"OFF THE SHELF"
by LIBRARY STAFF
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June 17, 2013
Digging Up Books!
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 “Dig
into Reading” summer program. If you haven’t had time to
sign up, please feel free to stop by. Children who register
before July 1 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 bugs to count, gnomes to find, library
questions to answer, and an “I Spy” jar. Children are also
encouraged to build a gnome or fairy home, which will be put
on display at the library. Please stop by the Children’s
Desk for more information.
Now, summer is a busy time
for families. You may be asking yourself, why should I sign
my child up for the summer reading program? Just this past
week, I had young patrons share two very good reasons.
First, I heard from a boy who was debating whether or not to
sign up. When asked if he liked to read books, he told me he
wanted to become a better reader. Signing up for the summer
reading program is a wonderful way to become a better
reader! After all, reading, like most things in life, just
takes practice. Just don’t take my word for it, ask children
who’ve participated in the program. Yesterday, a girl told
me that her school reading grade improved because she
participated in last year’s summer reading program. Without
hesitation, she signed up again this year. We can read the
advice from experts and study statistics, but there is power
in the words of children. This summer, we encourage you to
sign your children up for the summer reading program so they
can “Dig into Reading.”
This summer, I’ve had several
older readers stop by the Children’s Room asking about the
reading program. While they are a little bummed that they’ve
outgrown the children’s program, we assure them there is
still plenty for them to do this summer. Readers ages 13-18
may sign up for the teen reading program, “Groundbreaking
Reads.” Teens may stop by the Service Center to complete a
registration form. After reading a book, they write the
title and author of the book and put it into the
“Groundbreaking Reads” box (located by the former reference
desk). By reading just one book, a teen earns a free book at
the end of summer. Of course, the more books they read, the
better a teen’s chance to win a grand prize. Most teens are
going to read at least one book this summer, so signing up
for the reading program makes sense. After all, who doesn’t
want a free book?
Summer is a wonderful time for
reading. While the weather in recent days may not lend
itself to outdoor activities, there is always a book waiting
to be read. Next time you’re driving or walking by on North
Broadway, stop by the New Ulm Public Library and make this a
summer of reading for yourself and your family!
June 10, 2013
by Linda Lindquist, Adult
Did you have a favorite pet when
you were growing up? Maybe you lived vicariously through a
friend’s pet. Maybe you read about some interesting pets in
books through the years. Anyway, pets hold special places in
our hearts. Many books have been written recently about
special pets and here are just a few of them.
looked at the cover of this book, I couldn’t believe that
anyone would want to adopt this dog. But one family sure
did. “Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love” by Larry Levin
is just such a dog. With only one ear and a great deal of
scar tissue on his face, you might wonder how anyone could
love him. The Levin family took to him instantly, and he
becomes a loyal and protective member of their family. Oogy
overcame great odds. Being loved helped him to persevere
despite all his trials, much as we as humans can overcome
many trials in our lives.
“Marley & Me: Life and Love
with the World’s Worst Dog” by John Grogan is about a young
couple starting their married life who decides to adopt a
puppy into their family. Marley is a lovable yellow lab pup,
full of energy, and not a care in the world. He doesn’t know
when to quit. Before long he is 97 pounds of uncontrollable
energy crashing through screen doors, flinging drool all
over guests, chasing through backyards, stealing women’s
undergarments from clotheslines, and chewing and eating
everything he can get in his mouth. But through it all, he
is loyal and loves his family dearly. This is a great movie
How much of an impact can an animal have and
how many lives can one cat touch? Is it possible for an
abandoned kitten to transform a small library into a tourist
attraction, bind together an entire town, and eventually
become world famous? Dewey Readmore Books, of Spencer, Iowa,
is just that cat. “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who
Touched the World” by Vicki Myron is a read that cat lovers
(or any animal lover) will enjoy reading.
If you are
a comic lover, take a look at “How to Tell if Your Cat is
Plotting to Kill You” by Matthew Inman. This book is full of
facts and jokes. If you need a good laugh, check this one
And one more book I want to talk about is
entitled “A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the
Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher” by Sue Halpern. Halpern
and her labradoddle get a new lease on life by becoming a
certified therapy dog team. They visit nursing homes and
share time with the residents living there. The book shows
companionship, kindness, and giving love, while expecting
little in return. It’s a good read to take your mind off
There are many more books on our
shelves about pets in general. Take a few minutes to check
out some of these and other titles in the 636s at the New
June 3, 2013
Listen Up! to These Library Programs
Wiley, Assistant Library Director
Your New Ulm Public
Library loves to feature singers, songwriters, and
instrumentalists, and summer is the perfect time to showcase
The library’s Noon Tunes program in
the adult fiction area provides a relaxing hour of music.
This Tuesday, June 11 at 12 p.m., 2009 Minnesota Music Hall
of Fame inductee Steve Moran will play a variety of musical
styles and instruments. My introduction to Steve was
watching him expertly play multiple instruments
simultaneously on stage with the Wendinger Band. Steve,
longtime band instructor at New Ulm schools, is sure to
display his amazing solo talent. This program is sponsored
by the Friends of the New Ulm Public Library and the
Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.
On Monday, June 17 at 7
p.m., bluegrass group Barton’s Hollow will take the stage at
German Park. This six-piece band, whose members are 16 to 21
years old, includes New Ulm’s own Ian Kimmel. Barton’s
Hollow played German Park last year to a standing ovation,
and I’m looking forward to hearing more from this energetic
group. This program is co-sponsored by New Ulm Park and Rec
and KNUJ and is funded by the Carl and Verna Schmidt
Especially for kids, the library and New
Ulm Park and Rec are sponsoring a rock concert with
children’s performer Will Hale on Thursday, June 20 at 6:30
p.m. at German Park. Will is traveling from the Twin Cities
to encourage children and their families to sing, dance, and
have a great time. This program is funded by the Carl and
Verna Schmidt Foundation.
On Monday, July 8 at 7
p.m., local favorite Dick Kimmel & Co will play at German
Park. Dick Kimmel and Jerilyn Kjellberg are the vocal
powerhouses at the front of the group, and they are joined
by Graham Sones on banjo and Terry Johnson on bass. For
select performances, they are joined by Ian Kimmel on
mandolin and Tom Schaefer on fiddle. Dick Kimmel & Co’s
blend of traditional bluegrass always draws big crowds. This
program is co-sponsored by New Ulm Park and Rec and KNUJ and
is funded by the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation.
All of these programs are free and open to the public.
Seating is first-come, first-served. Call 507-359-8334 for
more information. I look forward to seeing you at these
concerts with your dancing shoes on!
May 27, 2013
Dig Into Reading and Discover Groundbreaking Reads
by Katy Kudela, Children’s Librarian
Summer is almost
here, and the library is gearing up for its annual summer
reading programs! With the themes “Dig Into Reading” and
“Groundbreaking Reads,” this year’s programs will inspire
children and teens to dig a little deeper to discover the
wonder of books and the fascinating 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
teens’ reading program is open to young adults ages 13 to
18. Registration for both programs begins on Monday, June 3
at 9:30 a.m. The kick-off program, “Clowning Around with
Summer Reading,” is planned in the Children’s Room from 10
a.m.-1 p.m. Watch for juggling fun and balloon creations!
For those who can’t make it to the library on June 3, there
is still plenty of time to sign up because registration will
run through the month of June.
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 3 and July 25. For
those children who are pre-readers, they 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 “Dig Into Reading” summer reading record. The
reading record features five easy-to-cut-out bookmarks and a
reading certificate to color. After completing five days of
reading (or listening), children will cut out a bookmark and
return it to the library. This year’s bookmark activities
include a variety of games and surprises, and all children
who complete the program’s five bookmarks will receive a
free book and be eligible to win one of 10 grand prizes.
