Posted in News

Video Link to Public Forum

Thanks to all who submitted questions to last night’s Moderated Community Forum, as well as those who attended. Also thanks to all the panelists who answered questions and helped provide valuable information regarding both school and public library services. Your input is invaluable in helping determine the future of library services in Pipestone.

The public forum is up live: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCisXS6hZGIiQkPEpkmAMt7w

Any questions or concerns should be addressed to your public officials as we enter the next phase and begin negotiations between the city and the district.

The negotiations committee consists of the following:

  • Jeff Baatz: Pipestone Area School Board
  • Brad Carson: Pipestone Area School Board
  • Dan Delaney: Pipestone City Council
  • Lance Oye: Pipestone Area School Board
  • Evan Schiller: Library Board Director and appointee of the City of Pipestone
  • Justin Schroyer: Pipestone City Council

In my capacity as the Public Library Director, I will continue to answer questions regarding the logistics of library operations or clarifications on anything I said at the forum. As such, I have already had quite a few people ask about the current employment of public library staff and the funds with which they are paid. I will provide a quick overview followed by the pertaining statutes as well as this link to all Minnesota statutes regarding public libraries.

  • Public library staff are paid for out of the public library funds.
  • These funds are required by law to be kept separate from all other funds and are under the express control of the Library Board.
  • All library expenses including staff salaries are paid for out of the public library fund.
  • Via the Public Library Agreement of 1993, the district is the public library’s fiscal agent.

So, while public library staff receive their paychecks from the district, their salaries and all other expenses are paid for by the public library fund. In the case of Meinders Community Library, the funding levels for 2021 were as follows:

  • City of Pipestone: $116,150
  • Pipestone County: $33,561
  • Pipestone Area Schools:
    • Community Education: $17,000
    • In-Kind Services (custodial services, utilities, tech support, etc): $45,419

134.11 ORGANIZATION OF BOARD; DUTIES. Subd. 2. Duties: The library board…shall have exclusive control of the expenditure of all money collected for or placed to the credit of the library fund, of interest earned on all money collected for or placed to the credit of the library fund…. All money received for the library shall be…kept separate from other money…and paid out only upon approval by the board.

134.195 LIBRARY OPERATED BY CITY AND SCHOOL DISTRICT. Subd. 9. Contracts: The library board may contract with the school board, the regional library board, or the city in which the library is situated to provide personnel, fiscal, or administrative services. The contract shall state the personnel, fiscal, and administrative services and payments to be provided by each party.

Posted in Get Connected, Just for Fun

Robots and Resumes

Great kids rocking amazing skills!

We are always excited to showcase the Pipestone Arrowbots robotics team. Today is no exception. If you have time, we highly encourage you to join them in Duluth for their first competition of the season.

Arrowbots 3298 Qualifying Matches

The skills these youth are gaining in robotics are valuable to their futures.

Also valuable is being able to write a solid resume that highlights your personal and professional experience, skills, and accomplishments. At the end of high school, these students will be able to write a fantastic resume.

And so can you. If you’re not quite what a resume is and how to write one,, we invite you to join us at the library on Friday, March 11, for a resume building workshop with local hiring managers.

During the 45 minute seminar, you will learn what managers look for and how you can better showcase your work-related accomplishments. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a one-on-one session with one of the presenters to go over your resume.

Posted in News

Have questions about the future of library services in Pipestone? Attend the Community Forum

Monday March 14 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at Meinders Community Library

A community forum is a place to ask questions and get answers from different perspectives. When they are moderated like the one being held on March 14 at Meinders Community Library, they have a neutral host who will help keep the question and answer session respectful and on track. The moderator is from Southwest Regional Development Commission.

The forum was organized by the Meinders Community Library Board which is comprised of both school and city representatives, while advertising for the forum was sponsored by Pipestone Area Friends of the Library. Panelists include representatives from the major stakeholders in the library (school, city, library board), as well as those with knowledge about library services such as the Plum Creek Library System and the current library director.

For those unable to attend the forum, it will be recorded by and played on the Pipestone Public Access Channel 3.

A quick history on what is happening and why a public forum was planned.

In 1975, the school and city entered an agreement that combined the school and public libraries. The purpose was to streamline redundant services and provide a better and more robust library experience for all while minimizing costs to taxpayers. The agreement was renewed in 1991 and again in 1993. It was also revisited when the new middle school and high school was built in its current location. At that time, the school board and the city council determined it was in the best interest of the overall community to continue the agreement.

On December 20, 2021, Pipestone Area Schools terminated the 1993 Public Library Agreement.

This agreement is set to expire on December 31, 2022. To date, negotiations on a new agreement have not yet started, though both the city and school have appointed members to negotiate on behalf of each organization.

