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New Ulm Public Library




17 N. Broadway, New Ulm, MN 56073
PH: 507-359-8331

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(in reverse chronological order)

ARCHIVE OF 2008 ARTICLES           

Dec 31, 2007 - Resolutions, anyone? by Larry Hlavsa
Dec 24, 2007 - The Day After Christmas
by Betty Roiger
Dec 17, 2007 - Writers' Strike
by Betty Roiger
Dec 10, 2007 - There's Nothing to Do!
by Diane Zellmann
Dec 03, 2007 - Twelve Seconds in History
by JoAnne Griebel
Nov 26, 2007 - Book Sale! Book Sale! Book Sale!
by Larry B. Hlavsa
Nov 19, 2007 - Where There’s a Will, There’s a Quote
by Betty J. Roiger
Nov 12, 2007 - Cartoons and UFOs by Betty Roiger
Nov 05, 2007 - ELM Is Not a Tree! by Larry Hlavsa
Oct 29, 2007 - Ahoy Maties!
by Betty Roiger, Acquisitions
Oct 22, 2007 - Veterans Day, November 11
by Linda Lindquist
Oct 15, 2007 -
Raising Readers at Storytime by Diane Zellmann
Oct 08, 2007 - Library Friends Planning Big Book Sale by Larry Hlavsa
Oct 01, 2007 - Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Adopt
by Betty J Roiger

Sep 24, 2007 - Celebrate Family History Month by Linda Lindquist
Sep 21, 2007 - Forgive Our Mess!
by Larry Hlavsa
Sep 17, 2007 - We Can All Use More Friends!
by Larry Hlavsa
Sep 10, 2007
- Meet the Penderwicks by Betty J. Roiger
Sep 03, 2007 - Sea Bound by Betty J. Roiger
Aug 20, 2007 - In the Heat of August by Betty J. Roiger
Aug 13, 2007 -
What a Summer! by Diane Zellmann
Aug 06, 2007 -
Fantastic Junior and Young Adult Fiction by Betty J. Roiger
Aug 02, 2007 -
New Director
@ the Library by Larry Hlavsa
Jul  16, 2007 - Changing Times @ the Library by Traci Juhala
Jul 09, 2007 - She’s Back and He’s Coming Soon by Betty J. Roiger

Jun 25, 2007 - Attention Car Buffs by Linda Lindquist
Jun 18, 2007 -
What’s a Read-a-Thon? by Diane Zellmann
Jun 11, 2007 -
Monkeys, Accordions and Frank by Betty J Roiger
Jun 4, 2007
- Enjoying Summer at the Library by Traci Juhala
May 28, 2007
- Kids Go Bananas at the Library by Diane Zellmann
May 21, 2007 -
From Golden Books to Today by Betty Roiger
May 14, 2007 -
How Does Your Garden Grow by Linda Lindquist
May 7, 2007 -
Get Caught Reading by Betty J Roiger
Apr 30, 2007
- Putting a Spring in Your Step by Traci Juhala
Apr 23, 2007
- What’s New in April - Betty J Roiger
Apr 16, 2007 -
Children’s News (or) Spring into the Library by Diane Zellmann
Apr 9, 2007 - National Library Week by Traci Juhala
Apr 2, 2007 - Got Income Tax? by Linda Lindquist
Mar 26, 2007 - Nineteen Minutes by Betty J. Roiger
Mar 19, 2007 - Movie Star, Award-Winning Author, and New Ulm Native @ the Library by Traci Juhala
Mar 12, 2007 - Small Visitors by Betty J. Roiger
Mar 5, 2007 - Cabin Fever by Betty J. Roiger
Feb 26, 2007 - Award Winners by Diane Zellmann
Feb 19, 2007 - Wonderful Ways to Warm Up @ Your Library by Traci Juhala
Feb 12, 2007 - German Heritage Items Added by Carolyn Baird
Feb 5, 2007 - Come in from the Cold by Betty Roiger
Jan 29, 2007 - Attorney General’s Website by Linda Lindquist
Jan 22, 2007 - Warm up in January by Betty J Roiger
Jan 15, 2007 - Library Open House Event by Carolyn Baird 
Jan 8, 2007 - New Year, New Season of Fun by Traci Juhala
Jan 1, 2007 - January Open House and Amnesty Month by Betty Roiger

December 31, 2007

Resolutions, anyone?
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director

Okay, as I write this it is January 2, 2008. Have you broken any New Year’s Resolutions yet? Have you made any? Are you sick of the practice of making resolutions? Well, if you haven’t given up on the practice, believe it or not, your Library may be a key ally in trying to keep resolutions. How? We can get you the information you need. Here are some examples of typical resolutions and how we can help:

RESOLUTION: Losing weight. We have plenty of books and videos on losing weight. Nearly a hundred at the New Ulm Library alone! And many, many more within our network of libraries. So not knowing how to find info on losing weight is not an excuse!

RESOLUTION: Improving yourself. Want to play better golf, tennis, be a better fisherman, spouse, listener, speaker….the list is endless. We have many, many books on self-help topics. So not knowing where to find resources on improving yourself is not an excuse!

RESOLUTION: Plan for retirement. Retirement planning is an important, but often neglected topic. The Library has books and magazines on investing. You can also use our electronic databases to check out newspapers and magazines and find an almost endless supply of information on investing and retirement planning. So not knowing where to look for materials on retirement planning is not an excuse!

RESOLUTION: Exercising. If you want to exercise more—and who among us doesn’t want that!?—then the library can be a great place for researching your favorite activity. Our resources can help you find the best pair of running shoes, compare the relative merits of various calorie-burning activities, find places to jog or hike or answer other questions about exercising. So not knowing where to find information on exercising is not an excuse!

RESOLUTION: Reading more. Okay, this is one that should be on everyone’s list of resolutions. We all watch too much television, right? Play too many electronic games, right? And, boy, oh boy, can we help in getting you reading materials! More than 90,000 titles in our collections. Check any of these out while we’re open! Or, if we’re closed, check out our many full-text online databases for the topic of your choice—including newspapers! All a benefit of having a library card. And, incidentally, if we haven’t got it, we can find it! Ask and we’ll be glad to help.

Honest, here at the New Ulm Library, we’re all pulling for you! And ourselves! Now where did I put that book on creative writing?

December 24, 2007

The Day After Christmas
by Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

Today is the day before Christmas. Excitement is building. Packages are being shaken. Children (and some adults) are asking, “Can’t I just open this one little present?” So we all have plenty on our minds. There are last minute gifts to buy, we have to go back to the grocery store to get that one thing we forgot the last time we were there, and could somebody pull that cat down out of the tree before he breaks something? We just need to hang on to our sanity for a few more hours. Then we all take a deep breath and plunge into family reunions, eat one more cookie, dive into a pile of presents, and jump into Christmas.

But what comes after Christmas? We have all heard about recycling, reusing, and reducing. Have you heard about treecycling? There is a website called Earth 911 that encourages folks to treecycle. This encourages people to recycle their Christmas trees so that they will become mulch or compost. A real Christmas tree is a renewable source unlike artificial trees, which contain plastics that are non-biodegradable. Up to three seedlings are planted for every Christmas tree harvested. So one acre of trees supplies the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people. So after the holidays, help the earth and treecycle your real Christmas tree.

There are also other ways to make it an earth friendly holiday. You can send e-cards, which will save paper. Buy recycled Christmas cards and purchase cards made out of paper not plastic. Then save your old Christmas cards, and just by cutting off the front you can create a new card. Make your Christmas tags out of last year’s Christmas cards. Or make holiday ornaments out of old cards and out of other things you would normally recycle like old calendar pictures or old Christmas wrap.

Bows, bags, newspaper comics, and decorative boxes can be used over again next year. Or they can be shredded through a paper shredder and used as colorful packing material. Many toys for children require batteries, try to get the rechargeable ones. And after all that Christmas cheer that comes your way via wine bottles, beer cans, and eggnog containers remember that bottles and cans can all be recycled as well. When you finish those Christmas cookies, save the tins and use them for storage containers.

Please enjoy the season and all the holidays. Recycle, reuse and even re-gift if it means living more sustainably and not creating more waste. That will ensure many more Christmases to come for our kids and future generations.

December 17, 2007

Writers’ Strike
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

If you are a tv viewer you might have noticed that there is a screen writers’ strike going on. Your favorite tv shows might already be off of the air. The last writers’ strike was back in 1988, lasted five months and impacted two tv seasons.

So what is a person to do? I suggest you come to the library. Check out a book, a talking book or a movie. Because, guess what? Authors are still writing.

I was able to attend the Minnesota Library Association Convention in October, and I got to hear author Sandra Benitez speak. She opened her talk with the words “Beloved librarians.” How can you not love this woman?

At one point in her life she lived in California. She had been used to Minnesota, calling a librarian and explaining she was a writer and having the librarian get her the information. She called us the “land of lakes and libraries.” Once in California she went into her local library and asked for a book. The librarian wrote out a note and gave it to her. She looked at it and it was a list of surrounding libraries. Sandra thought, “Well, how thoughtful, I can see all of the local libraries. Now, how do I get this book?” The librarian told her she would have to call any or all of those libraries to see if they owned it and then go there to pick it up. They didn’t have an interlibrary loan system.

Now that’s quite a difference from what she was used to in Minnesota. Benitez went on to praise Minnesota’s loaning system. For anyone who does not know what interlibrary loan is, let me briefly explain. You visit the library or call in and request some material. If we do not own it, we find out what library does own it and request it. It is delivered here and you pick it up and check it out at our circulation desk just like a regular book. There are many people and some time involved, but basically it is just that easy.

Benitez may have addressed us as “beloved librarians” but we [taxpayers, patrons, librarians, researchers, catalogers, everyone who plays a connecting part] can all be proud of our libraries, Traverse des Sioux, our cooperative Interlibrary Loan system, and how we operate in Minnesota.

I came home with a new appreciation for our library, our system, our state and the people who staff all of them.

So what about the writers’ strike? Like I said, authors are still writing. Stories are still being printed. Series are continuing. And it is all happening at the library. Don’t just sit down and watch a rerun. Come and check out what’s brand new at the library.

December 10, 2007

There’s Nothing to Do!
Diane Zellmann, Children’s Librarian

December is a special month for people of all ages. Part of the fun for school-age kids is that vacation from school. But what seems like a period of pure bliss can turn into just too much time with nothing to do. If this happens to you or someone in your house, take a trip to the New Ulm Public Library. We have some books to help get those creative juices flowing.

If you happen to have some cardboard boxes left over from Christmas gifts, here’s the perfect book for you: “The Cardboard Box Book.” This book will give kids a chance to be creative and think outside the box. You will find 25 things you can do or make with cardboard boxes. Try making a game like Potato Bowling, a cool creature like a stegosaurus, or even a custom-built secret den. The author says these activities should “keep your parents out of your hair for hours on end.”

Want more building ideas? Try our new book entitled “Wind Chimes and Whirligigs” for 12 projects that will delight your eyes and ears. Kids can use recycled items to create a great decoration for a balcony or backyard.

And then there’s Steven Caney’s “Ultimate Building Book.” This 596 page book explores the design, construction, and invention of so many structures like an inflatable roof, playground equipment, or even a beaver’s dam. One chapter is devoted to bridges, which may be interesting to Minnesota kids after the recent problems concerning several bridges in Minnesota. Caney also provides inspiration to create amazing kid-tested projects or even to invent building systems of their own. Thousands of photos, illustrations, and diagrams make his explanations and instructions easy to understand.

These books will definitely provide something to do during the up-coming vacation. Kids can do amazing things with just a little inspiration. Let these and other project books inspire you. You can find them in the Junior nonfiction collection in the Children’s Room of our library. Hope your vacation time is a happy time!

December 3, 2007

Twelve Seconds in History
JoAnne Griebel, Library Aide

It has been said "two wrongs do not make a right, but two Wrights make an aeroplane." And so on December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright changed our world forever.

They were not the first to dream of flight. In Greek mythology we hear of Daedalus fabricating wings for himself and his son, Icarus. The two took flight, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and his wings melted.

Leonardo DaVinci designed flying machines. In the late eighteenth century, George Cayley identified forces of flight experimenting with gliders.

In Dayton, Ohio, two brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, were inspired by the work of George Cayley. They devised several aircraft before their historic flight on December 17. Their first aircraft was a kite in 1899; gliders came out in 1900, 1901 and 1902. In 1903 they experimented with a powered airplane. The twelve-second flight at Kitty Hawk marked the beginning of the "air age".

The story of these two self-taught engineers is fascinating. The library has several biographies of the brothers. "On Great White
Wings: The Wright Brothers and the Race for Flight" by Fred Culick and "The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age" by Tom Crouch are worth reading. Crouch also wrote "The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright". James Tobin's "To Conquer the
Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight" details the work of the brothers.