Children who are looking for some extra reading fun can also
pick up a summer challenge sheet. Participants who complete
this sheet while working on their 25 days of reading will
receive a bonus prize when they complete the program.
While reading is at the heart of the summer program, the
library staff has planned many activities to encourage
children to be creative and have fun at the library. This
year’s participants will be invited to build their own gnome
or fairy home--watch for details at the library! There will
also be weekly crafts, plenty of activity sheets, a family
challenge sheet, and summer storytimes on Mondays and
Thursdays at 10 a.m. This summer’s storytime schedule will
kick-off on Thursday, June 6.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a
summer reading program without library contests. This year’s
contests include a Gnome Hunt, an I Spy How Many Items? jar,
a Go Buggy counting contest, and an Unearth Library Gems
contest, which will have junior readers digging in the
stacks to answer weekly questions.
Another feature of
the summer reading program is a calendar of special events.
June’s library calendar is jam packed with many guest
presenters, including Minnesota Book Award winner Laura
Purdie Salas, author and paranormal researcher Chad Lewis,
children’s rock ’n’ roll performer Will Hale, and even
Mother Goose! Other featured June programs include a Dakota
language program for children and adults, and a digging in
the dirt garden craft project. 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!
Teen Summer Reading Program
Teens are invited to register for the Summer Reading
Program at the Service Center. 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 former Reference Desk.
Every teen who submits at least one slip will receive a
book. Additional prizes will be drawn randomly from all
The library has several special events
planned for teens, including a visit from paranormal
researcher Chad Lewis on June 13; a Monday Night Concert in
German Park with Barton’s Hollow on June 17; a Supernatural
for Teens program on June 21; a teen book group on
June 28; a teen book trivia program on July 13; and a read
the book, watch the film program on July 19. And don’t
forget about Battle of the Books, the trivia-style
competition open to teens throughout the Traverse des Sioux
Library Cooperative. This year’s event is scheduled for
August 3 in St. Peter. Interested teens must register with
The New Ulm Public Library is
fortunate to receive major funding for the 2013 Summer
Reading Programs from the Friends of the New Ulm Public
Library; the Minnesota Book Awards; the Carl and Verna
Schmidt Foundation; 3M of New Ulm; and the Traverse des
Sioux Library Cooperative through the Arts and Cultural
Heritage Fund. The library also receives generous prize
donations from local businesses, organizations, and patrons.
A complete list of donors can be found on the library’s Web
site. Thank you, donors, for your generous support!
As always, the most important reward of our summer reading
programs is that these programs help children and teens
maintain or even improve their reading skills that lay the
foundation for school success. If parents and libraries work
together to encourage summer reading, kids can be winners.
So come to the library this summer for some good books and
plenty of fun!
May 20, 2013
The End of the Internet
Betty J Roiger,
I remember when we had one computer in
the library. I suppose that is hard for some people to
believe at this technological point in time, but that’s how
it was here in the 1990s. Even odder, the public and the
staff shared it. It lived on a wheelie cart, and we moved it
from place to place, floor to floor. The word “Internet”
wasn’t a word that was often used, either. I remember Dan
training us on the computer and telling us that “not
everything on the Internet was true.” And he had a Web site
to prove it.
This Web site featured a lovely tourist
town with a castle, hot springs, an underwater city, and
even nuclear submarine docks. Cracks in the earth sending up
hot air kept the temperature balmy year round and made it
convenient for whale watching. Maybe this even sounds like
the adventure land you want to vacation to this year. Yeah?
Well, it’s close if you want to visit; the Web site is
describing a place called Mankato, Minnesota.
(http://city-mankato.us/) Yep. It’s the Sibley County Hot
Springs, and you, too, can “strap on an oxygen tank and dive
beneath the crystal clear waters of the Minnesota River” to
see “the Underwater City of Mankato.”
I know, right?
When Dan showed us this Web site, considering where we live,
of course we were all laughing and enjoying the information
about the “great Mankato pyramid” and “haunted Mankato.”
“Winter Solenoid” sounded great as it was “celebrated on the
coldest day of the year” suitable for “tee shirts and
Bermuda shorts” with plenty of “hot dish, bars, and jello”
to go around! Who wouldn’t want to “get out of the harsh
Minnesota winters of New Ulm to [go to] the balmy
tranquility of Mankato”?
The thing was, people would
find this Web site and believe it. In 2007, a woman brought
her mother up from Kansas to visit the underwater city and
was upset to find that it didn’t exist. Even though the last
point of interest on the Web site is a “Direct link to The
End Of The Internet,” people didn’t realize that this is a
perfect example of what many people use the Internet for:
This site is just for fun. (The end of the Internet looks
like a bunch of stop signs with the warning “go back before
your computer disappears into a black hole.”)
the three or four pages of disclaimers that really had us
howling, though. “Do not operate a motor nor non-motor
vehicle when viewing this page. Do not mix with … chocolate…
… Some assembly required. … Freshest if eaten before date on
carton. … Does anyone really know what time it is? … Please
remain seated until the ride has come to a complete stop.”
And even: “Mankato, as portrayed on these pages, DOES NOT
Back in the day, when we helped people we
would do our best to guide them to reliable sources. Now
almost everyone has their own home computers and the
personal ability to Google or Bing. Let’s hope that anyone
who goes on the Internet takes what he or she sees and reads
with a grain of salt. Cuz like Dan said: Folks need to know
that just because it is on the Internet doesn’t mean it is
true. “Crystal clear waters of the Minnesota River”…ha, if
you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
May 13, 2013
Have the Right Magazines?
by Larry Hlavsa,
Last fall the New Ulm Library made a
decision to reduce the size of our magazines collection. We
had been noticing for some time less public use of the
collection, and figured it was a good place to cut, based on
the reduced usage. Why are fewer people using library
magazines? My theory is that with SmartPhones, iPads, PCs
and other electronic devices all accessing the Internet,
people may just be getting more of their casual reading on
such devices, rather than through magazines.
the titles we dropped was the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Lo and
behold, we got a complaint, and the complaint was not
without some validity. The patron lamented that we just
didn’t have much in the way of financial publications any
more. Well, he was right, if you just consider “print”
magazines we only carry MONEY, ENTREPRENEUR and MINNESOTA
BUSINESS. That is a pretty slim selection!
consider that twenty years ago we didn’t have the electronic
access we now have. The Electronic Library of Minnesota
(ELM) offers our library customers full-text searching of
such magazines as FORBES, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK, FORTUNE,
THE ECONOMIST and the HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, just to name
a few. Twenty years ago, libraries also didn’t have Internet
access, but now we have eleven public Internet workstations
for our customers to search hundreds, even thousands of
business publications across the world. While such access
may not be as convenient for some people, it is more
convenient for others. And it certainly represents an
expansion of our collection in a wide variety of subject
But even that’s not all. Soon, your Traverse
des Sioux libraries will offer electronic access to forty or
more magazines through a vendor called “Zinio.” You can
check out: zinio.com on the Web for a preview of what is to
come. While only a few of these are likely to be financial
magazines, they will nonetheless expand our collection in a
number of subject areas, not to mention making access to our
library even more of a 24/7 proposition.
But back to
the issue of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. We would love to hear
from more New Ulmers about whether you think we should
reinstate this title to our collection. It’s a $284 a year
subscription, or about 8% of our subscription budget, just
for that one title. But tell us if it’s important to you
that we have the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Comments on either
side of the issue will help us decide if this newspaper
should remain a part of our collection.