While some aspects of the lead up to this forum have been reported in the newspaper, the termination of the partnership between the city and school has created more questions than answers.

This unbiased, 90 minute Community Forum is an opportunity for individuals to get factual answers to a host of complex and important questions regarding the future of library services for both school and public patrons. The panel aims to give a well-rounded look at the reasons behind the termination of the agreement and the impact this might have on library services for the school and public alike, as well as what steps are being taken to ensure continued, robust library experiences for all.

How does a public forum work?

Prior to the forum on Monday, March 14, individuals can submit questions to the library through mail, email, or in person. Questions received by March 7 will be compiled and distributed to all panelists so they can prepare responses. Questions received after March 7 will be brought to the forum and asked as time permits.

As possible, questions and concerns will be taken live from the audience during the forum itself, with each individual having up to three minutes to talk. The neutral moderator will keep things on track.

Panel Members are as follows:

  • Pipestone Area Schools: Kevin Enerson
  • Pipestone Mayor: Myron Koets
  • Plum Creek Library System Board of Governors: Evan Schiller
  • Meinders Community Library Board: Justin Schroyer
  • Meinders Community Library Director: Jody Wacker

Please use the form below to email your questions by March 7.

Posted in Get Connected, STEAM Room

Look What Blew into the Library

We are consistently amazed at and eternally grateful for the unexpected support we receive from our awesome community.

We were delighted today to be visited by the wonderful staff of Michelle Cheeseman’s State Farm Insurance Agency (for the second time!). Their support and generous donations to Pipestone Area Friends of the Library have been instrumental in creating the Meinders Community Library STEAM Room.

Our maker space was initially funded in its entirety by a $25,000 grant from State Farm. We were able to purchase storage, supplies, and tools to create a space where patrons can come and explore the world of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math through hands on activities.

Since its inception in 2018, thousands of students and community members have enjoyed spending time in the STEAM Room or attending related programs that are supported through donations from local organizations, individuals, and PAFL, as well as through grants such as Legacy funding and the Pipestone Area Community Foundation.

This current $1,000 from State Farm was a matching grant, with Michelle Cheeseman’s agency donating $500 and State Farm providing the other $500. These funds will help us continue meeting the needs of our community’s ever-evolving interests in the STEM field.

So many thanks to those who share our vision in making Meinders Community Library a “community hub focused on enriching lives and supporting success.”

You touch so many lives in so many unique ways.

know you are appreciated~ library staff

Posted in Get Connected

Bring Your Game Face

Originally Soup & Scrabble, we have branched out to include more games. The one thing that remains the same, however, is a bowl or two of delicious soup provided by Meinders Community Library staff.

All ages (10+) and levels of competitive play are welcome!

Posted in Alerts

Holiday Closure at the Library

Did you know that President’s Day doesn’t officially exist? Instead, the holiday we know as President’s Day is actually Washington’s Birthday. Which doesn’t actually fall on his birthday.

Welcome to the complicated world of federal holidays.

So, quick recap: President’s Day is legally Washington’s Birthday which falls on the third Monday of February to give American’s a three-day weekend. As the first celebrated holiday (1879), it honors our country’s first president (DOB: February 22). Later, President Lincoln (DOB: February 12) was rolled into the day of commemoration, though Congress was unwilling to officially change the name.

The story goes that retailers were not enamored with offering “Washington’s Birthday Sales”, so they opted to use the alternative of President’s Day. Can’t say I blame them as the former sounds a bit strange. That said, since shopping isn’t my thing, it would be nice to celebrate corretly.

Officially, Meinders Community Library will be closed on February 21st in honor of Washington’s Birthday.

If you’d like to know more about Federal holidays or presidents or history, you know where to find us…just not on Monday.

Posted in Just for Fun

MmmmMmmmMmmm Means Thanks

It’s hard to feel anything but inspired when plates of deliciously warm treats arrive at your circulation desk. All of a sudden, my afternoon of inventory no longer seems daunting. Thanks, Janelle!

While I became a librarian to share my love of books with others, I never expected to be the recipient of so many thoughtful kitchen endeavors over the years. One thing I know for certain: book lovers can cook! And if you don’t believe me, join a book club. Good books. Good food. Good thoughts. You can’t go wrong.

You can also never go wrong when you make others feel appreciated. If you want to bake your own pick-me-up for family, friends, or co-workers, we’ve got oodles of cook books you can choose from. Or, pop on Overdrive and find fantastic recipes from the comfort of your kitchen.

(Sorry, Library Squad, the cookies will be cold when you return and the plate will be a lighter, but I promise you will not be disappointed!)

~jody