Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Labor Day

School starts the day after Labor Day.  Honestly, when I hear that, I think “Labor Day already?” and go back to whatever else I was doing.  I don’t think about what Labor Day actually stands for.  Do you?

Labor Day is a federal holiday meant to celebrate the achievements of American workers, both socially and economically.   The very first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882.  The Central Labor Union organized the holiday just for New York, with no other cities taking place.  They celebrated the holiday again the following year, keeping the date so the holiday fell on a Monday, giving workers a three day weekend.

In 1884, the City of New York declared that the first Monday in September would be known as Labor Day from then on out and the Central Labor Union encouraged other cities to follow suit.  In 1885, many of the industrial centers around the United States celebrated the date.  Since these first holidays were celebrated by municipal ordinance, the cities rallied to push the states to pass laws to recognize the holiday on a state level, instead of just city by city.  New York State was the first to have a bill before its lawmakers, but Oregon succeeded in passing its bill first on February 21, 1887.  By 1894, 23 states had followed in Oregon’s footsteps and on June 28 of 1894, Congress passed a law making Labor Day a federal holiday.

The first proposal for the holiday outlined a suggested celebration.  According to the proposal, towns were to have a street parade to “exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations of the community.”  That parade was to be followed by a festival for the pleasure and enjoyment of the working families.  This became the pattern for the celebration of Labor Day all over the country.

As cities grew larger and huge parades became more difficult to organize, some areas turned to televising speeches from leading union officials, educators, labor leaders, and industrialists to celebrate the holiday.  More recently, families have used Labor Day as a last hurrah before school starts, one last long weekend available before the kids have a daily schedule almost as demanding as their parents. 

Labor Day signifies the end of the summer for most people, and strangely enough, the end of a fashion season.  So, ladies, once Labor Day arrives, we can no longer wear white clothing.  Does anyone know why that is?  I’ve heard it’s because the Navy switches their uniforms from white to blue, but I can’t confirm that.  If anyone knows the origin of this tradition, give me a call at the library!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call us for the date of the next meeting!

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The winter hours (starting September 2nd) for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Biographies of Interest

Who out there is an armchair adventurer?  Most of the time, I am, with a few exceptions.  I love to read travalogues and live vicariously through the adventures that other people experience.  But daily life can be its own adventure, especially for people who experience great hardship, dangerous or traumatic events, or simply those people whose culture is so vastly different from ours that it is difficult to comprehend. 

Here are a few biographies and autobiographies to get you started – there are extraordinary people in our world.  Some we will meet along the way, others we can read about in books, but the stories these people have to share with us will change the way you think of the world.

The Bite of the Mango, Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland
Kamara grew up in a small village in Sierra Leone, during a conflict that created hundreds of thousands of refugees.  In her small village, the rumors of rebel attacks were just that – no one had seen them first hand, no one believed they were really happening.  Until one day, when Kamara was 12 years old.  She set out for a neighboring village and she never arrived.  Heavily armed soldiers kidnapped her, tortured her, and cut off both her hands.  She survives, makes her way to Freetown, and becomes a beggar to keep herself alive.  Today she lives in Toronto, Canada, but it was a long road and her story shows just how resilient she is.

Hole in My Life, Jack Gantos
Gantos is an award-winning author of children’s books and lives with his wife in Massachusetts.   In this book, he tells readers about the biggest mistake of his life – the time when he needed adventure so he agreed to sail a yacht loaded with hasish from the Virgin Islands to New York City.  Once there, he was to sell the drugs but would retain ten thousand dollars for his trouble.  Unfortunately for Gantos, federal agents knew what was going on and busted him and his partners at the Chelsea Hotel.  Gantos servied six years in prison.  This is the story of those years and how his youth ended in the tiny cell and how the entire experience made him into the writer he is today.