Just submit a
“comment form” (available at the Library’s Service Center),
or give me a call at: 359-8332, or email me at:
P.S. Maybe there’s another
magazine or newspaper you would like to see us subscribe to?
Please let us know what you’d like in our collection.
We--and our materials--are here for you!
May 6, 2013
Ready For Some Gardening?
by Linda Lindquist,
As I sit here working on my
May article on gardening and look out my window—it is
snowing. It is May and it is still snowing—and not just a
few flakes, it is accumulating on some surfaces. But that is
not going to stop me from thinking spring and planning my
garden. And to be honest with you, I have already bought a
few packets of flower seeds. I am determined to not let this
snow stop me.
I want to start with composting. Now you
might think that composting can only be done if you live in
the country—not so. Composting can be done on a farm, in the
suburbs, or in a city apartment. “Composting Inside & Out”
by Stephanie Davies is a good place to start. She gives a
complete overview of the composting process and where you
can find the equipment necessary for composting. She also
has step-by-step instructions for different methods of
composting, different ways you can use the compost you
produce, and she tries to answer questions on problems that
may come up.
Do you have some bushes, trees, or
plants that need pruning? Have you done some pruning in the
past and damaged or killed plants? Then “Cass Turnbull’s
Guide to Pruning: What, When, Where & How to Prune for a
More Beautiful Garden” is just the book for you. One hundred
sixty plants are covered in her book. Turnbull gives
friendly, expert advice for the home gardener. Cass’ mission
is “to end the senseless torture and mutilation of trees and
shrubs caused by mal-pruning.”
And now the fun part
really begins—selecting the plants for your garden. This
time I am concentrating on flowers. A book I found in our
collection is entitled “Annuals and Perennials: A Gardener’s
Encyclopedia: Select the Best Plants for Gardening Success”
written by Geoff Bryant and Tony Rodd. Over 1300 plants are
described in their book. I do not have the “green” thumb
when it comes to gardening, but I think I have found a book
that will help me to plant and grow the flowers that are
suitable for our climate. Maybe you are interested in doing
some landscaping in your garden or yard. “Landscaping with
Native Plants of Minnesota” by Lynn M Steiner should be of
help. She covers flowers, trees, shrubs, vines, evergreens,
grasses, and ferns suitable for Minnesota’s harsh climate.
Some of you are probably thinking, I don’t have room
for a garden. You may live in a small apartment or a condo
in the cities or maybe you just don’t want or have time for
a huge garden. How about container gardening? William
Aldrich and Don Williamson’s book “Container Gardening for
the Midwest” may meet your needs. Almost any plant that can
be grown in a conventional garden can be grown on a smaller
scale in a container. Gardening should be fun and enjoyable,
and container gardening is no exception. Even if you have
room for only one container, you can still derive much
pleasure from it.
All of the books mentioned above,
and many more, are available at the New Ulm Public Library.
Gardening books are located upstairs in the Reference area
in the 631-635 section. Be sure to ask if you have any
problems finding the book you are looking for. If you are
looking for a particular title and we do not have it, ask
and we will check all of Minnesota to see if that title is
available. Happy gardening!!
April 29, 2013
Surplus to Some, Treasures to Others!
by Larry Hlavsa, Library Director
I’ve been involved
in many rummage, garage, porch and estate sales in my life.
I’ve always found them fun. Often I find nothing in a
particular sale for me, but you have to take a risk
sometimes to find a treasure. Have you read the story about
the person who found a Picasso in Shreveport, Louisiana at a
garage sale for $2?
The New Ulm Library is having a
rare “surplus sale” from noon on May 6th through 7:30 p.m.
on May 7th. We have an old microfilm reader, stuffed
animals, tables, a storyboard, book stand, a circular
mirror, an electronic keyboard, several desks, some large
tables, a library card cabinet, a photocopier, some old
portable typewriters, and more. None of these are items the
library has any more use for, and all are being sold for
bargain prices. These are being sold on a “first-come,
first-served” basis so get to the library early if you’re
While there are no “pre-sales,” you can
have a look at our surplus catalog any time before the sale.
Multiple copies of the catalog are in the Service Center at
the library for your review.
Incidentally, if you’re
the kind of person who likes to do some research first,
here’s a couple of library-owned titles that may help before
attending your next rummage, garage, porch or estate sale:
The Garage Sale Millionaire: Make Money with Hidden
Finds from Garage Sales to Storage Unit Auctions and
Everything In-between by Aaron LaPedis (2012).
Sale Gourmet : Streetwise Shopping for Fun, Profit, and Home
Improvement by Anita Chagaris (2005)
On the other
hand, if you want to clear your life of clutter, rather than
adding to it, you might try checking out:
Clutter: Reclaim Your Space, Reclaim Your Life (2005).
Now I’ve looked carefully through the items in our
library surplus sale, and I don’t believe there’s a Picasso
anywhere to be found. But you may find some other
“treasure,” something that you have a use for that can be
purchased cheaply. Join us for our surplus sale on May 6-7!
April 22, 2013
Library Staff and Volunteers Are Great
by Kris Wiley, Assistant Library Director
always is a fun time of the year at the library. We’re
looking forward to spring (especially this year!) and
planning for the Summer Reading Program. We’re reading the
hot new books and discovering authors who will become like
old friends. And we’re recognizing the contributions of our
library staff and volunteers.
Last week we celebrated
National Library Week, a time to recognize and honor the
contributions libraries and library workers make to our
communities. Tuesday, April 9 was National Library Workers
Day, when we honored our dedicated and hard-working team for
its service. The library staff strives to provide a
comfortable and helpful atmosphere, so whether you’re
working on a computer, finding a book, attending a program,
studying, or visiting us for any other reason, you always
Library visitors most often see the
finished product of our staff’s efforts – from functioning
computers, to a storytime presentation, to a book that’s
available for checkout off the shelf. All of that is
possible because of much work behind the scenes. Staff
selects materials and catalogs materials and processes
materials. Staff is trained to locate materials and check
out materials and then check those materials back in for the
next user. Staff plans, promotes, and performs storytimes.
The New Ulm Public Library staff brings a multitude of
talents and skills to the library, and together we do our
very best to make the library a great place to visit.
This week we are celebrating National Volunteer Week, 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. The volunteers tidy shelves,
deliver books, clean books, copy and fold brochures, assist
with programs, facilitate a book group, and help in many
other ways that make a huge difference. Their selfless
contributions – always done with a smile – ensure the
library is a wonderful place to work and visit.
Several of our volunteers have been with the library for a
number of years, and we are especially grateful for their
long-term dedication to the community. Volunteering isn’t
always particularly glamorous – remember when I said our
volunteers clean books?! – but the rewards can be great.
Volunteers connect with others, strengthen communities, and
become more well-rounded people. In fact, research has
linked volunteering with improved health (see
www.nationalservice.gov). Many organizations in our
community would be thrilled to meet with you and discuss how
you can be of service. To quote Martin Luther King Jr.,
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” Think
about how your time and talents could benefit others, and
April 15, 2013
Tales from the Library Cubicles
J Roiger, Acquisitions & Kris Wiley, Assistant Director
Betty: Hey, Kris … what’s up?
Kris: W – e- l – l,
World Book Night is coming up next Tuesday, April 23.
Really? I cannot wait. Last year, it was a blast.
know! It was fun to give away copies of “The Hunger Games”
by Suzanne Collins, “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card, and
“Blood Work” by Michael Connelly. And to hear everyone read
favorite poems and short stories.
B: Sue had us all
leaning forward with that sort of creepy Mary Elizabeth
K: Yeah, that was memorable.
B: You had the
best job though.
Betty: You were emcee, and you
got to throw candy at people.
