Library News

Free Tax Help

Free Tax Help

Need help with your taxes? We’ve partnered with United Way of Monroe County to offer free personal tax preparation by a Certified Tax Preparer. This free service helps residents who made less than $58,000 in 2021 file their federal and Indiana state tax returns and claim the earned income tax credit (EITC), if eligible.

 

Virtual Appointments

The Downtown Library is a virtual tax preparation site. Two-visit same-day drop off or two-visit scan options are available February 1–April 12 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 2–6 PM. To schedule an appointment and get more information, please call 812-747-4836 or email MCPLtaxaide [at] gmail.com. You can expect to leave a message with your contact information and a volunteer will contact you to schedule an appointment.

 

Celebrating Black Voices: Jacqueline Woodson & Coretta Scott King Awards Exhibit

Celebrating Black Voices

On Saturday, February 5 from 7–8:15 PM, The Friends of the Library and Monroe County Public Library will host award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater as part of the biennial “Power of Words: Changing Our World One Author at a Time” programming series. The talk is free and open to the public. 

Listen to the internationally acclaimed author, who gives voice to African American life through more than 30 books, ranging from children’s picture books to young adult literature to adult novels. Woodson is a National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature for her New York Times bestselling memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming”, among many other awards. The doors will open at 6:30 PM and tickets are not required. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is required per the Buskirk-Chumley Theater’s policy.

Top Circulating Items of 2021

Top Circulating Items of 2021

2021 is in the books! We’re taking a look back at the media that kept you entertained and educated last year. We tallied the numbers and here are our top circulating items of 2021!

Planning your 2022 reading list? There are some great options here, including Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. The internationally acclaimed and award-winning author will speak at our February 5 Power of Words event!

MLK Day Celebration

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Events

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re celebrating Black lives and remembering the tremendous life and accomplishments of Dr. King with a day full of events and opportunities to serve our community. 

 

MLK Day Activities at the Downtown Library

We’ll start the day at 9:30 AM with a storytime featuring "Hands Up" by Brianna J. McDaniel and "Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race" by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, followed by crafts to celebrate Black lives and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Following storytime, at 11 AM, the Bloomington Peace Choir, a community choir that sings to uplift their spirits and the world, will join us for a short all-ages performance in the atrium.

MCPL Chopped Challenge

MCPL Chopped Challenge winning dish: kidney bean and spelt toast with paprika whipped feta and rosemary pickled beets.

‘Tis the season for cooking and creativity! In November, we held the first MCPL Chopped Challenge! Participants received a take-home kit with three mystery ingredients and three cookbooks to borrow. They were tasked with preparing a dish using all three ingredients, plus their choice of additional ingredients.

We received many amazing, inspired entries. Thank you to all of the participants and congratulations to the winner, Emmi! They were so creative with the mystery ingredients, making a kidney bean and spelt toast with paprika whipped feta and rosemary pickled beets. Browse this photo album to view all of the submitted dishes!

Now that the official prize challenge is over, we’re revealing the mystery ingredients for anyone to try their hand! The mystery ingredients are…

Library Announces New Assistant Director of Public Services

Library Announces Josh Wolf as New Assistant Director of Public Services

We are excited to announce Josh Wolf as our inaugural Assistant Director of Public Services! We sat down with Josh to talk about the new role and his history at the Library.

 

Q. How long have you worked at the Library?

A. I've worked here for over 14 years, first as the Children's Services Manager from 2007 until 2015, then as the Community and Customer Engagement Manager, supervising a variety of public services staff. Before coming here, I was in children's services at Bartholomew County Public Library and Johnson County Public Library in Indiana, and at Fairfax County Public Library in Virginia. I've been working in public libraries since 1999!

 

Q. This position is new to our Library. Can you tell us more about the role of Assistant Director of Public Services?

Black Friday Deals at Your Library

Black Friday Deals

Black Friday only comes around once a year, but our deals are available every day! There’s no need to shop around––eBooks, movies, music, it's all free. Every day. All year long with your library card!

Stream Adele’s brand new album 30 on Freegal Music! Freegal offers unlimited streaming of over 16 million songs, including Sony Music's entire catalog of legendary artists. You can also download five free songs a week!

Check out New York Times Bestselling titles from Libby! Like the thriller The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave or The Midnight Library by Matt Haig! Libby also offers thousands of audiobooks, magazines, and videos. Enjoy them online, or watch on your personal device.

Library Receives Digital Equity Grant for Meeting Room Cameras

Recover Forward Bloomington

The City of Bloomington Information & Technology Services Department (ITS) awarded $50,000 in digital equity grants to support nine Bloomington-based nonprofit organizations in their efforts to bridge the digital divide for residents.

The Library received a $1,000 grant to purchase a Meeting Owl Pro 360-degree camera for public meeting room use. This easy-to-use device combines a camera, mic, and speaker, creating the experience of in-person participation for hybrid meetings. The new technology will provide patrons with a simple and accessible tool to bridge the gap between those who can attend meetings onsite and those who can't.

Family Literacy Month

Family Literacy Month Raffle Giveaway

November is National Family Literacy Month––an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the important role that families play in the education of their children. This month we encourage you to explore our literacy resources and visit the Library with your family!

Family Literacy Month Giveaway

One of our favorite sets of children’s book characters is the timeless Frog and Toad. Arnold Lobel wrote and illustrated countless children’s books and received several awards for his work, including a Caldecott Medal, two Caldecott Honors, and a Newbery Honor.

In support of Family Literacy Month, we’re giving away 40 copies of the classic early reader, Frog and Toad are Friends. We are also giving away two gift cards for a pair of one adult and one child tickets to Cardinal Stage's upcoming production of A Year with Frog and Toad!

Free RPG Day: October 16

Trial of the Wolf Girls: a mini adventure gamebook

Saturday, October 16 is Free RPG Day! During this nationwide event, gamers and publishers come together to celebrate adventure role-playing games by giving away free stuff. Here’s what we have to celebrate!

Tween Book Giveaway

Visit the Tween Space at the Downtown Library on October 16 to pick up a free copy of Trial of the Wolf Girls, a choose-your-own-adventure-style fantasy gamebook written by a local author. These will be available until supplies are gone!

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