December 31, 2012
Share Your Love of Reading at the Library
Kris Wiley, Assistant Director
Winter is prime
reading time, right? Picture a comfy chair, a cup of hot
chocolate, freshly baked cookies, and a fantastic book. The
only thing that would make this more perfect is the
opportunity to share your reading experience with others.
That’s where your library comes in. Again this year, New Ulm
Public Library will sponsor a winter reading program for
Here’s how this free program will work:
Beginning January 7, adults can register at the Service
Center. Then log every book you read or listen to between
January 7 and March 1 on a ballot provided by the library.
Drop the ballot into the designated box at the former
reference desk. Everyone who logs at least one title will be
eligible to receive a free book. Log at least four titles to
be eligible for additional prizes, including a Kindle
E-reader and Amazon gift cards, thanks to donations made to
the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library. Winners will be
drawn randomly. Thanks, donors and Friends!
second consecutive year, we’re working with the theme Zero
In On Books. You’ll notice the ballots provided by the
library include a picture of a target. Mark on the target
how well you liked the book. This is a completely subjective
assessment, so you can base your mark on writing style,
plot, character development, overall enjoyment, or any other
consideration. Take a look at the target on the bulletin
board near the Service Center. I’ll be posting the titles
you read there, and you might see something new you would
like to read.
Need some inspiration to get you
started? If you like books in which the cold landscape of
the North Country is as vivid as any of the characters, you
might enjoy “The Lighthouse Road” by Twin Cities author
Peter Geye. Spanning the late 1800s to the 1920s, this book
is all about family secrets and lies and love – and the
harsh Minnesota winters. For a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat,
can’t-turn-the-pages-fast-enough thriller, you might try
“Into the Darkest Corner” by Elizabeth Haynes. Cathy is four
years removed from nearly being killed by her
boyfriend-turned-stalker, and she’s still reeling from the
emotional trauma. Of course she meets a new guy, but the old
one isn’t gone for good. If narrative nonfiction is your
game, you can’t go wrong with the highly acclaimed “Behind
the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo. It’s difficult to
fathom the poverty in India’s slums, but Boo brings alive
the misery and the hope of the people living there.
Stop by the library to place a hold on any of these books,
and while you’re here, register for the reading program and
share your reading experiences with us. See you at the
December 24, 2012
Café Au Lait
Betty J Roiger,
Every now and again Kris sets up a Noon Tunes program.
Last week we were introduced to a new group, Café Au Lait, a
four-member band. While I have enjoyed a lot of the music
heard at the library, it rarely hits my wheelhouse because I
have an eclectic taste in music. I like old stuff, rap,
classic rock, big band, pop and, well, you get the picture.
So I slid into a seat just as the group started improvising
on Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” while nuCAT set up to film.
Now there is a movie line that is so overused everyone
recognizes it, which is: “You had me at hello.” But, OMG,
Café Au Lait had me at “Caravan.” If the band had played an
hour of “Caravan,” I would have been totally glued. I did
not want it to stop.
However, it is rare that groups
play just one song. And as good as the Ellington was, Café
Au Lait was equally good at quite a diverse variety of
The band broke into a version of an American
jazz standard that comes from one of my favorite Katharine
Hepburn and Cary Grant movies: “Bringing Up Baby.” The
opening strains sounded, and I was so there. Kris turned
with a little puzzled frown, so I whispered the title: “I
Can't Give You Anything but Love." That was when Katy slid
into her chair with a smile, whispering, “Do they do
weddings?” Geez, I hope so. I hope these musicians do a lot
of different venues. People need to hear these guys.
The great part of the program for me was that I knew
most of the songs, but they all sounded different. Using
another overworked phrase, “They made each song their own.”
But they did it well. If you expected a song to slow down,
they jazzed it up, and if a song was jumping, they smoothed
it way down. At different times I was sort of awed by the
guitar, then the fiddle, caught by the accordion, and
watching the bass. I’ve seen and hear them all played
before, but never together, and together this was cool. If
they had a CD, I would have bought one for me and several
for friends. Yeah, THAT good.
I can tell you they
segued from jazz to gypsy, from waltzes to German tunes. I
can say I was partial to the jazz and gypsy. But when they
said, “This next one is an Irish tune,” Kris’s smile
broadened. Then they moved from Irish to Ray Charles. There
was something for everyone with these musicians. They
shifted from fast to slow with a Sam Cooke song. I love Sam
Cooke. It was slow and smooth, and Katy whispered, “I’m
tearing up.” I whispered back, “I don’t know you well
enough, or I’d ask you to slow dance,” and we both started
to laugh. But that was the kind of music they were weaving;
they have a sound that makes you want to dance.
Au Lait is made up of James Ihrke on bass, Ben Marti on
accordion, Dave Rupe on guitar and Lehi Hoehn on fiddle. You
put these four together, they might seem just like anybody
else, but hand them their instruments, and boy, you have a
little bit of magic. They got in a groove, invited the
audience in, and we gladly stayed for the show. Their talent
was evident; it was beautiful, fun, and catchy. But when you
find yourself nodding, saying the words, tapping your feet,
you know something else is going on.
So how can you
do music justice with words? I can’t. All I can do with
words is say: Remember Café Au Lait. If you happen to walk
past a cozy nightclub, a saloon, even the library, for
Pete’s sake, and you see a sign saying: One night only: Café
Au Lait. Do not pass by. Walk in. Sit down. And ask for an
encore of “Caravan.” You’ll love it
December 17, 2012
Are You Ready For Some Football?
If you missed out on the library
fantasy football league this year, let me be the one to tell
you: “Don’t miss out next year.” This has been a fun league!
I know what you’re thinking: “But, Betty, I know nothing
about football.” Let me tell you, you CANNOT know less than
me. So just how did I get to be a football maven?
Well, it happened like this, the library league didn't have
enough teams to function. So that day I found Kris running
around the building recruiting staff to join the league to
give our patrons someone to compete against. Several of us
said: “But I know nothing about football.” She said: “You
don’t have to.”
And so it started. I had a team.
Kris showed me the Web site and our league. I took her at
her word: I didn’t do anything because I didn’t have to. And
then Monday rolled around, Katy strolled around our cubicle
and said to me: “Smoked you!” “What?!” And slowly, very
slowly, my reptile brain came to life and I went…”erk!
What!? The season started?! Three weeks ago?! I’m last??!!
So my journey began. I know there are people
out there who are thinking incredulously: “So you watched
football!?” Heck no, I’d rather watch paint dry. Okay, now I
know what football fans are thinking: “Then how do you field
a team?” Well, I proceed very scientifically. I have a guy
named Aaron Rodgers on my team and he had a 1 by his name so
I kept him. Victor Cruz stays on my team cuz he wrote a
book; yes, I have an author football player. There was a guy
name Doug (Martin) on my team but he wasn’t producing so he
was going to have to go (even though, coincidentally, my
husband’s name is Doug)…until he made a zillion points
(while he was sitting on my bench) so I kept him. (And I
took him off the bench too.) I also chose guys whose names
have hyphens like BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and guys with
unusual names like Shayne, Knowshon, and Pierre. The New
York Giants were having a good defense (for a while) and I
didn’t have any giants so…I got some. You never know when
you’ll need giants on your side. I’d get a Hobbit too if
there were any out there.
Thus I have fought my way
up from dead last to dead middle…which I thought was pretty
good considering my non-start. I like checking stats and
then creatively choosing a new player. And so far my
co-workers are appreciating me more too. I call them up and
text them when I see that one of their players has an “IR”
next to their name. This could stand for “I Rule” but I
suspect it might be more like “injured reserved.” A “P”
means a player is "probable", maybe "possible", or just
"pooped out" which is misleading when they go out to play
anyway. Katy recently said to me, I got a text from a number
I didn’t know telling me to change my wounded players, was
that you? I guess I should have signed my urgent message,
but there was a man down!
Now here we are entering
the playoffs and as Kris has always been very supportive and
helpful to me during this learning process, I’ve been asking
her advice. We are against each other in a playoff game now
and she really knows her stuff. I have people on the bench
who have mega point values but she assures me that’s the way
to go. (Joke, it’s a joke.) But she does keep muttering
“What have I done…I’ve created a football Frankenstein”
under her breath.
So what have I learned? I’ve
learned to be aware that refs can go on strike and that can
affect me personally. I have learned that when my team
players are doing well, they are probably on the bench
(called “riding the pine” by the way). I’ve learned that my
husband thinks I’m a pod person since he keeps asking me
what I’ve done with his wife. I’ve learned that the week I
rest my injured probable guy, everyone else in the whole
universe will play him and he’ll make beaucoup points. But
I’m not bitter. No. I can safely say I still don’t know what
I am doing, but I am having a good time doing it. (And don’t
look now, but guess whose awesome team is in the playoffs?!)
December 10, 2012
A Flurry of Activity
December is here, and with it
brings a lot of holiday preparations. Here in the Children’s
Room we kicked off the holiday season with a visit from Mrs.
Claus. While Santa is busy back at the North Pole, Mrs.
Claus is happy to visit the children at the library to share
stories, songs, and, of course, candy canes! A visit with
Mrs. Claus always puts everyone in good cheer and provides a
jolly start to the season.
But wait! A guest
appearance from Mrs. Claus is just the beginning of a flurry
of December activities at the library. You don’t want to
miss The Little Prairie Pickers on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 6:30
p.m. These local musicians will be taking the stage for an
all-ages concert. The group, consisting of Danielle
Deopere on banjo, Ross Deopere on guitar, Laura Karels on
mandolin, and Angie Becker Kudelka on bass, plays folk,
classic country, alternative bluegrass, and traditional
bluegrass. It will be an evening of toe- tapping fun!
On Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m., stop in for a storytime
featuring Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
Children will receive a take-home holiday activity pack.
Plus, there will be a special guest appearance by The
Grinch, so be sure to bring along your cameras!
Critters & More is another must-see program at the library.
This River Ranger program will be held Thursday, Dec. 20 at
6 p.m. in the library meeting room. River Ranger Coordinator
Ron Bolduan's multimedia presentation will look at local
critters, test track identification skills, and challenge
the audience to find the critter in the Camo Critter Hunt -
a wildlife "Where's Waldo?"
After Christmas, there is
still more fun to be found at the library. On Thursday, Dec.
27 at 10 a.m., everyone is invited to a family friendly film
sponsored by the Optimist Club and Friends of the New Ulm
Public Library. The movie is rated G and runs 75 minutes.
Please call the library at 507-359-8331 for the film title.
Later that same day, the library is hosting a special Hunger
Games program just for teens beginning at 1 p.m. Teens ages
13 and up are invited to dress up as their favorite
character and join in the program, which will include games,
treats, and viewing the movie, which is rated PG-13.
Indeed, December is a busy month with holiday
preparations and gatherings. We at the New Ulm Public
Library hope you can continue to fit library visits into
your schedule whether it is to stop by for a movie or book
or perhaps you can stay longer to enjoy a library program.
We hope you can even make a visit to the library a new
tradition in your holiday preparations and enjoyment.
Wishing you and yours a safe and joyous holiday season!
December 3, 2012
Weeding Is Not for the Faint of Heart
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director
Ever do some spring
housecleaning, going through your house, deciding what to
keep and what to throw away, give away, or sell? You know,
trying to rid your life of stuff that no one has looked at
or used in five, seven, ten years or more; the stuff
gathering dust and of no use to anyone.
within a week? “Dad, where’s my _____ that used to be in the
basement?” Whatever the item was, the child hasn’t used it
in years. Now, all of a sudden, he needs it. You apologize,
explain in detail the reasoning behind throwing it out, but
they seldom understand. Luckily, 99% of what you weeded,
they’ll never miss.
I last wrote about weeding public
libraries in this column in 2010. At New Ulm Public Library
we have 95,000+ items. Each year we add another 3,000 new
titles, sometimes more. Guess what happens if we let things
collect on our shelves? Well, we eventually outgrow our
space. And if we outgrow our space, what do we need? Well,
we need more space. Or maybe we just need to do some
weeding! Maybe we just need to withdraw old items, little
used, damaged books which seldom or never circulate.
Librarians have long known the importance of weeding!
Ever hear of the “Pareto Principle?” This axiom states
that, “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from
20% of the causes.” It’s more commonly called the 80-20
rule, and it applies to library collections in this way.
Librarians have found over many decades that 80% of our
circulation comes from 20% of our collection. That means
that much of our collection is little used. This situation
is aggravated when a collection is never weeded, or
inadequately weeded, and out-of-date, dirty, damaged items
are allowed to accumulate on shelves. Then a 90-10 rule
might actually apply. Or, a well-weeded collection might
have a 70-30 rule. Anyway, as you can see, weeding is an
important library activity. Our goal is have the items you
want on our shelves, not torn, grimy, yellowing books you
I know what you’re thinking—“Don’t some
libraries keep everything?” Yes, actually they do, and
they’re called archives. I worked in one at the start of my
career, the Minnesota Historical Society Library. Weeding in
an archives is usually done based only on the condition of
materials, and even then, an item withdrawn is often
replaced. But public libraries are not archives, and never
have been. Public libraries may have special collections
which are treated like archives; for example, our New Ulm
local history materials and the German American Collection
are archival, but the vast majority of our collection items
have a shelf life, and will not— indeed cannot—be kept
forever. We just don’t have the space.
So how do we
choose what to weed? Here are some of our major weeding
--Publication date (a 20-year old book on
cancer might be dangerous to your health)
(water-damaged, broken bindings, writing in book, yellowed
pages and so on)
--Number of copies (we may have needed
two copies when a title was new, but when it’s been around
--Circulation (if it hasn’t circulated in
seven years, it’s probably not worth keeping, some classics
--Subject matter (the content of some materials
like medicine dates quickly, others like choosing a dog
breed does not)
So every time we consider a book for
weeding we’re actually looking at multiple things. We’re
careful about what we weed, and sometimes sad. Some good
things simply lose their audiences over time.
this being said, do we ever hear “Mr. Director, where’s the
book ______ that used to be in the collection?” Or maybe,
someone looks at a book for sale on a table and says “Mr.
Director, why are you selling this book!?” Yes, we
occasionally hear such comments. So we’re always happy to
discuss weeding with the public, but I think it’s important
that you understand there are always reasons behind the
withdrawal of every title, and they’re usually a mixture of
the reasons listed above.
November 26, 2012
Conversations From the Cubicles: It’s Our List!
Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions, and Kris Wiley, Assistant
Betty: Kris, it’s that time of year
Kris: I know, right?! As we wrap up 2012, NU
library staffers are gushing about the best books, music,
and movies of the year.
B: You made me stop at ten! I
didn’t want to leave anyone out! Yikes, I’m hyperventilating
just thinking about it.
K: Well, I had no problem picking
my favorite book of the year. It’s “The End of Your Life
Book Club” by Will Schwalbe. It’s an ode to reading, to
books, and to the author’s mother , whose cancer diagnosis
was the catalyst for the club. Tissue alert!
B: You do
love to cry with a book. I think I have to go with “Gone
Girl” by Gillian Flynn. It’s not just the story, back and
forth between a husband and his missing wife (via her
diary), it’s the no wiggle room Gillian allowed readers.
That book was so tightly written, you just fell for it.
K: I read it, too, but I couldn’t devour it because the
characters were so nasty to each other. Give me sad, not
B: Nasty, but married people will get it. Marriage
gives you lots of ammunition over the years, and Nick and
Amy just kept stockpiling. But I know what you mean about
sad: You were reading “Wonder” just before I got to it. You
had told me…
K: I had a public display of tears in a
local restaurant, but I couldn’t stop reading to collect
B: So I had girded myself (I will not cry), then
in my living room I could feel the sob in my throat, and
there it was … such an emotional, wonderful book. Don’t let
the junior category keep you away from this. R.J. Palacio
personalizes handicaps, bullying, being different, embracing
yourself. It was the kindness that did me in.
definitely is not to be missed. Another good book, which is
getting critical raves and recently won the coveted National
Book Award, is “The Round House” by Minnesotan Louise
Erdrich. I have to confess this was my first Erdrich, but I
certainly will go back to read her earlier work.
