School is back in session, and with that comes a few exciting announcements and a few guidelines to help us ensure patron and youth safety for the upcoming months.
The best news: Plum Creek Library System received a collective grant that provides enhanced digital services to all PCLS patrons for the upcoming year. Thanks to the diligent work of the Marshall-Lyon County Library director and staff, these services will help round out the educational experiences for our community’s kids.
So, what new things are we offering at Meinders Community Library?
4 Hotspots: available for one week checkouts with an adult PCLS library card. We realize life is digital right now and hope that we can provide a bit of at-home connectivity. The one caveat is that these devices are only as good as Sprint services in our community, so we may need help mapping any blackout areas around town.
Early literacy, reading and STEM databases from Scholastic: the only requirements for these awesome platforms is a valid PCLS library card and internet connection. These online subscriptions pair fiction, non-fiction, activities, labs, and resources to dig deeper into vast and varied topics. Two of the platforms have content in both Spanish and English, while all can be used by parents, grandparents, home school families, educators, or patrons of all ages to enrich their understanding of the world around them.
BookFlix: prek-elementary level books and activities, read-along format option, some Spanish translations, and links for more information and activities
ScienceFlix: inquisitive elementary through middle school adult activities, videos, articles, experiments, and so much more. Seriously, I have spent hours hopping from one fascinating topic to the next and always learn something new. This platform is perfect for anyone wanting to explore and know more.
Watch & Learn: this video platform is a mash-up between BookFlix and ScienceFlix. Geared toward younger learners, the Spanish and English versions aim to build vocabulary and comprehension, while the Think Sheets provide the opportunity for youth to process and translate into writing what they saw and heard.
Extra OverDrive and RBDigital purchases: access a more robust catalog of middle grade and young adult audio and e-books with a PCLS library card and a digital device. Titles were purchased with an eye toward enhancing curriculum and encouraging leisure reading among middle and high school students.
Currently, 3rd and 4th grade student classrooms are housed in the middle school. Their drop off spot is on the south side of the building and will utilize the library parking lot. To help keep these little ones safe, minimizing book returns between 7:30 and 8:15am would be appreciated.
A quick reminder to those who don’t love a packed parking lot: school lets out at 3:15pm. Traffic increases both entering and leaving the school campus between 3:00 and 3:30.
Due to the new school parking lots, two exits enter the drive on the south/library side of the school. To help maintain effective traffic flow, all students should be picked up in the circle drive. No students should be picked up in the library parking lot, as this increases traffic congestion.
To minimize cross-over between asymptomatic youth and vulnerable public patrons, we are taking a wait-and-see approach for the next few weeks to gauge what, if any, impact a return to school will have on COVID-19 cases in our community. We will operate through Labor Day weekend with the following precautions in place:
Appointment only in-house use of library. This includes after-school use by students.
Continued curbside pick-up for any patron Monday through Saturday.
Continued open hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 11am-6pm, and Saturdays from 10am-2pm. This will be reassessed after Labor Day with an eye to expanding our hours to the public.
Adherence to the State Mask Mandate while inside the library.
Adherence to Social Distancing guidelines. Our floor is marked to help patrons maintain six feet of distance between themselves and other library users while waiting to check out. To help with this, we will operate only one check-out station.
We appreciate your patience and hope that the above guidelines will keep all our patrons reading, learning, and safe!
Over a dozen years have passed since we last updated our will. Silly when you consider that two of our kids have graduated…not only from high school, but also from adult things like colleges and marriages and home-owning and car-buying…and that our third will finish his senior year of high school in about a month.
That leaves one nestling still at home and a much-changed landscape from when we decided what a post-parent future would look like for our kids.
Grim thoughts in some ways, yet necessary ones when raising a family. But, COVID-19 not withstanding, we are at a completely different stage in our lives. We are now at a point where we need to consider our own health and the impact that serious illness or injury will have on those around us.
Add the pandemic and today, National Healthcare Decision Day, becomes vital to all of us on a variety of levels.
It gives us the necessary nudge to look past the clutter of everyday life and assess how best to handle our medical care and all the decisions related to it. From passwords to life insurance policies and contact information to critical care directives, this national day reminds us that a “junk drawer” approach to our health may not be the best option.
It’s true that most of us put off unsavory tasks. I know I have. A simple peek into my junk cupboard proves the point. I know where our severely outdated will is located. My hubby knows where our insurance policies are. My sister’s know my health directive dos and don’ts.
Unfortunately, our now-adult kids do not. And chances are, they are the ones who will have to navigate our home, our health, and our hodge-podge filing system.
Sadly, we are preparing for a quiet library for the first time in nearly 5 years.
As part of the Stay At Home Executive Order, we have been directed to close all in-house use while the order is in place. This means we can no longer accommodate any computer services inside the building until April 10 at the earliest. Our hope is to continue printing, faxing, and photocopying essential materials from a distance. This can include business invoices or documents and medical, insurance, or court paperwork. Please call us if you need to access this service.
Thankfully, the Minnesota Department of Education realizes that getting materials into the hands of the public is an essential service and will let us continue with curbside pick ups. How we do so may change slightly from the process we are following now. If it does, we will let you know when we talk with you about your holds.
Please help us help you in the safest way possible by following the guidelines below:
Return all items in the outside drop box (books) and media slot beside the door (DVDs, audio books, magazines). Wash your hands after doing so, as others will have touched the drop box.
