Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I get a library card? Fill out a registration form and bring a photo ID and proof of Minnesota residency to the library if your ID address is incorrect. A librarian will assist you with any questions. Registration forms can be obtained at the circulation desk or the Plum Creek website online. Children under 16 years of age must be linked to an adult account.
- How much does a library card cost? A library card is free to new patrons. However, lost or damaged cards can be replaced for $3.00.
- I live in Duluth and belong to another library. Can I use my library card at Meinders Library? Yes. You are what we call a reciprocal borrower. Any resident of Minnesota with a Minnesota library card can borrow materials from us. Likewise, your Plum Creek Library card will work in any Plum Creek or Minnesota library.
- What kinds of things can I borrow from Meinders Library? We have books for patrons of all ages–fiction and nonfiction–as well as DVDs, audio books, bilingual books, ebooks, music CDs, STEM backpacks, and cake pans.
- I want a book on how to shoe horses. Do you have it? If you are in the library, you can ask library staff at the circulation desk to check a specific title for you. Or, you can check the library catalog yourself wherever you have internet access. Simply go to the Plum Creek Library System’s Online Public Access Catalog page (otherwise known as OPAC) and type in the title of the book you want to look for. You can also search by author, series or topic. Browse the items to find exactly what you are looking for.
- The book I want isn’t in the online catalog. How do I get it? Contact library staff for assistance. Our experience searching the catalog may mean we can find an item that is elusive due to exact title matches, the correct spelling of an author’s name or unexpected key words. In addition, we may still be able to find items for our patrons in other Minnesota libraries.
- The book I want is in the online catalog. How do I get it? OPAC will tell you where a book is located. The entry will show which Plum Creek library/ies have a copy. You can place a hold on it if it is not available at your home library.
- What is a hold, and how do I do I place one? A hold is the term we use when you reserve a copy of a specific book. You can place a hold through OPAC by using your library card barcode. Click the icon where it says place hold and enter all the numbers of your barcode in the login box. Enter your password. If you have forgotten your password, contact a librarian to reset your password. The item(s) will be sent to your home library for pick up. Library staff can place a hold for you via phone or in person at the circulation desk. Click here to view our video tutorial on how to place a hold.
- How long does it take for a hold to arrive? That depends on who has the item, when it is available and where the item’s home library is. Usually, holds are filled within a week and available for you to check out.
- How do I know my hold is available for pick up? Providing us with your email address is the easiest and quickest way for you to know when a hold comes in on delivery. When your item arrives at Meinders, you will receive an automatic email letting you know your item is here. If we do not have your email address in the system, we will give you a call. This can take longer.
- When do you receive deliveries from other libraries? Most weeks, we get deliveries on Tuesdays and Fridays, though holidays, inclement weather and driver illness can shift delivery dates and/or times. Items should be available after 1:00pm on delivery days.
- I was online trying to place a hold, but it wouldn’t go through. What should I do? Please contact your home library for assistance. Every three years, our computer system updates library accounts whether they have been used during this time or not. If your library card has expired, you will not be able to place a hold. Sometimes, the Plum Creek computer system is updating and can prohibit you from online access. Other times, a book may show up as available at a library, but may actually be missing from the shelves when library staff goes to pull it. Further, you will be unable to place holds or renew items if you have fines over $5.00 or five (5) or more items overdue. Any of these things and more can cause difficulty for you to place a hold online.
- I just saw a book advertised on television. When can I get it? Unfortunately, most of the books you see on talk shows and commercials or featured in newspaper and magazine articles are new. Often, these things are pre-promotional and the books haven’t been released by the publisher yet. Even when we get brand new books, they are usually in high demand and it can take a while before it becomes available. Please let staff know of your interest and we will work to reserve a copy for you.
Check-Outs & Renewals
- How long can I keep my items?
- Most items have a check out period of three weeks.
- Some tech items such as hotspots have a one week check out period.
- I have an overdue item. Do I need to take out a mortgage to pay my late fees? Absolutely not. We just want our materials back in the library so others may enjoy them. In fact, Meinders Community Library no longer assesses late fees to overdue materials. Rather, after 68 days, we charge a replacement fee for materials that are damaged or unreturned.