Discrimination is at the heart of this book, but what I
loved about it was the mysticism.
B: You know I can go
K: I know, but first let me say that the staff’s
picks, including all of ours, are listed on the library’s
Facebook page. OK, go.
B: OK, another good book is “The
Secret Keeper” by Kate Morton. Kate blew me away when I read
“The Distant Hours,” so I went into this skeptically. I even
was complaining to you halfway through I was so sure I knew
where she was going. Boy, was I wrong. Shifting between WWII
and the present day, then back to the ’60s, the end had me
thinking: “What just happened?!” She did it again. So we had
so many enjoyable reading experiences in 2012, and yet …
K: My nightstand pile is overflowing. Here’s to another
great year of reading in 2013.
B: If we can ignore the
Mayan calendar ...
November 19, 2012
A Time for Thanksgiving
Assistant Library Director
Here at the library we
have a lot of reasons to be thankful. One major reason for
our good cheer is that we will continue to offer feature
film programs thanks to the generosity of the Optimist Club
of New Ulm. For the third consecutive year, the Optimists
are partnering with us to present free movies to people of
all ages. In the past, we have shown blockbuster films such
as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Rango.” Our biggest crowd to
date – 100 enthusiastic children and caregivers – enjoyed
“The Lorax” this past August.
Movie programming at
the library provides people of all ages, and particularly
children, with another avenue of recreation and
entertainment in a safe environment. The library’s theater
is enhanced with a large screen and excellent sound system,
the latter thanks to our friends at New Ulm Community Access
Television. Our Friends of the Library provide popcorn and
drinks at each event.
Thanks to the Optimist Club, we
will continue to show films on a monthly basis. Our next
film is scheduled for Tuesday, December 4 at 3:30 p.m. (the
film is rated PG and runs 100 minutes), and we have another
family friendly film planned for Thursday, December 27 at 10
a.m. (rated G, 75 minutes). Because of restrictions set by
the licensing company, we are unable to advertise the film
titles outside of the library; however, we post fliers in
the library, and people are welcome to call us at 359-8331
to learn about our upcoming screenings.
we are starting a Civil War feature film series Saturday,
December 1 at 1 p.m. Once a month through April, we have
scheduled a Civil War-related film. Again, stop by the
library or call us for the titles.
thankful note, a huge thank you to all who helped make the
annual Friends of the New Ulm Public Library book sale a
great success. From Co-Chairs Marlene Ingebritson and
Carolyn Todd to the many volunteers who set up, staffed, and
disassembled the sale, to the many, many, many of you who
donated and purchased materials, all of you went above and
beyond for your public library. All of the proceeds from the
sale will go toward materials and programs that enhance the
library’s collection and make this a great place to visit.
We appreciate your efforts.
Thank you, thank you to
November 12, 2012
November 5, 2012
Where's the Reference Librarian?
Hlavsa, Library Director
Next time you come to the
New Ulm Library, you’ll notice a significant change—the old
Reference Desk is now unstaffed. No, we haven’t decided to
drop reference services. We’ll still be finding books for
you, recommending titles, answering your questions, and so
on. You’ll still have access to the Internet through our
Userful workstations and we’ll continue to help you with
those as needed. So what will be different? Well, we just
won’t have a separate desk for the reference person anymore.
Starting November 5th our reference person is being posted
at the former Circulation Desk and will be available to help
you in the same ways she did before. But she’ll also be more
available now to help you with checking books out, picking
up holds, purchasing withdrawn materials and applying for
Why are we doing this? Frankly,
staffing multiple desks in multiple rooms requires more
staff than a single desk. Since our budget has been in
decline for several years--and seems unlikely to increase in
the coming years--we have been looking for ways to better
utilize staff. Having all “public services” staff in one
location certainly is more efficient than struggling to
staff multiple locations.
Is our merger of the
Reference Desk and the Circulation Desk something unique in
the library world? Not at all. Many medium-sized libraries
across the country have been merging such desks as budgets
are squeezed. The Martin County Library in Fairmont, MN has
had such a merged desk for some time. My previous library in
St. Helena, CA--which has a roughly equal sized collection
and staff--also has a merged desk. In both cases, the merged
desk is working well.
Our new desk will be called our
“Service Center.” If you have a reference question, an
appropriate person there will be available to help you. If
you’re checking materials out, a different person might help
you. If you need any kind of library service, it is from the
“Service Center” desk that you will be able to obtain it.
Eventually even our Children’s Librarian will move to
the Service Center, although that won’t happen until we’re
able to move the Children’s Room itself. Right now, staff is
engaged in a thorough weeding of the Library’s collections,
something that hasn’t been done in a decade or more. The
weeding project is scheduled for completion by March 31,
2013. After that is completed, we will be establishing a
timetable for the swapping of the Children’s Room and the
Our changes are being designed
hopefully to make your library more sustainable; that is, so
that we can do more with less. Also, all of the changes will
be scheduled and designed to have the least possible impact
on our patrons.
These are tough times, and—“When
times get tough, the tough get efficient!” Any questions?
Check with someone at our “Service Desk”!
October 29, 2012
Go Shopping at the Friends Book Sale
Kris Wiley, Assistant Library Director
New Ulm Public
Library has the most amazing Friends. And by Friends, I mean
Friends of the Library. Our Friends support the library in
so many ways, and now we’ve reached the time of year where
the Friends can use your help.
The Friends of the
Library annual book sale begins with a Friends-only preview
sale Nov. 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The sale continues Nov. 8
from 3-7:30 p.m.; Nov. 9 from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Nov.
10 from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Everything is 25 cents to 50 cents,
and there will be a $3 bag sale Saturday. There will be a
wide variety of children’s books, bestsellers, nonfiction
titles, classics, and DVDs on hand, thanks to generous
donations from the public. I have been moving carts of
donations to storage, and I think we have the largest
inventory ever this year.
For those of you who want
the biggest and best selection, here’s a great option:
Become a Friend of the Library, and you can shop at the
preview sale. Purchase your membership at the door, and
you’re good to go. Members who haven’t paid their 2012 dues
can pay at the door, as well. Memberships are $5 for
individual youth, $10 for individual adult, $20 for family,
$50 and over for corporate, and $100 for individual
lifetime. Wednesday night is a great time for a sneak peek
and the opportunity to get first dibs on all the good deals.
All proceeds from the sale go to the Friends of the New
Ulm Public Library, who turn around and give back to the
library. This year, the Friends gave $1000 for the
children’s Summer Reading Program; $1000 for a children’s
literacy workstation; $500 for large print books; and $900
for furniture and equipment in the Children’s Room – and
that’s just for starters. Besides providing funding, the
Friends attend library programs, volunteer at events, and
act as the fiscal agent for grants. The library is grateful
for the Friends’ continuing efforts to raise awareness of
the library’s programs, collection, and services.
book sale is the Friends’ major fundraiser, and the proceeds
will help fund next year’s Summer Reading Program, new
materials, and many other things that make New Ulm Public
Library a great place to work and visit. As you’re making
your way down Broadway between Nov. 7 and 10, pull into the
library and show your support for the Friends and the
library by purchasing a book. See you at the book sale!
October 22, 2012
Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions
OK. Let’s have a debate. It is that time of year, after
all. Now, where shall we meet? Town halls can be so
impersonal. How about … I know! Let’s meet at the library!
Oh, I know what you’re thinking: Debates can get … what’s
the word? Tedious, repetitious, frustrating? Well, before
you skip to the next article (which would be the equivalent
of changing the channel) … let’s pick a really good topic. I
pick: books. (And because I’m writing this and you aren’t,
let’s stick with books.)
That’s settled. Let’s move
on. I would like to talk about my new favorite book. I
pulled it off the shelf at random and found a totally
delightful story awaiting me. Now, keep in mind, I unpack
the freight, so I saw this book; heck, I ordered this book.
I always have plenty to read between my favorite authors and
new book buzz, but this one wasn’t even on my radar.
I know you want to raise your hand here and ask, so I’ll
just tell you. The book is “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend”
by Matthew Dicks. In a nutshell, the title tells it all.
(But I’ll pretend I’m like a politician and not stop right
here. That would just be too short and pithy, so I’ll
elaborate. OK?) This book is the story of Max Delaney’s
imaginary friend, Budo. Budo is an incredibly well-defined
imaginary friend; he has arms and legs, eyes and ears. In
his memoir he explains that most people don’t realize how
many imaginary friends are incomplete. Many don’t have ears.
Some are bright color-crayon yellow or just a spot on the
wall. Budo knows this because he meets a lot of imaginary
friends given that he goes to school with Max.
on, the reader realizes that Max must have some
autism-spectrum disorder because of the things he does. But
that is also the reason Budo is so distinct; Max has an
extraordinary imagination. Having the world revealed through
Budo (and partially through Max because he imagined Budo) is
just part of the book’s charm.
Here’s a tidbit.
“Like last week Max couldn’t open a jar of jelly to make a
peanut butter and jelly sandwich. ‘Budo.’ he said. ‘I can’t
open it.’ ‘Sure you can,’ I said. ‘Turn it the other way.
Lefty loosy. Righty tighty. … It worked. Max opened the jar.
But he was so excited that he dropped it on the tile floor,
smashing it into a million pieces. The world can be so
complicated for Max. Even when he gets something right, it
can still go wrong.”
Another part of the book’s
appeal is how well Budo takes care of Max, especially when a
dangerous situation arises. I won’t reveal anymore. Just
know that the writing is amazing. It lets you see the world
from a child’s point of view: altogether confusing, joyful,
and nutty. This book was like opening a door and allowing me
into a child’s classroom, listening to a teacher reading a
story, being intimidated by bullies, taking me back to
remember being a kid and having an imaginary friend because
no one else was around. It is charming, poignant, and not to
Oops, look at that. Time’s up. Thus ends
the debate. Sorry you don’t get a chance to rebut but,
honest, I am not steering you wrong on this. I don’t want
your vote; I don’t need your money. The only promise I am
making is that you will like this book. (And the author
didn’t pay me a cent to say that.)
October 15, 2012
Stirring Up Some Halloween Fun
Kudela, Children’s Librarian
Pumpkins, ghosts, and
black cats, oh my! The Halloween countdown has begun.
Judging by the speed our Halloween picture books are going
off the shelves, I would say there is a lot of excitement.
We’re just as excited here in the Children’s Room. We have
our decorations up and are planning some Halloween
festivities. Those children who come to storytime at 10 a.m.
on Thursday, Oct. 25 or 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 29 are
invited to wear their Halloween costumes. We’ll celebrate
Halloween a few days early with stories, songs, games, and a
parade around the library. It should be a “boo-filled” day
for all who come.
If you’re looking for some more
Halloween fun, be sure to sign up for the “Bedazzle Your
Pumpkin” family program on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. We’ll
provide the pumpkin and dazzle; you provide the magic! All
ages are welcome, but registration is required. Please
register for this program by Monday, Oct. 22. For more
information and to register, call the library at
507-359-8336. We want to extend a huge thank you to Ron and
Karen Domeier of New Ulm for supplying us with pumpkins.
Thank you for your generosity!
With the weather
turning cooler, the library is a great place to stop by
whether you have a few minutes or a few hours. For those
quick visits to the Children’s Room to check out books and
movies, be sure to also pick up activity sheets to take
home. From coloring sheets and mazes to connect-the-dot and
word searches, these activity sheets provide fun for
children of all ages. If you have a bit more time to spend
in the Children’s Room, you might be interested in a new
activity that reinforces a child’s searching and counting
skills. Hidden around the picture book area are pictures of
a black lab. Children are asked to find the dogs and mark
off the numbers on their activity sheet. Simply finding all
the dogs has been a great reward for children. Some children
have even proudly written their name on their sheet to take
home as a souvenir.
If you’re looking for a longer
visit to the library, please stop by on Wednesday, Oct. 24
at 3:30 p.m. All are invited to a family friendly film that
is rated PG and runs 93 minutes. Call the library at
507-359-8331 or 507-359-8336 for the film title. Thanks to
the Optimist Club and Friends of the New Ulm Public Library
for their continued support of the library’s movie programs.
As the leaves whirl and twirl outside, the library staff
continues to bustle up plenty of good reads, activities, and
programs. There is always plenty to do at the New Ulm Public
Library. For a complete listing of calendar events, please
be sure to check out the flyers posted around the library,
press releases listed in the newspaper, or the library’s Web
site at www.newulmlibrary.org.
October 8, 2012
Linda Lindquist, Adult
Fall is here and Christmas shopping season is fast
approaching. And along with shopping comes an increased
chance for identity theft. Do you own an iPhone, an iPad,
use the Internet, or go on Facebook and other social
networks? Do you use your regular telephone or credit/debit
cards to purchase items? If so, you are at risk for identity
theft. Identity theft takes place when someone steals your
personal information to commit fraud or other crimes.
Identity theft strikes more than 9 million people every
year according to the Federal Trade Commission. Often
persons are not even aware of the fact that their identity
has been stolen. Some of the warning signals of identity
--denied credit or loans for no
--monthly credit card statements, utility
bills, etc. stop arriving
--receive a credit card you did
not apply for
--start receiving bills from places you
never shop at
--receive bills from a collection agency
--notice some of your mail is missing
There are some
things you can do to help protect yourself from identity
1. Don’t give out account numbers or social
security numbers to anyone who contacts you by phone.
Don’t carry your social security card with you.
careful when using ATMs. Don’t let anyone see you enter your
4. Limit the number of credit cards that you
have and close those that are inactive.
5. Keep track of
monthly bills to be sure you are getting them every month.
6. Do not leave payments in your mailbox for the mail
carrier to pick up—take them to the post office to mail.
7. Destroy all documents that have account numbers or
personal information on them before throwing them away. (A
shredder might be a good investment.)
8. Review your
credit report at least once a year.
If you are a
victim of identity theft, contact the three major credit
bureaus to flag your account. These credit bureaus are:
P.O. Box 740256,
Atlanta, Georgia 30374
Equifax Phone Numbers
1-800-685-1111: Credit Report Inquiries
Place Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report
P.O. Box 9554, Allen, Texas 75013
Experian Phone Numbers
1-888-397-3742: Credit Report /
Dispute Information/ Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834
TransUnion Phone Numbers
1-800-916-8800: Dispute Items on
Credit Report and Status Checks
Alerts and Identity Theft Information
then get copies of your credit reports, contact the
creditors of any accounts that have been tampered with, and
contact the police to file a report.
You might want
to check the Federal Trade Commission web site for more
information on identity theft. Their web site is
www.ftc.gov. Information on their site can help you avoid
identity theft or advise you what to do if you have had your
And as always, we have books at the
New Ulm Public Library, or we can get a book from another
library for you, dealing with identity theft. We have a new
book on order titled ”50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a
Digital Age” by Steve Weisman. It should be on our shelves
Conversation Across the
Cubicle: Downton Abbey
Betty J Roiger,
Acquisitions and Kris Wiley, Assistant Library Director
Kris and I often talk books over our
adjoining cubicles. But recently, most of our talk has
centered on a television show …
K: I just started catching up on
B: OMG! Doesn’t it rock?
K: I know,
B: I’m caught up through the first two seasons on
DVD, and I’m breathlessly waiting for season three to start
in January on PBS. Where are you?
K: I’m a little behind
you, so don’t spoil anything.
B: Never! But what do you
think of Mary and Matthew?
K: They have great chemistry.
Mary is my favorite character; I’m not sure whether to feel
sorry for her for her position as eldest daughter or to tell
her to suck it up and deal. My favorite couple is Bates and
B: Bates had me at “Hello.” And then when the other
servants played the dirty trick on him in the first episode,
I was totally Team Bates. And I love the time period, mainly
because I’m fascinated by their hats.
