different reading levels, while others have a Spanish version.

All these platforms are brought to you exclusively through our public library’s membership in the Plum Creek Library System. Stay tuned for adult online resources such as auto repair, legal information resources, extensive DIY tutorials, and Consumer Reports. These platforms are set to roll out shortly.

watch and read your way to fascinating facts on nearly every topic
Scholastic ScienceFlix
dynamic digital content on people, places, and events that shape the world around us
bkflix-web
early literacy pairings of fiction and nonfiction in both Spanish and English
sfx-web
the coolest science topics with leveled reading–also in Spanish
bite sized videos in Spanish and English paired with mini lessons
Scholastic Teachables Logo
activities that teach real-world skills for prek-8th grade

Other benefits of being a full member of the Plum Creek Library System include joint programming, access to Overdrive e-books and audiobooks, as well as book sharing with other member libraries. Each week, PCLS delivers books from across its service area (and sometimes the state) to libraries in the system. They also maintain our library catalog, making it easy for patrons to find books from a digital device and place holds on the materials they want.

check out those sweet websites and learn along with your youngsters~ jody

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Full STEAM Ahead 2021

Sign up now for your Take & Make kit. From solar ovens to fairy gardens to mini robots and more, these kits will engage participants of all ages.

  • Exploration Kit: activities will target science, technology, engineering, and math. Will include experiments and tinkering.
  • Craft Kit: geared toward creative minds with activities like painting, fiber arts, and paper craft.
  • STEAM Kit: this kit will have a combination of Craft and Exploration activities and a DIY fairy garden.

They will be distributed on a first come, first reserved basis and items may differ from kit to kit. Pick up day is Saturday, May 15th at Meinders Community Library from 10am-2pm. If you have questions or want more information, call the library at 507-825-6714 or email meinders@pas.k12.mn.us.

Posted in Just for Fun

You Know You’re a Book Nerd When

receiving new books is like the world’s best present to a librarian

I would lie if I said I wasn’t a little giddy when I opened a box of new books to find them padded with the crumpled signature pages of other books.

So, what exactly is a signature page and just how big is one?

The answer depends. A signature page consists of blocks of text (what we know as pages in a finished book) arranged on a giant sheet of paper. If you look closely, you can see just how messed up the pages can be. The arrangement is upside down, backwards, and not at all in order like you think it might be. This is to accommodate the folding that will later take place.

em’s amazing origami skills at work

To see these pages in action, look at the top or bottom end of a book. In traditional publishing, those little bundles of pages are made up of ONE piece of paper which are folded like an origami swan and cut to fit between the covers of a book. These pages are then nestled into each other and are put into a book as a single unit. This is why if your binding breaks, you often lose an entire chunk of pages.

bound book

It’s also why we sometimes get books that are still stuck together or even out of order. Sometimes things just get a little wonky when you’re working with something as large as a signature page.

The largest signature page that I’m aware of is made up of 32 blocks of text and/or illustration–16 to a side. This is the most economical way of printing, making many traditionally published books divisible by 32. That said, depending on the capabilities of individual printers, signature sheets can consist of two, four, eight, or 16 pages.

Of course, there are print on demand books and e-books, but that’s a whole ‘nother post!

embrace your inner book nerd~ jody

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

I Support (Free) Speech

I know I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. Today’s youth are amazing. Take our three state speech competitors from PAS. Jori, Will, and Brooklyn are a fraction of Minnesota’s talented speakers heading to State Speech this weekend. Their journey to this point has been years in the making. As their past speech coach and huge fan, I am so proud of their hard work and dedication to their craft. They have overcome obstacles we never imagined and succeeded in ways we adults can, and should, learn from.

my heart belongs to state speech

Let me explain. Competitive forensics requires youth to stand up in front of a judge (or 3 or 5 depending on the level of competition) to be, well, judged. Speak more clearly. Don’t mumble. Check pronunciation. Stop fidgeting. Don’t sway. Make eye contact. Connect with your narrator. Where’s your emotion? Too much emotion. Too loud. Too soft. Where are your facts? I don’t understand your point. Why is this important? Facial expressions, please.

These youth subject themselves to this confusing array of commentary three or four times every single tournament during a speech season. For this reason alone, I respect each and every competitor regardless of how they place. I also learn from them. Perseverance. Grace. Poise. Ability to listen to feedback and learn. Willingness to be critiqued time and time again. How many of us would flat out quit what we were doing if we were criticized for every little thing we did or didn’t do? How many of us would lose our passion, fold up shop, and move on?

Yet, these young speakers have learned to analyze feedback. They have learned to find fact to support their positions. Successful speechies have learned to research, to understand intent, and to marry their opinions with supporting data, and to convey all that in a ten minute presentation. They don’t eschew history, but build on it, taking into account the culture of the times. They thoughtfully weigh their words and actions (yes, they are critiqued on how well they gesture) and use them to show others the value in the words they share. They are asked to look beneath the surface message and make us consider the greater impact of the words they read.

In our current political, social, and cultural climate, we could all put into place the lessons our young competitors have learned through their years on the speech team. We can all take the time to research, listen, and engage in meaningful dialogue about things that are important to those around us.