- I forgot to return my items and am on my way to Kansas for two weeks. Should I turn around and come back? Again, absolutely not. We are not in the business of making money off your forgetfulness, nor do we want to ruin your vacation with worry. See the following question for how to renew your items.
- How do I renew my items?
- Give us a call, and we can renew your items for you: 507-825-6714
- Send us an email requesting that we renew your items: email@example.com
- Visit the OPAC page at Plum Creek Library System and renew them yourself.
- I heard that some items can’t be renewed. Why is this? Most items may be renewed once without having to bring them in. Hotspots must always be brought in for renewals. However, if you still need materials after this time is up, we would need you to bring the item in and we can physically renew it at the desk. Another reason may be that another patron has your item on hold. In fairness to them, we ask that you return your item and check it out again when you have more time to finish it. You will be unable to renew items on OPAC if you have $5.oo or more in fines or five (5) or more items overdue.
- I know we will be gone before my books are due. Can I extend my check out time now so I don’t forget later? Yes. We appreciate knowing ahead of time that your due date will not work for you. Please let us know that you will require an extension before we check out your materials. The only time we may not be able to honor that is if the materials are very new and in high demand or if they belong to another library.
- How many books and DVDs can I check out at a time? In theory, you can check out as many books as you can keep track of. That said you may only check out three DVDs and one DVD Boxed Set at a time. This helps you keep late fees to a minimum and allows more material for other patrons to enjoy.
- I’m in high school and want to check out movies. My mom says I can’t. Is this true? Patrons must be 18 years old to check out DVDs. Once you are an adult, you are financially responsible for the fees associated with checking out your items including, but not limited to late fees or replacement costs for lost or damaged items.
- I lost a book last year and am afraid to return to the library. What happens next? When books don’t get returned, we set them to lost and billed. Before patrons with lost items can check out more materials, they must pay the fine or replace the item. For a complete copy of our library policies, please visit the policies tab at the top of the page. For any questions you may have on your bill, please contact library staff.
WI-FI, Computers, Photocopies, Faxes and Scanning
- I have my own laptop, do you have wireless internet? Yes, we do. Connecting to Meinders Free internet is easy to access and free of charge to anyone regardless of residency.
- I am from Wisconsin and need to use a computer. Do I need a library card to do so? Our computers are free and open to the public regardless of residency.
- Can I print things from your computer and scan them to someone else? Yes. We have virtually all of the technology you might need to run a small business. Services and prices we offer include:
- Black and white photocopy or printout: 10 cents per page
- Color photocopy or printout: 20 cents per page
- Scanning and emailing: free
- Faxing: $1 per page
Digital and Audio Books
- Real books are big and bulky and hurt my wrists when I hold them. Do you have any digital books I can read on my iPad or tablet instead? We do. One platform is offered through the Plum Creek Library System and the other is a joint project of Minitex and the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services.
- I like listening to books when I’m driving. What do you have available? We have both physical and digital collections of electronic books.
- Physical audiobooks can be borrowed or placed on hold from the library the same as printed materials can. They come as a set of CDs or MP3s.
- Overdrive has a collection of audiobooks you can listen to on your phone, tablet or computer. Simply download the Overdrive app and check out materials with your library card.
- I borrowed an audio book from you, but it wouldn’t play in my disc player in my truck. What gives?
- The disc might be damaged. Please return it to the library and let us know it didn’t play so we can clean it.
- You might have checked out an MP3 version. Not all of these are compatible in all vehicles.
- Are you part of the school? No. Although we are attached to the school, we operate independently. Our library is overseen by a board of representatives from the school and the city, as well as at-large community members. In fact, we are not an access point into the school for the community. Visitors to PAS are asked to park in the circle drive and sign in at the office.
- Why are you called Meinders Community Library? We received our name in honor of our benefactor, Herman Meinders and his family. A native of Pipestone and a successful businessman, Mr. Meinders has continued to support the literacy of his hometown through generous donations to the building and maintenance of the library and its collection.
- Do you proctor tests? We do. Please contact the director to set up a time for your test, as well as to gain approval from your professor several weeks prior to the due date.
For a complete copy of our library policies, please click on the policies tab at the top of the page.