K: Don’t the
English still have cool hats? In any case, I’m with you. I
was sucked in when the series started with the sinking of
the Titanic. Season two is going through World War I, and …
B: Wait! Wasn’t it amazing how the Titanic affected the
family’s fortunes and propels the storyline for years?
Downton has no immediate heirs, so a third cousin (Matthew)
is in line to take over. And if Lord and Lady Grantham can
marry off Mary to Matthew, Downton will stay in the family.
K: Readers may have heard that Downton was nominated for
many Emmy Awards this year but won only one major title:
Maggie Smith was named Outstanding Supporting Actress in a
Drama Series for her portrayal of Violet, Dowager Countess
B: I loved it when Matthew’s mother, Isobel
Crawley, says to Violet, “What should we call each other?”
and Violet replies, “Well, we could always start with Mrs.
Crawley and Lady Grantham.”
K: Seasons one and two are
available on DVD through the library. Stop in and place a
hold on your copy today. And let us know you think of
B: We can almost guarantee you’re going to love
September 24, 2012
WHITHER THE BOOK?
Larry Hlavsa, Library
Seldom a week goes by that a library patron
or a friend doesn’t ask me—“Now that e-books have taken
hold, is the physical book going away?” I hope not. But it
sometimes seems like there are those trying to hasten its
Virtually all publishers now distribute
e-book editions of their new titles as well as print
editions. That’s good. But did you know that today not all
publishers will sell electronic editions to public
libraries? Indeed, after two centuries of supporting
publishers with our pocket books, a few publishers have quit
supporting public libraries by denying us access to their
e-book titles. This means 112,000 libraries and perhaps 169
million library users are not able to access the electronic
titles of Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin. Will more
industry giants follow the example of these publishers?
Other publishers, though not going so far as denying
access, have doubled and trebled their electronic book
prices to public libraries. As an example, Hachette Book
Group announced effective Oct 1, 2012, an average 220%
increase in their catalog titles of pre-2010 materials. Is
it any wonder that many librarians have begun feeling like
publishers are “sticking it to public libraries?”
Though the prices individuals pay for e-books have not
approached those charged to libraries, do you imagine that
once we’ve been squeezed, and once the public is dependent
on e-readers and tablets, that the industry won’t impose
increases on individual users? What is the likelihood of
your personal e-books doubling and trebling in price at some
point in the future?
Where does this leave public
libraries? We don’t quite know yet, but none of it portends
well for the future. Nationally and locally the economic
downturn of recent years has adversely affected budgets of
most public libraries. Now it seems like we’re being
strictured by the publishing industry as well.
support during the downturn of recent years for the New Ulm
Public Library from our municipality, our Friends of the New
Ulm Library, local businesses and the public has helped us
to weather the storm, it now seems like publishers are
abandoning us or otherwise making our difficult budgeting
task ever tougher.
“Now that e-books have taken
hold, is the physical book going away?” I don’t think so. I
personally hope that e-books and e-readers don’t take over
the world. Not in my lifetime anyway. I’m encouraged
recollecting when (about 1975) talk first began about the
“paperless” office. When’s the last time you walked into a
paperless office? I think that as the death of the
paper-filled office was widely exaggerated, I think the
death of the book is also widely—and incorrectly—being
September 17, 2012
Science Fiction or Reality?
I recently was browsing our
Science Fiction and Fantasy section, and suddenly it
blindsided me—the lauded Science Fiction writers from back
in the day are now few and far between on the shelves.
Heinlein, Zelazny, Bradbury, Herbert, Arthur C. Clarke,
Asimov…when I was growing up those were the guys who dreamed
big dreams, and many of the things they wrote about have
come to exist in our lifetime.
One of my favorite
authors, Roger Zelazny, predicted electronic books. He wrote
an awesome series called “The Chronicles of Amber”
(unfortunately dying before finishing it) and predicted in a
quote: “I would like to take this opportunity to plug my new
book, to be published in both computerized and printed
versions in time for 2012 Christmas sales – but I've not yet
decided on its proper title. ‘Grandchildren of Amber’ sounds
at this point a little clumsy, but may have to serve.” He
died in 1995, and just as he predicted, his “Amber” series
is now available in electronic format.
just died recently. He was an amazing writer, and things he
wrote about we almost take for granted these days. He
described ear buds when he wrote, “And in her ears the
little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight…” He
foresaw omnipresent electronic surveillance: “Tonight, this
network is proud to have the opportunity to follow the Hound
by camera helicopter as it starts on its way to the target…”
as well as ATMs: “Montag walked…with the money in his pocket
(he had visited the bank, which was open all night every
night with robot tellers in attendance)…” And I well
remember the vivid image of futuristic wall TVs when I read,
“How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth
wall torn out and a wall-TV put in?” Imagine: a future
society when people would be watching wall-sized TVs and not
paying attention to what was happening in the world around
Oh, excuse me, did I interrupt you from
watching your very large TV to make you read this article?
See, isn’t amazing that this man somehow “knew” we would be
planted in front of large TVs? On shows like “The Big Bang
Theory,” tv watchers can actually hear comments about robots
(like the ones below), which are directly related to Isaac
“Wolowitz: Sheldon, if you were a robot, and
I knew and you didn't, would you want me to tell you?
Sheldon: That depends…Uh, let me ask you this: When I learn
that I'm a robot, would I be bound by Asimov's Three Laws of
Koothrappali: You might be bound by them right
Leonard: What's going on around here?
Sheldon: Internet's been down for half an hour.
Koothrappali: Also, Sheldon may be a robot.”
also foreshadowed cell phones in a way, except his
characters had wrist radios. “When it wasn’t music, it was
inter-office communications, and my horror chambers of a
radio wrist watch on which my friends and my wife phoned
every five minutes.” I think we all have a horror story
involving someone else’s cell phone in the wrong place at
the wrong time.
It is interesting looking at these
authors’ works and realizing what they envisioned at their
desks while writing now being part of our daily lives. Makes
me wonder who are the Science Fiction writers of today who
will predict the next big thing?
September 10, 2012
Falling into a New School Year
Kudela, Children’s Librarian
September is here and
children are back in school. While schedules have changed,
it is wonderful to see children and their families still
making time to stop by the library. Lots of families are
checking out school-themed picture books. Junior readers are
browsing the shelves for their favorite series. And some
readers are checking out books to help them with their
schoolwork. Whether it is for leisure or for studies, the
library has a wealth of books and resources for throughout
the school year. Don’t forget that if a book is not on our
shelves, the library staff is happy to put a copy on hold or
find your request in another library. Interlibrary loans
make the book possibilities seem nearly endless!
you’re looking for a good book, be sure to check out the
displays in the Children’s Room. We’re asking readers to
tell us about their favorite books. Currently, a “Books we
love!” display is featured right outside of the Children’s
Room. Junior readers have been excitedly writing down their
favorite books from the summer. These top book picks have
made for a popular junior book display. On the picture book
side of the room, we’ve also started an interactive display.
The bulletin board “A Crop of Good Books,” features the
titles of favorite picture books. Parents are invited to
pick up a few apples at the Children’s Desk and write down
their children’s favorite picture books. We’d love to have a
bulletin board covered in apples. Thank you in advance for
While the autumn days are getting
busier, don’t forget there are still plenty of activities to
check out at the library. The fall storytime schedule began
this past Monday, Sept. 10th. Storytimes will be held on
Mondays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.
If you can’t fit a
storytime into your schedule, please be sure to check out
the family programs that are offered on the last Tuesday of
each month. Each month offers something different.
September’s family program is all about fantastic music! On
Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m., all are invited to Creepin’
Critters, a family music program featuring bluegrass fiddler
Becky Buller of Nashville and local bluegrass legends Dick
Kimmel and Jerilyn Kjellberg. This 45-minute program will
entertain music lovers of all ages. Registration is not
required. For a complete listing of library events, check
out the library’s Web page www.newulmlibrary.org and click
on the calendar link.
September 3, 2012
Politics, Politics, Politics
Linda Lindquist, Adult Services/Reference
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know this
is an election year. The yard signs are showing up all over
town, annoying advertisements are playing on television and
radio, political persons are in every parade, and every day
it seems new books are being published.
We are going
to take a look at a few of these books that have recently
been published. Let’s start first with the book entitled
“The History Buff’s Guide to the Presidents” by Thomas R.
Flagel. He covers topics such as presidential pastimes, most
controversial elections, assassinations and attempted
assassinations, and also the most influential first ladies.
This is a good book to browse, put down, and come back later
to read a little more.
“Campaign 2012: Twelve
Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy” is
edited by Benjamin Wittes. Some of the issues covered
include domestic economic growth; America’s role in the
world; health care; Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle
East; and terrorism. These are all questions facing the
presidential hopefuls as well as the challenges awaiting the
winner of the upcoming election.
If you enjoy
listening to books, James Carville and Stan Greenberg’s
“It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!” may interest you. According
to this book, we as citizens need to get involved and take
back our country. Washington and Wall Street have messed
things up for the average American. Work has been devalued,
education costs have skyrocketed, and people are not being
rewarded for a job well done. It is time for both political
parties to admit their errors and failures.
“Selecting a President” by Eleanor Clift and Matthew Spieler
explains how our presidential electoral system actually
works. Candidates have to follow rules that were established
back in the late eighteenth century. Presidential elections
are exciting, important, and inspiring starting from the
primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire and ending at the White
House in Washington, D.C. These authors talk about the role
of alternative parties, various primary election rules from
state to state, campaign financing, and some of the
controversies surrounding recent elections.
just wanted to mention a movie that is now playing at the
River Hills Mall in Mankato, MN. The title of the movie is
“2016: Obama’s America.” It is a documentary based on two
books-- “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” by Dinesh D’Souza and
“Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” by
Barack Obama. “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and
Inheritance” is in the New Ulm Public Library and “The Roots
of Obama’s Rage” is on order and should be in our library
the latter part of September.
The political scene is
heating up. We need to become informed citizens by listening
and reading about the persons running for office, be they
city, state, or national. How informed are you?
August 27, 2012
Kids Take On the Planets
Betty J Roiger,
I just wanted to give a shout out to the
children who participated in the summer program,
specifically those who named the planets we had hanging up
in the Children’s Room. Thanks
for playing this game. I
got to run the spreadsheet on all of the children’s planet
ideas and I’m here to tell you these entries are a stitch.
I have to say, after seeing hundreds of entries and
trying to decipher different handwriting, I had an epiphany.
I was struggling over scribbles and scrawls to make sure I
got the proper word down for each child. Then it occurred to
me that even if they don’t yet all have the language or the
vocabulary (that adults have), these kids have an amazing
creative process going on. Whether or not they could spell
it, these children are putting down imaginative, funny, and
I can give you an example. When
creating them I was trying to come up with different planet
ideas, but frankly, I didn’t always stray too far from known
planets. One of the planets looked sort of like Saturn
except that the ball was bright yellow surrounded by a soft
green colored ring. Some of the kids came up with surprising
ideas to name this planet. Some of my favorite entries were:
“Butterland,” “Lemon & Lime Planet,” “The Daisy Planet,”
“John Deere,” “Planet Green Bay Packer,” and “Sun with a Pet
Snake.” There was also “Balarena,” which I believe
translates to Ballerina—a lovely representation of the round
globe with the ring being a tutu.
I love it.
the end of making nine planets I was getting more
comfortable with the clay. The last one I did was a
conglomeration of Styrofoam pieces. This planet actually
looked egg-like and was cracked open like it almost had
jaws. And then, for a joke, I made a little meteor and glued
it in “the mouth.” I thought to myself—it looks like Pac
Man. So as I am tallying the children’s ideas I discover
that, sure enough, some kids “got” my joke and wrote “Pac
Man Planet.” I was kind of happy that we were on the same
track. Then other names started coming along like: “The
Meatball Planet.” I looked at it again and thought: “Why,
that meteor does look like a meatball!” That answer made me
laugh. Names like “Big Mouth” and “Planet Hatch,” “Bitesize”
and “Gumball Treat,” “Chomp” and “Munch,” “Crakt Egg” and
“Chewing World” followed. I’m telling you, these are ideas
from kids as young as 3 up to age 11. It really is
remarkable and wonderful what is happening in their heads.
So I wanted to thank all the children for their
participation. And send a special thanks to moms and dads
for bringing their children to the library. It takes time
and sometimes an effort to manage it all. I saw something on
TV a short time ago about how moms are really the CEOs of
their homes. They are scheduling everything, juggling a lot,
masterminding and mapping activities and obligations, and
running here and there. Thanks for doing all that and
working the library into your lives.
these entries, I think that you parents are feeding these
children’s heads in ways nobody even imagined by sharing our
world of books with each individual, evolving brain. I hope
their creative ideas continue to fuel our world because
these children really are incredible.
August 20, 2012
NEW NONFICTION AT THE LIBRARY
Hlavsa, Library Director
One thing about working at a
library is that new books which you’d like to read are
always coming to your attention. The following are 2012
titles that we now have at the New Ulm Library which I
haven’t read yet, but all of which sound interesting and
worthwhile. Maybe you’d enjoy one or more of them?
Pharmageddon by David Healy
(2012) - 338.476 Healy
A searing critique of the
modern “medical-industrial complex” which the author says is
“geared to treating patients in the same way a service
station handles a car that comes in for servicing.” Healy
says the profits of pharmaceutical companies are so tied to
blockbuster drugs that they overhype drug benefits while
minimizing, or even denying, real hazards. Healy concludes
things are so bad that “medicine as we have known it is at
Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mimbai
Undercity by Katherine Boo (2012) - 305.56 Boo
The dramatic story of the struggle for a better life in
one of the world’s most unequal cities. By Pulitzer Prize
winning author, Katherine Boo, the story is set in slums
shadowed by luxury hotels. A poverty-stricken family,
seemingly on their way to a better life, ultimately faces
the effects of a global recession, terrorism and a son
wrongfully accused of a shocking tragedy.
Hopelessly Divided : the New Crisis in
American politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond
by Douglas E. Schoen (2012) – 320.973 Schoen
America’s top political pundits looks at the growing chasm
between politicians and mainstream America. This chasm is
leading to populist movements on both the right and the
left, leaving our two-party system on the brink of possible
collapse. If you’re wondering why America has become so
polarized, this volume may provide you with some answers.
I Know Who You Are and I Saw What
You Did by Lori Andrews (2012) - 323.0285 Andrews
Social networking has brought down national governments,
but did you know that it is also eroding your privacy
rights? Frighteningly, the same power of information used to
topple governments can be utilized destroy careers,
marriages and lives. An essential wakeup call for all who
blindly use Facebook, Twitter or other social networks.
Selecting a President by
Eleanor Clift (2012) - 324.973 Clift
of the electoral process in America, published just in time
for the 2012 election. Shows how campaigns can be exciting
and inspiring, but also disillusioning, all the while
governed by rules conceived in the 18th century. A brief
civics lesson for American voters.
So there are five
brand new titles for your consideration. Check them out at
your New Ulm Public Library.
August 13, 2012
Record-Setting Teen Reading Program
Wiley, Assistant Library Director
The 2012 Summer
Reading Program for Teens had a banner year with a record 72
young adults registering for the nine-week program.
Forty-six teens logged 446 books, which bests the 2011 total
by nearly 200 books. Wow!
Teens read everything from
Harry Potter to “The Hunger Games” to Nicholas Sparks. They
read classic authors such as Charles Dickens and
contemporary favorites such as Sarah Dessen. They read
romance and fantasy and dystopia. The most impressive entry:
“The Passage” by Justin Cronin, a science fiction bestseller
that is 766 pages and weighs about 10 pounds.