There are books on flight from early to modern times. " Men in Air:
The Best Flight Stories of All Time from Greek Mythology to the Space Age" is filled with many interesting stories. David West Reynolds'
book "Kennedy Space Center Gateway to Space" tells the story of rockets, the Apollo program, the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. December is a month of flight from Kitty Hawk in 1903 to the next shuttle mission scheduled to launch December 6.

For all you "engineers" out there, NASA has a website with instructions and plans for a model of the Wright Brothers' 1903 Flyer at .

As Socrates said, "Man must rise above the Earth to the top of the atmosphere and beyond - for only then will he fully understand the world in which he lives."

November 26, 2007

Book Sale! Book Sale! Book Sale!
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director

Well, last month the Friends of the New Ulm Library asked you for book donations, and boy, did New Ulm ever respond! The Friends of the New Ulm Library already have 120 boxes of books, or over 3,000 items for their book sale next week, December 7-8, in the meeting room of the Library.

There’s fiction, nonfiction, CDs, DVDs, children’s picture books, romances, mysteries—there’s even a few puzzles! There are new books and old books, coffee-table books and paperbacks. There are biographies, histories and novels of every sort. We have quite a selection for your winter reading pleasure.

We wanted to let you know as well that Friends of the New Ulm Library get two advantages at this event; 1) there is a Friends member pre-sale on Thursday, December 6 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., and 2) Friends members get one free book for every four purchased during the sale! If you’re not a Friend, signups are available at the door. Individual membership in the Friends organization is only $10 per year. It’s a great deal and, and, of course, memberships really benefit the New Ulm Public Library. How can you lose?!

Oh, yes, one other thing. We have sixty copies of A German Town : a History of New Ulm, Minnesota by Daniel J. Hoisington published in 2004. These were donated by the City of New Ulm and will be given away FREE to the first sixty customers who spend $25.00.

Remember, this is just a two-day sale. Friday hours are 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Saturday hours are 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Don’t risk spending the winter huddled in front of your fireplace with no books. Come early for best selection! When the books are gone, they’re gone!

November 19, 2007

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Quote
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

If you catch any of the news lately, it is hard to miss Paris posing or the latest gossip about Britney or more about the Anna Nicole tragedy. You might wonder what any of them have to do with Will Rogers.

It was the anniversary of Will Rogers’ birthday on November 4th. I was looking up information on him for a display, and I ran across this quote by him: “I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they do today.” And I thought, gosh, even today that quotation stands up. A lot of the celebrities we hear about endlessly could avoid a lot of their problems if they listened to this one: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” I also liked these quotes: “The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.” and “Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth.” He was a funny guy.

He was also a political pundit. I think if Will were around now with all of the current run-for-the-presidential-nomination debates going on, he would have a field day. He once said, “There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.” He also said, “If you have a radio, the next few months is a good time to have it get out of fix. All you’d hear is candidates saying: ‘What I intend to do, is…’ What he intends to do is to try and get elected—that’s all any of them intends to do.” And when you think of all the money being raised by all these presidential hopefuls, listen to this: “A fool and his money are soon elected.” It is interesting that his political sayings are still relevant today. Will said, ”I don’t make jokes, I just watch the government and report the facts.” and that sounds like it could have just as easily been said by Leno or Letterman.

Will Rogers starred on Broadway, he was in movies, he wrote books and a newspaper column, and he was a radio commentator. He knew Presidents and Kings, and leaders of the world sought out his opinions. He gave his own money to the Red Cross and Salvation Army and disaster victims. He considered himself a caring member of the human race, an American, a Cherokee Indian and a faithful husband and father. He said, “My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat.”

As dead on as some of his political wit is, from what I have read he seemed to have a big heart. He once said, “It is great to be great, but it’s greater to be human.” and “We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.” If you have never met Will, come in to look at the display and pick up one of the books or tapes we have of him. Meanwhile, like Will Rogers said, “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

Nov 12, 2007

Cartoons and UFOs
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

Our displays in November both take a look back; one looks to the cartoons we saw as kids, and the other explores all of the controversy and shadows surrounding Area 51.

Remember when we used to get drinks out of the hose in the backyard? Can you recollect hearing the dentist telling you to “spit” and turning toward a round porcelain sink with water constantly circling down? The only seat belts I can recall growing up was when my mom’s arm would streak across my chest to pin me to the seat when we were coming to an abrupt stop. If rotary phones ring a bell, then you’ll remember “The Jetsons”, “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”, and “Tennessee Tuxedo” cartoons.

Tell your kids before cell phones and “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and “Caillou” there were REAL cartoons. And those cartoons starred “Mighty Mouse” and “Tom & Jerry” and “The Flintstones”. There was a place called “Frostbite Falls”, a flying squirrel named Rocket J. Squirrel whose best friend was a moose named Bullwinkle. Jonny Quest went on more adventures than his scientist father, Dr. Benton Quest, with his best friend Hadji and bodyguard Race Bannon. If you used to get up early on Saturday mornings, sit in front of the tv watching cartoons while eating Cheerios, (yes, we had Cheerios way back then) then these were the cartoons you were watching. Those were the days. Now the library has DVDs so you can have a tv night, sit down and watch those cartoons we grew up watching in the “good old days.”

If you remember Dick Dastardly & Muttley, surely you recall accounts about Roswell and Area 51.

There have been stories about aliens crash landing vs a downed weather balloon for 60 years now. It happened July 4, 1947. At St. Mary’s hospital, Mother Superior Mary Bernadette and Sister Capistrano were looking out at the New Mexico night just before midnight. They saw an unusual light over the desert and made a note in their log expecting that it wouldn’t be long before they would be seeing survivors. Air traffic controllers tracked and reported an unidentified flying object rapidly descending. And then it suddenly disappeared. W.W. “Mack” Brazel was just turning in when he heard a loud blast. The next morning Brazel and another ranch hand rode out to work and noticed a long shallow trench and scattered metal that glinted in the sunshine. This unusual metallic debris couldn’t be identified as steel, tin, or aluminum. There was speculation of a UFO crash, maybe a government project…and then two days later the official interpretation revealed it all was a weather balloon that had crashed.

Read about Roswell and watch the DVDs we have that give explanations of the events of the day and review the evidence. Or if you just want to watch something for fun, check out “Rocky and Bullwinkle” or “Fractured Fairy Tales”, eat some Cheerios, and have a laugh.

Nov 5, 2007

ELM Is Not a Tree!
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director

We’re all tree-lovers here in Minnesota, but I’m going to tell you about ELM, not elms. ELM stands for the ELECTRONIC LIBRARY of MINNESOTA. It’s your free access to electronic resources in Minnesota. Yes, I did say FREE! And it’s available 24/7 throughout the year. Wow! That’s some library!

What’s actually in ELM? Well, ELM consists of 15 databases from five online vendors. ELM resources exceed 17,000 magazines, with more than 13,000 offering full-text articles. In addition, there’s more than 340 full-text newspapers including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Barron's and USA Today just to name a few. Oh, yes, I almost forgot the 15,000+ electronic books and a worldwide catalog of more than 60 million records. Whew! It boggles the imagination when you think about it.

ELM provides a wealth of information on a vast array of topics, including consumer information, arts and humanities, current events, health, science, social science, politics, business and more. And information in ELM databases is from reputable and respected sources. Unlike some Internet resources, you don’t need to wonder about the reliability of information coming out of ELM databases.

So who’s bringing you ELM? ELM is brought to you by local (your library), state (MINITEX & the MN state library agency) and federal (LSTA) agencies. The legislative intent in providing ELM to Minnesotans is to give citizens the best possible access to information resources across the educational spectrum, including K-12, higher education, state government and public libraries.

Finally, while the New Ulm Public Library has some pretty good hours, it just can’t compete with ELM. ELM is available online all the time to any Minnesotan with a computer, an Internet connection and a library card. People throughout Minnesota can access ELM 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from either the library, a school media center, their homes or workplaces. Pretty incredible, eh?

I know what you’re thinking. “Anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is!’
Not in this case. ELM really is free! Log on to and you’ll find out. But be sure and have your valid, current Minnesota public library card. It’s your ticket to ELM!

October 29, 2007

Ahoy Maties!
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

Shiver me timbers! Soon it be Halloween. Aye, the weather will turn cold, the wind’ll blow and our imaginations’ll run wild.

Children of all ages dress up this time of year. If ye want to drop anchor and give us a visit at the library on October 31, ye might find the library overrun with privateers. Ye’ll be greeted with “ahoys” and “avasts” and “welcome aboards”. Instead of sweets we’ll be giving away pirate tattoos to the small buccaneers. Our swords are all plastic so no harm’ll come to ye.

Yes, this year we be pirates, mate. We’ve cast off our landlubbing ways and taken to the sea. We’ve exhibited some of our treasure, safely out of harms way above the display case, for others to see but not touch, until we buries it. Then there’ll only be a map with X marking the spot, and none but the captain’ll know where it finally rests.

Back in the day, pirates were notoriously democratic when it came to sharing their treasure. After the captain took his share of the plunder, the rest of the goods were evenly divided up. If ye come aboard, ye won’t need a map for the treasure ye’ll find here. Blimey, me hearties! Anyone can peruse our collection of materials which is our greatest treasure, and, because we share just like the pirates of old, ye all be welcome to check out pieces of it.

Since some voyages can be long, there’s always time for a tale or two like the story entitled “Bloody Jack, Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary ‘Jacky’ Faber, Ship’s Boy” which begins like this: “My name is Jacky Faber and in London I was born, but, no, I wasn’t born with that name. Well, the Faber part, yes, the Jacky part, no, but they call me Jacky now and it’s fine with me…

That wasn’t my name, though, back on That Dark Day when my poor dad died of the pestilence and the men dragged him out of our rooms and down the stairs, his poor head hanging between his shoulders, and his poor feet bouncin’ on the stairs, and me all sobbin’ and blubberin’ and Mum no help, she bein’ sick, too, and my little sister, as well. Back then my name was Mary.”

Like I says, that’s only the beginning; much more happens before we can get to the end. But it’s not my tale to tell, it is L.A. Meyer’s and he tells it well. Ye should check it out for yourselves or mine our shelves for your own buried treasure. There’s a wealth to be found here, and our pirate code is this: each to his own. Ye won’t need a cutlass or blunderbuss to take it with ye, all ye needs is your little yellow card. Arrr, it’s that easy.

October 22, 2007

Veterans Day, November 11
Linda Lindquist, Reference Librarian

On November 11, 1954, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation for all citizens to observe Veterans Day. The observance of Veterans Day on November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date but also focuses attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11.

As you can well imagine, the New Ulm Public Library has many books on all the wars. I am going to just mention a few of them here. Our newest is entitled “The War: An Intimate History 1941-1945” by Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns. Many of you probably watched some or all of the PBS documentary series just shown in September. Experiences of ordinary people show the anxiety, terror, and bitterness of war. This book tells little of how and why America won the war, but there is a strong sense of what it felt like on the way to victory.

Those of you who want to know how the war was really won will enjoy reading the book “Secret War: The Inside Story of the Code Makers and Code Breakers of World War II” by Michael Paterson. Included are first-hand accounts from American secret agents, French and Dutch resistance fighters, and others who played a role in breaking codes during the war.

If audio books are the thing for you, two books on compact discs that may be of interest are “The Night Stalkers: Top Secret Missions of the United States Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment” by Michael J. Durant and “God Rest Ye Merry Soldiers: A True Civil War Christmas Story” by James McIvor.

Many veterans are separated a long time from loved ones. “Separated by Duty, United in Love: A Guide to Long-Distance Relationships for Married Couples” by Shellie Vandevoorde may be just the book they are looking for. Or how about getting back into the work force upon returning from active duty? “Expert Resumes for the Military-to-Civilian Transitions” written by Wendy Enelow could be a big help.

These are just a few of the books that are available at the New Ulm Public Library. We will have a display of books in the Reference area for the next few weeks. Come in and check out our display.

October 15, 2007

Raising Readers at Storytime
Diane Zellmann, Children’s Librarian

The Children’s Room is filled with the happy sounds of young children again. Yes, the fall schedule of Storytime has begun. Have you ever wondered just what Storytime is all about? Let me explain.

What happens at Storytime? We read books – some new titles as well as old favorites. We sing songs. We perform fingerplays and action rhymes. Sometimes puppets show up so we can talk with them. We also learn some pre-reading skills, like letter sounds, letter shapes, and rhyming words. We learn to enjoy books and see that others enjoy them too. Children meet other children and have opportunities to interact with each other.