K: To people, toward
B: Details, details. Candy coming at a person at
any speed is welcome. Everyone wanted to guess the quiz
questions and win. They were into it, rapid-fire answers for
K: Do you want to spill what’s happening this
B: Sure! Well, Gigi told me about a unique book she
had read called “My Ideal Bookshelf.” It is about the
personal favorites of more than a hundred people:
celebrities, chefs, authors, fashion designers. They all
share the books that have helped them, defined them, let
them follow their dreams.
K: We took a look at the book
and decided to have a paper template of a bookshelf that
people who attend could fill in with their much loved books.
And we have markers and funky paper for people to make up
their own cool book spines.
B: And then do we talk about
our favorites? Because I don’t like to choose.
what’s your favorite book?
B: What?! Did you not listen?
I don’t like to single one out … then the other books on my
ideal shelf will feel bad.
K: OK, then, what are some of
B: It changes. For instance, I loved “A
Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle when I was younger.
I’d have to say “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is
just about a perfect book for me. So, what’re some of your
K: “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood and
“Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier are right up there. “Olive
Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout.
B: “The Hobbit” by
J.R.R. Tolkien changed my life. “Harry Potter and the
Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling rocked! I wonder if
“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio will make my ideal bookshelf?
K: So…as I was saying… adults and teens are welcome to join
us for World Book Night on April 23 at 6 p.m. in the adult
fiction area of the library. Remember! We are giving away
B: And you know I love “A Game of Thrones” by
George R.R. Martin.
K: You are still talking … you are
not going to quit, are you?
B: [sigh] My ideal bookshelf
isn’t big enough.
April 8, 2013
Pick a Poem for April
by Katy Kudela,
There is nothing like sitting
down to read your favorite childhood book. Just this past
week, I shared some of my favorite fairy tales with the
children at storytime. It was wonderful to see that
“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” captured their attention
just as well as it did mine years ago. It’s true that some
stories never grow old! The same can be said with poetry.
After all, many of us can name a nursery rhyme just like
that. Some of us might even have a poem or two tucked away
in our memories. My earliest poetry memory comes from the
Childcraft Books, which sat alongside the World Book
Encyclopedias my parents had lining the bookshelves. Inside
the Childcraft Book of poems was the silliest poem I’d ever
“I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see
than be one.”
As a child, I
recited this poem again and again as if it was the funniest
joke in the world! Poetry is perhaps the best example of the
power that words can bring. In just a few short phrases,
poetry has the power to paint a picture in words. Leonardo
da Vinci is quoted as saying, “Painting is poetry that is
seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt
rather than seen.”
This April, celebrate National
Poetry Month with a visit to the library. The library has an
assortment of poetry books for all readers. You will find
several poetry book displays set up in the Children’s Room.
You can also browse the 811 sections in the picture book,
junior, young adult, and adult nonfiction collections. You
will find a wealth of poets from Robert Frost to Maya
Angelou to Jack Prelutsky. You might even discover a book
you have not read before like Laura Purdie Salas’
“BookSpeak!” which is a collection of poems that is all
about books. Here’s part of her poem called “This is the
“…And she is the reader
who browses the
and looks for new worlds
but find herself.”
I encourage you to take time this month to add a poetry
book to your stack of checkouts. By reading one poem a day,
you will be enriching your world, and the best part is that
it only takes a few minutes! Browsing the stacks this April,
you just might find a poem or two you want to add to your
collection of memories or your child’s collection of
memories. As poet Maya Angelou says so well, “Any book that
helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading
one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” A
book of poems may be just the book that opens your child to
the wonderful and imaginative world of literature. It might
also be the book that reminds us as adults the power a few
words can hold.
April 1, 2013
April is Financial Literacy Month
Linda Lindquist, Adult Services/Reference
Are you sufficiently educated about your personal
finances? Have you taught your children how to handle money?
Are you ready to change your financial situation? April is
Financial Literacy Month and now would be a good time to
address these questions.
During these challenging
economic times, it is important for individuals and families
to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. The more
we know about our personal finances, our savings, and our
credit card debt, the better off we will be. And the sooner
we begin teaching our children, the better off they will be
as well. April is a time of new beginnings; a perfect time
to begin doing this.
There are some basic steps you
should take to get started on the road to financial
stability. First, you need to examine your attitudes about
money. Are you ready to accept the responsibility for
changing your financial situation? Secondly, clear out
financial clutter—get rid of unnecessary papers and
receipts. Items to save are paycheck stubs, canceled checks,
and documents pertaining to buying and selling or improving
your home. Receipts for major purchases should be kept as
long as you retain that item, and individual income tax
returns should be kept for seven years (according to the
Internal Revenue Service). Another step is to get a copy of
your credit reports. There are three credit bureaus:
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These are three separate
entities and information contained in each of the reports
varies slightly. To get a free credit report, visit
www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1- 877-322-8228.
Another step is to make a list of what you “need” and what
you “want” and then rank this list according to how
important these “wants” and “needs” are for your family. You
need to set some short-, mid-, and long-term goals.
Short-term goals should be able to be attained in two years.
Mid-term goals may take two to five years to complete.
Long-term goals may take more than five years to accomplish,
but it is important to have some goals in each category.
Another important step is to track where all your money
goes. Make a list of your variable expenses—those that
change from month to month such as clothing and food
expenditures. Next you will want to make a list of fixed
monthly expenses—car payments, mortgage payments, rent
expenses, utilities, etc. Finally, you will want to identify
periodic expenses such as insurances that are paid once or
twice a year, vacations, income taxes, etc.
mentioned steps are just a few that are mentioned on a web
site to help individuals find financial freedom. The web
site is: www.financialliteracymonth.com. In reading through
the steps, I found several ideas that are easy for all of us
to follow and that can help us to attain our financial
wellness. And it is never too early to teach our children
money management. Simple daily tasks such as watching us at
the ATM machine, paying our bills, balancing our checkbook,
or talking about our spending decisions are lessons we can
teach our children. Giving them an allowance and showing
them how to save a portion of it is a valuable lesson for
them. Have your child take a portion of their saved money to
the store to purchase a small item that they want.
As always, we have books at the New Ulm Public Library that
can be checked out. We have many personal finance books in
the 332s section. Some books to teach children about money
management include “The Berenstain Bears and Mama’s New
Job,” A Bargain for Frances,” “Sheep in a Shop,” and
“Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.” Not all of
these books are at the New Ulm Public Library, but we can
get them from other libraries in our system.
is the official National Financial Literacy Month. But you
can start on any day or any month of the year to create
successful strategies to better your financial position.
March 25, 2013
by Betty Roiger, Acquisitions
don’t peek for Christmas presents. When someone says: “Close
your eyes, and put out your hands,” I don’t open my eyes.
And I don’t look at the last page of the book. But then I
started “Wool” by Hugh Howey.
I hadn’t ducked into a
Science Fiction world for a while because I have plenty to
read. I went out to talk to Kris at the front desk; she was
checking in “Wool” and gestured at the cover, saying, “This
is getting some buzz.” “I know,” I said, “I’ve wanted to
read it.” She thrust it at me saying, “Here!” “Uhm, what?!
That’s sort of line jumping.”