In addition, teens attended a
writing workshop and a dream interpretation program. They
got physical at a tae kwon do workshop. And they read “Big
Fish,” then watched the film adaptation. Eight local teens
participated in the Battle of the Books trivia competition
Aug. 11 in St. Peter. Our teams studied hard and did a great
The Summer Reading Program for Teens would not
have been possible without the help and generosity of many
organizations and individuals. Major funding came from the
Friends of the New Ulm Public Library and Traverse des Sioux
Library System. Local businesses and individuals, including
Sven and Jean Eelma, Haar Friseure, Kris’s Klippers, Lola’s
Larkspur Market, Penazz Hair and Day Spa, and Uptown
Service, donated grand prizes. Local media outlets and
businesses publicized our events. A special thank you to the
Friends and the New Ulm Area Shrine Club for kicking off the
summer with cotton candy treats.
Our library staff
was invaluable to the program’s success. Staff members
worked on displays, printed copies, folded fliers, changed
their schedules, and in many other ways made sure everyone
enjoyed their experiences at the library.
To all of
you: Thank you! Your efforts and contributions are
Again, congratulations to our
participants. We look forward to another great program in
Here is what’s next for us: The library is
sponsoring a Fantasy Football League for ages 9-18 this NFL
season. Participants must have a Yahoo! E-mail account. The
regular season will run 12 weeks, and playoffs will follow.
Sign up today and add excitement to your Sunday afternoons.
Information sheets and registration forms are available
in the Children’s Department, or call us at 507-359-8334.
August 6, 2012
Bats, Books, and Summer Fun!
Kudela, Children’s Librarian
Wow, what a summer! It
is hard to believe that we just wrapped up the 2012 Summer
Reading Program. Before we pack away all of the bats and
I want to take a moment to recap
the children’s program, “Dream Big – Read!”
Congratulations to the 863 children who registered for the
program. Their enthusiasm and eagerness made the reading
program a huge success. This summer, children proved once
again to be avid readers. It seemed as if the books were
flying off the shelves! It was fun to watch children search
for their favorite authors and book series as well as branch
out and try new authors and genres. The “Read-Alikes” book
list binder was a great resource for both children and their
parents. Thanks again to Carla Fjeld, children’s library
aide, for creating this binder of valuable information!
Along with staff suggestions, children were eager to
recommend books, too. There is nothing quite as rewarding as
watching a child’s face light up as she talks about a good
In addition to finding books, children enjoyed
counting bats, naming planets, answering trivia questions,
and finding those hidden sheep. Some attended our special
events and storytimes while others let their imaginations
soar as they drew their idea of what’s in outer space. The
children’s and teens’ artwork remains on display in the
hallway near the Children’s Room. Be sure to stop by and
take a look. There is a lot of great art to see, and we
extend a big thank you to Ruth Lindemann and Carolyn Borgen
for serving as judges in this year’s art contest. Speaking
of art, I also want to extend a thank you to Cierra Krenz
for creating the wonderful window display at the library. If
you’re driving by on Broadway, you will be sure to see it.
The Summer Reading Program brings so many fun summer
memories, and none of this would be possible without the
tremendous wealth of community support. There are so many
people to thank! First, we send a big thank you to the
parents and caregivers who encouraged, supported, and often
drove, rode bikes, or walked with their children to the
library. Thanks to your efforts, children had fun learning
and maintained their reading skills. Another big thank you
is extended to the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library.
The Friends are local residents who are committed to the
library’s success. They help the library throughout the year
but make an extra special effort to kick off the Summer
Reading Program every year. This year, the Friends, with the
help of the New Ulm Area Shrine Club, provided cotton candy
on the opening day of the program. In addition to the
Friends, Kayleigh Maurer also donated her time on opening
day. She used her talents to provide face painting for
The Summer Reading Program would not have
been possible without the help and generosity of many
organizations and individuals. Major funding for this year’s
Summer Reading Program came from the Friends of the New Ulm
Public Library, an anonymous family donation, 3M of New Ulm,
and the Traverse des Sioux Library System. Local businesses,
including McDonald’s, Subway, Casey’s General Store, Burger
King, Papa Murphy’s, Perkins Restaurant, Cash Wise Foods,
and Kwik Trip, contributed prizes, treats, and awards. Sven
and Jean Eelma donated prizes and coupons for the finale
program. The Minnesota Twins donated specially autographed
Tony Oliva prints, and the Minnesota Lynx provided game
tickets. Finally, we say thanks to the Optimist Club, who
provided the movie license so we could show films throughout
This year’s Summer Reading Program
brought the continuation of several wonderful partnerships.
In July, the library staff partnered with Community and
Seniors Together to present a “Betsy-Tacy Musical
Experience.” New Ulm Community Access Television’s staff
also generously donated its time so this musical program
could be broadcast on local television. Later in the month,
the library staff partnered with the staff at New Ulm Park
and Rec for an outdoor concert featuring Snapdragon Seeds.
In addition, the library staff was welcomed at German Park
and the Community Center for special summer programs.
Finally, a big thank you goes out to local media outlets and
businesses for publicizing the library’s events.
share my gratitude, I must also extend my deep appreciation
for the library staff and volunteers. Staff members and
volunteers worked on displays, printed copies, folded
fliers, changed their schedules, and in so many other ways
made sure the children and their families enjoyed their
experience at the library.
Clearly, the Summer
Reading Program is a community project. To everyone, I
extend a heartfelt thank you! Your efforts, contributions,
and participation are sincerely appreciated.
congratulations to our participants. We hope you had a
wonderful summer and look forward to another great program
in 2013. Remember to keep reading and dreaming big!
July 30, 2012
What’s New on the Shelves
Looking for something good to
read? Here are a few new plots to tempt you to drop into the
cool of your library.
How creepy would it be to work
at a pizza joint and have someone call in to ask if “the
girl in the Mini Cooper” is making deliveries? Fortunately
for Gabie … but not so good for Kayla, the girls switched
shifts. This is where April Henry’s young adult thriller
begins and then takes the reader for a ride in “The Night
Not for the faint-hearted, Don
Winslow’s “Kings of Cool” is the prequel to “Savages.”
Violence, adult content, and language make this a far from
PG-13 read, yet the man has a gift with words. This is
almost like reading hardcore poetry, if you will.
J. Bolton’s “Dead Scared” is her second book featuring Lacey
and Joesbury. This time there seems to be an epidemic of
suicides at Cambridge University except there are too many
similarities to be ignored. And why would so many pretty
girls want to kill themselves? This psychological thriller
kept me turning the pages right up until the fierce ending.
Once a reader closes the book, do the characters
live their own lives until the book is opened again, making
each character replay the same old story over and over? This
is the premise of Jodi Picoult’s newest venture written with
her daughter, Samantha van Leer, entitled “Between the
Lines.” Juxtaposing Oliver’s character, who desperately is
trying to get out of the monotony of his fairy tale
existence, with Delilah, a real teen who is just trying to
survive high school—this book asks the question: Can a
two-dimensional character find romance outside the book?
“Surviving the Hindenburg” is a new junior book by Larry
Verstraete with fantastic illustrations by Minnesota artist
David Geister. This true account, told through the eyes of a
14-year-old cabin boy, is not only a remarkable story but a
visual treat, as well.
For anybody who ever has blanked
out right before taking a test, read “F in Exams: The Very
Best Totally Wrong Test Answers” by Richard Benson. It will
have you laughing out loud; I guarantee it. Here’s a test
question: "Give a brief explanation of the meaning of the
term 'Hard water'." Answer: "Ice." And: "Mobile phones are
very popular. Give one advantage and one disadvantage of
owning a mobile phone." Answer: "Advantage: You can order
takeout for your school lunch. Disadvantage: Your parents
can get hold of you at any time." Reading this is like
eating potato chips, you just want one more.
more: “Describe the shape and structure of the Milky Way."
Answer: "It's kind of like a long, bumpy rectangle. It's
completely covered in milk chocolate, but inside there are
two delicious layers: chocolaty nougat and caramel." This
book is totally funny.
There is something for
everyone at your library. We have books that are scary,
breathtaking, imaginative, beautiful, and just plain funny.
Come in and check something out.
July 23, 2012
Listen Up! to These Audiobooks
Wiley, Assistant Library Director
Audiobooks are a
wonderful way to pass the time on a road trip or a
three-mile run. Getting caught up in a thrilling plot or a
fascinating character sure makes the hills more manageable.
The following audiobooks have kept me in good company
"Turn of Mind" by Alice LaPlante is a
mesmerizing, at times horrifying, portrait of a woman’s
descent into Alzheimer’s. Dr. Jennifer White was a brilliant
surgeon who is suspected of killing her best friend, but
neither the police nor the listener can get a handle on her
actions or motives. This is a woman whose life has come
apart by her illness, and at the most crucial times she can
see herself spiraling right along with the listener. The
prose was so honest I found myself rewinding so I could hear
Jennifer’s words a second and third time.
Kind of Pretty" by Joshilyn Jackson is the contemporary
story of three generations of women growing up together in
Alabama. Grandma Jenny, mother Liza, and daughter Mosey
never had an easy time, but now that a baby’s body has been
dug up in their backyard, a devastating secret might tear
them apart forever. Jackson narrates her novel beautifully,
and this listener had no trouble distinguishing the voices
of the characters. The Southern lilt in Jackson’s voice made
me think of sweet tea and magnolias.
Daphne du Maurier is a classic gothic novel that we read for
the library’s Adult Book Discussion Group a couple of months
ago. I had read the book twice – it’s in my top 10 of all
time – so I decided I’d listen to it this time to refresh my
memory. I’m a sucker for accents (see previous review), and
this time it was Anna Massey’s spot-on British accent in
this 1983 recording that hooked me from the start. I’ve been
saying “tis-sue” rather than “tish-ue” ever since. And Mrs.
Danvers is creepy no matter which format you choose, so
whether you read the book or listen to the audiobook, you’ll
“Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles sends the
listener to 1930s New York and is reminiscent of “The Great
Gatsby.” I’m not a huge fan of Gatsby, but I am a huge fan
of Katey Kontent, the young woman who hobnobs with the
well-to-do of New York society in Towles’ story. Her wit and
wisdom drive this story – and there’s a surprise or two just
to keep the listener on her toes.
All of these
audiobooks are available through the library. Check one out,
pop a disc in your CD player, and watch the miles on your
next trip fly by. See you at the library!
July 16, 2012
LIBRARY HOURS CHANGE PROPOSED
Hlavsa, Library Director
Over the past few years,
Library staff has noticed a decided drop off in our business
after 8:00 p.m. This is true both in the summer and during
fall, winter and spring. Our customers do not seem to be
staying beyond that time to use library services. Since we
are always looking for ways to economize, we are proposing
that starting this fall the same schedule apply year-round
with the library closing at 8:00 p.m. on Monday through
Thursday. We’d like to know what you—the public—thinks.
This small hours change would save the library about
$4,000 per year which we would plan on putting back into the
collection budget. The past few years have been budgetarily
difficult and the collections budget has been reduced from a
high of $58,300 in 2008 to $51,000 in 2012. Any method we
can use to augment this budget is helpful.
everyone knows, the past few years have been difficult for
all state and local budgets. Many Minnesota libraries, in
fact, have faced budget cuts resulting in hourly reductions.
Some of these have been quite severe. This year, my former
employer, St. Paul Public Library, has reduced their hours
by 10%. At New Ulm Public Library we have managed to get
through these years with no reduction in hours. We hope the
public will see some wisdom in this small reduction which we
do not believe will adversely affect service.
Nonetheless, we welcome all public comments.
your emails to: email@example.com, your letters to: 17
North Broadway, New Ulm, MN 56073, or call me at: 359-8332.
I will share all comments with the Library Board at their
next meeting on August 9th at 4:00 p.m. in the City Council
Chambers. At that meeting the Library Board will take up the
proposed change in library hours. If you choose, this would
also be a great opportunity for your comments.
July 9, 2012
What’s new in non-fiction books
Lindquist, Adult Services/Reference
We have been receiving so many new and interesting
non-fiction books a t the New Ulm Public Library recently
that I decided to just mention a few of them in my article.
As most of you are aware, we have been getting ready for the
150th Anniversary of the Dakota Conflict for several months.
We have had speakers at the library and there are events
going on throughout the state on the Dakota Conflict. We
have gotten several new books on this subject at the library
John LaBatte has written a book entitled “Historic Fort
Ridgely”; Darla Gebhard and John Isch have collaborated on a
book “Eight Days in August”; and John Isch himself has
written “The Dakota Trials.” Two books written by Corinne L.
Monjeau-Marz are “Alexander Ramsey’s Words of War” and
“Recollections and Memories of August 17th, 1862: The Day
before the Dakota War.”
If you are interested in quilts or monuments, you might
like “Civil War Quilts” by Pam Weeks and Don Beld and
“Minnesota State Monuments to the Dakota Uprising” by Curtis
Dahlin. All of the above mentioned books are new and can be
found at the New Ulm Public Library.
If you are an avid golfer, a coffee table book entitled
“From Fields to Fairways” by Rick Shefchik may be o f
interest to you. Golf clubs and courses have been sources of
recreation, fellowship, and business for generations of
Minnesotans. Memorable moments in Minnesota golf include
Bobby Jones’s victory in the 1930 U.S. Open at Interlachen
Country Club; the PGA’s War Relief Match at Midland Hills
Country Club in 1942 with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby; and
Tiger Woods’ two upset losses at Hazeltine National Golf
Club in 2002 and 2009. There are over 200 photographs—many
of them have never been seen before—featured in “From Fields
A book that was recently purchased and that I found
really interesting is “Working Americans 1880 - 2012” put out by the Grey House Publishing Company. It takes
you decade by decade and gives you all kinds of interesting
and fun information. For instance, gasoline cost 21 cents
per gallon in 1941, 30 cents per gallon in 1957, and now
$3.50 in 2012. A Macintosh computer in 1981 cost $1,788 and
was humungous compared to our slim, compact computers today.
A Sony Cassette Player cost $400 in 1970. Today we can buy a
computer for that same price. A barber in 1898 made between
$5 and $15 per week—a hundred years later it cost $8 for a
man’s haircut. And 15 years later it is over $20 for a man’s
haircut. These are just a few of the fun and interesting
facts in this book.
There are many more new non-fiction books on the
shelves; stop in and check them out.
July 2, 2012
In the Heart of Summer Reading
Kudela, Children’s Librarian
The Summer Reading
Program is in full swing at the New Ulm Public Library.
Signing up is easy, and young readers of all ages are
enjoying the program. If you haven’t had time to sign up,
please feel free to stop by. Children who register before
July 7 still have plenty of time to complete the program’s
five bookmarks and earn a free book! During a visit to the
library, be sure to check out the children’s contests and
activities as well as the weekly craft projects. There are
imaginary planets to name, trivia questions to answer, and
bats to count. Children are also encouraged to participate
in the “What’s in Outer Space?” art contest.
Summer Reading Program is breezing by, and it’s hard to
believe a month has already past. Still, there is plenty
more fun to be shared at the library. This month’s Summer
Reading Program calendar includes:
• A Betsy-Tacy
Musical Experience with Sunday Punch Quartet on Thursday,
July 12 at 11 a.m. This special storytime will feature
stories of Maud Hart Lovelace and barbershop music.
Steve Sanders of Snapdragon Seeds will perform an outdoor
children’s concert on Thursday, July 19 beginning at 6:30
p.m. A regular performer at the Minnesota Children’s Museum,
Sanders released his first CD last August.
• On Friday,
July 27 at 10 a.m., the Narren will be at the library to
share their love of music and dancing with children ages
5-12. No registration is required for this program. Children
may simply show up wearing their dancing shoes!
you’re looking for more fun, and want a cool place to hang
out, don’t forget the library also offers free movies.
Upcoming movie dates include Wednesday, July 11 at 6 p.m.
and Thursday, July 26 at 3 p.m. Call 507-359-8336 for movie
There are several other community programs to
mark on your calendar. This month, an exciting two-part
program is available for teens. On Wednesday, July 11 and
Wednesday, July 18 from 1-2 p.m., teens are invited to learn
about the martial art of tae kwon do from Mr. David Ross and
students from Next Level Tae Kwon Do in New Ulm.
Registration and parental waiver are required. Pick up a
packet at the circulation desk, or call 507-359-8334.