When does Storytime happen? We have four Storytimes each week, and each program lasts about 30 minutes. Here is the schedule:

Mondays 7:00 P.M. Family Storytime
Tuesdays 10:00 A.M. Preschool Storytime
Tuesdays 11:00 A.M. Preschool Storytime
Thursdays 10:00 A.M. Toddler Storytime

Who can attend? Children of all ages are welcome. The books and activities are geared towards preschoolers and toddlers. Since we have a range of ages (from babies to 7-year-olds), we have a variety of attention spans. It all seems to work out. We encourage parents, grandparents, day care providers, and other childcare individuals to bring children to Storytime.

What do the adults do? The person who brings a child to Storytime is very important. After all, children cannot come on their own. Adults help monitor the children they bring. Adults also get to be involved along with the children. Kids love to see adults participating. Then throughout the day adults and children can discuss the stories, sing the songs, or repeat a rhyme that they learned in Storytime to keep that interaction going.

Important things happen at Storytime. It can be a special time for you and each child you bring. If you know a young child who might benefit from coming to Storytime, I encourage you to join us. It can be a great way to help raise each child to be a reader.

October 8, 2007

Library Friends Planning Big Book Sale!
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director

Almost every Friend of the New Ulm Public Library collects books. It’s virtually a given; library “friends” are book collectors. And it’s often to a fault. Take me, for instance, I’ve been dragging my prisoner-of-war escapees book collection around for two decades. More than two hundred volumes of prisoner-of-war escapes from the Civil War to present times. How often do I read these books? Well, in truth, not very often. You’d think I’d donate them to a good library book sale!

Well, Friday-Saturday, December 7-8 is my and your chance to get rid of some of the clutter of unused, unwanted books, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes in our homes while benefiting the New Ulm Public Library. Just donate your good quality materials to the Friends (dropping them off at the Library) before Monday, December 3rd and we’ll add them to the materials being prepared for the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library book sale. This is the 1st Annual Friends Book Sale so we need lots of materials to make it a success. Proceeds from the sale will go towards new materials, programming and events for all library users. The Friends book sale will really benefit all of us in New Ulm!

By the way, don’t just donate materials, come to the book sale December 7-8 and buy some stuff. Christmas is just around the corner, and a good, quality used book can make a great present. At the sale there will be great deals for all. And, incidentally, by becoming a member of the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library during the two-day sale you'll get a very special “deal.”

So, I know you're wanting to ask, will I be donating my prisoner-of-war escapes book collection to the sale??? Well, actually, no, it’s still my treasure and, after all, I am a collector. But I will be donating DVDs, tapes and books of many genres to the sale. I will be doing my part. So, in advance, thanks for your donations and we’ll see you in December for the big sale!

October 1, 2007

Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Adopt
Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions

October finds the library displays going to the dogs, literally. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and one of our displays is a wanted poster. Who’s on the picture? Well, that is sort of tricky since there’s a mirror in the wanted poster. So it could be you who is ‘wanted’ to adopt a shelter dog. It’s interesting how animals are similar to books; animals that wind up at the Humane Society are like blank books. We don’t know their stories, and they can’t tell us. Some are abandoned; some just have bad luck in that perhaps there was a divorce, people moved, or a landlord wouldn’t allow them. Most of their stories we can just speculate on. What is a fact is when you look into their faces you can see that they still trust, they still have hope, they are still glad to see people and they still want to be with people. Again they are like a blank book, and whoever chooses to adopt them gets to fill in what happens next to them. This display has true stories about owners and their dogs and what those relationships give to them.

Our second display contains mysteries that involve dogs. Even in fiction there are many series authors who include dogs to help solve crimes. Nina Wright has a series with a main character named Whiskey Mattimoe who gets pulled into adventures by her purse-stealing Afghan hound. Donna Ball’s main character Raine Stockton is a retired dog tracker drawn back to work with her dog Cisco. Laurien Berenson puts her main character Melanie Travis into the dog-show world to solve mysteries. Lee Kelley, Rita Mae Brown, Carolyn Haines and Susan Conant also have detectives that have dog companions who aid them in their mysteries.

At the library dogs play roles in both nonfiction lives and in fictional lives. In October you can visit us and pick out some canine titles to read. And if you want to invite a dog into your real life, put the books aside long enough to visit the Humane Society. But put the books aside high enough so that the dogs in your life don’t decide to partake of them too.

September 24, 2007

Celebrate Family History Month
Linda Lindquist, Reference Librarian

October is designated in many states as Family History Month. Genealogy is now considered to be the second most popular hobby next to gardening. Many genealogists across the United States sponsor a wide variety of special events and activities focused on family history.

If you have always been interested in family history, now is the time to get started. The Internet has helped bring about an explosion of interest in family history. There are literally thousands of websites devoted to genealogy. Family Chronicle is surveying web users to determine which genealogy sites are their favorites. Persons who were surveyed chose these top 10 sites as their favorites. Included in this list are Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet, US GenWeb, RAND Genealogy Club, Rootsweb, Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox, Family Tree Maker Online, GENDEX, Genealogy Is My Hobby, Lacy Family Homepage, Ancestry and the Social Security Death Index. If you are just getting started or do a great deal of genealogy, these websites are worth looking into for information. Any of these websites will help you search your family tree.

There are other ways in which you can begin to collect information about your ancestors. How about collecting favorite recipes from family members? Maybe your family gets together on certain holidays and each one brings their favorite dishes. Have them bring the recipes that go along with the dish. Another way is to record family stories. Older relatives love to reminisce. Write these stories down or record them some way to be preserved for future generations. Or how about making a scrapbook of photographs, heirlooms, and memories? If you do some brainstorming with family members, I am sure you can think of other ways to preserve your family history. These are just a few suggestions for projects that you can do with children and adults to get everyone involved in doing family research or family preservation.

And of course we have books at the New Ulm Public Library that can help you with genealogy. Some of these are “The Matter Lies Deeper”, “Scrapbooking Your Family History”, “Minnesota Quilts”, Genealogy for the First Time”, and Digitizing Your Family History”. Don’t forget county, city, and church histories. Expand your library search with MN Link and OCLC World Cat, both available through ELM (Electronic Library for Minnesota) at the New Ulm Public Library. Stop in and check out the genealogy books on display in the Reference area.

September 21, 2007

Forgive Our Mess!
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director

For the next few weeks our Web site may look "messy." We wish to apologize up front. But since we don't have $80K to farm out to professionals for the revamping of our Web site, I'll be making alterations, modifications, updates and just generally trying to make a more usable, friendly site as I have time. As the new director here I have a considerable amount of Web site experience, but it all still takes time. I hope you'll let me know as time goes on what you like and what you don't like. If we're missing something--let us know. Your feedback will make this a better Web site so all your feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

September 17, 2007

We Can All Use More Friends!
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director

What is a Library “Friend?” Well, first of all, just using your library makes you a Friend! After all, without customers no library would amount to much. Public libraries have gone out of existence when the need for their services disappeared. This has been a rare occurrence since public libraries emerged in the late 19th century, but it does happen. We don’t seem to be at much risk here in New Ulm. Our library can boast of nearly 62% of our town’s citizens as registered library users. Furthermore, these registered Friends visit the library an average of ten times per year. And our per capita circulation of over 20 items is also darned impressive. The average public library generates only 2-3 per capita circulations. So we have a lot of these types of Friends and we’re grateful for them!

Another kind of library Friend is local and state taxpayers. We wouldn’t be able to build and maintain good collections of materials in New Ulm if these Friends didn’t support public libraries year in and year out. These Friends elect officials who support local public libraries. While the vagaries of municipal, state and federal budgets often put public libraries at some risk, the truth is that since their inception most public libraries have benefited from a strongly supportive infrastructure of citizens and politicians. We’re also grateful for these types of Friends!

So what other kinds of Friends are left? Well, many libraries—including the New Ulm Public Library—like to “enhance” their institutions by buying extra materials, conducting juvenile & adult programs, augmenting their materials with up-to-date technologies and equipment, and so on. While the aforementioned Friends are generous, there isn’t usually enough in library budgets to do all of these things. Hence, our last kind of Friend is…The Friends of the New Ulm Public Library!

The Friends of the New Ulm Public Library is a brand new organization having started operations just this year. They are working on becoming a 501©3 nonprofit organization and their sole purpose is to help the New Ulm Public Library.

What does it cost to be this kind of Friend? Just one "sawbuck.” When I started delivering newspapers at the age of 15, a sawbuck represented about a weeks wages for me. And delivering newspapers in 1960s Minnesota winters, I earned that sawbuck! Nowadays, however, a sawbuck isn’t as much money. A movie ticket with treats, a fast-food dinner for a couple or gas money to drive to the Twin Cities—but not back.

Yet for the price of a “sawbuck” you can become an annual member of the Friends of the New Ulm Library and help them and us to build an even better library with more and better materials to serve…YOU! So come on over to the Library and pick up an application. That sawbuck will be money well spent! So far we’re not sure how many of these types of Friends we will ultimately have, but we’re hoping many of New Ulms citizens respond to the financial appeal of the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library and become active, contributing members.

Incidentally, do you know what a “sawbuck” is? You can find out what a sawbuck is by calling Information Services at the Library. Okay, it’s not a very good appeal if I make you do that. A “sawbuck” is ten dollars ($10). Why is it called a “sawbuck?” You can find that out by calling Information Services at the Library. Gotcha!

September 10, 2007

Meet the Penderwicks
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

I don’t know if newspaper readers ever pick up junior or young adult novels. I do. There are a lot of reasons I read them. Sometimes I think they are more tightly written than adult novels. And then there is the fact that I just like them. Just like some adult books are better than others, some junior books are better than others. And I just found a good one.

As a kid, I used to haunt the library in my hometown with friends during the summer. We would walk the three blocks there alone and spend hours sitting on the floor between the stacks of books pulling down our choices. We’d open a book and read a bit and either put it back or start our own pile to be checked out.

Why the background? I just read a book that took me back to those days. It’s called “The Penderwicks: a Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy” by Jeanne Birdsall. It reminded me of “Little Women,” “A Wrinkle in Time” and many other old favorites.

Four sisters, Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty go on vacation with their dad and their hound. The girls take care of each other since their mom died, and their father is a kind, if absent-minded, dad. Rosalind is the most responsible; Skye is the tomboy, Jane is constantly writing the continuing adventures of Sabrina Starr and Batty wears gossamer bumblebee wings. They have rented a cottage next to a huge mansion and spot a boy in an upstairs window when they drive in. Immediately Jane begins orating a new adventure with Sabrina Starr rescuing a boy stranded in a mansion. A teenage boy is gardening and lets them know that the owner will let them play anywhere but the gardens. And so the gardens become an irresistible magnet for the girls.

You have got to read this to enjoy the wonder and sweetness, the sibling squabbles, and all the adventures that the children have. I read this with a big grin on my face. And I guarantee you that if I had pulled this off the shelf when I was a kid, it wouldn’t have gone back. I would have taken it home with me to savor every minute.

September 3, 2007

Sea Bound
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

Summer is over and we are done going bananas at the library. Monkeys are recent history; let’s go back further.

September 1, 1985, is the anniversary of when Robert Ballard discovered where the Titanic lay at the bottom of the North Atlantic. Almost everyone knows the story of the Titanic, “the ship that God himself couldn’t sink,” the fatal iceberg that could have been seen if the watchmen had used binoculars, not enough lifeboats for the occupants of the ship, the disorderly evacuation, and over confidence in the ship’s ability to withstand any catastrophe. Our display holds books that are about the Titanic, that night, and the rediscovery of the wreck. Titles like “ 1912: Facts about Titanic,” “Unsinkable: the Full Story of RMS Titanic,” Titanic, an Illustrated History,” and one by Ballard himself called “Discovery of the Titanic.”

As long as we are on the high seas, let’s talk about buccaneers. September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This is a day when anyone and everyone can be a swash-buckling pirate and add a touch of larceny to their conversations by talking like pirates. “How does one go about this?” you ask. Well, instead of ‘you’ one must say ‘ye’ and drop the “g’s” at the end of verbs. And since it is such a fine word, pirates tend to use “be” a lot. A pirate would say, “Ye won’t be gettin away with this!” If you are stuck for something to say, blurting “Arrr!” covers just about anything. It can mean approval or anger or just let others know you are a bloodthirsty pirate. “Ahoy” is the pirate equivalent of a greeting and “Avast!” means stop or surprise as in “Avast! It be the black ship!” “Aye” is yes, “Mate” is a friend or ally, “Landlubber” is an insult for non-pirates and “Hornswaggle” means to cheat. This display features books about treasure and shipwrecks and all things pirate. Arrr!

Visit the library this month and revisit the Titantic in all her glory and also find out about her recovery. And if ye be brave enough, me hearties, come aboard the library on September 19th. Step smartly, for if ye have fines, there’ll be doubloons to fork over or ye’ll walk the plank. (Don’t worry; we don’t really have a plank.)

