Volume XXIX, Issue 50
December 14, 2020
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Public libraries evolve during pandemic
Keilman, John . Chicago Tribune ; Chicago, Ill. [Chicago, Ill]29 Nov 2020

When Illinois' latest COVID-19 mitigation rules went into effect recently, public venues from casinos to museums were ordered to shut down as the virus continues its ruthless spread. One notable exception, though, was public libraries.  The decision on whether to stay open remained with them, and while many have concluded that the risk is too high, others say they're going to stick it out, and not just for the book lending. "It's not enough to offer self-service," said Megan Millen, executive director of the Joliet Public Library, which has curbed some services but is staying open. "In our community, a lot of people need our close-up assistance on how to fill out a job application or an unemployment application."

Libraries, especially during times of crisis, have long been far more than just places where people can check out books and DVDs. With their high-speed internet connections, meeting rooms and massive depositories of information, print and otherwise, they are a beacon to those needing assistance or companionship. That has changed during the pandemic. Libraries across the state closed for months after Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued his stay-at-home order in March, and though many reopened during the summer, some services remain diminished or unavailable for fear of transmitting the virus.

In Chicago Heights, interim Director Kathy Parker said the library is keeping its doors open in large part because people in difficult circumstances are counting on its telecommunication services. "In our community, a lot of the residents don't have internet access or they may not have a printer," she said. "It's hard to apply for a job or navigate a website on your phone. That's mostly what we're getting -- people who are looking for jobs. ... A lot of people even apply for unemployment via fax."

Read the full article HERE.

Library Lockers Provide After Hours Pick Up

by Julie Elmore, Oakland City Columbia Twp. Public Library, IN

For a variety of reasons, like other libraries, we have reduced our hours in the new COVID world. While the cuts didn’t appear to be a hindrance to most of our patrons, we recognized that the limited hours would not work for everyone. I have seen different ideas of vending machines and such for library books, but nothing seemed to fit (size, technology, and definitely price) until I read a COVID response thread on the Public Library Directors group page on Facebook. ( To get the full article, click HERE.)

43 Embarrassing Grammar Mistakes
Even Smart People Make

Like it or not, words, spelling, and punctuation can leave a lasting impression on others. But even the most educated people often unknowingly make these common flubs. Read about it HERE.

From Inc. by Christina DesMarais
Seed and Plant Swap Grows During COVID

This article is published in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL), highlighting great ideas shared by libraries on ARSL's amazing and active Listserv (a wonderful benefit to ARSL Membership!). Thank you to Julie Kent, Director at Erie City Public Library, Kansas, for sharing her story.

Erie City Public Library in Erie, Kansas, serves a small town of about 1,085 people in Neosho County. We are a gathering place for the community. 

One of the goals of our little library is to support the community as much as we can. We do the normal stuff of checking out books and movies as well as having in person programs for our patrons. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed most of that. 

For the past two years, the Erie City Public Library has planted seeds for family gardens and raised them in the east window of the library. The first year, we planted seeds to grow about 50 plants for our community to share at the First Annual Seed and Plant Swap. On that day in early spring, members of the community brought bedding plants, seeds, bushes, trees and ground cover to swap, that more than 40 people took home that day. We had some donated seeds from Baker Creek Seeds that we shared that day. It was simply a day of sharing.   (Read more HERE.)


Introducing Storytime standouts

NoveList would like to introduce you to our new juvenile genre!

Here at NoveList, we realized there are a lot of picture books out there to choose from! We wanted a simple way for librarians, educators, and patrons to find picture books for an enchanting, crowd-pleasing storytime.  These are books that you can read over and over, and they never lose their spark. They are exceptional for group storytime sharing. Some of the traits taken into consideration are repetition or repetitive phrases, wordplay, alliteration, and energy (although these books don’t have to be happy in tone). Read more from the EBSCO blog HERE.
All the opinions from the top sources
Minnesota Magic
Picture books for young children focus on family, love and the great outdoors. Coverage supported by The Loft Literary Center
by Laurie Hertzel, senior editor for books

The Best Audiobooks To Break Out
During Your Next Long Trip

Jazz up a dreary commute with a good, satisfying audiobook.

Good Housekeeping, by Marisa Lascala and Lizz Schumer, Sep 16, 2020
Read all the recommendations HERE.
December 15, 2020
Digital Edition
Support STEM Curricula with Reliable Digital Resources
Equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to gather and evaluate evidence, make sense of information and solve problems. Download the flyer to learn which solutions are right for your library by clicking above.