On Wednesday, August 1 at 10 a.m., Jan Keaveny will host
a children’s book group at the library. The “Mr. Putter and
Tabby” series by Cynthia Rylant will be discussed. This
program is a great opportunity for children who love books
and want to talk about what they’ve read. After all, book
groups aren’t just for adults!
Also, be sure to make
note of the upcoming “1860s Life on the Prairie Workshop”
for children and teens ages 8-16. Offered by the library and
the Wanda Gag House Association, this free program will be
held Monday, July 30 through Thursday, Aug. 2 from 9 a.m.-1
p.m. daily at the Brown County Fairgrounds Schoolhouse.
Registration is required. Please call Diana at 507-354-2937
or Kris at 507-359-8334 for more details.
is indeed a time for fun and relaxation. Here at the
library, we also hope it’s a time for some reading fun. Stop
by and browse the shelves or stop by for a program. For a
complete listing of the library’s calendar, check out the
library’s Web site: www.newulmlibrary.org
June 25, 2012
Authors to Watch
Betty J Roiger,
So I found my new favorite British
author! At loose ends for reading… I checked out S.J.
Bolton’s (then) newest mystery called “Now You See Me.”
Here’s the first sentence: “A dead woman was leaning against
my car.” Intriguing, right? I dived in. The main character
is Lacey, and as you already know, she encounters a dying
woman who, in reaching out to Lacey, plunges the knife
deeper into her body. Lacey, both a cop and a human being,
desperately tries to come to the woman’s aid. When the
police view the scene, at first they believe Lacey is the
killer; she is covered in blood and has the knife. Once they
realize she is also a constable, they basically “bag” her,
putting her hands in baggies to preserve crime scene
evidence, hustling her back to the police station. As the
plot unfolds, it is revealed that the killer is mimicking
Jack the Ripper’s slayings; and ironically, Lacey is
somewhat of a Ripper expert. Although Jack the Ripper has
been written about and used as a plot device many times,
Bolton still manages to spin this in a different way. Not a
fan of real graphic murder mysteries, I was captivated by
When I reached the ending, I wasn’t ready to
be done with Lacey and Detective Joesbury. I thought the
story was complete, but those characters, surely there could
be more? Then I found that a sequel was coming out. Yeah! So
I wrote to Bolton to let her know how much I enjoyed the
book. And one night while I was checking my e-mail, I saw a
strange name and idly thought: spam! Imagine my surprise
when I realized that S.J. responded to me! I am torn when
this happens; pleased that the author wrote and
semi-horrified that an author is writing to me rather than
writing her next book. She was so nice and happy that
Americans were enjoying her work. Heck yeah, not a problem!
I’m waiting for the sequel right now.
ago, I wrote to another author, Gillian Flynn, after reading
her book called “Dark Places.” “Dark Places” is about a
7-year-old who flees outside when her mother and sisters are
killed. She identifies and testifies against her brother,
putting him in prison. Then things happen to make her
question what she really heard that night. I was totally
involved in this book and remember questioning the character
of several of the characters, which I told Gillian in an
e-mail. I recall that she asked me to read her other book
and give her feedback on that one, too. I found her to be
totally approachable and really talented.
She has a
new book out now, called “Gone Girl,” that has been making
some of the must-read lists. I knew right away I had to read
it, too. This mystery is about a marriage and a suddenly
missing wife. It is told in alternating chapters by the
husband, Nick, and absent Amy’s diary. The reader
immediately knows that, according to Nick, Amy can be a bit
of a witch. Whereas Amy’s diary reveals that Amy thinks she
is funny and smart and supportive. According to the diary,
Nick can be secretive and sort of a jerk. And yet Nick
thinks he’s an extremely handsome, likeable guy. So who does
the reader believe? As the pages turn, the tension builds;
like the tension on a rope as it is pulled tighter and
tighter, the pressure increases the further into this
marriage the reader goes. One marriage with two
perspectives: a missing woman and a self-conscious,
oblivious husband. The marriage is alternately sincere and
secretive, suspicious and snide, unknowing and manipulating.
So who is the creep? And just exactly how creepy is he or
she? Where is Amy? And how guilty is Nick, cuz readers know:
The first suspect is always the spouse.
This is a
slippery, snarky, snide ride as the reader becomes a voyeur
of a marriage going wrong, yet is not able to see where it
is heading. I caught myself whispering: “What did you do?”
to several characters in different places. As a reader, you
can’t look away. There is a reason “Gone Girl” is making the
best lists. Don’t miss it.
June 18, 2012
Great Television Mini-Series on DVD at the Library
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director
Over the decades,
there have been many great television mini-series. Some,
like Roots by Alex Haley, nearly everyone has seen. Lately,
the New Ulm Library has acquired several mini-series that
you may not have seen, or that you may not have seen since
their debut on network television decades ago (since
mini-series are seldom, if ever re-broadcast). When
nostalgia sweeps over you, check out one of these
mini-series on DVD from your New Ulm Library. Besides their
entertainment value, some are even educational.
Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) – 1604 minutes on
This 1976 dramatic mini-series was the first on
network television and its success led to many others. Hard
to believe but this was once-scandalous television. The
series stars Peter Strauss and Nick Nolte as the
ne'er-do-well Rudy and ambitious Tom Jordache, “brothers
locked in an incessant rivalry owing in large measure to
their bitterly cynical father, Axel (Ed Asner).” There’s
also free-spirited Julie Prescott (Susan Blakely) to make
things more interesting. This classic mini-series is based
on the novel by Irwin Shaw.
Backstairs at the
White House (1979) – 444 minutes on 4 disks.
This 1979 mini-series earned eleven Emmy nominations for its
portrayals of servants, presidents, and first ladies during
eight American presidencies. Watch American political
history unfold through the eyes of a maid and staff living
and serving in the White House. Based on a novel by Lillian
Rogers Parks the series stars Olivia Cole and Leslie Uggams.
Rough Riders (1997) – 183 minutes on 2
A well-done mini-series about Teddy Roosevelt and
his “Rough Riders” during the Spanish-American War. Here’s a
chance to join Tom Berenger (as the young Teddy Roosevelt),
Sam Elliott and Gary Busey as they march and ride with the
1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. But this film is about
more than just the war. It offers an excellent sense of the
nationalism and Randolph Hearst's yellow journalism that
were characteristic of the times.
– 271 minutes on 2 disks.
Nominated for nine Emmy Awards
this biographical mini-series of the Nobel Peace Prize
winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., takes an unflinching
look at one of the world's most public heroes during one of
the most troubling periods in American history. Starring
Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson and Ossie Davis, King is a
riveting tale that won accolades for its portrayal of Dr.
King and his wife, Coretta.
Little House on
the Prairie (2004) – 255 minutes on 2 disks.
Based on the autobiographical novels by Laura Ingalls
Wilder, this is not the Michael Landon television series.
Instead, this Disney mini-series tells the story of the
dangerous journey by covered wagon made by the Ingalls
family from an economically depressed Wisconsin to a
hoped-for better life in Kansas. Much, much closer to the
look, touch and feel of Laura’s memoirs than the television
series, this is highly recommended.
DVD mini-series and others await you at the New Ulm Public
Library. Check out and enjoy one or more on your next trip
to the library.
June 11, 2012
U.S.-Dakota War Symposium Schedule
Wiley, Assistant Library Director
A subgroup of the
150th Steering Committee of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 has
been working for well over a year to schedule an academic
symposium for thoughtful discussions related to various
aspects of the war. It has been a pleasure to be part of
these efforts, and I’m pleased to announce the schedule of
The symposium will take place Friday,
August 24 at Turner Hall, 102 S. State St. in New Ulm.
Presentations will begin on the hour between 9 a.m. and 2
p.m. with a one-hour lunch break at noon. Each presentation
will last about 35 minutes with 10 minutes following for
questions. The list of speakers is as follows:
– Dr. Mary Lethert Wingerd, author of the Minnesota Book
Country: The Making of Minnesota.”
Dr. Wingerd, associate professor of history at St. Cloud
State University, will provide perspective on the history of
the area we now call Minnesota as well as a framework for
the U.S.-Dakota War.
10 a.m. – Dr. Zabelle Stodola,
professor of English at the University of Arkansas-Little
Rock, is the author of “The War in Words: Reading the Dakota
Conflict through the Captivity Literature.” The working
title of her presentation is “Snana: Minnesota's
Pocohontas,” which will deconstruct and expose the reasons
for the overly positive cultural stereotyping and
sentimentalization of both Pocahontas and Snana (Maggie
11 a.m. – Dr. Elden Lawrence, former
president of Sisseton Wahpeton College and former visiting
professor of ethnic studies at Minnesota State University,
Mankato, is the author of “The Peace Seekers: The Indian
Christians and the Dakota Conflict” and “Stories and
Reflections: From an Indian Perspective.” His presentation
is titled “Beyond the 38.”
1 p.m. – Walt Bachman,
B.A., M.A., J.D., is a former trial attorney whose
forthcoming biography of Joseph Godfrey is titled “Black
Dakota.” His presentation is titled “Differing Portrayals of
the Dakota War Over Time: Political Correctness in 1900 and
2012,” which will cover the radically differing approaches
taken by historians during the two selected periods.
2 p.m. – Dr. Julie Humann Anderson’s presentation is titled
“Reconciling Memory: Landscapes, Commemorations, and
Enduring Conflicts of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.”
This project is sponsored by the Friends of the New Ulm
Public Library with partners the Brown County Historical
Society and Turner Hall. The New Ulm Area Foundation and the
Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation are providing generous
For more information about library-sponsored
programs, go to www.newulmlibrary.org. For a list of Dakota
War commemorative events (which continues to be updated), go
to www.browncountydakotawarcommemoration.com and click on
Calendar of Events.
June 4, 2012
Betty J Roiger,
I just read an interview with George R.
R. Martin, and he concluded with something I could really
relate to. He was looking at picture of his third-grade
class and recognized himself and his close friends but
didn’t remember who the other kids were. “Undoubtedly I was
alive every day I was growing up, but most of those memories
are gone.” And he went on to say, “I never saw the green
light at the end of Daisy’s dock or the parties on Gatsby’s
lawn, but they seem more vivid than things that I actually
lived. If we are the sum of our experiences, … then books
are [as important a] part of my life [as] my actual life.”
What a great gift it is, then, to lend someone a book.
That leads me to thanking some people I don’t
necessarily know. And they don’t know me either, probably.
And they also won’t know all the people they touched with
their generosity. That’s the really nice thing about gifts:
They make all sorts of people all sorts of happy.
wanted to thank a gentleman who thought of us after his wife
died. In memory of his wife, his generosity enabled me to
purchase some inspirational fiction. I received another gift
so that I was able to purchase some large print. There is
always a demand for large print. Thank you. Then a club gave
us some memorial money. Since book clubs read all sorts of
things, Linda and I split the money and ordered both
nonfiction and fiction books. Thank you.
It is an
unwritten policy at the library that when a staff member has
a death in the family, the rest of the staff chips in
together for them. We ask what the loved one liked in life,
be it a hobby or pastime, and we purchase book or books in
their memory on those topics. In this way we give the
library something in memory of someone who is lost to us,
and we build up parts of the collection that we might not
otherwise have money for. This time, we purchased some
organic gardening books. Thank you, guys.
all the readers who will be touched by these gifts, thank
you. New places, characters, and stories will be part of
many readers’ lives because of your thoughtfulness. The
library thanks you, and we are totally happy to share our
May 28, 2012
Dream Big at Your Library!
Children’s Librarian & Kris Wiley, Assistant Library
Summer is almost here, and the library is
gearing up for its annual summer reading programs! With the
theme “Dream Big – Read!” this year’s programs will inspire
children and teens to use their imaginations and explore the
world around them.
To interest young readers of all
ages, two reading programs will be offered again this
summer. The children’s reading program is open to children
ages 1 to 12, and the teen reading program is open to young
adults ages 13 to 18. Registration for both programs begins
on Monday, June 4 at 9:30 a.m. Children and teens who
register on the kick-off day will receive a voucher for a
treat while supplies last. We want to extend a big thank you
to the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library and the New Ulm
Area Shrine Club for providing this year’s treats! For those
who can’t make it to the library on June 4, there is still
plenty of time to sign up because registration will run
through early July.
Summer Reading Program
The goal of the
children’s program is for participants to read for 30
minutes a day for 25 days between June 4 and August 2.
Children who are pre-readers are asked to listen to books
read to them for 20 minutes a day for 25 days. To help track
their reading time, children who register will receive a
“Dream Big” bookmark. After completing their five days of
reading (or listening), children will return their completed
bookmark to the library for a prize and a new bookmark. All
children who complete the program’s five bookmarks will
receive a book and be eligible to win one of 10 grand
prizes. For children ages 6 to 12 who want an extra
challenge, they can complete a reading challenge sheet to
receive a prize and be named a “Dreamy Reader.”
reading is at the heart of the summer program, the library
staff has planned activities to encourage children to be
creative and have fun! While visiting the library, children
can search for sheep or identify the bulletin board’s
display of nocturnal and diurnal animals. There also will be
crossword puzzles, word finds, and coloring sheets available
along with a family challenge sheet. Plus, summer storytimes
will be held on Mondays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.
There are also lots of contests planned at the library.
Night Owl Trivia questions will be posted each week, and
children are invited to enter the What’s In Outer Space? art
contest. There is also the Go Batty Counting Bats contest
and the Out of This World (name that planet) contest.
Another highlight of the summer reading program is the
calendar of special events. The first big program of the
summer reading season is the Sky Dome Planetarium’s journey
through the stars. June’s calendar also includes a Book Arts
Workshop presented by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts,
storytelling by the WonderWeavers, and a family program with
origami enthusiast and children’s author Chris Harbo. Of
course, June is just the beginning of summer fun. There are
free movies and more programs to come. For a complete
listing of the library’s calendar of events, please check
out the library’s Web site at www.newulmlibrary.org. There
is family fun for everyone!
Summer Reading Program
Teens are invited to
register for the Summer Reading Program at the Circulation
Desk. Throughout the summer, they will log every book they
read on a slip of paper and drop the paper in a designated
box at the Reference Desk. Every teen who submits at least
one slip will receive a book. Additional prizes will be
drawn randomly from all submissions.
The library has
several special events planned for teens, including a visit
from author Rebecca Fjelland Davis on June 8; a dream
interpretation workshop on June 21; and a read the book,
watch the film program on July 20.
And don’t forget about
Battle of the Books, the trivia-style competition open to
teens throughout the Traverse des Sioux Library System. This
year’s event is scheduled for August 11 in St. Peter.
Interested teens must register with Kris (507-359-8334).
This is the program’s fourth year, and it gets better every
The New Ulm Public Library is fortunate to
receive major funding for the 2012 Summer Reading Programs
from the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library; an anonymous
donor; 3M of New Ulm; and the Traverse des Sioux Library
System through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The
library also receives generous prize donations from local
businesses and organizations. A complete list of donors can
be found on the library’s Web site. Thanks, donors!
As always, the most important reward of our summer reading
programs is that it helps children and teens maintain or
even improve their reading skills that lay the foundation
for school success. If parents and libraries work together
to provide incentives for reading, kids can be winners. So
come to the library this summer for
some good books and
May 21, 2012
AWEsome Library Tool for 2-8 Year Olds!
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director & Katy Kudela,
Literacy is accomplished most
easily at an early age, and the New Ulm Library now has a
computer workstation oriented towards promoting literacy
among 2 to 8 year olds. It’s called the “AWE Early Literacy
Workstation” and it’s filled with fifty+ computer software
programs that promote literacy and encourage lifelong
learning. These programs span seven curricular areas
including mathematics, music, art, science and more.
Some 35% of American public libraries now own one or more of
these workstations and it’s easy to see why. The educational
titles are pre-loaded on the computer and displayed using
engaging dynamic graphics and intuitive menus. The vendor
also provides full support, updates and has designed the
machines to be fully secure in a library environment. The
AWE workstation does not provide Internet access thereby
avoiding the issues that come with such access.