August 20, 2007

In the Heat of August
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

It’s time for me to tell you about this month’s displays. If you haven’t been in and already think you know what they are, perhaps you have some psychic abilities. August 6-10 is Psychic Week. Annually it is the first week in August. It was created to utilize the power of the psyche to bring peace, find lost individuals and concentrate “psychic power” on beneficial causes. This display has books by John Edwards, Sylvia Browne and many others who make spiritual connections.

Our second display recognizes the 45th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death that was August 5, 1962. Her sudden and tragic death at the young age of 36 has always raised discussion of shrouded secrets and controversy. The child named Norma Jean Baker didn’t know her father, and her mother was institutionalized. She lived in foster homes. The woman was a model, a starlet and then a Hollywood legend. She was labeled a sex goddess. These things combined made her a unique combination of vulnerability and sexuality. She is one of the most photographed women in history, thus making Marilyn Monroe without doubt one of the most easily recognized movie stars of the Hollywood glamour days.

“Hollywood is a place,” Marilyn Monroe once said, “where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough, and held out for the fifty cents.”

Our glass display case shows a colorful exhibit for the Lafayette Charter School. If you and your children are book readers, you will easily recognize familiar book characters inside like Clifford the Big Red Dog, Peef, the mouse from “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie,” Toot and Puddle, and even Olivia. Lafayette school is pre-K to 8th grade with small class sizes that lends itself to an old school feel. Their slogan is “Yesterday’s values and tomorrow’s technology.”

If you are interested in reading about psychic abilities, want to know more about Lafayette Charter School, or would like to look at Marilyn Monroe’s life in words and pictures, come in and browse our displays. The summer is hot and our library is cool; we are sure to have something of interest to peruse.

August 13, 2007

What a Summer!
Diane Zellmann, Children’s Librarian

The Children’s Room seems quiet these days.  Those 800 kids who participated in our Summer Reading Program are no longer here playing games, competing in contests, checking out books, and going bananas!  Most of them still come in periodically to check out another armload of books, but it’s not quite the same.  This summer was full of excitement.

One highlight was the record-setting number of kids (815) who registered for our program.  We congratulate all those kids who read books and their parents who helped make it possible for the kids to participate.

Another highlight was the Funky Monkey drawing contest.  Eighty-nine young artists entered the contest.  Their fabulous creations will be on display in the hallway by our new entrance through August 31.  Our judges struggled to choose twelve winners since all eighty-nine drawings are so imaginative. Come in and take a look!

Our vacationing monkeys were on the go all summer.  Kids in our program took these monkeys to sixteen different states (including Hawaii and Alaska) and three foreign countries (Scotland, South Africa, and Mexico).  The monkeys went to camps, tournaments, and races – from BMX, Supercross, and NASCAR to horse races.  They enjoyed several Minnesota lakes, a wedding, and even the birth of a baby girl.  You do not want to miss seeing the cool photographs of these kids and monkeys displayed on the wall outside the doorway to the Children’s Room through August 31.

Donations helped make our program possible.  We thank the local businesses of McDonald’s, Subway, Walgreens, Dairy Queen, and Casey’s for contributing prizes, treats, and awards.  The Minnesota Twins, Vikings, WILD, and Timberwolves provided an assortment of prizes too, and we thank them.

Park and Rec helped sponsor our camps, so we thank them.  We also thank the New Ulm Community Center for hosting four of our special events and the Friends of the Library for serving treats for our program’s kick-off.  Several individuals donated their time, items, or cash.  We sincerely thank all of these individuals.

Sometimes the people behind the scenes are not recognized, and so I say a special thank you to the staff of the NUPL for their extra efforts.  Their creativity and donations helped to create our own library jungle. 

Publicity for our events is vital to the success of our programs.  The Journal, KNUJ, New Ulm Telecom, Time Warner, and the city sign on Broadway did an excellent job of keeping everyone informed about what was going on at the library.  We appreciate their assistance and thank them for their extra efforts on our behalf.

Again, we congratulate all of our program participants, and we thank everyone who contributed in any way to help make our programs go bananas. We can hardly wait until summer 2008!

August 6, 2007

Fantastic Junior and Young Adult Fiction

Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

The final installment of Harry Potter has come out.  People are reading it now or have read it.  My husband and I buy two copies and I give one to my sister (who is waiting:  Patiently?, Anxiously?, or I’d like it now!  You choose) as soon as one of us is finished, which is why we hurry through them.  Yeah, right.  Reading Harry Potter is like eating potato chips; you just keep going.  A typical evening for us last weekend was silence except for questions ringing out like “Where are you now?” “Have you gotten to the part where…?” “What do you think about…?”  “Can you believe it?”  The answers of course were carefully couched as we often were in vastly different places and didn’t want to spoil anything for the other. 

So what’s next for fantasy readers?  I just picked up one by Anne Ursu, who is a Minnesota author.  “The Shadow Thieves” begins with Charlotte walking home from school and meeting a little white kitten.  She is so interested in the kitten she doesn’t know that she is under observation.  When her cousin suddenly comes to live with her under mysterious conditions, her classmates begin falling ill.  It is then that Charlotte and her cousin begin noticing that their classmates are missing their shadows.  The mystery is afoot and, believe it or not, the path leads to the Mall of America.  Normally who would know that there is a doorway in the mall that leads underground to the world of the Greek gods?  I thought this was well written, not too scary and gives the reader a nice introduction to mythology.

Another Minnesota author, Mary Janice Davidson, is keeping busy with several series.  Her young adult series “Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace“ is about a young girl who is beginning to go through adolescence and finds out that she is also turning into a dragon.  Talk about teenage angst.  While she is finding her way around high school, she is also navigating her new dragon world.  What else could go wrong?  Perhaps finding out that your neighbors are secret dragon hunters would not be a good thing.  Davidson writes this series with her husband.

Bruce Coville is a prolific children’s writer. I just read “The Monsters of Morley Manor” which is described as a madcap adventure. It was the first paragraph that pulled me in. “If Sarah hadn’t put the monkey in the bathtub, we might never had had to help the monsters get big. But she did, so we did, which, given the way things worked out, was probably just as well for everyone on the planet—especially the dead people.” This is enjoyably inventive with monsters—just add water, aliens—when did they get here?, and all sorts of twists and turns. There are laughs as well as tense situations as 12-year-old Anthony and his sister Sarah have to find a way to extricate themselves from the trouble they have gotten into and also maybe save the planet.

August 2, 2007

New Director @ the Library
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director

Larry Hlavsa (ha-lahv-sa), former director of the St. Helena (CA) Public Library, began work in New Ulm as our new director on August 1st. Larry spent six and one half years as director in St. Helena. Before that Larry spent three years as the technology coordinator for the federated library system office in the Twin Cities (MELSA).  Larry's earlier career was at the St. Paul Public Library where--at various times--he worked as a cataloging supervisor, bibliographer, technology coordinator, reference librarian and assistant branch librarian.

Larry is thrilled to be in New Ulm and looks forward to working with staff and the community to make the New Ulm Public Library the best it can be.

In his spare time Larry enjoys reading, fishing, golf, computers and writing.

Larry has purchased a home near Martin Luther College where he will reside with his three children; Lora, Jacob and Galen.

July 16, 2007

Changing Times @ the Library
Traci Juhala, Programming Services

Six months ago, when I still felt newly-arrived in this community, I wrote my library article about how taken I was with this slice of heaven: New Ulm and the surrounding area.  Now, six months later, I am taking the liberty of writing a follow-up to that.  It is an article of farewell, and of gratitude. 

I have decided to pursue a new direction for my professional life that requires me to return to school; I will be studying to become a music educator.  While this is an exciting turn of events, it signals the ending of my current employment with the City of New Ulm.  It also spells a physical departure from New Ulm, and my residence in Lafayette, as I will be returning to my homeland of North Dakota for school.

As I have watched the corn grow this summer, I have once again been completely amazed by the lushness and richness of this land.  Back home we say, “Knee high by the 4th of July,” but here, it’s something more akin to “Head high by the 4th of July.”  I think I could have just sat in my apartment, stared outside, and been entertained by the visible daily growth of the cornfield out my window.  I can’t imagine finding another place where the goodness of the earth is so evident. 

And that brings me to the goodness of this fair city, New Ulm.  Such a unique place – such a wealth of riches of another kind.  I have introduced several of my family and friends to New Ulm over the last year, and they have all been duly impressed with the beauty of this city, and of the culture embedded in it.  As much as I have promoted North Dakota to anyone who would listen during my stay here, I will now promote New Ulm to anyone who will listen back home.

And of course, people make the place, and thankfully, I have met some wonderful people here who make this place, in particular, hard to leave.  I would like to thank all who have made my experience here, both working at the library in New Ulm and living in Lafayette, a good one.  These kind, friendly, and generous folks know who they are, and I hope they also know how much they are appreciated.

When life brings its changes, there is always a part of me that resists.  But most of me rejoices in it, and I know that this community will rejoice in the upcoming changes at the library, too.  There will be some new names and new faces, but the library’s superb collection, services, and facility will stay the same, and after all, some constants in life are a good thing.  The comfort of those constants allows and encourages changes to be positive and hopeful, and that’s an even better thing.

So now I say farewell, and thank you.  I will always feel like a part of me remains here with you in New Ulm and Lafayette, and I will look forward to returning often to enjoy all that this area has to offer.  May you continue to prosper as a community.  Auf Wiedersehen!

July 9, 2007

She’s Back and He’s Coming Soon
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

It’s the summer of Plum and Potter.  If you are a reader you’ll know both of these names.  And if you know their names, you probably know that there is a new installment in each character’s book series.

She’s back and she’s brought her family with her.  “She” is Janet Evanovich’s bounty hunter character, Stephanie Plum.  As usual it is all there: the danger, Stephanie’s doomed vehicles, the laughs and yes, some explicit language. 

Without giving anything away, if you have read the series you have already made the acquaintance of these wacky characters.  Grandma Mazur is still attending funerals and meets a man in the Metamucil aisle who, winks at her, just before his toupee slides over his ear.  Could there be romance in the air?

Morelli is on a top-secret case, and he can’t even tell Stephanie about it.  Oh, like she won’t find out?  Meanwhile, Stephanie is doing some work for Ranger that involves her ex-husband, and when it involves Dickie, well, explosive is a word that comes to mind.  Lula is still dressing in fluorescent colored clothing two sizes too small and wants to ride ‘shotgun’ with Stephanie, if they get to stop for donuts first. 

Always in need of money, Stephanie needs to track down people who have failed to appear in court and meets a guy who does taxidermy on road kill.  This is just something you have to read about to appreciate.  Add in Stephanie’s ex-husband’s girlfriend who is her archenemy, lots of money and the let the adventures begin.

Potter, of course, refers to Harry Potter.  There are only a few days until the latest and last Harry Potter book comes out.  All of our questions will be answered concerning Harry, Ron and Hermione.  One question I really have is this: is Snape good or is Snape bad?  Another question is what about Dumbledore…is he really gone?  Neville has always been a puzzle, does he have a bigger part to play than we suspect?  So it’ll be interesting to find out how it all fits together.

If you are interested in Harry Potter, maybe our Harry Potter Trivia Contest for ages five to eighteen will appeal to you.  Check out the Children’s Room during July 16 through the 20th between 9:30 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. if you are up for the challenge. 

And put your name down for a hold if you want to read either of these books; we have multiple copies.  If those don’t appeal, come in and browse our shelves; there is bound to be something for everyone at the library.  

July 2, 2007

Discovering ELM @ Your Library
Traci Juhala, Programming Services

Summer is a great time to sit back, enjoy the beautiful weather, and contemplate life.  During your next session of contemplation, I encourage you to take a few moments to consider how often you take advantage of ELM, (Electronic Library for Minnesota) which is accessible by way of the library’s Web site.  ELM is a collection of online databases available to all Minnesotans who have library cards.  But, you might assume that unless you are a student, or a business person doing research, you don’t need the library’s online databases.  But I ask: Have you bought an appliance?  How about a digital camera?  Tires?  A mattress?  Well, if you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ll want to learn more about the library’s online databases.

Consumer Reports is a well-respected magazine that provides consumer advice on just about anything you can buy.  You may have looked at it in the past, but did you know that it can be accessed online, from your own home, with just your library card in hand?  If you have Internet access, you can search all issues of Consumer Reports going back to 1985, and read full-text articles from 1991 onwards.  What a great resource!  I used it before I bought new tires, before I got a new TV, and before I bought a new computer.  I encourage all consumers to take advantage of this and other consumer resources available through the library.