Do not approach the library for your holds or returns if another individual is at the front of the library. This will maximize your social distance from each other and minimize contact.
Do not try to open the outside doors. They are locked and will not open. That said, you are probably not the first person of the day to try to open the door. If you find yourself reaching for it out of habit, wash your hands.
Call or email with any questions you have. We will do our best to provide you with the maximum service at the minimum risk to all involved.
Library hours are 11am-6pm Monday through Friday with no in-house use until April 10 or as directed by the MN Department of Education.
Getting a solid head count on who lives where helps the government disperse funds appropriately. According to our training on the 2020 Census, Minnesota receives $15 billion per year for programs such as Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Federal Transit Grants.
Even your local library is supported by Federal dollars that are distributed to communities based on Census data.
An under-count of our population means fewer dollars for our area, leaving some programs underfunded. It can also mean decreased representation in Washington, D.C., and fewer businesses willing to move to town, thus impacting our economic health.
Counting every individual in our community is crucial. As a Questionnaire Assistance Center for the 2020 Census, Meinders Community Library can help you navigate the ins and outs of the Census.
As the Census can be filled out online, we are hosting an informational session tomorrow night from 6pm-8pm. During this time, any community member can stop in and ask us questions about how the Census will work, what information you will need to fill out the Census, and why completing the Census is important to your community.
In addition, we will help you navigate the internet so you can be prepared for answering your Census online. This may include finding the right website, learning how to access information in a variety of different languages, or basic computer use such as using a mouse.
If you know anyone who could benefit from advance help with the Census, please share this information. Over the next six months, we will continue to host sessions and provide updated information to help make sure that our community is counted.
Census takers are in high demand. For those interested in becoming a census taker, Meinders Community Library is hosting an information meeting with a census volunteer. Being part of the census team is a paid position.
Census Taker Information Meeting
Wednesday, November 20
During this open house event, you can ask questions about how to become a census taker and get help navigating the application process.
All Individuals Encouraged and Desired
Including, but not limited to: Native Spanish Speakers, Indigenous Individuals, Persons of Color, and Individuals from all Socio-Economic brackets
Computers are available to apply online.
Items needed to become a Census Taker:
a social security number
access to a vehicle
a valid driver’s license
males also need confirmation of Selective Service registration (this can be checked online with a social security number)
If you have any questions, stop by the library or call (507) 825-6714.
In honor of the 2019 Water Tower Festival, we are hosting an online escape room in conjunction with a drawing for a free kindle. Anyone can enter the drawing and/or join in the challenge to Escape to the Water Tower Festival.
What do you win? A chance to win a free Kindle just in time for the Fourth of July weekend. With a Kindle (or Kindle App) and a PCLS library card, it’s easy to access free library books from our Overdrive catalog.
If completing Escape to the Water Tower Festival, you also get the satisfaction of winning our first ever digital escape room, your name entered into the Kindle drawing, and a bonus drawing for a free e-book (value up to $15). Kudos to you! Your first name will be listed as an escape room winner on the blog.
What do you have to do? Stop in the library and enter your name in the drawing.
If completing the escape room, you must beat the challenges to enter your name into the bonus drawing.
Who can enter? Anyone who uses Meinders Community Library for checking out books, borrowing DVDs, reading the paper, attending programs, or just hanging out.
How many times can you enter? As many times as you use the library between now and July 1, 2019.
When will winners be notified? We will contact winners by phone at the close of business on July 1 to verify eligibility. Winners will be posted on the blog July 2, or after verification.
Who is eligible to win?
Anyone 8-108 who is a resident of the Meinders Community Library service area.
Winners must provide a valid phone number.
Winners must be willing to pick up their prize at the library and have their photo taken for the blog.
Digital Escape Room
Click on the library doors to enter the game.
Complete the challenges found within.
Once you’ve completed all the tasks, be sure to fill out the comment card on the last page to get your name in the drawings for the free kindle and e-book.
Only one digital entry is accepted per person.
If you would like to learn how to make your own escape rooms, contact the library to sign up for our DIY Escape Room Workshop on Wednesday, June 19. This hands-on program is perfect for educators, parents, youth leaders, librarians, and coaches who want to challenge those around them in new and exciting ways.
Good luck, enjoy, and hope to see you at the Water Tower Festival next week!
Join us for a relaxing get-away during our annual Midwinter Staycation.
Licensed yoga instructor and massage therapist, Jamie Risner, will lead us on a journey to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit.
Registration is not required for any session, although a limited number of yoga mats will be available for patrons who do not have their own. All skill levels are encouraged to join us for this soothing wake-up routine.
Library sessions are free and open to the public , though we ask participants to carefully consider bringing youth who may not be ready to embark on a day of rest and relaxation.
Per tradition, we will attend the One Act Play in support of our area students. This school sponsored activity comes complete with school activity fees. Likewise, lunch is not provided, though spa-snacks are.
Thankfully, Cooking and Conversation is considered a library event, and will include taste-testing a Keto-friendly salad, a spicy tea, and a deliciously nutritious appetizer. These recipes will end up in our community cookbook. Participants may bring a favorite recipe to share.
Boredom busters and brain teasers will be available throughout the day for participants to dabble with as needed. Dress comfortably, bring a good book, and prepare yourself to face the rest of winter head-on. This day is about you!