Explore the classroom resources

Covering a range of topics in modern history, the free classroom-ready resources on this site have been designed to introduce students to working with archive content. Asking important questions of recent history such as ‘Could Britain have done more to help the Jews in the Second World War?’ and ‘Did nuclear weapons help to make the world safer between 1945 and 1951?’, the investigations encourage students to engage with primary documents, making history more accessible and developing critical research skills. View all resources

Episode 12: Libraries and Prenda Code Club: Building Curiosity and Community

Technology specialist Jesse Simms and Luke Miller of Prenda Code Club share how Buckeye Public Library in Arizona is empowering patrons of all ages to learn computer programming skills. 
From EBSCO Podcasts, get the full episode and transcript HERE.
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Sourcewell Technology is offering
FREE Webinar Wednesdays
Sign up for any of the free education webinars hosted by the Education Technology Experts at Sourcewell Technology. All webinars will be recorded and sent to registered attendees afterwards.  LEARN MORE HERE.
  • "Engaging All Your Students During Distance Learning" on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 3pm CT
  • "Chalkboard to 1:1 - Seven Lessons Learned" on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 11am CT

Yoga as an Act of Self-care for Librarians

Jan 7, 2021 <> 1:00PM - 2:00PM
We will center the discussion around self-care for librarians based on findings from a survey conducted in fall 2020. We will also include how you can personally participate in free yoga classes, how to incorporate and make accessible a yoga program at your library, and the beginnings of a yoga outreach program at Texas Tech University Library.
Register for Free from the National Library of Medicine HERE

Proactive Advocacy and Communication
for Library Trustees and Staff

January 13, 2021 from 2:00-3:00pm

This webinar explores communication tools and strategies for boards and library staff to be better prepared for unknown changes.

Rally the troops, consolidate the message, and get it out there! These common and important steps are all part of the response when there’s a crisis challenging the library. But what can we do the rest of the time, before a crisis arises? Using both outward and inward facing tools, there are simple steps that boards and library staff can integrate into their communication processes, to be better prepared for unknown changes. Learn about these tools and how they can set the stage for dealing more effectively with any crisis your library faces in the future.

This webinar is hosted in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).  Learn more HERE.

Prairielands First Friday in February
Online Conference
February 5, 2021


9:00 a.m.    Stacy Lienemann - A Fairytale Festival in the Time of COVID
~ From enhanced storywalks to author talks, from subscription boxes to ukulele sing-a-longs, this LSTA-funded project looked very little like the original plan.
11:00 a.m.  Audrey Betcher Stronger Connections During COVID
~ Librarians have unique and important skills that are desperately needed during this time of health crisis. 
1:00 p.m.    Michele Leininger How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pandemic
~ Well, not exactly love, but find the silver linings and help the library thrive.

Register for Free HERE.

Self-Publish Books for Free with the MLPP!


Hello, Aspiring Authors!

Let's learn about self-publishing with the Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project, or MLPP. Thanks to your library, you can now create, edit, format and generate print-ready and eBook formats for your book—all for free, using the Pressbooks platform!

NOTE: This service is available for free to Minnesota residents. Enroll HERE.

This course is a collaboration between Minitex, the Northern Lights Library Network, and the Northwest Service Cooperative.  The Pressbooks platform is made free for Minnesotans through Minitex.
ALS Public Library Status Update
PDF file available for printing and download HERE.
Open to the public with restrictions and curbside service also available on Monday and Friday 10:00-5:00; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12:00-7:00.  For more information, call 218-229-2021 or visit their Facebook page or blog, aurorapubliclibrarymn.blogspot.com.
Open to curbside service only Monday-Thursday 1:00-5:00 and Friday 1:00-4:00.  Return items to the outside bookdrop. Please call 218-827-3345, see their Facebook page or visit their blog, babbittlibrary.blogspot.com.
Open with restrictions and curbside service also available Monday-Friday 9:00-4:30 and Saturday 10:00-2:00. Returns accepted inside or in bookdrop. Call 218-634-2329 or see their Facebook Page. *
Curbside service offered Monday-Friday.  Please call for complete information at 218-245-1633 or see their Facebook page.
Offers no-contact Book & Media checkout and return services at the side door entrance. Call 218-258-3391 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00-6:00.  For more information see their Facebook page.
Open with restrictions and offering curbside service Monday 11:00 7:00, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:00-4:00.  Find out the full details by calling 218-247-3108 or visit their Facebook page.
Open with limitations and curbside pickup offered Monday 1:00-6:00, Tuesday - Thursday 1:00-5:00, Saturday 11:00-2:00. For more information, call 218-384-3322, email bethany.leseman@alslib.info, or see their Facebook page.
Curbside pickup available Monday 12:00-6:00, Wednesday 9:00-2:00 and Friday 10:00-3:00. Return materials to the outside book drop, northeast corner of the building. Call 218-254-7913, email at chisholmlibrarymn@gmail.com or see their page on Facebook.
Curbside pickup of requested materials, kids and adults take-and-make kits, librarian assistance requests and online databases. Monday 12:30-5:30, Tuesday 10:00-2:00, Thursday 1:00-6:00, Saturday 10:00-1:00; closed on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Call 218-879-1531, email Cloquet.library@gmail.com or see their website at cloquetlibrary.org.

