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takes books home, but doesn’t start them), Sally (our non-reading librarian), and Jody (who despises Dewey for all his outdated and old-fashioned faults)!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

Welcome to Your Digital Library

There are lots of things to enjoy about Meinders Community Library—curbside pickup, programs, interlibrary loans—but today we wanted to highlight some of our digital resources.

  • Check out ebooks and digital audiobooks through Plum Creek’s Overdrive. Library staff is happy to help you download and set up Overdrive’s Libby app for your smartphone or tablet. If you need a library card to get started with Overdrive and don’t want to come into the library, we can get you set up with digital access over the phone or through email. New ebooks and audiobooks are added every month!
  • If you enjoyed Wellness Wednesdays with JRRYoga and want to continue your practice, this YouTube playlist has all the videos in one handy location
  • For our young patrons, we have several literary and educational databases from Scholastic: BookFlix, ScienceFlix, and Watch & Learn. All you need is your library card number.

Plum Creek Library System is looking to add to its digital platforms, so keep an eye out for updates!

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

Posted in Get Connected

Librarians on the Loose

Outdoor storytime with Miss Emily. Photos courtesy of Teresa Whipple.
Storytime with school-age kids
Reading the new library books

While we love our physical library space, the librarians of Meinders Community Library also love going out into the community. As the Children’s Librarian, one of my favorite duties is going to visit daycares. Pre-pandemic, it involved going to read a few stories to the kids and receiving nice compliments like “Library, I like your lips—they’re pink!” or “I like your pretty eyeballs.” We may not be doing indoor visits right now, but I still drop off fresh reading material every couple weeks. We managed to get a few outdoor storytimes in last summer and hope to do that again soon.

Because we want readers of all ages to have good books, we provide the residents of our nursing home and assisted-living facilities with a rotation of large-print books. The library also has a shelf of donated books at the food shelf for people to take. Children’s books are especially popular, so we are always happy to accept new or gently used children’s book donations.


Posted in Get Connected

Galaxy of Stars

Join us for a night of stargazing on this Saturday, April 10th at 8pm. Mike Lynch will be here with his telescopes and to share his expertise as we enjoy the night sky. This event is outdoors, but the building will be open to warm up or for bathroom breaks. We will be following CDC guidelines.

Speaking of stars, today is National Library Workers Day! If you have a favorite library worker, from Meinders Community Library or any other amazing library, you can nominate them as Stars for the American Library Association’s Galaxy of Stars. Get to know the dedicated librarians of Meinders Community Library.

Kim VanHoecke, Library Aide

  • How long have you worked at Meinders Community Library? 15 years
  • What’s your favorite thing about working here? Talking with the patrons
  • What’s your librarian superpower? Shelving
  • What have you learned working at Meinders Library? How to use Libby, especially when taking a trip in the car
  • What advice do you have for future librarians? Always be welcoming, friendly, and helpful to all patrons.

Sally Whittle, Library Aide

  • How long have you worked at Meinders Community Library? 25 years in October, plus two summers through a workforce center
  • What’s your favorite thing about working here? My rockstar co-workers and meeting new people from the community.
  • What’s your librarian superpower? Delivery & Interlibrary Loans
  • What have you learned working at Meinders Library? Never judge a book by its cover, or its movie
  • What advice do you have for future librarians? Get to know your collection and your resources. And have fun!

Jody Wacker, Library Director

  • How long have you worked at Meinders Community Library? 5 1/2 years
  • What’s your favorite thing about working here? Getting the right materials into the right hands.
  • What’s your librarian superpower? I have excellent staging skills—helpful for creating displays, rearranging spaces, and setting up snack tables at library programs. Decidedly not helpful when staring down stacks of books.
  • What have you learned working at Meinders Library? Contrary to popular belief, libraries do not have four walls. They are far-reaching in ways we have yet to imagine.
  • What advice do you have for future librarians? Let your community guide the services you provide—and then push just beyond the walls to find the needs your community doesn’t yet know it has.

Emily Blaeser, Children’s Librarian

  • How long have you worked at Meinders Community Library? 5 1/2 years
  • What’s your favorite thing about working here? Helping readers of all ages find a good book, opening boxes of new books, and making faces at babies.
  • What’s your librarian superpower? A good memory for books I’ve read and what we we have in the library’s collection.
  • What have you learned working at Meinders Library? How to use a 3D printer, do origami, and lots of other STEAM things!
  • What advice do you have for future librarians? It’s okay if you have to sing your ABCs while shelving.

We all had librarian confessions to make as well, but we’re keeping them anonymous for now. Can you match the confession to the librarian?

  1. Sometimes when I’m putting away books I’ll set down a stack of books on a random shelf so I can answer the phone or help someone at the desk. And then I forget where I put my stack of books.
  2. I take books home to read and then don’t even start the book.
  3. Sadly, I am not a reader.
  4. I despise the very antiquated and short-sighted Dewey Decimal System. That said, Dewey’s invention of the vertical file is something I can get behind.

Share your guesses below for a chance to win a gift card to a local business!

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 Just for Fun

Quick Spring Reads

Spring is a time of direct opposites for me. I love the morning birdsong when I take my dogs for a walk. I despise the dirty sidewalks on those same mornings. I love the sun. I hate the spring damp. For some reason, it is more chilling to me than the winter cold.

And speaking of chilling, I am 80% done with Heartbreak Bay, the fifth and final book in a series my daughter and I started reading a year ago. The Stillhouse Lake books by Rachel Caine are uniquely terrifying as they delve into the aftermath of serial killers. More specifically, they follow the lives of a serial killer’s family in the ensuing years.

I love this twist on the psychological thriller genre. It makes for interesting plotlines. I don’t love that the author did not survive her battle with cancer to see the final book in the series published and in the hands of readers.

Apparently, life is also full of direct opposites. One filled with sweetness and heartbreak.

If you have time kill between spring tasks like getting out the grill, dusting off the patio furniture, and thatching your lawn, I recommend a journey to Stillhouse Lake. The books are quick reads–just perfect for those springtime rainy days.

keep reading~ jody