Even if you aren’t planning any big purchases this year, you still might like to use ELM.  Through ELM you have access to national newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and to regional ones like the Star Tribune; you can search for health information in the EBSCO databases, and do market research or find company profiles.  You can also read e-books in ELM, or search biographies, or use Spanish language resources.  And there are special resources just for young people, too.  ELM has a myriad of information opportunities waiting for you, and it’s accessible with just the click of a mouse.  So contemplate your options this summer, and take a moment to discover the world of ELM.

June 25, 2007

Attention Car Buffs!
Linda Lindquist, Reference Librarian

Baby boomers, and other car lovers, have you noticed all the older vintage automobiles out on the roads lately?  And how about all the car shows that feature classic cars?

It’s that time of year again when car enthusiasts get all their “old” cars out of the garage or storage and put them on display for the rest of us to enjoy.  (And they really do enjoy showing them off.)  Car shows are popping up all over.  The Minnesota Street Rod Association just had their 34th Annual Back to the Fifties car show in the Twin Cities.  Sauerkraut Days celebration at Henderson, MN, and New Ulm’s Autofest were both held this past weekend as well.   Classic and vintage automobiles are featured at all of these shows.

Not all the vehicles at the car shows are in perfect condition.  Some still have blemishes and are in the process of being restored.  Most cars are in mint condition.  Many long hours of hard work and labor go into finding just the right part(s) to restore cars to their original state.  Many more hours of polishing and waxing then make them shine probably better than when they were new. 

Car shows bring back the ‘retro’ feeling.  Looking at all the different makes of cars such as Chevrolets, Fords, Studebakers, Cadillacs, etc. takes a person back to the Fifties.  As you stroll around looking at all the cars that have been restored and listening to the music (there usually seems to be Fifties music playing in the background), nostalgia sets in.  You can picture yourself driving up and down Main Street on a Friday or Saturday evening with your best friends and stopping at the local hamburger joint for a burger and a coke. 

I could go on forever, but enough about reminiscing.  Several books in the 629’s at the New Ulm Public Library are about ‘Retro’ cars and muscle cars.  One is entitled “Cars: American Retro” and another is entitled “Fabulous Fins of the Fifties” by Rob Leicister Wagner.  If nothing else, they are fun to look at and say, “Hey, my family had one just like that when I was growing up.”  Maybe you are interested in older cars other than the Fifties.  We have books on really old vintage cars that are very interesting as well.  And pickup lovers don’t dispair, we have a book entitled “Pickups: Classic American Trucks” by Harry Moses for your enjoyment.  These books and others are on display in the Reference area at the New Ulm Public Library.

The cars today seem to be more compact and economical.   Oh those glorious, gas-guzzling monsters of yesteryear, where have they gone?

June 18, 2007

What’s a Read-a-Thon?
Diane Zellmann, Children’s Librarian

The New Ulm Public Library is having a Dawn-to-Dusk Read-a-Thon on Thursday, June 21, 2007.  We are celebrating the first day of summer and the longest day of the year.  Everyone from ages one to 100 is invited to attend.  If you have never attended a read-a-thon, you really should try it.  Many people tried it last year and had a good time

Here’s how it works.  Come to the front lawn of the library any time between 6:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M.  Bring a book along with you, or stop in the Library to check one out.  Register at our registration table, find a place to sit, read, keep track of the number of pages you read, and report that number to the person at the registration table before you leave.  It’s that easy!

Since people of all ages are invited, you will see moms and dads, babies and pre-readers who are listening to someone else read, grandmas and grandpas, your neighbors, and maybe even the Mayor of New Ulm!  Last year was a nearly perfect day, and a few resilient readers stayed almost all day.  Some even brought their own lawn chairs! 

If you read between 6:00 and 7:00 A.M., we will give you a free breakfast.  During the rest of the day, we will provide water for you to drink.

We will have chairs and blankets for you to sit on, but if you prefer to bring your own, that’s fine too. 

You can stay and read however long you want.  Some people stay 10 minutes, and others stay for hours. 

This is our second annual Dawn-to-Dusk Read-a-Thon.  Last year we read 5,348 pages.  Our goal is to exceed that number this year. 

Now you know what a read-a-thon is.  We hope you can join us, help us reach our goal, and take time to greet the summer solstice.  What could be better than sitting in the shade and reading a good book? 

June 11, 2007

Monkeys, Accordions and Frank
Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions

June finds us running amuck in monkeys as we “Go Bananas at our Library” for the Summer Reading Program.  It is also International Accordion Awareness Month and the anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday.

The library takes over the June display case to feature our Summer Reading Program: Go Bananas at Your Library.  You’ll notice that it’s a jungle in there, and outside the display case as well, as monkeys and banana trees dominate the building to provide a welcoming setting for kids of all ages to continue reading during their summer vacation. 

One of our book displays reveals that June is International Accordion Awareness Month, which seems very appropriate to celebrate in New Ulm.  It was created to increase public awareness of this multicultural instrument and how it has influenced today’s music.  An accordion can emulate anything from a pipe organ to a harmonica.  And it has traveled the globe with sailors, explorers and traders sending music throughout the world.  Our display has accordion music on CDs as well as books featuring Lawrence Welk and Whoopee John Wilfahrt. 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth anniversary is June 8, 1867, and we have books and DVDs in this display.  He remains America’s most famous architect due to his individual style and long career spanning the years from 1887 to 1959.  He practiced organic architecture, which evolves naturally out of the building and its relationship to its site.  In rocky areas he would use cinder block, in wooded areas, wood, and in desert homes, stone.  He embraced glass in his designs and incorporated glass in many designs to allow for the interaction and view of the outdoors to come inside.  Wright wrote: “No house should ever be on any hill or on anything.  It should be of the hill, belonging to it, so hill and house could live together each the happier for the other.”  He died April 9, 1959.

Amuse yourself this summer in our rainforest of monkeys and also learn more about accordions and architecture at the library.  

June 4, 2007

Enjoying Summer at the Library
Traci Juhala, Programming Services

Last week you heard that the children of New Ulm are planning to “Go Bananas” during their Summer Reading Program.  This may have led you to ask: What will the teens and adults be doing this summer then?  The answer won’t disappoint you.

The teens of New Ulm are going to “Go Wild.”  This phrase represents the theme for their Summer Reading program.  The teen program is less structured than the children’s program, more of an independent activity, and teens can sign up anytime after June 4 until July 13.  The Teen Book Club is reading “Across Five Aprils” by Irene Hunt as their first book this summer.  This book of historical fiction takes place during the civil war.  Check the Web page for details about their next meeting.  The big teen event of the summer is Game Night, and it’s happening this week.  On Friday, June 8, from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m., the teens of New Ulm can gather at the library for a free evening of fun.  We’ll have DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), Apples to Apples, Cranium, Twister, and more.  Sign-up begins at 6:15, and ends at 6:45 when the doors will be locked. 

Adults will be having plenty of fun this summer, too.  The first chance for excitement is this Saturday, June 9.  At 10:30 a.m. there will be a Baroque dance exhibition.  Visiting ballet dancer, Carly Schaub, will be performing two pieces of Baroque dance to solo cello accompaniment.  This event is free to the public and will take place in the library’s atrium. 

Later in the month, on Monday, June 18, at 6:30 in the evening, Chad Lewis will be speaking at the library.  Chad is the co-author of the book, “The Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations.”  He has studied many types of supernatural phenomena, including the Loch Ness Monster, so whether you are an avid fan of the supernatural, or you just want a little scare, don’t miss Chad’s presentation.  This event is also free to the public.

To keep track of all of these events and more, remember to check out our library’s Web page.  We’ve revamped it and added a feedback form.  So, if you are up late some night and you think of a question, or you want more information about a program, click on our feedback form, and we’ll be able to get back to you electronically.  Our address is

Summer is a great time to relax, unwind, and have fun.  Why not include the library on your list of ways to enjoy summer?  We’ll be looking forward to seeing you.     

May 28, 2007

Kids Go Bananas at the Library
Diane Zellmann, Children’s Librarian

All who enter the Children’s Room this summer will find palm trees, hanging vines, lions, tigers, snakes, and lots of monkeys everywhere.  Yes, it’s a jungle in there!  Go Bananas at Your Library is the theme for our summer reading program.

We invite all kids from ages 1 to 13 to sign up for this free reading program and earn prizes for reaching reading goals.  Brochures explaining the program are available at the Library, and the information is also included on our website at  Registration begins on Monday, June 4.  We’re even offering free banana splits for all who register before 3:00 PM on that day.  (Sorry, parents don’t qualify.)

The goal of this program is for kids to read for 30 minutes a day for 25 days between June 4 and August 7.  The pre-readers (AKA read-to-me’s) need to just listen to books read to them for about 20 minutes a day for 25 days.

Kids should come to the Library and sign up; they will receive a bookmark that they use to keep track of the days when they read.  Kids earn a prize after reading for five different days (or listening for the read-to-me’s), and all who complete the program will be eligible to win 1 of 10 grand prizes.

We have additional activities that kids will go bananas over.  On Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:00 A.M., storytimes will entertain kids from ages 3 to 8; people of all ages who enjoy stories are welcome.  We have four Go Bananas! Camps for kids of ages 8 to 13.  And, anyone who is going on vacation can check out one of our spunky monkeys and take it along.   

Kids can have more fun than a barrel of monkeys every day at the Library.  Our Ha Ha Ha Scavenger Hunt will have kids laughing out loud.  They can complete a special Craft with A-Peel each week or try to match the animal parts featured on our bulletin board with the correct animal.

For those who like to compete we have several contests.  Kids can earn points playing the Banana Toss or Jungle Jeopardy games.  They can guess how many peanuts are in our monkey jar or guess where Gladys the gorilla is.  Kids can also draw a Funky Monkey and enter our drawing contest.  Harry Potter fans who are anxiously awaiting the last book won’t want to miss our Harry Potter trivia contest in July.

Our five special events this summer should be great fun.  Our first event happens on June 14 when Shari the ventriloquist brings her puppet friends to New Ulm.  Our second annual Dawn-to-Dusk Read-a-Thon will involve readers of all ages as we count how many pages we can all read on June 21.  Let’s try to read more pages than we did last year!  In July the Zoo Man is bringing live animals, and Wendy is bringing her guitar to teach us some songs about the rain forest.  The puppies will be performing in August.  Our brochure and website give dates, times, locations, and more information.

Our library wants to partner with parents and teachers to make sure that every child reads well and reads often.  Reading is the foundation for all learning, and we hope to help make it fun.  Research shows that children who don’t read in the summer may lose some of the reading progress they worked hard to achieve during the school year.  Parents play a major role by making it possible for kids to sign up and by encouraging them to attain their goal.  So come to the Library this summer and go bananas!

May 21, 2007

From Golden Books to Today
Betty Roiger, Acquisitions Librarian

Okay.  If you LOVE books, does it matter if it takes you five minutes to read or two days?  I’d have to say, “No.”  Normally I recommend books from fiction that I’ve read and enjoyed.  However, I do haunt the junior books, young adult and picture books as well.  Since I grew up reading those little golden books as a kid, it is amazing to me that there are still so many new and different and wonderful children’s books being published.   

I guess what I am asking is, “Do you have five minutes?”  Check out a Caldecott Honor award picture book called “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems.

First of all, the drawings are like something a 5-year-old might draw.  The pigeon’s body is a half circle on its side, his head is a circle and he has line stick legs.  I find the pigeon particularly humorous just as a drawing.  His eye will tip upwards and back as he tries to con the reader into letting him drive the bus, as if he is thinking very hard.  No doubt about it; this pigeon is up to something.   

Now the text is deceptively simple.  The pigeon asks, “Can I drive the bus?” right after the bus driver has warned the reader not to let him drive.  The pigeon wheedles, “Please?”, feathers together in prayer.  Now comes a progressively hilarious barrage of familiar kid phrases we have heard.  “I’ll be careful,” and “I never get to do anything!”  And he doesn’t leave out: “C’mon! Just once …!” “What’s the big deal?” and “No fair!”

I recently read an article interviewing the author, Mo Willems.  He said some interesting things like, “In a lot of popular kids’ culture, there’s a tendency to say things like ‘everyone can be number one’ which is statistically impossible.“  He also said “The difference between children and adults is that they’re shorter—not dumber.”  In his work, he likes to entertain, to make kids laugh; that’s when he feels like he is on the right track.  He tries to make his drawings simple and raw so that children could copy them if they wanted to.  I liked it when he said, “Failure is pervasive in children’s lives, but I don’t know when it stopped being funny.  It needs to be explored and enjoyed and laughed at and understood.”

I thought he made some good points in his interview and he knows how to leaven frustration with humor.  Read something by Mo Willems and you’ll see how he lets kids know it is okay to fall short and laugh about it at the same time.  I loved this book when I first read it.  I just read it again and it is still as funny, still as enjoyable.  I love it all over again.

