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Programs for New and Expecting Parents

Yoga at the Library

In early 2017, after the Baby Space at the Main Library opened, the Library partnered with IU Health Women and Children’s Services on a series of programs for new parents. IU Health had offered similar programs in other locations but was eager to move into the Library’s welcoming, accessible space. The Library was, and continues to be, excited to offer programs led by knowledgeable registered nurses that address the mental and physical health of parent and baby. The series kicked off with Moms’ Mondays, followed closely by Yoga with Baby.

Reading Glasses Available at the Library

Around 30 years ago, Librarians began to purchase a small supply of reading glasses for use in the Library. Staff realized that many of the customers who borrowed glasses could not afford to buy pairs for themselves. As demand grew, the Library looked for a way to allow customers to keep their glasses. The Library found an affordable solution, purchasing discounted pairs through the eyeglass recycling program at the Lions Club. 

Last August, Sharon Marsh, a faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College and employee of the IU School of Optometry, overheard a Library customer request a pair of reading glasses from a Library employee. In the Optometric Technology program at Ivy Tech, Marsh teaches a class where students make glasses with reconditioned frames and optical quality lenses. Marsh reached out to Community Engagement Librarian, Bobby Overman, to see if the Library would be interested in receiving donations of these glasses. 

Fitness at the Library

Booking It: Summer Running Program

When you think “Library,” do you think physical and mental fitness? Well, if you don’t, you should! Throughout the year, the Library offers free programs all about staying healthy and improving fitness. Now that summer is upon us, the Library is offering even more ways to exercise.

Every Monday evening, drop by for Yoga for the Community. Robin Halpin Young of Maxwell House Yoga teaches why the joyful practice of yoga is so powerful for keeping you healthy in body, mind, and spirit.

Speaking of mind and spirit health, have you heard of Being Bloomington: Being Peace? During this program, enjoy periods of silence accompanied by soothing, live, meditative music. Kat Forgacs leads participants through seated meditation, Tai Chi, and more.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarians: April 2019

Your Friendly Neighborhood LibrariansIn this month's episode, we chat about food with the Education Coordinator from Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, learn about Earth Day's history and some its quirkier pop culture manifestations, discuss community outreach with the Library's Special Audiences Strategist, and discuss DIY and Upcycling Library resources.

2019 Be More Award Recipients are VITAL

Be More Awards 2019

The ​​City of Bloomington Volunteer Network Be More Awards is the local community's way of honoring and applauding the outstanding, but often unrecognized efforts of its volunteers. Ten awards are presented annually during a celebration honoring nominees in which a $500 check is presented to each of the recipient's volunteer organizations in honor of their outstanding service.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarians: March 2019

Your Friendly Neighborhood LibrariansThink Library Presents: Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarians, a monthly podcast from Monroe County Public Library featuring our chattiest Librarians, Erica Brown and Matt Neer! In this month’s podcast, Matt and Erica explore forgotten and unknown women in history, learn how Library music and movies are selected, and face off in a mini Quiz Bowl moderated by VITAL's coordinator. Know what a literary canon is? Learn about and remake it! Have a question for next month’s podcast or want to appear on the show? Post it to our Facebook page or community [at] mcpl.info (subject: Your%20Friendly%20Neighborhood%20Librarians) (email us)!

Pioneer Grant to Reduce Library Barriers for Domestic Violence Survivors

Shannon Bowman-Sarkisian

After years of working in west coast bookstores and developing a specialty in rare books, Shannon
Bowman-Sarkisian is now studying to be a librarian at Indiana University and working as an Information
Assistant at the Library. Searching for meaningful opportunities to work on behalf of our community,
Shannon applied for and received the 2019 Pioneer Grant.

The Pioneer Grant invites Library employees to submit their enterprising ideas and lead the way to a
knowledgeable, inclusive, and engaged community empowered by the Library. Projects must be
innovative and beneficial to the community. The Friends of the Library provide funds to make the grant
project possible.

VITAL Conversations

Dennis Davoren and learner Adam Garmon

For the first of an ongoing series of conversations with our volunteers and learners, we asked VITAL volunteer LuAnne to chat with tutor Dennis Davoren and learner Adam Garmon about what makes their partnership successful. 

Adam has worked in construction and other hands-on trades, although these days he is on medical leave awaiting open-heart surgery. "I can make just about anything," he says. "I could build you a house." Dennis is retired, and while he has spent only a year as a VITAL tutor in literacy, prior to moving to Bloomington from Louisiana, he was a math tutor for more than a decade. Adam and Dennis have been meeting for weekly sessions since July 2018.

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