(sputtered my inner
dialogue). “I have a stack of books waiting to be read, and
this one needs to wait its turn.” But “Wool” didn’t wait its
turn. “Wool” cut in line and moved to the front and
thankfully, gratefully, I am glad it did.
children were playing while Holston climbed to his death”...
is how “Wool” starts. You like Holston right away in the
story, even as he climbs the spiral stairway of the silo, to
the up top. Questions abound. He is going to his execution,
but will he clean? He broke the rules, he wants out, and
that means a death sentence. (I know!) Not much of this
makes sense to anyone reading this. Why a silo? Why does he
want to die? Why can’t you go outside? What is cleaning? One
of the best parts of this “Wool Omnibus” is that the answers
are revealed quickly but not so quickly to spoil the
intriguing premise. Once you are in the silo, with Holston,
then with Jahns, and Marnes, and you begin viewing the
hydroponic floor, the growing floor, IT where the techies
work, you know with each step up or down you are entering a
complete and fascinating world.
character you first meet is the one you follow through the
book. But from the get-go it doesn’t look good for Holston.
Who exactly am I shadowing? I’d advise you to head below 140
floors to down deep on those spiral stairs and get to
Mechanical to find Jules. Jules is the character you really
want to follow. She is the best mechanic maybe ever.
This book is addictive; once you enter, you do not want
to leave. “Wool” is a wonderful world to be sucked into, not
that it is necessarily a wonderful world. I found myself
reading slower, slowing down to remain in the silo with
Jules. At the same time, I flipped forward to the next
chapter to see if everyone I liked remained intact. (Yes, I
know! I don’t peek.) Yet “Wool” has its own rules. (So I had
to. I needed to know!) This book is intense and
irresistible. Hold on while “Wool” unravels and then
re-stitches itself into something else. Follow Jules up top
and down deep; it is worth it to get to the bottom of the
secrets. I peeked. You’ll be flipping the pages, too, to
find out what’s next. And then, you just might not want to
If you like Science Fiction, please
give “Wool” a shot. And here’s the thing. If you don’t read
Science Fiction, do not let that stop you from trying
“Wool.” This could take
place anywhere, anytime, which I
think is the mark of a good story. And “Wool” is simply a
good story. Come in and check something out.
March 18, 2013
Interior Re-design at the Library
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director
Doing more with less
seems to be the standard these days in state and local
government. But how do you do more with less when your
library offers its services in a building designed in 1976,
at a time when staffing multiple levels and floors was not
Your New Ulm Public Library has five
floors open to the public. We have just over seventeen
people (or about the equivalent of ten full-time people) to
offer services on these five floors, and we’re open six days
a week, including four evenings. We’re spread pretty thin.
As budgets have dropped in the past few years, we’ve
done our best to maintain services. So far, so good. But we
know that since 80% of our budget is people, future budget
cuts will result in lowered staff levels. We’re trying now
to be proactive in looking at how and where we offer
As the years go on, and people leave or
retire, there is an increasing probability that they will
not be replaced at the same hourly level, or they may not be
replaced at all. If that’s the case, and we want to continue
maintaining services, we have to reduce the locations where
we offer service to the absolute minimum. Our Service Center
(formerly the Circulation Center) is being looked on as the
place where in the future those services will be offered.
While in the future the other four floors in our
building may not be staffed, we are also looking for ways to
give them a staff presence. One way is to move our managers
(library director and assistant library director) to offices
on empty floors to maintain a staff presence on those
floors. Moving them there would also make them more
available to the public.
Most of our ideas are in
still in the formative stages, but a committee was recently
formed to begin looking at the options. Included on the
committee is the library director, two librarians, a library
aide and two members of our library board. The committee
will meet every month or two to plan for the interior
re-design of the library. Its purpose will be to develop a
design that will make the library a continuing place of
education, programming, learning and fun.
Director Kris Wiley will be project manager for this
interior re-design effort and will lead the aforementioned
committee. She can be reached at: 359-8334, or by email:
Incidentally, now is a great
time for you to express your thoughts about the interior
design of the library. We encourage you to contact Kris with
any of your thoughts, suggestions or ideas!
March 11, 2013
Friends Team Up With Sven & Ole’s for Book Fair
Kris Wiley, Assistant Library Director
Our Friends of
the New Ulm Public Library is a fantastic organization. The
group supports the library in any number of ways, from
providing funding for materials and programs to attending
events to advocating for library services.
Friends’ major fundraiser is the annual book sale, which is
held in the library basement in late fall. The proceeds from
the sale, as with all of the Friends’ funds, go toward
making your library even better. Now the Friends have a new
opportunity to raise money. In partnership with Sven & Ole’s
Books in New Ulm, the Friends will benefit from a book fair
this Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16. Customers must
mention the book fair when they check out, and 25 percent of
their sale will benefit the Friends.
It gets even
better. The bookstore is accepting pre-orders for William
Kent Krueger’s newest novel, “Ordinary Grace.” Customers
must order the book at the store, and for every pre-ordered
copy of “Grace,” Sven will give $8.25 to the Friends. And
he’ll get your copy signed by the author. The book’s
publication date is March 26; Sven will have your signed
copy available for pickup at the store April 5. Sven & Ole’s
Books is located at 2 North Minnesota Street; the phone
number is 507-354-6421.
If you are not familiar with
William Kent Krueger, he is best known for his Cork O’Connor
series of mystery novels set in northern Minnesota.
“Ordinary Grace” is a departure. The publisher’s
introduction to the book sets the tone: New Bremen,
Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season,
ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of
Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a
mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of
innocence and hope for a country with a new, young
president. But for 13-year-old Frank Drum, it was a grim
summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many
forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.
been in contact with Krueger and received this quote from
him: “When I first began contemplating the writing of
‘Ordinary Grace,’ the seed for all my imagining was New Ulm.
As the novel grew, I added elements of other towns in the
lovely Minnesota River Valley, but New Ulm—an earlier,
smaller, maybe simpler version—was always at the heart. I’m
so grateful to everyone there who offered me stories and
There is a book trailer for “Ordinary
Grace” on YouTube and can be accessed at
The mission of the
Friends of the New Ulm Public Library is to support your
library. In just the past year, the Friends have donated
funds for large-print books, audiobooks, and numerous
programs, among other things. All proceeds from this book
fair event will go toward continuing their support of
library materials and programs. So if you’re out shopping
this Friday and Saturday, stop in at Sven & Ole’s.
March 4, 2013
What to Read Next?
Children’s Librarian, and Betty J. Roiger, Acquisitions
“So many books; so little time.” It’s certainly a
wonderful problem to have, but trying to decide which book
to read next is a predicament for many readers. Here in the
Children’s Room, this question comes up a lot. Sometimes
it’s young readers looking for something else to read while
they patiently wait for the next Rick Riordan book. Other
times it’s parents hoping to draw their children into a new
book series. Luckily, as one young patron said, our library
has a lot of good books!
No matter the age level or
the interest, the shelves of the New Ulm Public Library
offer something for everyone. Even better…if we don’t have
the book you’re looking for, we can search for the book in
other libraries. It’s really that easy! So, with an
abundance of books sitting on the shelves, the question
still stands: “What to read next?”
If you’re looking
for new children’s picture books, the 2013 Caldecott books
are a great place to start. This year’s medal winner is
“This Is Not My Hat” written and illustrated by Jon Klassen.
Follow along with a very small fish who thinks he is
outsmarting a very much larger one.
Judging from this
year’s winners, the world of picture books is flourishing!
Klassen also illustrated another honor winner: “Extra Yarn,”
written by Mac Barnett, demonstrates the magical gift of
generosity. Toni Buzzeo wrote “One Cool Friend,” which is
beautifully illustrated by David Small in black and white
with touches of color. This book is the story of a suit and
bow-tied boy who finds a friend in the penguin he
“liberates” from an aquarium. Humor ensues.
the Children’s Room, be sure to check out this month’s Dr.