And if the pigeon books aren’t on the shelf, you might want to check out some other laughable and lovable fowl who star in “Friday Night at Hodges’ Café,” “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type,” and our newest: “Duck at the Door.”   

May 14, 2007

How Does Your Garden Grow
Linda Lindquist, Reference Librarian

It’s springtime, and everything has such rich, deep coloring.  Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and vegetables are starting to peek out of the ground (if you are lucky enough to have your garden planted).

I am always amazed at how people know what to put where in a flower garden.  I have a hard time visualizing what colors or what plants will look good next to each other.  And I really have a hard time figuring out how short or tall certain flowers or plants will be when fully grown.  I guess that is why people write garden and flowering books, for individuals like me.

I enjoy looking at gardening books.  There is always so much information and so many beautiful pictures to look at to give you ideas and inspiration for your garden.  Gardens can be a large space in the country or a small plot in the city.  You want your garden to be beautiful and easy to maintain.  Many gardening books contain information on laborsaving methods for tackling routine tasks so you can enjoy your garden and not just work in it.

And men don’t despair.  There are books on gardening written just for you.  Gardening fulfills an important niche in the lives of many men.  Some like to provide food for their families, some like to just dig around in the dirt, some like to create works of art out of “junk”, and still others like to make their gardens an outdoor room that they really enjoy being in.

Whether you are an amateur, a master gardener, or in between, we have many books at the New Ulm Public Library to help you answer your gardening questions.  And if we don’t have the book you are looking for, we will try to borrow it from another library for you.  The next time you have a gardening question, stop in or call the New Ulm Public Library and we will be happy to help you. 

May 7, 2007

Get Caught Reading
Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions

This May we celebrate moms, investigate Sherlock Holmes and invite you to ‘get caught reading.’

In the spirit of solving mysteries, what do library users have in common?  We like to read.  We all have had mothers.  Combining these two ideas brings us to our first display for May called Mother Knows Best.  One book by Allison Pearson called “I Don’t Know How She Does It” is in this display.  It is about a mother of a five-year-old girl and a year-old boy, who lives in a trendy house and has a husband who earns less than she does as she moves up the ladder at an aggressive brokerage firm. With laugh-out-loud moments as well as tender ones, this book is all about women juggling their lives in today’s world.

While you are browsing the books, you might want to enjoy some of the quotes above this display like: “You know you’re a mother when…you hope ketchup is a vegetable, since it’s the only one your child eats.”  And “My mother loved children—she would have given anything if I had been one,” by Groucho Marx; or “The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one,” by Jill Churchill. 

Our second display honors Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who created one of our greatest literary detectives named Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson.  Here you will find books by Doyle as well as other authors who have taken on the task of writing mysteries involving the great detective.  Some have even written more about Irene Adler like the one called “Spider Dance: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes.”  A Minnesota author, Larry Millett, has written a series involving Sherlock Holmes, and author Laurie King has a character named Mary Russell who encounters Holmes in retirement raising bees, and there they begin their association and collaboration to solve mysteries.

If Sherlock would turn his magnifying glass to the calendar, May is also Get Caught Reading Month.  This month our glass display case houses unidentified books and objects that the staff have gathered together.  Some of the books are our old favorites and some are books that have captured our interest and curiosity.  The objects reflect and enhance these books. For example, next to an Emily Loring book there is a broach.  I think you will find that staff interests are as varied as the facets of this jewelry.  Later in the month we will feature a contest where you can put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and try to figure out which staff person goes to which book.  There will be a prize for this that will remain a mystery until the time comes.

Visit the library and get caught reading about moms or mysteries or whatever grabs your attention.

April 30, 2007

Putting a Spring in Your Step
Traci Juhala, Programming Services

Springtime in the north is such a beautiful thing.  In a matter of weeks, sometimes days, it’s like the whole world is reborn.  The sun seems to have gained new strength over the long winter as it warms up our surroundings.  Green starts appearing on our lawns and golf courses, and then the trees bloom with color.  Bugs start crawling out from their winter hiding places.  Birds chatter joyously at early hours of the morning.  And we people start bringing out all of our summertime gadgets and props.  The bicycles are unearthed from the garages, the lawnmowers are fueled up, and boats of all kinds start making their appearances in driveways and on the highways. 

As we all partake in these wonderful springtime rituals of rejoicing and renewal outdoors, it’s a nice time to think about inner renewal, too.  And that’s where your library wants to be of service.  Have you always wanted to try quilting?  Now’s the moment – seize the day!  We have books to help you get started.  Do you want to learn more about yoga?  Golf?  We have videos and books on that, too.  Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen?  We’ve got stuff on that, as well.  There are so many new hobbies to try, so many skills to learn, so many new thoughts to explore.  And your library is a place where you can try these ideas on for size, risk-free and without judgment. 

The library wants to share new ideas with the community through not only our books, but our displays and programming, too.  Last month, which was National Poetry Month, a group of local teens and a couple chaperones got together at the library one evening for a Poetry Reading.  It was a great event, and we all had a wonderful time.  What better way to think about new ideas and rethink old ones than to spend an evening listening to poetry?  Not your cup of tea, then what about Ride Your Bike to Work Week?  May is host to a multitude of unique celebrations: National Barbecue Month, National Hamburger Month, National Salad Month, Older Americans Month, Date Your Mate Month, National Blood Pressure Month, and National Photography Month.  To help celebrate the latter, we are having one of our Meet the Experts sessions on digital photography.  Dan Braam and Dale Bohlke of CANU will be at the library on the evening of May 7th to suggest how best to use a digital camera.  And our displays for the month are intended to make you stop and take a look at topics you might otherwise pass by.

So as you’re brushing off the summer gear and getting ready to head out to your favorite warm-weather activities, take a minute to think about adding some new dimensions to your life.  Explore the possibilities at your library, and you just might add a little extra spring to your step this season.

April 23, 2007

What’s New in April
Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions

April is trying to decide whether to be warm and sunny or cold and damp.  Meanwhile our April displays are up.  The glass case is filled.  And publishers are gearing up to get some of your favorite authors’ new books out this spring.

Jazz Appreciation Month takes place in April.  One of our displays is called All That Jazz and features books and CDs involving jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald.  Riverbend ALC student artwork is housed in the glass display case.  Inside there are drawings and wire and wooden sculptures to examine and view.  Some have brief explanations behind their inspiration.  The names on each piece of art evoke interesting ideas as well.  One is named Ugliness and most folks who have commented on it find it anything but ugly. 

Our second display got its start last month when I got a call from Crime Victim Services asking if we were doing a display for National Child Abuse Prevention Month or National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.  I had been just about to research what our displays would be so I told them that I would see if I had enough materials to fill a display and get back to them.  And that is how our National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month display came together.  They also generously donated pamphlets and stickers and ribbon pins that we have at the circulation desk to give away to patrons.  Come in and get a ribbon and look at the titles we have featured here.

I’m also here to tell you what is on the horizon book-wise.  Yes, Janet Evanovich has a new book coming out, kids.  “Lean Mean Thirteen” is due out in June.  Get your request in now!  “Plum Lovin’ ” is out currently; it is a ‘between the numbers’ Stephanie Plum novel.  And we also have “Janet Evanovich’s How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author” if you want to take a look behind the books.  You can get an idea of how Janet comes up with Stephanie’s misadventures and how she thinks up characters like Grandma Mazur and Lula and Ranger.

Other popular authors also have new books arriving this spring.  Alexander McCall Smith has “Good Husband of Zebra Drive” coming out; David Baldacci has a new one called “Simple Genius,” and “6th Target” by James Patterson will be out in May.  Any quilters out there may want to place a hold for Earlene Fowler’s new one, “Tumbling Blocks,” also due in May.  John Sandiford’s newest called “Invisible Prey” debuts in May and is also his 17th novel with detective Lucas Davenport. 

Even though April can’t make up its mind whether to be hot or cold, you can make any selection you want at the library.  Come in and look at our artwork and our displays, and get your name on one of the many upcoming bestsellers. 

April 16, 2007

Children’s News (or) Spring into the Library
Diane Zellmann, Children’s Librarian

Spring is in the air and all kinds of interesting things are happening in the Children’s department of the Library.  We have some special art displays and some special guests for Storytime.

Have you seen the colorful assortment of kites on the windows of the Library facing Broadway?  The Brown County Day Care Providers have put up these kites made by the children in their care.  Their theme is Child Care – Where Good Stuff Happens.  These kites are definitely “good stuff,” and they just might inspire a few of us to get out our kite one of these nice spring days.

On April 18 the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be holding its annual poster contest called “Roadsides Are for the Birds.”  The DNR holds this contest each spring to help educate students and the public about the growing importance of roadside habitat for many species of grassland songbirds, game birds, and other farmland wildlife.  As wildlife habitat continues to disappear, roadsides play a vital role as a nesting habitat. 

Students in grades 7 and 8 from throughout Minnesota participate by sending in their entries.  From April 19 through April 27, we will display the top 40 winning posters in our library’s new entrance hallway. 

We encourage you to stop in and take a look at these posters.  You will enjoy the artwork, and you may even learn something.  Later this year the winning entries will be on display at the Minnesota Deer Classic and Sports Show in St. Paul.  The top three grand prize winners will have their posters on display at the Minnesota State Fair in the DNR building.

For two weeks, starting on April 16 and ending April 26, we will have special guests conducting Storytime here at the Library.  Twenty-seven Martin Luther College students who are enrolled in Professor Cheryl Loomis’s Emergent Literacy class will be putting their learning into practice.  In groups of two to five, students will plan, prepare, and carry out a Storytime session.  This should prove to be a worthwhile learning experience for the college students, and the children who attend Storytime will benefit from meeting new people who wish to share books, songs, and other activities with them.

So, whether you are enjoying the kites, learning about roadside habitats, attending Storytime, or simply obtaining that book you need, we hope that your visits to the Library this spring will be worthwhile.  

April 9, 2007

National Library Week
Traci Juhala, Programming Services

Next week marks the annual celebration of libraries, what the American Library Association calls “National Library Week.”  It is that one week each year when every library gets the green light to celebrate itself and to encourage community members to come into the library to see what it has to offer them. 

This year the National Library Week theme is “Come Together.”  Many of you probably recognize this phrase as a Beatles song, and if you stop up in the library’s reference area, you’ll find a display of books featuring the Beatles.  But that’s as far as the connection with the Beatles goes, except maybe for one line from the song that states, “One thing I can tell you is you got to be free.”  Libraries really are one of those last free places, where you are free to come and go, free to sit and read, free to borrow books as long as you bring them back, free to use computers to surf the Internet, and free to explore worlds that might only be available to you through the ideas of others.  For those of you saying, “Hey, wait a minute, I pay for the library through taxes,” you’re absolutely right.  Your taxes do indeed support your library.  But what makes libraries great is that they are a community effort.  My tax dollars alone do little, but when they are combined with everyone else’s, and when we come together with our various ideas, we make a library.  If you haven’t been in your library lately, you’d be amazed by what is available to you.  A library is an incredible resource, and if you are wanting to find out more about what your library has to offer, National Library Week is a great time to check it out.

Throughout the whole of next week, the library is providing a variety of activities, speakers, or performers in the hope of stimulating community interest.  To kick off the week, we are having a slightly early celebration by hosting a Teen Poetry Night on Friday, April 13.  This teens-only event is after library hours, so the doors will be locked, and only teens and chaperones will be admitted inside.  Once inside the safety of the library, teen poets and readers will be invited to share their favorite poems.   

Then, during the week of April 15, the library will host a music performance, a brown-bag lunch with an experienced world traveler, language experts who will teach basic words in various languages, and an embroidery display.  For details, check out our Web page at

Small children come to libraries to be read to at story times or to look at picture books.  Older kids might come to read or use computers.  Students come to libraries to study and do research.  Teens might come to get their favorite author’s latest release, explore new horizons, or just to hang out.  And adults might come to find a good book to read, relax with a newspaper, or find answers to life’s insistent questions.  At various times in our lives, we fill all of these roles, and libraries are always there.  Libraries can be places of solitude or gathering.  They can be places of learning or discovery.  They can provide materials to help solve dilemmas, or escape them.   Whatever the reason for being there, everyone is welcome at the library.  So celebrate National Library Week this year.  Come together – come to your library.

April 2, 2007

Got Income Tax?
Linda Lindquist, Reference Librarian

Got Income Tax?  April 15 is fast approaching and all of us know what that means; we have to have our income tax forms and payments stamped by that date or face the consequences.  And we actually get an extra day this year because April 15 falls on a Sunday.   

The Minnesota Department of Revenue is anticipating a record number of persons filing income taxes electronically this year.  Last year nearly 66 percent of taxpayers filed electronically.  This year more than 70 percent  are expecting to e-file taxes.   