The Other Side of the Sky, Farah Ahmedi  with Tamim Ansary
A childhood in Afghanistan is no picnic, much less for Farah Ahmedi.  As a child, she grew used to the sound of gunfire and the sight of falling bombs, even when they took her family from her.  Escaping death when she stepped on a landmine was one of only a handful of blessings that was bestowed upon her.  Finally it becomes too much for her to bear and she flees her beloved country to refugee camps in the mountains before making a journey to the United States.  Her tale is remarkable and inspiring, forcing us all to examine our own lives and the problems we are so sure we have, realizing they are nothing compared to some of what she suffered.

Rachel’s Tears: The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott, Beth Nimmo and Darrel Scott
There isn’t a lot of information I can give about this book without taking away something from the reading.  Rachel Scott was a very typical teenage girl, except for her strong faith in God.  She struggled, as many do, she learned, she believed in the depths of her heart.  And then, on the 20th of April in 1999, she was shot and killed at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.  This book uses her journals and the words of her parents to explore her life and give us a window into her faithful soul.


The Unwanted, Kien Nguyen
Nguyen is the son of a Vietnamese woman and an American man and spent his early childhood in Vietnam with his mother, the co-president of a bank.  His house was large, his mother threw parties, they had servants, everything a child could have ever wanted.  Until the night it changed.  Amidst the destruction of the old politicos, the family loses everything and Nguyen and his mother are forced to Saigon, into an apartment and a community where they don’t fit, especially Nguyen with his mixed blood.  A very emotional book, Nguyen does an excellent job pulling us into the desperation his life becomes before he manages to immigrate to the United States in 1985.

Warrior Princess, Princess Kasune Zulu with Belinda Collins
Princess Kasune Zulu began her life by the shores of Victoria Falls, living a very privileged life in Zambia.  Life was idyllic until a mystery ailment claimed the lives of her parents, her brother, and her baby sister.  The disease would become known as AIDS and it wasn’t until she turned 21 that Princess Kasune Zulu learned that she was also infected.  That realization took her from Zambia to the White House and the United Nations.  She has earned international acclaim for her work as an ambassador for vulnerable children and her passion for her work is unequaled.  Her life may be uncertain, but she is not wasting one single minute of it.

SRP Update: SRP activities are finished, but reading for prizes will continue until August 31 – we’ve got some great prizes, so keep reading!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call for the date of their next meeting.

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The summer hours for Meinders Library (starting Memorial Day weekend) are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM and Saturday from 10 AM - Noon.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.





Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Family Friendly Audio

Pipestone County Star 07-17-2014

Ah, the joys of long family car trips.  Having just done one, it went much better than I expected, but I let my kids watch DVDs and I drive a mini-van, so there’s space.  But if you don’t have a DVD player or very much space?  Audio books are possibly the best way to go!  So here are a few choices that everyone in the family could listen to, kids and adults alike.  I have listened to all of these with my children (ages 8 and 9 now, though probably closer to 6 and 7 when we started books on tape), and I can vouch for all of them being a good listen.

Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles: The Nixie’s Song (Book 1), by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
Two kids, thrown together by circumstance when their parents married.  And the girl brought a book with her, a book that is heavy and full of pictures of fairies, which everyone knows aren’t real, right? Think again, kid!  Once you know, and once THEY know you know, you can’t go back! Read by Andrew McCarthy, of brat pack fame.

Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
There is a supermarket in Florida named Winn-Dixie, and ten year old India decides to name the stray dog she’s adopted after the place where they met.  India has just moved to town and feels a little lost.  But before too long, India and her father, with some help from the dog, realize that life is so much more wonderful than they thought it was.  Read by Cherry Jones.

Millions, by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Damian Cunningham was certainly not expecting a bag filled with money to drop out of the sky at his feet.  He wasn’t expecting to be rich, but it all comes with a catch – he and his brother only have seventeen days in which they can spend the money before it isn’t even worth the paper it was printed on.  And that’s not all – the money was stolen and the men who stole it want it back.  Read by Simon Jones – a warning: the movie made me cry.

Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling
Though most people have read these books, I discovered that the audios are fantastic!  The reader, Jim Dale, does voices and is incredibly entertaining.  Plus, there’s seven of them and some of them have a LARGE number of discs, so this is something that can last a very long time.  Join Harry on his journey through schooling at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his quest to destroy Lord Voldemort.  These audiobooks are the best!

Geronimo Stilton series, by Geronimo Stilton
These books center around a mouse reporter and the crazy capers he gets up to, usually crazy adventures in far off places.  The stories are short and there are three in each volume.  These are great for younger children who can’t follow too intricate of a plotline.  Read by Edward Herrmann, they are sure to entertain.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Series) by Lemony Snicket
These are multi-voice recordings, meaning there is more than one reader.  While the main narrator is Tim Curry, others read with him, portraying various characters.  These books come with a warning, that if you can’t handle “a tragic fire, a nefarious villain, itchy clothing, and cold porridge for breakfast,” you best find something else.   These books are humorous in a rather dark and gothic kind of way and are thoroughly enjoyable in audio.

SRP Update: The Summer Reading Program sign-up has started with weekly activity days starting June 17th (Tuesday) at 2:00 PM.  Activities will continue on Tuesdays until the end of July.

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call for the date of their next meeting.

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The summer hours for Meinders Library (starting Memorial Day weekend) are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM and Saturday from 10 AM - Noon.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Value of a Library

Pipestone County Star 06-19-2014

I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and when I was a child, I would take the city bus downtown to the library on afternoons when I had nothing better to do.  I would find books and sit in the stacks and read until it was time to go home and I was never happier.  I couldn’t imagine growing up without a public library.

With all the severe weather over the past few years, fires, hurricanes, flooding, many public libraries have been damaged and had to relocate or rebuild, causing them to be unavailable until construction or renovations are complete.

What would happen if you lost your public library?  What do you think you would have to pay for the services the library provides if you no longer had access to them? 

Let’s start with materials.  If you only check out one book every two weeks (we’ll assume it’s a hardcover fiction book), you are saving yourself somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 a month.  New, hardcover fiction is right around $25 a book if you purchase them from Barnes and Noble.  Amazon sometimes has them cheaper, but then you have to pay for shipping (unless you buy more than $35 at a time or are a Prime member).  If you come and read the magazines at the library rather than subscribing, you save approximately $1.50 per magazine that you read each month by not having a subscription to your home.  Videos are $3, roughly, if you check them out at the video store.  Let’s say you check out a movie to enjoy with the family each weekend – checking them out at the library saves $12 a month.  So if you use the library for books, magazines, and videos, you save about $70 a month, or $840 a year and I’m just getting started!

Do you like to listen to audio books?  If you purchase them for yourself, you’ll probably spend anywhere from $25 to $40 per book and really, will you listen to it more than once?  If so, great, maybe purchasing is a good option, but if you only plan on one time, then borrowing it makes more sense and saves you money.

Now for some things you might not think about.  We get a lot of reference calls at the library, for directions or for phone numbers, or other community questions.  If you were to call information on your home or cell phone to get this information, you would spend $.75 a call.  Doesn’t sound like that much, but if you call once a week, it would add up over the year to $39!  You could also use the internet to answer those questions and, if you don’t have a computer at home, the internet at the library is free, which saves the average computer owner about $30 a month on internet services (not to mention the cost of a computer).

Special events that are held at the library are free to the public, as are computer classes and craft days.  If you were to pay for those, it would probably cost $15 for an hour of computer time with an instructor and $10 for a craft afternoon, to pay for materials.

So let’s add this up: 2 books a month ($50), 3 magazine subscriptions ($4.50), videos for weekends ($12), an audio book for all the driving ($30), information calls ($3), internet access ($20).  What does that add up to? $129.50.  That’s right – you can save over $125 a month just by using your local library.  Sound like a good deal?  Perhaps I should write this: Public Library = Priceless.