Seuss picture book display. There you can locate your
favorite Dr. Seuss book or perhaps discover a book you have
not yet read. With 44 children’s books written and
illustrated by Theodor Seuss Geisel, there is an assortment
to choose from. If the books are checked out, please stop by
the Children’s Desk and we can request a book from another
For junior readers looking for a good book,
the best place to start just might be the library’s
“Read-alikes and Series Lists.” Created last summer by
library aide Carla Fjeld, this resource offers many book
suggestions. Don’t forget that you can always ask the
library staff, too. While we try to read as many books as we
can, we also ask readers to share their favorite titles.
After listening to readers, we know that Jake Maddox writes
some cool sports books and Margaret Peterson Haddix writes
page-turning science fiction books. Nancy Drew and The
Boxcar Children are also proving to be timeless favorites.
Junior readers may also want to branch out and try
something different. A great place to start is the series
“You Choose.” A reader might be a first-class passenger on
the Titanic or a German immigrant traveling to America.
These books put readers in the driver’s seat. A reader gets
to choose who to be, where to go, and what actions to take.
Minnesota author Rachael Hanel presented her “You
Choose” book “Can You Survive Antarctica?” at a recent
family program. First, audience members were asked to test
their knowledge of foods to take to Antarctica. Unlike a
summer camping trip, a trip to Antarctica (even in the
summertime) becomes a survival mission. Hanel then read
aloud from her book and let the audience choose its paths.
Sharing the book as a read-aloud created an educational and
entertaining evening. With a variety of topics available,
the “You Choose” series would be fun for families to share.
In fact, it’s a good reminder that all kinds books are made
for sharing. You can share riddles at supper, read a chapter
before bedtime, and listen to an audiobook in the car!
So, if you stumble upon the question “What to read
next?” please remember your local library has many books to
browse, and the staff is always happy to help.
February 25, 2013
Oscar’s Best Pictures at the Library!
Larry Hlavsa, Library Director
I’m one of the one
billion people who watched the Oscars last Sunday night.
Okay, the widely publicized estimate of one billion viewers
is probably suspect, so let’s say I was one of the hundreds
of millions. Close enough.
I love the Oscars, despite
the fact that my favorites rarely win. I’m always happy to
argue about best actor, best actress, best director, best
screenplay, and similar categories, but the “Best Picture”
selection is always among my top five films of the year. I
rarely am upset about the Academy’s choice in the “Best
Picture” category. This year I saw most of the nine
nominated films before Sunday night, and while I wish
“Lincoln” had won (I admit a decided prejudice for anything
about Lincoln), “Argo” was a very fine film.
me to thinking. How many of Oscar’s “Best Pictures” over the
last thirty years can you borrow from your local public
library? I decided to do a little research to find out.
Calculator and IOLS (integrated online library system)
in hand, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Traverse
des Sioux libraries own 297 copies of “Best Pictures” from
the last thirty years, and that we own one or more copies of
all thirty “Best Picture” films since 1982.
fanatic that I am, however, I wasn’t done. I then began
wondering—Which film do we have the most copies of? Since
libraries purchase multiple copies only of items that are
circulating well, it seems fair to say that the more copies
we own, the more times they have circulated. My logic says:
most owned = most watched.
The “Best Picture” that we
own the most copies of turns out to be “Titanic,” James
Cameron’s epic 1997 film about the doomed ocean liner.
Looking for still more statistics I then used our IOLS
reports to determine that our twenty-five copies (both VHS
and DVD) of “Titanic” have gone out an amazing 2,191 times.
We may be landlocked here in southern Minnesota, but we
still like sea disasters as much as any part of the country.
To help you out next time you’re at the Library, here’s
the list of “Best Pictures” from the past thirty years.
Remember, all of these can be obtained through interlibrary
loan if New Ulm Public Library does not directly own them.
Terms of Endearment (1983);
Amadeus (1984); Out of Africa (1985); Platoon (1986); Last
Emporer (1987); Rain Man (1988); Driving Miss Daisy (1989);
Dances With Wolves (1990); Silence of the Lambs (1991);
Unforgiven (1992); Schindler’s List (1993); Forrest Gump
(1994); Braveheart (1995); English Patient (1996); Titanic
(1997); Shakespeare in Love (1998); American Beauty (1999);
Gladiator (2000); A Beautiful Mind (2001); Chicago (2002);
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003); Million Dollar
Baby (2004); Crash (2005); The Departed (2006); No Country
for Old Men (2007); Slumdog Millionaire (2008); Hurt Locker
(2009); King’s Speech (2010); The Artist (2011); Argo
February 18, 2013
Hooray for Local Writers
Kris Wiley, Assistant
Except for an occasional newspaper column, I’m
a reader, not a writer. I’m enthralled by words on a page and their
ability to evoke emotion and memory. Much of my spare time is spent
curled up with a book, and I love talking about what I’ve read,
which makes being a librarian here in New Ulm pretty fantastic. My
co-workers and our library patrons love the written word as much as
All that is to say I am in awe of writers –
their creativity, their diligence, their ability to share what is in
their head. Before I came to New Ulm, I knew writers only by their
work; I rarely attended author events. Then I moved here and quickly
realized how fortunate our community is to have a number of
published writers eager to share their gift. The library has been
host to many readings featuring local writers, and we are continuing
that commitment over the next month. All of these upcoming programs
are free and open to the public, and they begin at 6 p.m. Books will
be available for purchase, and they will be added to the library’s
This Thursday, February 21, Gary Wiltscheck
will share “The Story of Sr. Adelaide Koetter.” Sr. Adelaide grew up
in Freeport, Minn., and became a missionary nun on Kariru Island off
the coast of New Guinea. On March 17, 1943, she was one of about 40
people killed by Japanese soldiers. Wiltscheck has photos taken by
and letters from Sr. Adelaide during her mission to supplement his
presentation. In addition, Gary will discuss Lt. James McMurria, who
crossed paths with Sr. Adelaide in the South Pacific and went on to
be captured by the Japanese and held as a prisoner of war for 1000
days. The Brown County Historical Society is a partner.
On Tuesday, February 26,
Rachael Hanel will present an interactive program for all ages based
on her book “Can You Survive Antarctica?” Hanel will share a short
reading from her book and ask attendees to choose their “fateful
path.” To further bring the book to life, Hanel will ask attendees
to pull items from a bag and decide if the supplies will help them
on their adventure. By the end of the program, readers will find out
firsthand if they have what it takes to survive Antarctica.
The River Ranger Program is a partner.
On Thursday, February 28, Sheila Wingate will
talk about her new book, "Courtland, The Early Years: 1855-1910."
She will share information about her research as well as the history
of Courtland Township. The photographs in
the book tell stories of Courtland readers might not know about. The
Brown County Historical Society is a partner.
On Thursday, March 7, novelist Dave Gehrke will
be on hand with his second mystery, “Goodbye Ginny Madison.” The
book is about a romance writer pretending to be a mystery writer so
he can solve a real mystery, clear his live-in uncle of a murder
charge, convince his housekeeper to fall in love with him without
her discovering he’s really a romance writer pretending to be a
mystery writer, so they can all live happily ever after. When it
comes right down to it, all Greg Monroe wants to do is say goodbye
to Ginny Madison, his romance writer nom de plume.
On Thursday, March 14, Pell Johnson will share
stories from his second book, “Fowl Deeds: The Adventures of Fowl
Hunters on Swan Lake, Nicollet County Minnesota and a Few Other
Interesting Places.” He will be at Orchard Hill Assisted Living at 3
p.m. and the library at 6 p.m.
For more information about these and other
programs, call the library at 507-359-8334 or visit
www.newulmlibrary.org. See you at the library!
February 11, 2013
Black History Month Observed
Lindquist, Adult Services/Reference
The month of February is historically considered Black
History Month as designated by the United States Congress in
1926. This is a time when we can remember the struggles,
accomplishments, and contributions of African Americans. All
month long we celebrate and highlight people and events of
Black history in the United States and around the world.