Many taxpayers qualify to file taxes for free.  In general, persons who meet the following requirements can e-file taxes free: 

*had an adjusted gross income of between $0 and $30,000, or qualified for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, or
*were active-duty members of the military with adjusted gross incomes of less than $52,000, or
*were 25 years old or younger with adjusted gross incomes of less than $52,000, or
*were 65 years old or older with adjusted gross incomes of less than $52,000. 

To see if you qualify for free e-filing, visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue Web site at  If you do not qualify for filing free, you will find links to state-approved low-cost e-filing options.  Start with this website before filing your federal or state income tax returns. 

Benefits of e-filing include ease, convenience, accuracy, and possible saving of money for the taxpayer.  The software programs guide the filer through a question-and-answer process that makes the process so simple that taxpayers can do it themselves without using a professional tax preparer.   

If you don’t feel comfortable doing your taxes on line, you can always fill out the paper copy.  If you do not have all the forms you need for filing your income taxes, the New Ulm Library has forms in the lobby that you may come in and pick up for free.  If you don’t find the form on the tables in the lobby, come up to the Reference desk and we will be happy to find the form for you on the Internet and print it off for you.    

Once again, be sure to check out the Minnesota Department of Revenue website at or call them at (651) 297-3724.  The Department of Revenue also has a taxpayer assistance telephone number (651) 296-3781 to help answer tax questions.

March 26, 2007

Nineteen Minutes
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

Jodi Picoult has a new book out called “Nineteen Minutes.”  It is about things that can happen in nineteen minutes: mowing the lawn, eating a sandwich, or even something desperate.  The event in particular that she addresses that takes place in nineteen minutes is a Columbine-type school shooting incident. 

I like Jodi Picoult as an author, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this one.  So I just thought I would read a little and see how it went.  I read it all.  If you have never read a Jodi Picoult book, you are in for a treat; she just sucks you into her narrative. 

I guess what I like about her is that she humanizes all of the characters from the teenager who ‘goes postal’ to the other teenagers who have bullied him for years.  You see the parents and the choices they make and how whether the choice is right or wrong, they are just doing the best that they can.  You follow the judge and the first policeman on the scene and the attorneys.  Picoult lets you see inside people who are bullied or who have watched others being bullied, how the parents of children who are bullied feel and react, and how and why the bullies act the way they do.   And you can relate to all of the points of view.  It makes a strong statement about the way our society works, how groups are accepted and how bullying isolates and has repercussions, sometimes for years.  Please place a hold if you would like to read “Nineteen Minutes.”  Some of her other titles are on the display called Spend ‘Nineteen Minutes’ with Jodi Picoult and like I said, she’s a very good author.  We can’t seem to keep her books on the shelf.

Our other display is Live in the Moment, and it celebrates Spiritual Wellness Month.  One book on display here is Oprah’s first book club choice for 2007 called “Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography” by Sidney Poitier.  Poitier credits his parents with the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of his self-worth and faith.  We also have many other titles relating to spirituality.

We even have some affirmations up like “I can handle anything that comes up today...even if it is only for a moment at a time.” and “The world cannot change overnight, nor can I.  Just one step at a time, one day at a time, I am exactly where I need to be to get exactly where I am going.”  One of my favorites for when you are down in the dumps is “This, too, shall pass.”  Sometimes it is hard to realize that things are happening for a reason, and we have some books on display here that hopefully can offer some different perceptions, or shared experiences or timely advice.

So if you have a few minutes, maybe even nineteen, check out one of Jodi Picoult’s books or read a few affirmations and nurture your inner spirit. 

March 19, 2007

Movie Star, Award-Winning Author, and New Ulm Native @ the Library
Traci Juhala, Programming Services

On Saturday afternoon, area residents will have the opportunity to listen to a woman who is living a full and fascinating life.  Kathryn Adams Doty was born in New Ulm at Loretta Hospital in 1920.  At the age of 6, her father, Christian Hohn, a Methodist minister in New Ulm, moved the family to Missouri to run an orphanage.  The following two years of experience are what inspired Ms. Doty to write her most recent novel, “Wild Orphan.”  It is this novel that will be featured during Ms. Doty’s appearance at the New Ulm Public Library this Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

Even though Ms. Doty’s experiences in Missouri were so poignant, her life was only just beginning.  Kathryn Adams Doty was a student at Hamline University in St. Paul when she was called to Hollywood.   She won the “Gateway to Hollywood” talent contest in 1939, and she went on to star in 25 films.  She married Hugh Beaumont (of “Leave It To Beaver” fame) and raised three children with him.  They divorced amicably in the early ‘70s.  She returned to Minnesota in 1977.  After her acting career, Ms. Doty went on to teach, and then earn a master’s degree in psychology, eventually becoming a practicing psychologist.  She married retired minister and fellow psychologist Fred Doty, with whom she now lives here in Minnesota.  After retiring from her psychology career, Ms. Doty began her writing career.  

Ms. Doty’s first novel, A Long Year of Silence, is set in New Ulm during World War I.  Published in 2004, this novel follows the experiences of a 16-year old German-American minister’s daughter.  A Long Year of Silence was chosen for the citywide read last year, and many local residents have enjoyed it.  The novel was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award and it won the Midwest Independent Publisher’s Award. 

Kathryn Adams Doty’s latest book will be coming out soon.  This book entitled “Becoming the Mother of Me” is her memoir.  She will be providing an introduction to this new book on Saturday.

I met Kathryn Adams Doty for the first time last week, and I found her warm, charming, and very interesting.  She will undoubtedly be a wonderful speaker, and she will appeal to all ages.  I encourage the community to come to the library on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. to hear this New Ulm native who has had such a variety of experiences, and who chooses to share them.  And she says that she just loves New Ulm!

March 12, 2007

Small Visitors
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

We have small individuals who visit our library and enrich our lives everyday.  Some we get to know better than others, but they all provide bright spots and lively conversation if we stop to listen.

Let me tell you about some of the children who visit the library.  I was by the circulation desk the other day, and a young mother was getting her two children ready to leave the building.  Her little girl struck up a conversation with me.  She said, “ Please take good care of my books while I’m gone.”  Her mom explained that her daughter pretended that this was her library and these were her books.  I told her very seriously that I would do my best to take care of them.  Very solemnly she responded, “Thank you very much.”

Last night while her mom checked out books, Maddie was helping her little brother get a drink.  She was balancing him on her knee and trying to turn the fountain on, so I asked if I could help.  I held her brother while she pushed the water button.  Together we managed to get all three of us wet, and fortunately Mom was okay with that.  Maddie and I agreed that when it came to getting drinks, we would stick with straws in the future.

The other day as I walked down the stairs from the Children’s Room behind a young boy, (He was bouncing; I wasn’t.) he said over his shoulder, “Have you seen the squirrel?  And the birds?”  I said I hadn’t and we both stopped by the window to look outside at the feeder and the wildlife that were gathered around.  When the addition was being made, we didn’t foresee that these windows would be so well attended.

In honor of that and the huge snowfall, off work time we built a snowman to entertain the children.  Several of us donated a hat, a scarf, coal, and a carrot.  Believe me, the carrot was harder to come by than the other things now that everyone eats those mini carrots, but we got a large carrot as well.  Kids were pounding on the windows and saying: “Look at the snowman!”  He seems to be a popular addition to the birdfeeder area.  Bubba Jo has already been suggested as a name for him and a contest has begun so that children can make guesses as to when he will melt away.

Children add a wonderful perspective to the library atmosphere, and we try to keep things interesting for them.  There are also some fun library books about snowmen; one is called “The Fattest, Tallest, Biggest Snowman Ever,” which sort of sums up our snowman minus the tallest part.   

March 5, 2007

Cabin Fever
Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions

It’s easy to get cabin fever this time of year.  So even though it was sub zero cold, we ventured out.  Maybe it has just been a while and maybe I was just sensitive to listening to what people were saying to me.  Have you had this experience in a store?  You are at the counter buying your purchases and the clerk asks you if you have their credit card.  You say “Yes, I’m not using it today,” because if you say no, they try to get you to apply for one.  It is very robotic.  Next store, next counter, and next clerk all ask the same question.

Then we went to a movie as well.  The young girl there asked if we wanted a large pop for a quarter more because we could get refills.  Yeah well, if I had a giant bladder I would get a large pop.  But no thank you since I don’t want to leave the theater during the movie because that cup holds more than I do.  Then you move on and the next person is being asked if they would like a large pop for a quarter more.

What’s my point?  My point is: Welcome to the library.  We’re not selling you anything.  If you get a library card and return materials on time, we’re free.  If you are checking out two romances, we won’t try to slip you a mystery.  If you like dragons and unicorns, we won’t push the latest book on Iraq into your stack.  If you have three books about politics, we won’t try to slide in a book on crop circles and psychic phenomenon.  And if you want to stop and talk about your favorite author, that is fine with us; it is also okay not to talk about anything.  Ask us what we are reading and we’ll tell you; we might even be reading the same author.    

I understand that sometimes there is a repetitive quality about any work.  We’ve all dialed a number and gotten the voice that says, “Press one for this” and “Press two for that.”  We really try not to be robotic here at the library, even though there are some days when it is so busy that it seems very cyclic.  Just know we aren’t trying to sell you anything.  We want you to come in and browse at your own pace and in your own time and find what you want.  If we can help you locate something, we will try our best.  And if you don’t find what you want, well, don’t press one on your phone; just ask a librarian. 

February 26, 2007

Award Winners
Diane Zellmann, Children’s Librarian

In the entertainment world, the Grammys, Golden Globes, and Oscars are highly coveted awards.  In the world of children’s books, no two awards are more prestigious than the Newbery and the Caldecott.

Each year the American Library Association awards the Newbery Medal for the most distinguished American children's book published during the previous year.  This medal, first awarded in 1922, became the first children's book award in the world.

The 2007 Newbery Medal goes to “The Higher Power of Lucky,” written by Susan Patron.  In this adventure story, you will meet Lucky, a ten-year-old girl who’s full of personality, and several other quirky characters who will make you laugh. This book’s target audience is kids in grades four through six.

Each year the Newbery committee names one or more books that are considered runners-up or “honor books.”  For 2007, three titles received this designation:  “Penny from Heaven,” by Jennifer Holm, “Hattie Big Sky,” by Kirby Larson, and “Rules,” by Cynthia Lord.

The Caldecott Medal is awarded each year to the artist who created the most distinguished American picture book published during the preceding year. This award was first given out in 1938.

The 2007 Caldecott Medal goes to illustrator David Wiesner and his book “Flotsam.”  If you have seen the vivid images of the flying frogs on lily pads in Wiesner’s picture book “Tuesday,” you will already be familiar with this illustrator.  “Flotsam” is a wordless picture book about a young boy who finds an old camera on the beach.  Through the camera’s lens, the boy sees beautiful images from the bottom of the sea.  Instead of words, the visual images tell the story.

The Caldecott committee also names runners-up.  For 2007, two titles became “honor books”:   “Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet,” illustrated by David McLimans, and “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Since people are naturally curious about award winners, we often receive requests for Newbery and Caldecott books.  Most Newbery books are shelved in our Junior section and are easy to locate.  Just recently we created a special place in our Picture Book section for all the Caldecott books.  We call it the Caldecott Corner, and it makes these award-winning books easy to find too.

These 2007 award winners are on our shelves now or will be soon.  Children’s books are written for children, but people of all ages can enjoy them.  Come in and check them out for your children or for yourself.   

February 19, 2007

Wonderful Ways to Warm Up @ Your Library
Traci Juhala, Programming Services

Wow!  What a cold spell we suffered through these past few weeks.  The temperatures may be rising now, but you might still feel a chill, and that’s where your library can come in handy.  Our adult reading program, Hot Reads for Cold Nights, is in full swing.  In January, we read about “Miss Zukas and the Library Murders” – such a frightening topic really got our blood pumping.  Now, with Valentine’s Day and all of its hearts and sweets still surrounding us, we turn our attention to romance.  Our featured title for February is “Bet Me” by Jennifer Crusie.  It is available to check out, or to purchase at the library.  Now I warn those readers who have delicate constitutions: There is definitely tantalizing romance in this book, and even a little gambling as the title suggests.  I am a lightweight when it comes to romance novels, and there are some scenes that some of you might find highly suggestive and perhaps even beyond suggestive, but I also think you will find this book quite engaging, funny, and a quick read.  We are even providing an incentive to read “Bet Me.”  The library will be sponsoring an evening of discussion and frivolity on Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m., and donuts will be involved.  (If you’ve already read the book, you’ll understand the donut connection.)  Local reading enthusiast, Doug Roiger, will be here to lead discussion and encourage humor, and we’ll just plain have fun.  Romance novels don’t usually get their own book talks, so take advantage of this rare opportunity.  