Keep in mind, I only listed the monetary value of physical materials and staff time.  That does not take into account the amount of information that is readily available, nor the amount of access one can get from interlibrary loan and the internet.  The library is used every week for job hunting, social outings, homework, testing sites, meetings, book clubs, and other activities.  These things keep us in touch with each other and the community, and it is impossible to give that connection a price.

Remember that everyone pays taxes for the library: 1.2% of taxes paid to the county of Pipestone go towards the library funding.  Are you using the services provided to get a good return on those tax dollars?  Stop in for a library card and check out a book today!

Services Update: Cypress Resume is now available at the library and at home with your library card!  Ask a librarian for more information – if you are job hunting, then this is the service for you.  Make great resumes with this web-based software that will lay out everything for you.

SRP Update: The Summer Reading Program sign-up has started with weekly activity days starting June 17th (Tuesday) at 2:00 PM.  We have two special events happening along with SRP this year for our middle and early readers: Swan the Magician at 2:00 PM June 24th and the Zinghoppers at 2:00 PM July 8th.  Contact the library for more information about these great events!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call for the date of their next meeting.

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The summer hours for Meinders Library (starting Memorial Day weekend) are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM and Saturday from 10 AM - Noon.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Summer Favorites

Pipestone County Star  - 06-05-14

Summer is almost here.  Even with the chillier temperatures of spring, we all know it’s coming and some of us can hardly wait.  I get to this point in the year and the only thing I can think about are warm days outside, reading a book and drinking iced tea.  Of course, by the end of summer, we’ll be wishing for cooler weather again, but at this point, all we can think about is warmth and promise.  And possibly those summer release books that happen every year/

Here’s a few you might be waiting for:

Top-Secret Twenty-One, Janet Evanovich (June 17)
Stephanie Plum is at it again.  This time, Trenton’s favorite used-car salesman has skipped out on bail after using his dealership to sell more than cars.  And Stephanies is going to have to protect someone she’d rather not protect, not to mention try and foil an assassination plot against Ranger.  And if that’s not enough, Grandma Mazur has a bucket list that involves getting revenge on Grandma Bella – what could possible go wrong?  Did I mention the feral Chihuahuas?

The Beekeeper’s Ball, Susan Wiggs (June 24)
Transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school is a dream come true for Isabel Johansen.  The layout, bountiful gardens, apple orchards, and beehives make it a great place to learn to cook, not to mention a getaway.  And Isabel wants it to be just that – a place she can forget the past, until a reporter named Cormac O’Neill shows up and starts to stir the pot.  A good romance, an idyllic setting, and a lovely story make this a perfect summer book.

Shots Fired, CJ Box (July 15)
This book is actually made up of ten stories, four of them  Joe Pickett stories and three never before published, that prove once and again that CJ Box is an incomparable story teller.  I love short stories in the summer – they can be read in an afternoon and are thoroughly satisfying without taking up too much time.  This book promises to be a good one!

Fast Track, Julie Garwood (July 29)
Raised by her father after her mother died in an accident, Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl.  That is, until her father has a heart attack and tells her a secret that leads her to Sydney, Australia, with her brother’s best friend to search for some answers. Sparks may burn between them, but the answers may cause Cordelia to get more than she bargained for and her search becomes dangerous.

Cold Cold Heart, Tami Hoag (August 12)
Dana Nolen was kidnapped by a serial killer right at the beginning of a promising career as a TV reporter and, though she defeated him, her life is now marred by flashbacks and PTSD.  She thinks that moving back to her hometown will help, but it only draws up more memories.  As she starts to uncover more details about the crime that made her become a reporter in the first place, she begins to struggle with the images her brain is giving her.  Are they real? Or are they a leftover of her ordeal?