New Ulm Library was able to purchase one of these units
through the support of the Friends of the New Ulm Library,
an anonymous family donation of $1000 and by utilizing some
budgeted technology funds. Initially, we have purchased one
unit, but we hope to purchase a second one before the end of
the year. Here’s why:
Children learn independently
with the AWE workstation. Since its addition just a few
weeks ago, the AWE workstation has been a big hit in the
children’s room. In fact, staff have noticed that all of the
gaming computers have increased usage since the AWE
workstation was set up in the library. Children’s Librarian,
Katy Kudela, notes—“I think one child having fun makes
others want to join in.”
The colorful workstation and
its amazing graphics especially catch children’s attention.
It’s fun to see children try out the computer even if
they’ve never used a library game computer before. Children
seem to be naturals at using the AWE workstation. Katy
further notes—“I have to sheepishly admit that it was a
young patron who advised me the computer has a touch screen!
There is no need to explain to them how to use the computer.
They just sit down and start playing.” Amazing! So far one
of the most popular games has been a science game, which
teaches children about the “amazing human body.” Learning
while having fun is the best combination!
2 to 8 year old to the New Ulm Library and have them show
you how to use our AWE Early Literacy workstation!
May 14, 2012
Larry Hlavsa, Library
Well, it’s all over! Two murders in the
Library in two nights. Did you hear about it?
eighty-one mystery fans joined NUACT’s Paul Warshauer and a
cast of twelve in solving two separate library-based
mysteries on Friday, May 11th and Saturday, May 12th. There
were “Ooohs” and “Ahhs” and “Mmmms” galore as Paul guided
the participants through crime scenes (locations in the
library), skits among the possible perps and victims,
cross-examination of the suspects, and finally, a balloting
The original play—written by Paul
Warshauer especially for this event—involved a hostile
takeover of the New Ulm Library by a Silicon Valley tech
firm called Pineapple, Inc. The firm’s goal was to replace
the New Ulm Library with a Tech Center sporting a huge T5
Internet pipe. No more books! Just bits and bytes. The
stellar cast of local actors included:
Adam S. Appel
(Zach Holmquist), CEO of Pineapple, Inc.
(Stefanie Havemeier), Asst. to the CEO
Delilah D. Dahmdan
(Becky Comnick), a construction firm owner and mob boss
Boobles D. Sympletan (George Hirschboeck), an intern with
the mob boss
Mayor Frieda Flipflappah (Judy Sellner),
mayor of New Ulm
G. Gordon Piddley (Kent Menzel), mayor’s
Fred Flipflappah (Marlyn Sellner), husband of
Lawrence Librahubris (Jared Schwab), library
Maria Geisel (Jodi Poehler), children’s
Otto Schleissithoff (Mark Santelman), pig
farmer from Essig and Friends president
Schleissithoff (LaRonda Bourn), wife of the Friends
Mary Sunshayne (Sue Ullery), Chamber of
Thanks also to the docents for the
production—Gabby Budenski, JoAnne Griebel, John Holmquist,
Nicole Kalow, Baily LaMountain, Zach Lingl, Abby Matthews,
Mary Jo Roeber, Jenna Sieve and Leasa Sieve. Ticket takers
were Nikie Groebner, Eunice Riebel and Leasa Sieve.
Murder: Overdue! was a collaboration and joint fundraiser
for the New Ulm Actors Community Theater (NUACT) and the
Friends of the New Ulm Library. Nearly $2,000 was raised in
support of the two organizations. Thanks to the eighty
people who attended and enjoyed this unique event!
Finally, thanks to the Friends of the New Ulm
Library--especially Alma Marin--who provided the wonderful
desserts, and Kris Wiley, who coordinated the event for the
New Ulm Library.
Now the Library will go quiet again
as it prepares for the next hostile takeover by a Paul
Warshauer script! Maybe next year?
May 7, 2012
Professor Plum Did It
Betty J Roiger,
I was alone in the library late one
night. I had forgotten a phone number at my desk and was
just going to run in and get it. It was no big deal; I’ve
worked in this building for thirty years. I could almost
find my way around in the dark so I didn’t need a light.
Coming in the backdoors, with light from the street to guide
me, I rounded the corner, and I could hear the snap of a
door closing. I looked back. Nope, there’s nothing there. It
was just the sounds of a building settling.
time I was in the workroom, I could hear the hum of the
elevator. “Hmm. That’s funny. No one else is in here. Maybe
it turns on periodically,” I thought. In any case I was
almost to my desk so I was fairly sure I could find the
number and get out fast. But noises add up rapidly with the
imagination doing the calculations. What ifs started to
stack up in my brain. What if there IS someone here? What if
something happens? The library seems to have an unlimited
amount of shadowy nooks, towering shelves, and creepy
noises. Where is the best place to hide? What’s around the
next corner? And suddenly my brain made that final leap: The
library is the perfect place for murder.
hosting one. Yep, that’s right; we’re inviting everyone to
the library for a murder. Friends of the New Ulm Library and
NU Actors Community Theater are having a mystery night at
the library. Creepy, shadowy, noisy old building that it is.
Murder: Overdue! will play out both Friday, May 11 and
Saturday, May 12 at 7 p.m. Tickets are twenty-five dollars
each, nonrefundable. Everyone is welcome. There is only
Will there be thrills and chills?
Well, there is no guarantee. What is guaranteed is that
there WILL be a murder (a false one), there will be audience
armchair detectives, there will be fun, and there will be
dessert. So who gets it? Is it the pompous librarian with
the pencil in the office? Could it be the Chamber president
with an encyclopedia in the basement? And more important,
who done it? Was it the Mayor in the conference room with a
date due stamp? Or could it be the Friends of the Library
member in the fiction stacks with a ream of paper? (Paper
cuts can be deadly.) Did a book truck run over the victim?
Did the murderer leave an important clue? And most
important, what is for dessert?
Well, to find out
the answers to these and any other questions, you will have
to come and find out. Just know that there aren’t any
candlesticks or a nifty conservatory like in Clue. But we do
have wicked staplers and a unisex bathroom. Who knows what
will make a killer combination?
April 30, 2012
Betty J Roiger, Acquistitions
Do you ever get a song caught in your head? And have
it singing around and around inside? If it is a bad song, it
drives you nuts. Then it is like annoying ear bubblegum. But
if it is a good song, you kind of just go with it. You know
what I mean?
When I was a kid, we would open our
little plastic record player and put on one of our thick,
yellow, vinyl Disney 45s and sing along to the records. We
didn’t have many records to choose from. The ones I remember
were Winnie the Pooh, Tawny, Scrawny Lion, and the crocodile
song from Peter Pan and Captain Hook.
The Winnie the
Pooh record was Pooh singing this cheerful song. It went:
Sing Ho! for the life of a Bear. Sing Ho! for the life of a
I don’t much mind if it rains or snows,
I’ve got a lot of honey on my nice new nose,
I don’t much
care if it snows or thaws,
Cos I’ve got a lot of honey on
my nice clean paws!
Whenever I have heard that, for
me, it has been always a happy, happy song. And today, I’m
singing it. (Whether I’m a bear or not.)
It is a good
day because our Friends of the Library group gave the
library a gift of money to purchase some large print books.
This is an excellent surprise for a lot of reasons. One, we
always can use money for large print. Two, our large print
readers are so awesome and enjoy it a great deal. Whether it
is a patron who is reading large print or customers who are
checking large print out for their parents or children to
read, our large print circulates. So this is a boon. I
immediately contacted my large print vendors, both of whom
are just great to work with, to see what is new and what
discounts I can get. So this is a “Sing Ho!” kind of day,
knowing some large print books are on their way to us.
Another Friends group recently graced us with a gift, as
well. The Friends of the LeSueur library gave our Traverse
des Sioux Library System a gift of money to spend on
e-books. We were able to get a nice number of e-books due to
that influx of money. I’m not sure if patrons who use
e-devices know this, but while an individual may purchase an
e-book for twelve to twenty dollars, the same title costs us
upwards of seventy or eighty bucks. (And this is if we can
even get access to it.) Yes, there is that much difference
in cost. This is because, unlike a single customer, a
library can circulate an e-book hundreds, maybe thousands,
of times. While understanding that publishers want to get
paid as much as they can for their merchandise, this is
still painful to library pocketbooks. So the generosity of
the LeSueur Friends was a gift to all the patrons in our
Consequently, “Sing Ho! for the
life a bear!” is in my head today, which is a good day.
Thank you to LeSueur Friends and New Ulm Friends. Today,
having this happy little tune buzzing around in my head
means that good fortune is being shared. And that is what
libraries are all about. (Sharing and friends and sometimes
April 23, 2012
Summer Dreams and Wishes
It’s true that spring came early
this year, but in the Children’s Room we are already
thinking ahead to summer. Plans for the 2012 Summer Reading
Program are well under way. This year’s theme “Dream
Big-Read!” will stretch the imagination and encourage
children to explore the world around them…even outer space!
But before the program can launch, there is lots of work to
Twas a month before the Summer Reading
and our “to-do lists” are filling up our
There are brochures to print, fold, and
and plenty of flyers to post all about.
There are bats to make and bedtime sheep to hide
these decorations will make
a fun scene inside!
Stars will hang from way up high,
and Betty’s planets
for a dreamy night sky.
Everyone at the
library is doing their part
to make summer reading fun
right from the start.
The work is great fun, and we
can’t wait to see
the faces of children smiling with
as they walk through the door
to find books,
movies, and activities galore!
While the children’s
staff is dreaming about summertime, there is still plenty of
fun to be had in the months of April and May. We’re all
about spring with our “Springtime” and “Happy Earth Day!”
picture book displays along with our “Spring into Sports”
junior book display. Springtime activities are on the
calendar, too, including an Arbor Day program in German Park
with a group of second-graders. We’re also excited to
welcome a St. James school visit. These first-graders will
be learning about Wanda Gag and her much loved books.
In May, there is more fun to be shared. The Optimist
Club and the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library are
sponsoring a free movie event on Friday, May 18 at 10 a.m.
On Tuesday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m., Jordan Budenski will share
his family program “Rompin’ Rodents!” It will be an evening
of wildlife learning and fun for all ages.
the season, there is always lots of activity happening at
the New Ulm Public Library. For a listing of all the
library’s events, please be sure to check out the library’s
online calendar at www.newulmlibrary.org, watch for flyers
posted in the library, or give us a call at 359-8331.
April 16, 2012
Linda Lindquist, Adult
Every year on April 22 we
celebrate our planet with “Earth Day.” The first Earth Day
was celebrated in 1970. It was a nationwide teach-in on
college campuses so people would become aware of
environmental issues. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin
is credited with starting the first Earth Day celebration.
On that first Earth Day, 20 million Americans demonstrated
in the streets, in parks, and in auditoriums in organized
protests to protect the environment against oil spills,
polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic
dumps, pesticides, the loss of wilderness, and the
extinction of wildlife. That first Earth Day got everyone
working together for the same common cause—preserving our
There are many ways in which all of us
can take part in Earth Day. Here are some examples of things
to do on Earth Day:
1. Organize an Earth Day walk, hike,
run, swim, or bike outing. Everyone, from little too big,
could be included in this event.
2. Collect old
incandescent lightbulbs and recycle them. A group such as
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or 4-H could make this a project
for their organization.
3. Call your local Parks
Department and offer to clean up a park or plant a tree or
4. Check with a local nursing home and offer to
plant and help maintain a vegetable garden for them.
Organize an e-waste recycling drive. Collect old computers,
televisions, and other electronic equipment from your
community and recycle them.
These are only a few
suggestions. If you think for a while, you can come up with
more ideas for celebrating Earth Day.
Check your local
library for ideas on “going green” or conserving energy in
our homes, workplace, and communities. “Reducing Your Carbon
Footprint at Home,” “Save Energy and Cut Your Bills,” “Get
Out!: 150 Ways for Kids & Grown-ups to Get Into Nature and
Build a Greener Future,” and “Green Buildings” are just a
few of the titles available at the New Ulm Public Library.
Earth Day should not be set aside for only one day during
the year. We have to think “green” for every day of the
year. Start small and work your way up. Our children are the
leaders of the future—it is important that they learn the
importance of the environment now and how to protect it so
future generations can enjoy our Earth.
April 9, 2012
Thank You to Library Staff and Volunteers
Wiley, Assistant Library Director
week we celebrate National Library Week, a time to recognize
and honor the contributions libraries and library workers
make to our communities. Tuesday, April 10 was National
Library Workers Day, when we honored our dedicated and
hard-working team for its service. The library staff loves
books and information, and we do our very best to put books
and information into your hands.
My hope is that you have a positive
experience every time you visit the library. Whether that
means you talked books with a librarian, read a magazine
while drinking a cup of coffee, used one of our computers,
or found just the right book, we strive to provide a
I want to take a moment, though, to
make you aware of a few of our staff’s efforts behind the
scenes. Materials are ordered, and they are processed, and
they are paid for, and they are shelved and reshelved and
reshelved. They are repaired and repaired and repaired. Then
they are weeded and discarded. Tax forms are ordered and
made available. Storytimes are developed, and chairs are set
out and then put away. Information about electronic books
and readers is committed to memory. Speakers are booked, and
publicity is created. Computers work properly, and our
technology functions. The library remains neat and tidy. And
we try to do all of this without showing you just how much
we sometimes sweat.
The truly remarkable thing about all of
this is that everyone at the library has found a niche. Our
staff has a wide variety of interests and talents, and we
put them to the best use for you. Thank you to our staff –
you and your work are valued.
April also is National Volunteer Month,
a time to recognize and thank our volunteers for their
service to the library. We have a fantastic group of
volunteers that steps up in a number of ways. One of our
volunteers delivers books to homebound residents in New Ulm.
Another volunteer facilitates the Teen Book Group and helps
develop teen programming. One recently spent two hours
making copies of and folding brochures. Another cleaned
children’s materials. All of our volunteers do whatever we
ask of them. Their efforts are by no means glamorous, but
all of it is necessary and very much appreciated. Thanks to
all of our volunteers. You rock!
April 2, 2012
E-BOOK DONATIONS TO LIBRARY?
by Larry Hlavsa, Library Director
Now that e-books
have been available through the Traverse des Sioux Libraries
(of which New Ulm Public Library is a part) for almost a
year, we’re getting asked—“How do I donate my e-book to the
It’s a good question, but there’s really
not a very satisfactory answer. Unlike physical books, which
can be handed off to the library once you’re done with them,
the licensing of e-books does not allow donations to a
library. Though you can sometimes (depending on who you
bought the e-book through) loan your purchased title to a
friend, you cannot give it to a library for loan to other
users. It’s just not allowed. That’s not the library’s
decision, but that of the authors/publishers/distributors.
It’s sad, but true. So how can you help the Library when
you buy e-books? Well, starting this week, if the title you
wish to borrow is checked out on
the Library’s Web
site, you can click on a link called “Buy it Now” and
purchase the book for your own e-reader. If you do so, about
10% of the value of your purchase will be credited to the
Traverse des Sioux Library System (TdS) allowing us to
purchase more digital materials such as e-books and
downloadable audiobooks through OverDrive. That means us!
Remember though, use this only if you want to purchase the
item because you don’t want to “Place a Hold” and wait for
Here’s a few Q & As that might help you
understand how this works:
Q: How will my library use
the funds it earns from my purchase?
A: Funds the
library earns from the OverDrive WIN Affiliate Program will
be credited to the OverDrive account of the Traverse des
Sioux system for purchase of more eBooks and audiobooks. The
titles and materials the library selects are at the
Q: How do I know what is a
qualifying purchase for my library to get credit?
eBook and/or digital audiobook purchases and other items
from OverDrive WIN Affiliated Retailers will provide the
library with a credit from your purchase. “Other items”
means even if you buy a television, the library system will
receive a credit for the purchase of additional digital
Q: Is my purchase tax-deductible?