To that end, Meinders Community Library has mindfully purchased nonfiction books that can aid in researching some of the critical conversations that are currently taking place between families, friends, communities, organizations, and governments. These books aim to inform, as well as present different perspectives.

I am currently reading Think Again by Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and top-rated professor. If Jori had one more year in speech, I’d recommend she check him out. She would love his message to argue like you’re right, but listen like you are wrong. As a mother and a librarian, I love his passion for creating lifelong-learners through the art of rethinking all we “think” we know. I can hear Brooklyn and Will reading aloud–beautifully, fluently, and passionately–from some of the books we have recently added to our collection on poverty, immigration, or the justice system.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I will not have the privilege of listening to them. Will, Jori, and Brooklyn will not have the audience they deserve. They will not have their teammates, families, and other competitors cheering them on in real-time. For this reason, they will shine. Because they know that it is the skills they have learned that matter. Not the accolades of performing in front of others.

I firmly support (free) speech and the absolute necessity of opening our hearts to really hear what others have to say. Good luck, PAS Speechies. You amaze me!

keep reading, keep learning, and keep thinking~ jody

Posted in Just for Fun

And the Winners Are…

Thanks for guessing our librarian confessions!

Gift cards provided by Pipestone Area Friends of the Library and Coborn’s. Thanks, as always, for your support of our library and the work we do!

Also, just a gentle reminder that Minnesota is still under a mask mandate, so don’t forget your mask at home! Currently, our doors are unlocked during open hours and patrons are free to use the library in-house when it is convenient for them. We want to keep offering this. However, as we are a public (and educational) setting, we need mask compliance to do so.

Curbside pick up of materials is one of our favorite pandemic adaptations, and we plan to continue this service into the future. Simply call us to check out your holds the day you would like them, and we will set them in the vestibule for you to pick up at your convenience.

stay safe and keep reading~ jody

Posted in Just for Fun

Mike Lynch Super Star

Saturday night brought us a beautiful spring evening, a socially distanced crowd, and meteorologist Mike Lynch.

Fast forward a few days, and Wednesday brought a surprise package to the the library: a beautiful, signed photograph, “To all my friends at Meinders Library and everybody in Pipestone! Mike Lynch”

photo cred Mike Lynch

So, if you missed Stargazing with Mike Lynch this past weekend, enjoy this view from his telescope. Also, know that we are already in conversation about his next appearance in Pipestone and the potential glimpse of Saturn in the fall 2022 skies.

keep looking up and keep learning new things~ jody

Posted in Just for Fun

Thank You from Your Librarians

After celebrating National Library Week with Meinders Community Library, it’s no secret that we are passionate about books, our library, and you! One of the things we no longer take for granted is time with our patrons. We’ve missed seeing and chatting with you this past year and can’t wait to dip our toes back into the programming waters.

So, stop out tonight at 8:00pm for some Stargazing with Mike Lynch. Bring a lawn chair if you’d like, eat a treat, and explore the night skies. Don’t forget to mask up and physically distance to keep other stargazers safe.

Heartfelt thanks for your support go out from Emily (who loses books in the stacks and makes faces at tiny babies), Kim (who takes books home, but doesn’t start them), Sally (our non-reading librarian), and Jody (who despises Dewey for all his outdated and old-fashioned faults)!

Keep reading, keep learning, and keep spending time at your local library. We look forward to serving you long into the future!

photo creds for bringing out the best in us go to Stacy Popma

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Welcome to the Evolution of Your Library

Libraries are an integral part of a community. To find out how libraries have evolved to meet the changing needs of the communities they serve, please spend a few moments listening to MPR’s Humankind Documentary: Libraries Reimagined. For a visual tour of just a few things Meinders Community Library has done, scroll through the fun pics below.

All this and books, too!

So where does all this goodness come from? The short answer is philanthropy such as the Carnegie and Meinders Foundation donations which literally built two of our three buildings, grants like our $25,000 State Farm Grant for Full STEAM Ahead, and taxes at the federal, state, county, and city level.

The good news is that those funds are a good return on your investment. They provide computers to help patrons apply for jobs and wi-fi for community members to connect with family and friends. They give us books, movies, and educational opportunities, as well as programs that enrich lives in myriad ways. Our students read voraciously across all genres and attend after school STEM programs. Our teachers find materials on our shelves and in our makerspace that enhance their curriculums. Our community service providers meet with individuals in our conference rooms, while 4-H studies up for QuizBowl. Youth come to summer camps, and daycares attend storytimes. With our expanded digital platforms, patrons of all ages can read without ever leaving their homes. Exams are proctored for college kids and the Winter Reading Program keeps our bibliophiles busy during the cold, Minnesota months.

This financial support matters to far more people than you can imagine. So, what can you do to make sure our libraries remain vibrant and relevant to those we serve? Funny you should ask. Today is Take Action for Libraries Day.

Right now, we are at a pinnacle moment with MN legislature and how they allocate funding to the library systems across the state including Basic Library System Support (RLBSS) and Legacy Funding. For more information on how you can advocate for your library, check out this Minnesota Library Advocacy page. On a local level, let your elected officials know that you are invested (quite literally) in how your tax dollars are spent. And if all else fails, simply share your library love with anyone you know, as the more your library is used, the better your investment becomes!

keep reading~ jody