Close to Home, Lisa Jackson (August 26)
Sarah McAdams has come home to renovate her childhood house, an old Victorian mansion that her daughters are not impressed with.  It holds a lot of memories for Sarah, some of which she’d rather not examine again.  Supposedly, the house is haunted, and Sarah’s daughter Gracie begins to talk about a woman in white she has seen running up the stairs.  But Sarah doesn’t have time to think about that in the midst of all the renovations and a shocking new problem – teenage girls in town are disappearing.  As Sarah deals with the terror of protecting her girls, will she realize that her memories might hold the key to solving the crimes?  An edge of your seat kind of read!

Get ready to enjoy summer – eventually it will warm up and a glass of tea on the porch, reading a book, will be the way to spend you day!

Services Update: Cypress Resume is now available at the library and at home with your library card!  Ask a librarian for more information – if you are job hunting, then this is the service for you.  Make great resumes with this web-based software that will lay out everything for you.

SRP Update: The Summer Reading Program sign-up starts on June 6th with weekly activity days starting June 17th (Tuesday) at 2:00 PM.  We have two special events happening along with SRP this year for our middle and early readers: Swan the Magician at 2:00 PM June 24th and the Zinghoppers at 2:00 PM July 8th.  Contact the library for more information about these great events!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call for the date of their next meeting.

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The summer hours for Meinders Library (starting Memorial Day weekend) are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM and Saturday from 10 AM - Noon.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Services You Might Not Know About

Pipestone County Star  - 05-08-14

Sure, the library offers books, movies, cake pans, CDs, and computers for public use, but there are other things we provide you may not know about.  With most of these services, we are included along with the other 30+ public and school libraries in the Plum Creek Regional Library System (PCLS) which is only one of the benefits of working together.  Without PCLS, we wouldn’t have access to not only the books inside of the system, but to the books in every library in the state of Minnesota.  But I said this was more than books, didn’t I?  Here’s some other great services offered by your local library and the regional system.

Most of you are already aware that we offer electronic books for checkout on your mobile devices and home computers.  In the past, the checkout limit through overdrive was 2 books at a time with a maximum usage of 6 books checked out and returned per week.  Because our collection has gotten much larger this year, the limit has been raised to 4 checkouts at a time with a maximum of 20 books returned in a 7 day period.  If you read more than 20 books a week, you might have to slow down a little (but I am REALLY impressed!).  If you have any questions on how to access overdrive on your mobile device, please let us know and we’d be happy to help.

In addition to the changes in checkout limits, Plum Creek Library System has purchased the rights of a maximum access collection of 661 Disney picture and chapter books.  Maximum access means that many users can check out the same book at the same time, which means no more waiting on a holds list for the books in this collection.  This means those of you with smaller children that like to read on digital devices can check out more books and have a much better selection.

Within the next few months, the Plum Creek Library System will go live with a service called Zinio, which allows patron access to digital magazines.  Digital magazines may be enjoyed on hand held devices like phones and tablets (but not dedicated E-readers like Kindle and Nook) and on home computers.  You just need a library card.  The beauty of the service is that there is no limit on who can check out a magazine and once you check it out, you always have access to it – it doesn’t disappear.  Many magazines have digital content that goes well beyond the print version and the graphics are amazing, not to mention imbedded video.  It will be a great addition to the library services.  Stay tuned for more information!

Plum Creek Library System, along with assistance from SAMMIE (our multi-type organization for this region of the state), has decided to purchase a software license for Cypress Resume, an excellent on-line resume building tool.  When it goes live, possibly even this month, patrons will be able to use their library cards to log into the service and build resumes from home or from a computer in the library.  The software is fantastic, easy to use, and builds great looking resumes – a good service for our patrons who are job hunting.

We realize that the library was more centrally located before the building of the new school in 2003.  Because of this, Pipestone Area Friends of the Library (with the help of a generous donation) purchases transit tokens for our patrons.  These tokens are available to our patrons who come to the library on the Pipestone County Transit bus at the rate of two tokens per person per week.  We can only give them to you if you take the bus out to the library, not if you come by vehicle.  Ask at the front desk for help with this service or if you have any other questions.


