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April is Poetry Month

Poetry Month

Every April, the world celebrates poetry! The month is a reminder that poets play an integral role in our culture and that poetry matters. To celebrate, we have a lot of opportunities to read, listen, connect, and create with poetry in a variety of ways.

“Poetry is humanity's oldest form of literature–it's both ancient and modern. If you don't like reading it, you can listen to it,” said Jack Kovaleski, Community Engagement Librarian. “If you don't like listening to it, you can write it! Give it a chance and it will surprise you.”

Poetry Listening Station

Poets write what Robert Frost called "the sound of sense." Poetry read aloud can bring the words to life, helping a poem resonate with the reader. Experience the sound of sense at our poetry listening station in The Commons on the second floor of the Downtown Library, beginning April 2!

   
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Library Receives Wahl Grant to Enhance Tween Space

The Tween Space at the Downtown Library

In 2020, shortly before the pandemic began, we opened a Tween Space in the children’s area of the Downtown Library. This dedicated space offers kids ages 7–12 a place to hang out, explore crafts and other activities, enjoy pop-up programs, work on homework, and play.

The Wahl Family Charitable Trust recently awarded the Library a $3,600 grant to support the continued development and enhancement of the space. The grant funded the purchase of a tabletop gaming table, new mobile shelving, and seating for individual and collaborative use within the space.

Children’s Librarian Kate Duneman says the addition of cozy seating and a dedicated gaming table has made the space even more engaging for tweens. “Seeing tweens relaxing and reading books in the new beanbag chairs has been a wonderful sight we’re all enjoying,” she said.

   
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Allergic

Sometimes Maggie feels left out. Her mom and dad are preoccupied with getting ready for the new baby, her twin brothers are always in their own little twin world, and even her friends seem to be distracted with other things.

Maggie convinces her parents that a puppy is the perfect answer, but a trip to the animal shelter just makes things worse! Turns out Maggie is severely allergic to many kinds of pets. Then Maggie makes a new best friend. Claire has just moved in next door and seems to answer all of Maggie's troubles until she does something that makes Maggie feel completely misunderstood.

   
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2021 Accomplishments

2021 Accomplishments

2021 was a big year for us! While we continued to increase access to our services through virtual options, we also resumed all of the in-person services and events you love. Here are some of the accomplishments that made our 2021 great!

Events and Services

11,706 people participated in 984 Library-sponsored in-person and virtual events. Summer reading continued virtually, with its participants nearly doubling the initial goal of reading one-million minutes!

We launched several long-term programs including a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading challenge and Monroe County Field Notes, a virtual dig to uncover stories about 19th-century landmarks and people. The research will help diversify our community’s history.

   
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MCPL Board of Trustees Welcomes Nichelle Whitney Wash

Nichelle Whitney Wash

We are excited to welcome the newest member of the Board of Trustees, Nichelle Whitney Wash to the MCPL community! Appointed by the County Council, Nichelle will serve on the Board for a four-year term. We sat down for a Q&A with Nichelle and here’s what we discovered. 

 

Tell us a little bit about your education and work history?

I attended Indiana University and studied Human Biology with a concentration in Human Health & Disease. I identify as a STEM nerd in many ways, and during my academic journey fell in love with teaching people about the history of social identities in America. This new love led me to become a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant. I’ve worked in a number of different roles including in higher education, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations. 

 

   
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Affordable Internet Program

Struggling to pay for internet service? The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal benefit program designed to help you afford the broadband access you need for work, school, healthcare, and more.

Visit acpbenefit.org to check if you qualify, apply, and find a provider near you.

If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • A monthly discount on your internet bill (up to a $30 per month)
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer through a participating provider

This new long-term program will replace the previous temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit. Most households currently enrolled in that program will not have to take any action to continue receiving the $30 monthly benefit after the transition period ends on March 1, 2022. Learn more about the transition.

   
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Endling: The Last

The Queen, Katherine Applegate, has done it again.

Endling: The Last is the first book in a fantasy-adventure trilogy. Applegate does a brilliant job of introducing us intimately to a lovable cast of characters, including the series' heroine Byx, believed to be the last dairne (a race of sentient anthropomorphic dog) in the land of Nedarra. Byx is joined by a motley crew of companions in her quest to find the legendary ancient home of the dairnes and survive the pursuit of the land's power-mad ruler.

The characters' plights and small-scale drama are expertly woven into the backdrop of a fully realized fantasy world, with tantalizing hints toward mysteries to be unraveled and secrets to be revealed. In classic Applegate fashion, the book is full of truly heart-pounding action sequences coupled with thought-provoking parallels between this fantasy setting and our own world.

   
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We're a Star Library!

America's Star Libraries 2021

The 2021 Library Journal (LJ) Index of Public Library Service, a national rating system that measures library service relative to peer libraries, named Monroe County Public Library a Three-Star Library! MCPL was one of just five Indiana libraries to receive a star designation.

“We are excited to be among peers that share our deep commitment to serving all of our community,” said Marilyn Wood, Library Director. “Not only does this highlight our distinction among Indiana libraries but also on a national level related to the level of service delivery we provide.”

5,608 U.S. public libraries qualified to be rated, with just 262 receiving designations, putting us in the top 5% of qualifying libraries!

   
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Free Tax Help

Free Tax Help

**April 1 Update: All Library appointments are full**

Need help with your taxes? AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are available to help residents file their federal and Indiana state tax returns! The AARP Foundation Tax-aide Program provides in-person and virtual tax assistance to anyone, free of charge. Volunteers are trained and IRS-certified every year.

 

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 812-727-4836 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.

 

   
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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.

   
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