Here are just a few of the things that can be done to
celebrate Black History Month:
1. Read Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
2. Visit a
local museum or art gallery. Most will be featuring African
American artists, musicians, etc. during the month.
Check with area colleges and universities to see if they
have special programs or events commemorating Black History
4. Listen to music by Scott Joplin, Charley Pride,
Bob Marley, Beyonce, or other African American musicians.
5. Check out a book.
We just purchased some new books
about African Americans for the New Ulm Public Library. One
title is “Black White Blue: The Assassination of Patrolman
Sackett” by William Swanson. Patrolman Sackett was on the
St. Paul police force when he was killed by a sniper’s
bullet in the 1970s. There was much racial tension during
that time. It is a true account of crime and punishment,
race, and community.
Rachel L. Swarns has a new book
on Michelle Obama entitled “American Tapestry: The Story of
the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle
Obama.” Michelle Obama’s family saga is a journey from
slavery to the White House in five generations. This is not
only a family history but also about a nation going through
racial intermingling and slavery. James McBride, author of
“The Color of Water,” stated, “A grand, important book that
shows how American bloodlines are rarely wholly black or
purely white, neither one race nor another. Nowhere is that
more true than in “American Tapestry,” an eloquent history
of the First Lady’s family.”
“King: A Biography” by
David Levering Lewis is in its 3rd edition. The 1st edition
was published shortly after King’s assassination in 1968. It
is a very readable book and full of historical insight.
Lewis tells of King’s achievements but also points out his
flaws and limitations. It is a classic biography capturing
the voices and feelings of the times of King’s legacy. |
One other book that was recently purchased is “The Black
Revolution on Campus” by Martha Biondi. She combines
research with interviews to tell how students turned the
slogan “Black Power” into a social movement. Biondi
illustrates how Black studies have produced innovations that
have had an impact on research and curriculum on campuses
over the past 40 years.
These are the newest books we
have on our shelves about African Americans. African
American authors, with books on our shelves, include Walter
Mosley, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, and
Bill Cosby to mention a few.
One more thing…be sure
to check your local TV listings, especially PBS. There are
many specials, documentaries, and movies that will be shown
during the month of February commemorating Black History
February 4, 2013
Take Your Child to the Library Day!
Kudela, Children’s Librarian
A celebration is buzzing
through libraries called “Take Your Child to the Library
Day!” While every day is a great day to stop by the library,
this celebration is a chance for families to stop by their
local libraries for an extra day of fun. Inspired by a
librarian in Connecticut, this grassroots celebration has
become an annual event held on the first Saturday of
February. This year, librarians across the United States and
Canada are joining in the fun.
The New Ulm Public
Library will celebrate its own “Take Your Child to the
Library Day!” on Saturday, Feb. 9. The celebration will kick
off with a preschool storytime presented by the Narren at
10:30 a.m. All are welcome to come learn about the history
of these masked characters, listen to fun stories, and enjoy
For children who like
crafts, be sure to stop by the Children’s Room to make a
bookmark or two. The library staff will provide the ink,
stamps, and cardstock¬—we ask children to supply the ideas
and talent! This craft project will be available throughout
the day or while supplies last.
We are encouraging
children, tweens, and teens to sign up for the “I love this
book” contests. Like last year, these contests are a fun way
for readers to share their favorite books. Teens and tweens
are 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 character. All of these book suggestions
and drawings will be featured in displays at the library.
Each teen, tween, or child who enters the contest 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 service center. The contest runs through Friday, Feb.
Of course, a visit to the New Ulm Public Library
would not be complete if you don’t take a few minutes to
browse the library’s collection. From fiction and nonfiction
books to audio books, movies, and puzzles, there is always a
discovery waiting to happen. If you don’t have a library
card to access these materials, take a minute to stop by the
service center. Signing up for a library card is easy, and
the staff will be happy to help you. Children also can get
their own library card if they have a parent or guardian
with them. By taking just a few minutes to sign up for a
free library card, you immediately open yourself and your
children to a world of wonder, learning, and fun. As
children’s author Marc Brown (“Arthur” books) says, “Having
fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.”
January 28, 2013
Doorways to Books
Betty J. Roiger,
Opening a book is like walking through a
doorway. Books welcome you, invite you in, and it’s up to
you whether you want to take that step, go inside and take
that journey to explore a new and unknown place.
fellow librarian sent me a link that said librarians picked
“Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” as one of their top three
titles of 2012. Although I had purchased it for the library
when it came out, I had slid it way back in my “things to
read someday list.” I just finished it. Out of 5 stars, I’d
give it a 5. Yeah, it’s good.
At first, I thought it
was a book lover’s book and would trash technology. But it
unfolded into a quest, involving people who loved books and
embraced technology. It is hard to describe this experience,
but it hooked me fast, the writing was enjoyable, and the
tale, well, quite a tale was being spun. This book makes a
reader stop and think about our lives right now and realize
that where we are is hardly short of astonishing. Here’s a
sentence: “My phone couldn’t even connect to the internet
back then.” It mashes up books and where we are, what
happens every day, and it basically says: “It’s all good,
let’s go for a ride.” And it’s quite a ride. It’s hard to
say more than that except that the cover glows in the dark,
and how cool is that?
The next book I entered was a
novel of suspense called “And She Was” by Alison Gaylin. I
didn’t know anything about this book other than Harlan Coben
endorsed it on the cover saying he was a fan. Now I am, too.
The main character is Brenna Spector, who is a missing
persons investigator. She has that neurological disorder
that allows her to remember every detail every day of her
life. Somehow she makes all that work for her. The book
starts out fast with a missing woman who turns out to be
tied to a decade-old missing child, and Brenna is on the
case. Brenna also has an over-the-top, ultra-cool dude macho
computer specialist partner who makes for some comedic
moments. But the parts that had me laughing out loud
involved a really annoying, “shushing” librarian whose sole
purpose in life seems to be making Brenna’s life more
difficult, making me wonder if the author had a bad library
experience in her past. Meanwhile, her characters were
interesting, and the mystery was involving.
moment, I’ve opened the door into “The Death of Bees” by
Lisa O’Donnell. I am now immersed in a completely different
world in the poorer neighborhoods of Glasgow, Scotland. From
the first page the reader knows that it is Christmas and
that two teenage sisters have just buried their
ne’er-do-well dead junkie parents in their back yard. Having
grown up emotionally and physically neglected, possibly
survival is the only thing they understand for
certain. And if authorities find their parents gone, they
fear they will be separated and put into foster care.
Marnie is 15, street smart, and hardened. She knows if
she can make it to 16 she can legally take care of her
sister, Nelly. Nelly, is odd, eccentric, and speaks in a
posh Bette Davis accent. Help comes from an unlikely source,
when a neighbor’s dog shows an overly enthusiastic interest
in their back yard. And so this elderly gay neighbor begins
to feed and nurture them, giving them some semblance of
stability, as least, he thinks, until their parents return.
There is a black humor here, darkness and light, goodness
and cruelty. This is harsh, gritty, realistic, and riveting,
and I can’t wait to read what comes next.
I would like to encourage you to step through your own doors
by opening a book. You never know what worlds there are to
explore between the covers until you step in. Check
something out, that first step might be a dilly.
January 21, 2013
Linda Lindquist, Adult
Are you (or your children, for that matter) getting
tired of the cold, winter days and nights and looking for
something new and different to fill those hours? This could
be a perfect time to start a new hobby. Or it may be a good
time to start thinking of that special vacation you are
looking forward to. The following suggestions may be of
interest to you.