Offering curbside pickup and computer use by appointment Monday-Thursday 9:00-5:00 and Friday 9:00-4:00.  Call 218-245-2315, message them through Facebook or email colerainepubliclibrary@alslib.info.
Offering lobby pickup, Monday-Thursday, 10:00-4:00, curbside pickup available by appointment.  Patrons must call or email ahead to let staff know which day they are picking up items. Return books to the outside book drop.  For more information, call 218-666-2210, email crystal.phillips@alslib.info, see their newsletter HERE or their website, cookpubliclibrary.org.

No appointment curbside pickup at Superior Street Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00-4:00 and Thursday 1:00-7:00.  Computer use by appointment during these hours. Returns accepted 24/7 at the Main Library at both Michigan St. and Superior St. bookdrops.  For more information, call 218-730-4200 or see their website, duluthlibrary.org.
Offering curbside pickup by appointment Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00. Return items to the exterior book drop by the main doors. Call 218-365-5140 and more information is available at elylibrary.org.
Offering no-contact "At the Door" pick-up of requested materials. This service is for picking up items on hold ONLY. No other transactions will be handled. Library staff is available by phone Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00. Return items to the bookdrop. Check for updates on their Facebook page, email to evepublib@gmail.com or check their website, evelethpubliclibrary.com.
Open Monday-Friday 11:00-5:00. Return all materials to the exterior bookdrop. To order materials, call 218-748-2230, email gpldirmn@gmail.com, see their Facebook Page or check their website, gilbert.lib.mn.us/home.
Circulation via pickup window, printing and staff help by phone and email Monday-Friday 10:00-5:00 and Saturday 10:00-2:00. Return materials to the exterior dropbox. Call 218-387-1140, email gmlib@alslib.info or visit their website, grandmaraislibrary.org.
Drive through pickup of holds Monday-Friday 12:00-6:00. Return materials to the drive up dropbox. Call 218-326-7640, visit cityofgrandrapidsmn.com/library and check their Facebook page for the most current information.

Contactless curbside pickup of holds offered Monday-Thursday 10:00-4:00.  Return items to the bookdrop. Contact them by calling 218-362-5959, message them on their Facebook page or visit their website, ci.hibbing.mn.us/residents/library.
Open with restrictions Monday-Friday 11:00-5:00. Curbside pickup is available by appointment.  For full information, call 218-225-2412 or see their website, hoytlakeslibrary.org.
Open Monday-Wednesday 10:00-8:00, Thursday & Friday 10:00-6:00 and also offers curbside pickup. Books can be returned inside the library or to the bookdrop. Call 218-283-8051, email to ifallslibrary@gmail.com or see their website, internationalfallslibrary.us.
Offers curbside pickup by appointment and delivery within the city limits by calling Paula at 218-969-8977.
Open Monday & Friday 1:00-5:00, Tuesday & Thursday 1:00-6:00, and Wednesday 12:00-7:00. For more information, call 218-247-7676, or message them through Facebook.
Open Monday-Friday 10:00-5:00 and curbside pickup is still available.  Return items to the interior or exterior book drop.  Call 218-485-4424, visit their website, cityofmooselake.net/284/public-library, or see Facebook for more.
Curbside pickup only Monday-Thursday 10:00-4:00. Return all materials to the interior or exterior bookdrop.  Call 218-735-8625, message them on Facebook, email anna.amundson@alslib.info or see their website at mountainironlibrary.com.
Offering curbside pickup by appointment. Return items to the bookdrop. Call 218-226-4331, email silverbaypubliclibrary@gmail.com or see their blog, wwwsilverbaynews.blogspot.com.
Open and offering curbside service Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30-5:00 and Tuesday & Thursday 11:30-7:00. Return materials to the exterior bookdrop. Call 218-834-3148, email thplinfo@gmail.com or see their website, twoharborspubliclibrary.com.
Offering curbside pickup of library items on hold Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00-5:00, Tuesday 9:00-6:00 and Saturday 10:00-2:00.  Click HERE or call the library at 218-748-7525 See their Facebook page or virginiapubliclibrary.info
This is a gorgeous pre-1910 postcard showing our man of the hour flying across the sky in a very ornate pink Sleigh! This historic image is free for any use from The Graphics Fairy.
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