A: No. Purchases from OverDrive WIN affiliated retailers are
Q: How do I choose a retail
A: When you select the green "Buy it Now"
link located beside titles on
e-materials Web site, you will see a list of OverDrive
WIN Affiliated Retailers. Clicking on a retailer's logo will
link you to that retailer's commercial website. Not all
retailers offer the same titles or formats that your library
does, and the content available may not be compatible with
all devices. Please review the retailer's website for
additional information. Over time TDS will be adding
additional OverDrive WIN Affiliated Retailers so the list is
subject to change.
Q: What’s the one thing you need
to remember to insure your purchase benefits the Library?
A: Remember, you must click on one of the “Buy it Now”
links on the TDS Web site (http://tds.lib.overdrive.com/),
then click on the vendor through whom you wish to make a
purchase. If you do that, the TDS libraries will receive a
credit—generally about 10%—of the value of your purchase.
NOTE: if you go directly to the vendor Web site without
going to the TDS Web site first, the TDS libraries will not
receive a credit.
So there you have it. A new way for
you to help the New Ulm Public Library and other TDS
libraries when making online purchases through such
well-known vendors such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and
others. We hope you’ll give it a try!
March 26, 2012
Come Out and Join Us for World Book Night
by Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions & Kris Wiley, Assistant
B: So, Kris, I hear you are reading
“The Chronicles of Harris Burdick.”
K: I am. Some of
those stories are creepy!
B: Oh, yeah. Totally. I
thought that Jon Scieszka’s “Under the Rug” was wonderfully
snarky and had me laughing at his audacity at the end.
K: I thought you would be upset about the cat.
Ha! Feline lover that I am, I realized that sacrifices must
be made for that ravenous rug. I found so many stories
interesting because each author took a Chris Van Allsburg
picture and wrote a story around it, taking the pictures
into realms of the weird, or magical, or even sweet.
K: I’m still reading it, but I liked “Uninvited Guests” by
Jules Feiffer. It begins, “Henry was startled, but not that
surprised by the appearance of a singing mouse in his
studio.” Turns out Henry is a children’s book writer and
illustrator who has nothing left in his life except the
characters he has created. I thought it was heartbreaking.
B: One of my favorite authors, Louis Sachar, introduces
a boy to a ghost in “Captain Tory.” Normally, one would
think that a ghost would be scary, but this one, well, not
to give it away, but this one is sort of heartwarming. So
maybe we need to mention why we are both so interested in
“The Chronicles of Harris Burdick”?
K: Sure. As you
know, World Book Night is coming up on April 23; it is an
annual celebration designed to spread the enjoyment of
reading and books.
B: And we have something planned
to spread the love of reading to others?
Beginning at 7 p.m. on April 23, we are going to read aloud
from “The Chronicles of Harris Burdick,” which will be fun.
And because these stories are short, patrons can come and go
as they please. We are also having trivia contests, AND
there will be free books and refreshments.
B: So we
are actually giving away books?
K: Yep. Maybe you’ve
heard of “The Hunger Games”?
B: Ha ha. Really, with
the movie opening, all I want to do is re-read it. What a
K: I know! And we also have copies of
“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card to give away. Look, all
the participation we require is just to have fun. Stop by to
hear a story, or read one if you like. Play trivia and maybe
win a prize.
B: Sounds good. Better than hiding
under the covers reading a book by yourself with a
K: Exactly. It is World Book Night: Come
out and celebrate with us.
March 19, 2012
U.S.-Dakota War Roundtable Planned
Wiley, Assistant Library Director
For nearly two years I have been working with the folks at
the Brown County Historical Society and the 150th
Anniversary Steering Committee of the U.S.-Dakota War of
1862 to bring speakers to the local community. Our lineup of
historical novelists and local and regional historians has
been well received.
Our programs have been leading up
to the commemorative week of events planned throughout New
Ulm and Brown County between August 20 and 26. A wide
variety of groups has scheduled a multitude of programs –
everything from bus tours of the Milford, Leavenworth, and
Hanska areas to film screenings to a concert to a play and
much more. Go to www.browncountydakotawarcommemoration.com
for more information, and click on Calendar of Events for a
full listing of programs.
The library’s involvement
in the commemoration focuses on speakers. Specifically, I
have worked with a subcommittee to schedule a roundtable,
which will be Thursday, August 23 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at
Turner Hall. Historian Dan Hoisington will moderate the
discussion, which will be a point-counterpoint format with
historians Curtis Dahlin, Corinne Marz, Stephen Osman, and
Don Heinrich Tolzmann. The panelists will discuss up to
eight questions that they will receive in advance. The
questions are being prepared by the subcommittee; however,
we ask for the public’s assistance. What question related to
the Dakota War would you like discussed by the panel? Drop
off your suggestions to the library or mail them to me at
New Ulm Public Library, 17 N. Broadway, New Ulm, MN 56073;
call me at 507-359-8334; or e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I will collect responses through April
20. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful submissions.
If you’re looking for material to prepare a question,
stop by the library. We have a number of books and videos
that might provide inspiration, and our reference staff will
help you locate just what you need.
The roundtable is
made possible by a grant provided by the Traverse des Sioux
Library System and was funded in part or in whole with money
from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The
roundtable is just one of the many events scheduled to
commemorate the Dakota War. Watch here for more information
as we get closer to August.
March 12, 2012
Busy Month of April
Did you know there are 74
monthly observances in the month of April? A few of these
are Alcohol Awareness Month, Autism Awareness Month, Child
Abuse Prevention Month, Couple Appreciation Month, Frog
Month, Grilled Cheese Month, Keep America Beautiful Month,
Month of the Young Child, National Card and Letter Writing
Month, National Humor Month, National Kite Month, National
Poetry Month, Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month, School
Library Media Month, Stress Awareness Month, and World
Habitat Awareness Month.
If you don’t want to
celebrate just one thing during the month of April, you can
choose something different every week. During the first week
we can Explore Your Career Options, the second week is
National Library Week, during the third week we can
celebrate International Whistlers Week, and the last week we
have the Week of the Young Child. And if you really want
variety in your life, you can choose something different
every day during the month. If you have access to a computer
you can check out all the different monthly, weekly, and
daily observances during the month of April. The web site
that I looked at is
What has all of
this to do with the library? Books, of course. April is
National Kite Month and in the 629s we have books on
designing, constructing, enjoying, and flying a kite. In the
junior section we have a book titled “Asian Kites” by Wayne
Hosking. This book shows 15 different kites that can be
built at home from materials that you already have or that
can be purchased at a local craft or hobby store. The winds
in April are great for flying (or attempting to fly) kites.
Child Abuse Prevention Month is also observed during the
month of April. We have a series in the New Ulm Library
written by David Pelzer about child abuse. The series
includes “A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to
Survive, “The Lost Boy,” and “A Man Named Dave.” Or another
book is titled “Child Abuse: Opposing Viewpoints” edited by
Louise I. Gerdes. We have many other books on child abuse as
Do you like to read poetry or maybe you like to
write poetry. The library has many good poetry books. Check
out the 800s for poetry books by Garrison Keillor, Robert
Frost, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, and many other
authors. What about writing letters? I know many of us don’t
do as much as we used to (Internet and cell phones have
taken the place of letters) but we have books that can help
us. Rosalie Maggio wrote “How to Say It: Choice Words,
Phrases, Sentences & Paragraphs for Every Situation” and
“Everyday Letters for Busy People” by Debra Hart May can
help us to write letters of condolences, invitations,
No matter what the observance may
be during the month of April, chances are we have a book on
our shelves at the New Ulm Public Library relating to that
And one final note, April 15th is fast
approaching. Remember to file your income taxes.
March 5, 2012
Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions
March 3rd was the anniversary of the birthday of
Alexander Graham Bell, who was the inventor of the
telephone. And it was March 10, 1876, when Bell spoke the
first words through a phone to his assistant in the next
room. He said: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.” Who knew
that with those seven words he would open up the world to
telephones? Who could foresee the complex new world of cell
phones we live in?
Some people might praise Bell for
his invention, as phones can immediately build lifelines
when there is an emergency or crisis. Who hasn’t been
cheered by the call from a friend or loved one? Then again,
praise might not be the first thing to your lips when people
answer their phones in a movie theater or when they are
pulling into traffic in front of you while talking on a
phone. Prior to answering machines, who hadn’t stood
dripping from the bath, having raced to the phone only to
miss the call? It’s kind of a mixed bag.
I think for
most people phones are great. For me, phones are weird. I
have a cell phone, somewhere. I got it for emergencies and
perhaps would use it more, except, from the first day, I
began receiving phone messages for someone else. (I still
don’t know if I have an old, previously used number or if
our numbers are so similar that I keep getting her
Often I think she has more calls on my
phone than I do. Furniture companies have left her messages
that they are dropping off a couch, friends call her to say
they are headed to the cabin, and the Republican Party
reminded her to vote. I never return any of these calls, as
they aren’t for me, and I wouldn’t know what to tell her
friends. Maybe she changed her number for a reason. Maybe
she’s undercover. Maybe she’s in witness protection. I can
make up a whole existence for this person who I’ll never
meet whose phone lines have crossed mine. I’ve just come to
accept that my phone leads a schizophrenic life over which I
have no control.
Lately I have been texting with my
nephew about a TV show we both watch. At least, I think it
is my nephew, as there is no name associated with the
number. Whenever I think of calling the number to make sure
it is him it is too early or too late to call so I don’t.
Meantime, I just text about this show with whomever—and
someone out there who writes back seems to like the program,
too. I think it’s him. I’m pretty sure.
As you can
tell, phones are weird for me. I imagine if I had been
Bell’s assistant when he was inventing the phone and he
called for me to come and assist him, I probably wouldn’t
have gotten the message.
February 27, 2012
Library’s Anniversary a Great Success
by Kris Wiley, Assistant Library Director, and Katy Kudela,
The library celebrated its 75th
anniversary this week, and we had a blast marking this
Sunday’s open house brought together
library employees and board members past and present with
community members to commemorate our institution. There was
beautiful music provided by John Holmquist, Zach Holmquist
and Devin Nelson, followed by Dick Kimmel & Co (including
Jerilyn Kjellberg, Ian Kimmel, Graham Sones and Lee Folta).
I can’t say enough about how amazing the musical
entertainment was. Thanks, musicians!
As part of the
festivities, artist Del Iron Cloud unveiled the
5-foot-by-10-foot painting he created just for us. This
original work is titled “Evening on the Dakota Prairie” and
hangs on the library’s main floor above the patron computer
stations. This piece is absolutely gorgeous. At the moment,
I’m looking at the lone cottonwood tree that stands in the
foreground, and I’m awestruck by the detail in the bark and
leaves. This painting was made possible by many donors, and
I thank all of them for the generosity. I also encourage you
to stop by the library and admire this piece.
Refreshments and other tasks were handled ably by Friends of
the New Ulm Public Library. It’s always a pleasure to work
with the Friends!
During this week’s storytimes, the
children have been learning all about birthdays. The “Let’s
Celebrate Birthdays” theme has included stories, songs and
games. The children even got a chance to blow out pretend
birthday candles. As it turns out, counting and blowing out
10 candles is plenty of work. I think we’re all glad I
didn’t try for the library’s 75 candles!
night, families braved the rainy weather to gather in the
children’s room for a special “Happy Birthday Library”
storytime. The storytime was a chance to celebrate the many
parts of the library. One of the highlights of the evening
was reading aloud the story “Millions of Cats” by Wanda Gag.
Following storytime, the children were treated to cookies
and milk downstairs in the meeting room. While music played
in the background, the children had fun decorating their
cookies with frosting and sprinkles. The evening’s cookie
decorating was made possible thanks to generous donations
from Hy-Vee and CashWise Foods. On behalf of the library and
participating families, I must pass along a big thank you
and a round of applause for the donations. The evening was a
fun way to celebrate the library’s birthday!
events would not have been possible without the ongoing
support of the New Ulm community. Your commitment to the
library makes what we do here possible. Over the past 75
years, the library has grown and changed with you, and we
look forward to serving you for 75 more. Thank you, thank
February 20, 2012
Betty J Roiger, Acquisitions
The library has many stories. Not all of them are in
books. It was thirty years ago that I began working at the
NUPL as a youngster. I didn’t realize I was that young then,
and I can’t believe I’m middle-aged now. I’ve worked with
many people over the years. But the ones I started with will
always stand out in my mind.
Find yourself on the
floor laughing with just one comment, well, Ruth Wagner
could do that. Darlene Albrecht was dignified, and one of
the kindest women I have ever met. If you knew Esther Radke,
you’ll know she knew this library top to bottom and had a
memory like a steel trap. If you wanted something Esther
could tell you where it was. There was JoAnne Griebel, a
soft-spoken, brilliant researcher who I had the pleasure of
working with again just recently. And last but never least
was Flo Wilfahrt. Flo did more PR just by talking than
anyone I know. She was more than a co-worker to me, she was
a friend and never far from hilarity. I doubt anyone could
have been luckier to work with this bunch of women.
Thirty years brings a lot of stories, some I could regale
you with and some, no, I won’t be repeating. Here’s one that
went down in our history. Like I said, Flo was a talker. She
and Esther shared an evening shift and on that night they
would walk downtown for a bite before returning. Well… on
their return, Flo regaled us. It seemed they were walking
down the sidewalk, Flo talking (as usual) when suddenly she
noticed that Esther was not beside her. Flo paused and
looked over her shoulder at Esther and asked, “Esther, why
are you stopping?” And Esther shrugged and gestured to the
blockade that Flo had blithely ignored in her storytelling.
Flo looked down and saw her feet planted not quite to the
ankles in wet cement while Esther stood safe and dry on
solid ground. Eventually Flo slogged out, and cleaned her
shoes to get back to work. Abruptly in her narration, Flo
turned to Esther and semi-accusingly demanded, “Esther! Why
in the world didn’t you say something?” And when Esther
could manage to get a word in, she replied: “You wouldn’t
stop talking.” And we (Flo included) just went off into
Finally, I want to mention the guy who
hired me, the gentle man, who, when you called him “Mr.
Reilly,” said: “Call me Dan.” Dan was quiet in the way he
steered his staff in the direction he wanted us to go. He
had his own memo system. A memo would go out to everyone, no
matter who it was directed to. Once I asked him, “I don’t
believe I am doing this wrong, why am I getting this memo?”
And he said that he had developed a “one-size-fits-all” memo
so that when it went out, the person(s) it was directed to
would not be embarrassed but would get the message, while
the rest would get a reminder. And so we came to know his
policies and adopted them as our own. One of the things I
remember best were the times he would speak at our Christmas
parties and other get-togethers. Dan would stand up and read
poetry or parts of books that spoke to him, sharing with us
things that were lyrical and beautiful. Sharing, that’s what
is at the heart of being a library.
It has been a lot
of years, a lot of folks have come and gone, and more books
than I can count have passed by me. We have a building which
isn’t everyone’s esthetic because it is concrete, but I love
it because the ceiling reminds me of a waffle iron and
because I’ve known so many people who have cared for this
place. Here is where knowledge lives, alongside adventure,
romance, fantasy, and truth. New Ulm is richer for having
this library. We hear it all the time from folks, “This is a
great library.” It is. And I am richer for being able to
February 13, 2012
Hurray for the Library!
by Katy Kudela, Children’s Librarian
As I type up this
week’s library column, I look around and see children
searching the online library catalog, playing computer
games, and pulling board books from the bins. Parents are
busy browsing through picture books and picking out DVDs.
It’s simply another busy February weekday at the library.
But wait! February signifies more than a month on the
calendar. In fact, 75 years ago the New Ulm Public Library
opened its doors to the public.
Where I am sitting
in the children’s room was the original building. If I were
to close my eyes and picture the building in 1937, I imagine
patrons would have been just as busy, although books and
newspapers would have been the available resources.