Scrapbooking or journaling are hobbies that many people
enjoy. It doesn’t have to take much to get started, it’s a
great way to organize pictures, and a story can be told at
the same time. Scrapbooks and journals can be as simple or
as elaborate as you want to make them. A good way to get
started is to attend a workshop at a local craft shop. The
workshop will allow you to try tools and materials before
you purchase them. Some of the books at the library on this
topic include “Start Scrapbooking: Your Essential Guide to
Recording Memories” by Wendy Smedley and “The Organized &
Inspired Scrapbooker” by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey. Janet
Pensiero’s book “Totally Cool Journals, Notebooks & Diaries”
has some neat projects to help a young person get started
scrapbooking or journaling.
Are you a knitter but tired of making afghans, scarves,
sweaters, gloves, etc.? How about making some knitted
jewelry? “Little Knitted Jewels” edited by Kara Gott Warner
and “Beaded Bracelets to Knit” by Leslieanne Beller look
interesting and challenging (challenging for me, easy for
others). These projects make use of leftover scrap yarns and
walk the knitter through several useful techniques such as
knitting with beads, working in the round, knitting with
wire, and more.
This really isn’t a hobby, but maybe you are thinking of
taking a winter vacation yet or possibly looking forward to
next summer’s vacation. New Ulm is such a German community,
and maybe you are looking forward to a trip to Germany.
“Eyewitness Travel Germany” is one of our newer travel books
on Germany. Included are many sights to see in the different
regions of Germany, hotels to stay in, and of course
restaurants to capture the flavors of Germany. Also included
in the book is a practical information section giving advice
on when to go, visas and passports, customs regulations,
taxes and tipping, traveling with children, etc. Or maybe
you would like to take a vacation but you or someone in your
group is limited because of being in a wheelchair or having
a problem walking. Check out “22 Accessible Road Trips:
Driving Vacations for Wheelers and Slow Walkers” by Candy B.
Harrington. Included in the book are trips to Pacific,
Mountain, Central and Eastern states. Once you have looked
through and read this book, you will see that being a slow
walker or in a wheelchair is no longer a barrier to going on
vacation. If you have young children in your group (or the
young at heart regardless of age), take a look at “America’s
Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans and Families” by Allen W.
Nyhuis and Jon Wassner. The book gives a brief description
of the zoo, address, website, admission and fees, and
Guess I have rambled on long enough. These are just a
few of the books that you can check out at the New Ulm
Public Library. If you are looking for something that you
cannot find on our shelves, let us know. We will check other
libraries in our system or check in MNLink for books. Enjoy
the rest of your winter.
January 14, 2013
Rebus and Other Cold-Weather Reads
Wiley, Assistant Library Director
This week’s cold
spell coincides perfectly with the return of one of my
favorite fictional characters – Scottish detective
inspector-turned retired civilian investigator John Rebus.
After 17 thrilling books, author Ian Rankin said goodbye to
Rebus in 2007, and I was left with a void in my reading
life. But now Rebus is back in “Standing in Another Man’s
Grave,” and I couldn’t be happier.
Rebus is one of
those flawed characters whom you can’t help but adore. He’s
irascible, complicated, and brilliant, which is a wonderful
combination for making few friends and many enemies. He’s
also determined, which provides for dramatic storylines.
There are many recurring characters in the series, but Rebus
is the glue. “Standing in Another Man’s Grave” is the first
book to feature Rebus since he retired from the police
department, and now he is reviewing cold cases as a
civilian. The long-lost case of a missing girl followed by
the disappearances of two women catch his attention, and he
quickly realizes the tragedies are connected.
mentioned our current cold snap because as much as the Rebus
series revolves around the main character, the weather plays
an almost equally important part. Edinburgh, Scotland, has
to be one of the consistently chilliest, dampest places on
Earth, or so you would gather from Rebus’ forays on the city
streets. He always seems to be popping into a pub to warm up
with a pint or going into a shop for a milky coffee to fend
off a chill. I end up shivering right along with him.
I suggest reading the series in order to get the full
flavor; Rebus evolves over the course of 17 books, and, as a
reader, it’s enjoyable to evolve with him. Start with “Knots
and Crosses.” I’ll be reading “Standing in Another Man’s
Grave” with a cup of hot chocolate and a thick blanket.
If you aren’t cold enough yet, there are a couple of
other wonderful detective series in which the weather plays
a great supporting role. Go even farther north in Scotland
to Aberdeen for the Logan McRae series by Stuart MacBride.
Or head to Iceland for Arnaldur Indriðason’s Reykjavik
Murder Mysteries featuring Inspector Erlendur. Or travel to
Denmark for the Department Q series with Carl Mørck by Jussi
Adler-Olsen. Then curl up and enjoy!
January 6, 2013
What New Ulm Adults Read
by Larry Hlavsa, Library Director
Ever wonder what
New Ulm is reading?
Well, I have, and as we’ve been
weeding the New Ulm Library book collection the past several
months, it has become clearer what kinds of books are most
popular with local readers. Some of what we’ve found out is
surprising, and some of it is unsurprising. Here’s a list of
the types of materials and subject areas most in vogue among
Mysteries. Everyone seems to love a
good mystery, and New Ulm is no exception. In fact,
mysteries are so popular here that the library is starting a
Mystery Book Group! The group will meet the last Monday of
every month at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to join. The first
title to be discussed comes from the Flavia de Luce series
by Alan Bradley. Stop by the Library’s Service Center to
place a hold on a copy of the book today. You can also ask
for a large print copy or an audiobook if you prefer.
Large print. The population of New Ulm is quite fond of
large print books. While our senior population is
responsible for much of that popularity, other elements of
the population use large print materials as well. As my own
eyes have aged, I know I’ve grown more appreciative of large
print books. Incidentally, we’re very thankful to the Lion’s
Club of New Ulm which annually contributes funds to help
develop this collection. Thanks, Lions!
guess there is a reason why there are so many self-help
books published—they are extremely popular with readers!
That’s certainly the case here in New Ulm. Psychology is the
primary area we’re talking about, although self-help covers
other areas as well. Topics like: how to have a better
marriage, how to raise children and how to deal with stress
are just a few of the topics we have books on.
Cartoon, anime and graphic novels. I frankly was surprised
to see how popular these kinds of books are in New Ulm.
Staff have said in the past that they were, but until I
looked at the circulation statistics I wasn’t a believer.
Now I am. I even found one title for myself—Rex Libris. I,
Librarian—“The astonishing story of the incomparable Rex
Libris, Head Librarian at Middleton Public Library, and his
unending struggle against the forces of ignorance and
darkness.” Wow! Who says librarians are boring, or
unpowerful? Certainly not Rex Libris! Our selection of
cartoon, anime and graphic novels is quite large, so you’re
bound to find something you’d like on our shelves.
Popular novelists. No surprise here. Best-selling authors
are as popular in New Ulm as anywhere else in the country:
Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, Lee Child, Debbie Macomber,
Nicholas Sparks and John Grisham are just a few of the more
popular authors in New Ulm.
E-books. Our e-books
collection began in 2011 and is steadily increasing in
popularity. Traverse des Sioux libraries circulated 34,670
e-books in 2012; of these, 3,543 were by New Ulm Library
cardholders. While still a small portion of our total
circulation, we are watching these e-books stats carefully.
Are e-books the future of libraries? Or will the book remain
supreme? Stay tuned. The jury is still out.
collections of ours that are popular include: World War II,
the American Civil War, inspirational books, science
fiction/fantasy, cookery, resume, and—as one fellow staff
member put it—“anything new!” With more than 80,000 items in
our collection, we’re bound to have something you would
like. So come on in and have a look!