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Curl up with a good book

By Staff | May 10, 2020

Blue Earth Community Library librarian Eva Gaydon puts some bags of books in the foyer of the library for patrons who have ordered them to stop by and pick up.

Though the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way Americans do their day-to-day routines, one thing has not changed.

The need to read.

While Minnesota’s Stay At Home order has libraries listed as non-essential, causing public libraries to close their doors to the communities they serve, Faribault County libraries are finding that reading, especially during a quarantine, is essential for many. And these local libraries have figured out a way to get their books to the masses without breaking any social distancing rules.

In Blue Earth, library director Eva Gaydon says that since the library closed on March 18, she has been offering pick-up for patrons in the front entry of the Blue Earth Community Library.

“People can call me, email, Facebook message me, or place a hold in the online catalog if they are interested in a book. And people are! It is great we can continue to offer access even in this non-traditional way,” says Gaydon. “So far it’s going well and people are appreciative.”

Gaydon shares that as summer draws nearer, more questions are being asked about the library’s summer reading program for students. She shares that the summer reading program in Blue Earth is still on, but it will look different from other years.

“We will still have a summer reading program, just not the traditional program,” she says. “We won’t have performers this summer. We are still revamping the reading portion of the program, currently. I know we will have bingo cards that kids can complete to enter into drawings.”

Another change to highlight is that while the BEA Reads program was put on hold this year, one Minnesota author, Kate DiCamillo, author of great book titles such as “The Tale of Despreaux,” “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,” “The Magician’s Elephant,” “Louisiana’s Way Home,” and many more, has graciously offered a statewide book discussion on her book, “Because of Winn-Dixie,” which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 20, at 1 p.m.

One Book | One Minnesota is a new statewide book club that invites Minnesotans of all ages to read a common title and come together, virtually, to enjoy, reflect, and discuss.

Libraries are essential for connection, and through One Book |?One Minnesota, libraries across the state will connect their communities through stories. The program aims to bring Minnesotans closer together during a time of distance and adversity.

Gaydon shares there will be more information regarding the One Book | One Minnesota program, and to keep an eye on your local library’s Facebook page or website for updates and more information coming.

Winnebago’s Muir Library has a similar set up to Blue Earth’s library. Patrons are able to pick up book selections via the library’s entryway, Monday through Thursday from 2 – 6 p.m. Library friends of all ages can call or email a list of titles or author suggestions, or use the library’s online catalog to place a hold on the items.

“We are only able to check out books that are currently in our library, and we will call or email you when your books are ready to pick up,” says Muir Library’s new director, Nicole Krienke. “There will then be a bag in the entryway with your name on it. Currently, at this time, our library events have been cancelled.”

Krienke has also created book bundles for younger patrons if they are interested in a book bundle to take home. Each book bundle includes multiple books with a common theme like “colors,” “dinosaurs,” “space,” and other varying topics for young readers. Muir’s summer reading program is scheduled for June 1, with weekly make and take bags, take home Bingo, I Spy window displays at the library and much more. Sign up on the Muir Library website, or give them a call.

Since March 28, Elmore’s library has been closed indefinitely. A meeting was held on May 4, to go over what has been going on and what may be continuing to happen for the library to decide upon a reopening date.

“Overdrive, which is the electronic part of our library, will still be available for use to download books and audiobooks,” says their Facebook page. “Just log into the Traverse des Sioux website and use your library card number to peruse what is available. It is with great sorrow that this announcement has to be made, but we want everyone to stay safe and healthy.”

In Kiester, library coordinator Kristy Flaskerude says the little library is doing curbside book pick-up for their patrons during the Stay at Home order.

“Patrons can call the library to place book or movie orders, or you can Facebook message us on our Facebook page for orders,” says Flaskerude. “I am at the Library Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Message or call ahead of time and when I go to the library, I get patrons’ books ready and bagged. I either meet them outside, or hang them in the front entrance. We have our outdoor book return and I sanitize all the books before returning them to the shelves.”

Flaskerude also shares that patrons can go to cloud.collectorz.com/707070/books to see the library’s collection.

Wells’ Public Library is also offering no contact pick-up Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and they also have window shopping available. Peruse the library’s windows for something that catches your eye, and the Wells team will assist you with your book check-out.

Library director Betsy Buschlack says their summer reading program will also be happening, but with some changes. Story time at the library won’t be happening, but childcare providers may have the option of bringing story time out to the daycares who want it.

Both the teen and children’s reading programs will have the option of online sign up and reporting, or they can visit the library. The Wells Public Library also hopes to have some other activities for young patrons. Online sign up information is at wellslibrarymn.org.

Blue Earth

Community Library:

Phone: 507-526-5012

Email: libtfb@tds.lib.mn.us

Muir Library:

Phone: 507-893-3196

Email: libtfw@tds.lib.mn.us

Elmore Library:

Phone: 507-943-3150

Email: libtfe@tds.lib.mn.us

Kiester Library:

Phone: 507-600-9337

Wells Public Library:

Phone: 507-553-3702



Be sure to check out your community library to see what is available in your area.