Certainly the library’s founders could not have imagined
today’s electronic resources or the library’s vast volume of
books. Still, I believe they would be pleased with the
library’s legacy as a resource and community center.
In honor of the
library’s 75th anniversary, the library staff and Friends of
the Library are hosting an open house on Sunday, Feb. 26
from 1-4 p.m. All are welcome to join in the afternoon of
celebration and fun. Check out the library’s calendar for a
complete listing of open house events.
The celebration will
continue on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the children’s room. As part
of the 75th anniversary celebration, a “Happy Birthday
Library” family storytime will be held at 6:30 p.m. All are
welcome to join in the storytime with songs, stories, and
cookie decorating. Registration is not required.
Now, the anniversary
is still a couple of weeks away. For those who just can’t
wait for the end of the month, be sure to stop by the
children’s room this Saturday, Feb. 18. The Narren will be
presenting a preschool storytime from 10:30-11:30 a.m. All
are welcome to come learn about the history of these masked
characters, listen to fun stories, and enjoy juggling
When you stop by the library this
month, be sure to check out all of the wonderful books the
community is reading! This month, the children’s room and
the teens’ area are holding an “I love this book” contest.
Teens and tweens are simply asked to fill out a slip that
names their favorite book or books. Younger children are
asked to draw a picture of their favorite book. All of these
book suggestions and drawings will be featured in displays
at the library. Each teen, tween, or child who enters the
contests has a chance to win two free movie tickets to
Carmike Cinema 3 in New Ulm. For more details, stop by the
children’s desk or the circulation desk.
Indeed, February is
a month of celebrating for the New Ulm Public Library. We
hope you will be able to join in the fun and celebration.
For the library’s long history is built upon the support of
a generous and strong community. As we shout hurray for the
library, we’re truly shouting hurray for the New Ulm
February 6, 2012
Tax Time Once Again
Lindquist, Reference Librarian
Can you believe it?
Tax time is here again. It seems as though we just did our
taxes and now we have to do them again. Some of us have a
deadline of February 28 for filing our taxes. This year we
get one extra day because of it being leap year. Most
taxpayers have until April 15 for filing taxes. The federal
income tax filing deadline for the tax year 2011 is April
17, 2012. The District of Columbia is celebrating
Emancipation Day on April 16, 2012, so the deadline has been
pushed back to April 17, 2012. State taxes still have to be
paid by April 16, 2012, as April 15th falls on a Sunday this
If you do your own taxes or if you have
someone prepare them for you, having all the necessary
paperwork that you need to complete the forms will help
speed up the process. The IRS has a checklist to help you.
The checklist includes:
• W2 forms from all employers.
• Form 1090G if you received a refund of state or local
• 1090 form(s) that you have received for
dividends, income tax withholding, or other forms of income.
• Receipts for any itemized deductions you might be taking
on Schedule A.
• Records and receipts for any other
income or expense you think might affect your federal income
• Social Security numbers for all
• Bank account numbers if you plan to get a
refund electronically, or pay taxes due electronically.
Many of us elect to prepare our own income tax returns.
The Internet has made this process simpler by giving us
direct access to tax preparation software programs. There
are several software programs available to help with
preparing your federal as well as state income tax returns.
They walk you through the whole process from entering your
Social Security number, automatic calculation of formulas,
and even a process to check your forms when they are
completed—you can even check your previous year’s tax return
with this year’s to see if you forgot anything. The software
can even flag information that might trigger an audit of
your income tax return. All of the programs allow for
e-filing—electronic filing of your tax forms. E-filing sends
your information directly to the IRS in an electronic format
and you receive your refund (if one is coming to you) more
The New Ulm Public Library has many of the
forms available for patrons doing their own taxes. If you
cannot find the form that you need, please stop at the
Reference Desk and we will check the IRS web site and the
Minnesota web site and print the form for you.
January 30, 2012
Supernatural Spectacular for
by Kris Wiley, Assistant Library
I’m a little late to the Supernatural
party, but in this case, it’s better late than never. Thanks
to Gabby, Betty and Katy, I’m getting schooled on this
fantastic television series.
Gabby is such a fan
that she has created an entire library program based on the
show. Teens who want to share their admiration for all
things Supernatural, or teens who want to learn more about
the show, are invited to the Supernatural Teen Spectacular
on February 13 at 3:45 p.m. in the library meeting room.
Gabby has developed a fun, interactive multimedia
presentation, and we’ll watch an episode of the show. We
encourage participants to dress up as their favorite
character; I’m thinking hoodie with a jean jacket. We’ll
play classic ’80s music, too.
Some background on
Supernatural: The show focuses on brothers Dean and Sam
Winchester, who lost their mother to a supernatural force
and were raised by their father to fight as soldiers against
horrific paranormal forces. Time after time, Dean and Sam
fend off supernatural threats, and over the years they have
received help from father-figure Bobby and fallen angel
I was familiar with the show’s stars
from one of their previous roles: Jensen Ackles was Eric
Brady on “Days of Our Lives,” and Jared Padalecki was Dean
Forester on “Gilmore Girls.” Now Jensen portrays Dean, the
older, sarcastic, fiercely loyal brother, and Jared plays
Sam, the prodigal brother who gave up a shot at law school
to return to the family business of supernatural hunting.
Supernatural, in its
seventh season on the CW network, was named Favorite Network
TV Drama and Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show at this year’s
People’s Choice Awards. Catch new episodes Friday nights at
8 p.m. Or start from the beginning and check out seasons 1-6
on DVD from the library.
As long as you’re in
the supernatural mood, stop by our display near the
circulation desk that features teen fantasy books. It’s a
popular genre and includes everything from angels to
vampires to werewolves – a paranormal situation for every
taste. Then drop in at the Supernatural Teen Spectacular to
meet other Dean and Sam fans. See you at the library!
January 23, 2012
Whither the Book?
by Larry Hlavsa,
In May, 2011, the Traverse des Sioux
Libraries--including the New Public Library--began
circulating e-books and downloadable audiobooks through the
OverDrive, Inc. service. So far, it’s been a novel
In the first eight months of the service
we have circulated 14,229 e-books or downloadable
audiobooks. That’s 1.3% of our total circulation. While the
e-book circulation stayed pretty steady the first seven
months, after Christmas we noticed a big jump in the
statistics—in fact, almost a doubling of the circulation per
day. That’s consistent with a recent article by the Pew
Internet & American Life Project titled—“Tablet and E-book
reader Ownership Nearly Double Over the Holiday Gift-Giving
Period.” The article noted that the number of Americans
owning at least one digital reading device jumped from 18%
in December to 29% in January. Wow! That’s a lot of
electronic Christmas presents.
Nearly 3,000 people in
the Traverse des Sioux region are now using our OverDrive
service; about 300 of those are New Ulm users. The size of
our collection has grown from its initial 400-500 items to
about 1650 now. With 3000 users, that means our collection
is stretched pretty thin. The good news is that our
OverDrive contract renews at the end of February, and we’ll
soon be doing more purchasing. Last year a kind New Ulm lady
donated $500 towards our e-book collection and recently the
Friends of the LeSueur Library donated $2500. Such donations
go 100% to the collection!
Incidentally, I wasn’t
being cute when I said it has been a “novel adventure.”
Fiction has easily been the first choice of our e-book users
with over 86% of the items checked out being fiction. Kind
of makes me sad personally since I’m the nonfiction selector
for the system, but now that you know, maybe you’ll download
Be aware when looking at the e-books
collection that various forces drive the choice of items in
our collection. First, not all publishers offer their titles
as e-books. Sad, but true. Second, some publishers offer
their new titles as e-books, but only after a period of time
on the “paper” market. And that period of time can vary
widely. Third, some publishers offer their titles only for
private purchase, and not through library-focused services
such as Overdrive, Inc. Are they prejudiced against
libraries? Might be. So please understand that if the title
you want is not in our collection, there may be a reason for
that beyond our control. But do ask for the titles you want,
or we won’t know to look.
While all of this e-book
volume on our OverDrive service is music to our statistical
ears, it does lead to the inevitable question—“Is the book
on the way out?” Personally, I don’t think so. . No one I’ve
talked to has said—“I want all of my books on my Kindle.”
What if you’re on a cruise and you drop your Kindle
overboard. How much time, effort and money will it take to
re-compile your library—even if you know what your library
is? Food for thought.
Personally, I collect books on
Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, art instruction,
Christianity and the Kennedy assassination. (Yeah, I’m a
pretty esoteric fella!). I want none of these on an
electronic device. I’ll keep them on paper thank you very
much. I don’t think I’m alone in preferring paper for
purposes of collecting. I do wonder if fiction books on
paper may be on their way out. Do people collect John
The future of the book remains to be
seen, but it seems clear already that e-books have staked
out a place in the heart of many of our users. Check out our
collection at: http://tds.lib.overdrive.com.
January 16, 2012
Betty J. Roiger,
Hey, I just found a series. It’s good.
Uhm, maybe, outstanding. Actually it’s amazing. If you are a
reader of good fantasy series, like “Green Rider” or “Game
of Thrones: Song of Ice and Fire” this author might be right
up your alley. And by the way, it is nothing like those
series. The author is Pat Rothfuss, and I just finished “The
Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear: Kingkiller
Chronicles, Day 2.” His is an original voice.
tale begins in a tavern, run by an unassuming, quiet,
red-haired man named Kote. Times are bad, and the roads are
getting dangerous. There are bandits about and villages grow
poor as getting goods from place to place becomes harder.
Yet something else is coming in the darkness. There are
stories of attacks by things: spiders the size of dish
platters with legs sharp as razors that can kill a horse or
Tales are told in the tavern of a young
red-headed boy named Kvothe, of the Ruh (think: traveling
minstrel gypsies). His life is good until a song is sung and
the troupe is visited by, (well, I can’t say or write who or
we’ll all be killed) and everyone is murdered, except for
Kvothe. And so begins a boy’s struggle to live, to survive,
to get to the university to learn, and to find out more
about the folk who destroyed his life.
here are stories within stories, tales and songs all twining
together so that the commonplace story of Kote, innkeeper,
and the extraordinary lore of Kvothe the bloodless, the
hero, the caller of lightning, the dragon slayer, are
juxtaposed until you realize they are one in the same. One
is the true version and one is the version that rumor and
I don’t want to reveal the story,
but I do want to tell you what else I discovered. I was
almost finished with book two and wanted to know, of course,
when to expect book three. I browsed Pat’s website and
noticed a tab called “Worldbuilders.” Now many fantasy
authors make their own maps of their worlds and I assumed
(never assume) that this was something about the world of
Kvothe, so I clicked on it.
Now I liked these books.
And I like this author. But when I started to read what he
was doing, I knew I really liked this guy. Imagine if you
started to make a lot of money. What would you do? Buy a new
car? Pay off the mortgage? Get a Wii and an XBox? Pat
Rothfuss, a guy who is a new writer, now a best-selling
author, and probably coming into a lot of money, well, he
has started a team to raise money for Heifer International,
a wonderful charity that helps people in all countries fight
poverty and hunger. This is a great charity, as the money
goes to buying goats and cows so people can have milk, for
chickens so people can have eggs, or even water buffalo to
pull plows, give milk, and fertilizer. What Pat has done is
set up a team so whatever you give, he’ll match half as much
again. In 2010 they raised $192,000. to help the world.
Worldbuilding. Yeah, Pat Rothfuss has done that—the
story of Kvothe is inventive, original, intriguing. And much
as a good fantasy takes a reader to other wonderful places,
he has also thought about worldbuilding in a real sense. He
looked around and not only thought: what can I do to help
the real world; he has enabled people to give aid and
multiply it. That just impresses the heck out of me. Much as
I love Kvothe, I think I love Pat more. I have yet to find
out why Kvothe is a kingkiller, so I will have to wait until
book three. But watching readers take a strike at hunger in
the meantime, well, that makes a good story too.
January 9, 2012
Ringing in the New Year
by Katy Kudela,
While the recent warm
temperatures may make it seem more like spring than winter,
the children’s staff has been busy ringing in the New Year.
Or, as our bulletin board says, it’s more like “reading in
the new year!” There are so many “new” books to read along
with our usual “snow” favorites. We’re displaying “series”
books in the junior area. Our challenge is “bet you can’t
just read one!” There are so many good series books out
there, and we hope young readers take the opportunity to try
something different for the New Year. In addition, we also
have a new display titled “Legends and Folk Tales.” These
picture books offer a world of information. Feel free to
stop by and check out a book for the whole family to enjoy!
As 2012 begins, the children’s area is helping with the
Brown County Early Childhood Initiative. Children 0 to age 5
are invited to participate in the free “1,000 Books Before
Kindergarten” program. This program encourages parents and
caregivers to read to their children in preparation for
Kindergarten. With so many wonderful stories to share, it
doesn’t take long to count up all of those good reads! For
those unable to attend the kick-off Tuesday night,
additional information and registration is still available.
For further information contact the library at 507-359-8336
or contact the ECFE Office at 507-359-8417.
children’s staff is also ringing in the New Year with great
music. We’re excited to start the 2012 family programming
with a bluegrass musical event! Minnesota Music Hall of Fame
inductee Dick Kimmel will perform a family program at the
New Ulm Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m. All
are welcome to come for an evening of bluegrass music.
Registration is not required. Be sure to watch the library’s
calendar for additional family programs, which will include
storytimes and author visits! With a New Year, the
children’s staff is busy preparing to bring continued good
reads and programming fun for children of all ages.
January 2, 2012
Zero In On Books at Your
Kris Wiley, Assistant Library Director
I’m guessing many of you are spending
this winter reading books on your new electronic readers. Or
maybe you’re listening to books on your new iPod. Or maybe
you just plain love the feel of books and have a stack on
your coffee table. Whatever the case, we want to know what
you’re reading, and the library’s Winter Reading Program for
adults is the perfect opportunity to share your reading
Here’s how this free program will work:
Beginning January 9, adults ages 18 and older can register
at the circulation desk and receive a coupon for three free
books at the next Friends of the Library book sale (thanks,
Friends!). Then log every book you read or listen to between
January 9 and March 3 on a ballot provided by the library.
Drop the ballot into the designated box at the reference
desk. Everyone who logs at least one title will be eligible
to win small prizes.
Your enjoyment of the books you read or
listen to helps tie the program with its theme, Zero In On
Books. You’ll notice the ballots provided by the library
include a picture of a target. Mark on the target how well
you liked the book. This is a completely subjective
assessment, so you can base your mark on writing style,
plot, character development, overall enjoyment, or any other
consideration. Take a look at the target on the bulletin
board near the circulation desk. I’ll post the titles you
read there, and you might see something you like.
Looking for a couple of recommendations
to get you started in the new year? If you like biographies,
history, or books about s
ARCHIVE OF 2012 ARTICLES
ARCHIVE OF 2011 ARTICLES
ARCHIVE OF 2010 ARTICLES
ARCHIVE OF 2009 ARTICLES
ARCHIVE OF 2008 ARTICLES
ARCHIVE OF 2007 ARTICLEStrong women, try “Catherine the
Great” by Robert K. Massie. This is by no means a quick
read, but your time is rewarded; Massie creates a stunning
portrait of Catherine, who was born in 1729 and went on to
rule Russia for more than 30 years. If you liked Stieg
Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy featuring Lisbeth Salander, try
“The Keeper of Lost Causes” by Jussi Adler-Olsen. This
thriller, the first in a series, features chief detective
Carl Morck, who is fighting his own demons as well as
Denmark’s criminals. And finally, if you liked “The Hunger
Games” by Suzanne Collins or “Divergent” by Veronica Roth,
try “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver. Dystopian fiction is “it”
in young adult literature right now, and Oliver has focused
on an interesting premise for the first book in her series:
Love is a disease, and the government performs a procedure
after every citizen’s 18th birthday to cure the
Stop by the library to place a hold on
these books, and while you’re here, register for the Winter
Reading Program and share your reading experiences with us.
See you at the library!