We are currently working on a grant that would bring more technology to the library and allow us to offer training on digital devices, so keep your fingers crossed on that.

While we try to stay on top of what we think the community might need from their library, there may be things we’ve missed.  If you have any suggestions that you think the library can help you with, please let us know.  Have a great day!

Upcoming Events: PAFL will be having their annual meeting on May 17th at 2:00 and will be hosting David Rambow, who is working with the Pipestone County Historical Society on a World War I project to catalogue all the veterans who enlisted in World War I in Pipestone County.  Another not-to-miss event for anyone interested in history and Pipestone County veterans in particular

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call for the date of their next meeting.

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

May Day Celebrations

Pipestone County Star  - 04-24-14

When I was a child, May Day was always a day I got a lot of exercise.  The night before, I would plant little flowers in small red cups, probably more than a dozen.  In the morning, usually first thing, I would run to my friends’ houses and leave a flower on the doorstep before ringing the bell and running away.  If my friends could catch me, we would laugh hilariously and hug, though technically kissing was the rule.  I have no idea where this tradition started – neither does my mother.  It was just something we did.  Sometimes my friends were ready for me, sometimes they had forgotten.  And sometimes, I would be lucky enough to be at home when my own doorbell rang and I would get to do the chasing.

Do you remember anything crazy you did to celebrate spring when you were a child?

May Day began as Walpurgis Night in Germany or Beltaine in the Gaelic countries.  Though it was never technically Christianized, the holiday itself still remains though has lost most of its religious overtones (celebrating fertility) in the cultures who still celebrate it.  Now it’s mostly associated with dancing around a maypole or crowning a May Queen, though it has other meanings in different countries.

In Britain, May Day is not always held on May 1st.  Instead, the first Monday in May is declared a Bank Holiday, which everyone has off, and the celebrations usually involve a lot of Morris dancing.  Many of the smaller villages crown May Queens and set up a May pole to dance around with colorful ribbons.  It’s also traditional to dress in red and white and, in some Scottish towns, to ensure a bonfire burns throughout the night to welcome the coming summer (this can involve a lot of alcohol and hangovers come the next day).

In France, thanks to Charles IX, people give each other sprigs of Lily of the Valley and the government allows groups to sell them tax-free.

In Germany, things are kept anonymous.  The night before (April 30), it is traditional to delivery roses, hearts, or trees wrapped in streamers to the house of the object of one’s affection.  Since this is done during the night, it is up to the admirer to admit they were responsible or to leave it secret.  Our cups of flowers must have originated from this tradition – I can’t find anything else that’s even close.

Bulgaria celebrates Irminden instead of May Day and the holiday is associated with protection from snakes.  According to legend, the King of Snakes appears on Irminden and so villagers light fires then jump over them, making sounds to scare the snakes away. 

In Hawaii, May Day is called Lei Day and has been a celebration of island culture since the 1920s.  It even has its own song, composed by Leonard “Red” and Ruth Hawk: “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’I” which has become a popular hula dance for the holiday.

I think I shall wear a lei to work on May 1st, to celebrate the spring and to indulge my wish to go to Hawaii.  Will any of you do something silly to celebrate the coming of warmer weather?

Upcoming Events: April 26th at 2:00, we will be hosting Michael Eckers, who is an avid historian.  Michael will be talking about the Eighth Air Force during World War II, the group charged with bombing Germany and defeating the German Luftwaffe.  Join us for this free event – if you are a history buff, don’t miss it!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call for the date of their next meeting.

PAFL will be having their annual meeting on May 17th at 2:00 and will be hosting David Rambow, who is working with the Pipestone County Historical Society on a World War I project to catalogue all the veterans who enlisted in World War I in Pipestone County.  Another not-to-miss event for anyone interested in history and Pipestone County veterans in particular

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.