Once we’ve cooled off from our romance, we’ll shift gears to focus on Kathryn Adams Doty’s new book, “Wild Orphan.”  Ms. Doty will be giving a talk and signing books at the library on Saturday, March 24, so if you want to read her book ahead of time, stop in to place a hold, or buy your own copy.  We do have a few copies of all of our featured titles to sell, as well as some really cute cards depicting the Hot Reads for Cold Nights theme. 

One more activity to watch for in the coming weeks is “Meet the Experts.”  Kari Beran will be on hand on Monday, February 26, to answer your questions about nutrition for kids.  Kari has a Master’s degree in Family Education, and she is a Licensed Dietitian.  She’ll have some ideas and suggestions for you on dealing with picky eaters, portion sizes, having fun with fruits and vegetables, and she’ll supply some fun recipes you can make with your child.  Stop by that night between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m.

If you’ve been feeling chilled by the harsh winter weather, just stop by your library.  We do offer some wonderful ways to warm up.

February 12, 2007

German Heritage Items Added
Carolyn Baird, Director

There is nothing like having company over to get one to catch up on neglected tasks.  And the Library Open House we held last month served just that purpose.  I wanted to finally get some work done with the German-American Heritage Collection and things kind of fell in place.  Mayor Albrecht had spoken to me about some items from City Hall that could be added to the collection, and some patrons had donated items for consideration, too.  Our regional library office agreed to rush the cataloging on these donations. 

At the top of the stairs in the Nonfiction Area we displayed some of the new items recently added and prepared a pamphlet to accompany it.  The German-American Heritage collection covers a broad range of topics.  It contains biographies, autobiographies, and histories of German immigration, stories of early settlement experiences, descriptions of German-Americans’ participation in the World Wars, bibliographies, pictorial travel guides, and much more.

Because this collection is so diverse, it is located in different areas of the library.  History topics are in the 970 area, biographies will be in the 921 section, and so forth.  Some patrons have commented that it is hard to find things in this collection.  Here are two easy ways to locate items.  Looking on the shelf, each volume has an eye-catching spine label with an image of Hermann the German that identifies it as part of the German-American Heritage collection.  To see a complete listing, looking in the library catalog, enter into the “Quick Search” screen the “word or phrase” option “German American Heritage Collection” and you will receive a list of all titles currently held.  There is also a poster showing the spine label and listing some of the items in the Reference Area. 

Titles are added periodically, so this list is always changing.  If you desire assistance with your search, please feel free to consult with the Reference Area staff and take a pamphlet home to keep by your computer.  Also, visit our website link “Other Community Resources” to find further sources in New Ulm on the topic of German-American Heritage.  

February 5, 2007

Come in from the Cold
Betty Roiger, Acquisitions

One of our February displays is called Birds of a Feather Flock Together.  February is National Bird Feeding Month.  Birds are supposedly descendents of dinosaurs.  If you see a bird hopping around outside with its tail out for balance & imagine it about a million times bigger with scales (I can get pretty technical) you can see the resemblance.  However, related to dinosaurs or not, birds can have a difficult time surviving North American winters.  If you think this cold snap is hard on us—think about living outside and not knowing where your next meal is coming from. 

Some books in our display are called “The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible,” “Living with Wildlife,” and “For the Birds: Creating a Sanctuary.”  

One question in “Questions & Answers about Backyard Birds” is ‘Are we interfering with nature when we feed wild birds?’  The answer is this: it is estimated that birds do not take more than 20 percent of their daily food requirement out of feeders.  We do more interference with birds’ lives by destroying habitat, erecting high signal towers and allowing cats to run free. 

Our second display is called Featured Authors for Hot Reads / Cold Nights.  Jennifer Crusie, Jo Dereske and Kathryn Adams Doty are the authors being shown here.  Our adult reading program invites everyone to read anything of their choosing.  You are also welcome to fill out a form with the title and author and check if you liked the book or not.  We will tally these forms and come up with a list of local readers favorite authors. 

Meantime we recommend you try the humorous romantic comedies and mysteries that Jennifer Crusie writes.  Jo Dereske has a librarian as a main character who gets mixed up with murder.  Kathryn Adams Doty’s “A Long Year of Silence” was our last all city read; she has a new book called “Wild Orphan.”

So if you are interested in creating a backyard bird sanctuary, just want a bird watching guidebook, or want to listen to a CD of bird songs, come in and look over our selection.  Several of us have read the novels of Crusie, Dereske and Doty that are on display and have enjoyed what we’ve read.  Maybe you will too.   

January 29, 2007


Attorney General’s Website

Linda Lindquist, Reference Librarian

Oh what we find when we do library cleaning!  The other day I was going through some storage boxes at the library and found some booklets and pamphlets that I thought would be of interest to our patrons.  And the best part of it is, they are available online and can be downloaded free.

The website is (the Attorney General’s website) and has everyday information for all.  Adults and students will find information on this website to be very useful.  Are you a young adult going off to college or off to your first job and looking for an apartment?  A couple of items at this website that may be of interest to you are entitled “Moving into an Apartment” and “Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities.” They are easy to read and understand.

One booklet that I think would be useful to senior citizens (and children who are taking care of elderly parents) is entitled “Seniors’ Legal Rights.”  Topics covered are Consumer Protection, Charitable Giving, Health Care, Planning Ahead, Human Rights, Protection Under the Law, Utilities, and Referral Guide.  Medicare and Medicaid, prescription drugs, nursing home care and rights, alternative medicines plus other sections are covered as well.  Under the Consumer Protection section they caution persons to beware of the many kinds of fraud out there such as “You-Have-Won” calls and mail, lotteries, sweepstakes, work-at-home, Nigerian schemes, and many more.

One of the most useful pamphlets that I found at this website is entitled “Guarding Your Privacy: Tips to Prevent Identity Theft.”  Chapter 1 covers your personal information.  Chapter 2 looks at how to lessen your risk of becoming a victim, and Chapter 3 tells you what to do if you do become a victim.  Any of us can become innocent victims.

These are just a few of the pamphlets that are available on the Attorney General’s website.  It is well worth a person’s time to take a few minutes to look through this website.  We also have some of the booklets on file at the library or we can help you get on the website to search for information that interests you. 

January 22, 2007


Warm up in January

Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions

January is National Hot Tea Month.  Our first display is Tea for You.  Tea is one of nature’s most popular, soothing and relaxing beverages.  It can be served hot or put over ice.   

What is so good about tea?  Health studies lead many scientists to believe that both black and green tea may contribute to a healthy lifestyle.  Antioxidants in tea may inhibit the growth of cancer and prevent chronic disease.

Laura Childs has the Tea Shop mystery series, which are displayed here along with “Tea with Jane Austen” and “The Tea Rose.”  One of our non-fiction titles is “The Pleasures of Tea: Recipes and Rituals.”  One interesting tea experience is the secret Gypsy ritual of reading tealeaves.  Good and bad fortunes may be foretold by viewing the shapes and figures assumed by the leaves.  An anchor means lucky in business or love.  An owl indicates sickness or poverty.  Palm trees are good omens.  Where the figure is and how distinct its shape appears also play a part in the fortune.        

Focus on Retirement is our other January display.  Anyone and everyone can always add to their retirement funds.  As the economy changes and with the uncertainty of social security, planning for your retirement is more important than ever.  Books here are entitled “Retire Young, Retire Rich,” and “12 Steps to a Worry-free Retirement.”  

Our glass display case provides information about Pro Kinship.  Pro Kinship provides mentoring, social activities for children, parental education and tutoring.

So for January we’ve established that tea is good for you and can be entertaining.  Also the library has many books to provide the public with help with their retirement.  Pro Kinship may be an organization that you would like to become more involved in.  Come in and check out our displays and get a tea bag when you check out.  That way you can combine a nice cup of tea with your next good read.  All you need to add is hot water.     

January 15, 2007


Library Open House Event

Carolyn Baird, Library Director 

You are invited to New Ulm Public Library’s Open House on the afternoon of Sunday, January 21. We welcome you to celebrate the grand opening of our library's new configuration from 1:00 to 3:00. An official ceremony including city leaders is set for 1:30.

We hope you will come and tour the library, especially if you have not been there recently. We are excited about showing off the library's new appearance. The biggest change is bringing back the upper floor of the old library building. It has been immaculately remodeled, transformed into the new Children's Area, and connected to the newer main library building.

Other departments have also been relocated including fiction, periodicals, and the new Young Adult's area and they all help make the library look new. In addition, the circulation desk is larger and more approachable. We think you'll be impressed with this new look.

Exhibits will be located throughout the building and staff will be on hand to visit and answer questions. We welcome you to meet some members of our newly formed Friends Group, talk with volunteers from our Low Vision Lab, learn about the Winter Adult Reading activities, tryout the new eAudiobooks and see our new parenting display.  As you wander around and inspect the new layout, enjoy the live music, a refreshment and learn about the new beverage policy that will be implemented at the open house. 

Don’t miss this event.  We look forward to showing off all that is new at the library.

January 8, 2007

New Year, New Season of Fun

Traci Juhala, Programming Services

Now that winter has finally arrived, or at least we’ve had a little snow, the winter reading season can officially begin.  This year, we once again want to encourage all adults to take part in Hot Reads for Cold Nights.  This adult reading program is designed to get everyone into the library, to help them find some good books, and to encourage them to take part in a community-wide celebration of literature, just for the fun of it.  This year, we’ll be promoting three titles, one of which is Kathryn Adams Doty’s new book, Wild Orphan.  Ms. Doty has agreed to an appearance in New Ulm in March, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to pick up a copy of her book to read before her visit.  We’ll also be encouraging adult readers to fill out brief reviews for all of the books they read so that we can generate a New Ulm “Best Sellers” list every two weeks of the reading program.  Registration for Hot Reads for Cold Nights begins Monday, January 8, and continues through Saturday, January 20.  All registrants will be entered in a drawing to win a 2007 Book Lover’s Calendar.  For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Book Lover’s Calendar provides a unique reading suggestion for each day of the year.  The calendar is great, and we have several to give away; we’ll be drawing names and handing the calendars out to the winners during our Library Open House on Sunday, January 21, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. 

In addition to Hot Reads for Cold Nights, adults can also get involved by joining the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library.  Several community members have banded together to help form this group, and now they are looking for new Friends.  An organizational meeting for the Friends was held at the library on January 8.  All are welcome to take part in organizing the group.  However, if you just want to be a Friend, and not be part of formally organizing the group, you can do that by stopping by the library to fill out an application, by visiting the Friends table at the Library Open House on January 21, or by going to our Web page at  The Friends will have a general membership meeting sometime this winter, so watch for more details to come. 

One more fun winter activity to watch for is the continuation of “Meet the Experts.”  We had a very successful fall schedule of “Experts,” and we are formulating our list for winter and spring now, with one big change; we’re moving the “Experts” to Mondays.  Whether your interests lean towards the Humane Society, lace making, nutrition, home audio technology, or philosophy, we’re hoping to wow you with a diverse lineup of “Experts.”  Our first session starts on Monday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m.

So there you have it – a whole list of activities to help keep you warm during this chilly season.  Enjoy winter, enjoy reading, and enjoy your library!

January 1, 2007


January Open House and Amnesty Month

Betty Roiger, Acquisitions Librarian

January is an important month for the library.  After all of our renovations we are finally having an open house to welcome folks in to see what we’ve become and where we are going with the New Ulm Public Library.

On January 21st from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. we would like to invite you to an open house at the library.  There will be a short dedication ceremony at 1:30.  It is a Sunday so there will no checking in or out of materials.  The staff is solely here to show you around and answer your questions.  There will be refreshments, displays and music so you can wander as you wish, visit with library staff in display areas and enjoy the library’s new welcoming atmosphere. 

Another welcome back of sorts is the amnesty we are offering to receive back materials we haven’t seen in a while.  During January we are welcoming back any overdue or long overdue materials with our Library Fine for Food Amnesty Month.  We would like to help keep the local food shelf well stocked into the new year, so once again we are offering the public this deal: food for fines.  You bring in a nonperishable food item for the New Ulm Area Emergency Food Shelf with an overdue library item; we will forgive all of your fines.

By doing this we help others in need and the library materials are returned to our shelves for others to browse and check out.  We have had good results with this program having donated over four hundred pounds of food in the past.  And the stories we hear about where people found books could, well, fill a book.  Items that people swear they brought back have been found under refrigerators, between the headboard and the bed, and even under sofa cushions.  All we ask is that you find your overdue material bring that in some food items ands we can at least make your (library) financial problems disappear.     

Last updated: Monday, December 31, 2012

Last updated: December 31, 2012