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MCPL Digital Collection Launches

Text says "MCPL Digital" on a peach colored background with illustrations of an open yearbook and an owl with a graduation cap. MCPL Digital is a growing repository of high-resolution digital photograph collections of Monroe County Yearbooks and other local historical records. Our mission is to bring digital versions of the community's historical records to a broader audience!   Library Director, Grier Carson, says the digitization program has been in full force since early 2020. The first items to be digit

MCPL Digital is a growing repository of high-resolution digital photograph collections of Monroe County Yearbooks and other local historical records. Our mission is to bring digital versions of the community's historical records to a broader audience!

Library Director, Grier Carson, says the digitization program has been in full force since early 2020. The first items to be digitized were the Library’s collection of area school yearbooks.

“We’re excited to make some of the Library’s most unique physical materials, particularly those which represent and/or reflect Monroe County, more accessible,” Carson said.

MCPL Digital currently includes over 230 yearbooks from local high schools, scanned from physical copies housed in our Indiana Room. Spanning 114 years, the archive begins with Bloomington High School, The Gothic, from 1908!

   
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Celebrate Pride Month at the Library

Text says "Pride Month Giveaway" over a rainbow background with a photo of a Pride-themed giveaway items including a "Shelf Love" tote bag, pin, socks, and mug

Each June we celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning Pride! Many Pride events in the United States are held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion on June 28, 1969. Communities often celebrate with festivals, performances, rallies, parades, family events, film screenings, and other events to honor the history of the LGBTQ+ social movement.

Supporting a diverse and inclusive community is at the heart of our mission to serve Monroe County. While we strive to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community all year long, June offers an opportunity to highlight the contributions of LGBTQ+ creators and to provide a safe and welcoming space.

   

Ellettsville Branch Awarded Gardening Grant

A photo of four raised garden beds outside of the Ellettsville Branch.

The Ellettsville Branch was recently awarded a Growing Together mini grant of $1,500 in association with Purdue Extension–Monroe County!

 

Ellettsville Branch Garden

The garden was created as part of the Branch’s 2019 renovation. The garden was funded in part by a grant from the Smithville Charitable Foundation to install raised garden beds and a bench and provide resources to begin gardening programming.

In the first growing season of 2019, four raised beds and a grow tower produced tomatoes, basil, squash, green peppers, and various micro greens! The produce was donated to Pantry 279, a local food pantry serving the Ellettsville community.

The garden was closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, but reopened in 2021 to produce a harvest of tomatoes and basil!

 

   

Retiring Director Remembers Ten Years of MCPL

Marilyn Wood is pictured holding an award

In her ten years at MCPL, Director Marilyn Wood led Library staff through many changes, accomplishments, and awards, but nothing quite as challenging as a global pandemic.

“The past two years were challenging and scary, but rewarding,” she said. “It was humbling to watch the community in their own personal struggles, as we worked to meet their needs in new ways. Our staff were ultimately very creative and dedicated and I’m really proud of how we pulled through.”

Marilyn is set to retire on May 6. At the top of her list of achievements is the planning and construction of the forthcoming Southwest Branch Library. Marilyn has led every step of the planning process from gathering initial community input to site acquisition and the building’s design.

   

New Digital Creativity Services

Level Up

There are now more ways to get creative in Level Up, our digital creativity space! 3D printing and memory preservation have joined our existing services, which include video and audio recording, Adobe Creative Cloud-equipped workstations, and more!

 

3D Printing

3D printing is now available on demand in Level Up! Reserve the 3D printer for up to three hours of print time to turn your digital designs into real-world physical objects. Create a cool keychain, miniatures for your role-playing game, a giftable photo frame–the options are endless! Usage is limited to one single-colored print per day.

Looking for some guidance? We have access to intuitive software options and a free ready-to-print library, and we offer regular 3D printing workshops! View upcoming events and 3D printing resources.

 

   
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April 17–23 is Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week with photos of two volunteers.

This week, we’re celebrating the volunteers that support the Library’s mission, lending their time and talent to make a difference in our community! Dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers are essential to the success of the Library!

 

Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners (VITAL): Mary DePew, Volunteer

According to a recent survey of adult skills, 1 in 6 Americans struggles with basic literacy skills. Locally, 1 in 10 Monroe County residents speaks a language other than English at home. VITAL provides a safe and respectful learning environment for adults who want to improve their reading, writing, math, or English-language skills. VITAL’s volunteer tutors help adults in our community attain greater life success through literacy!

   

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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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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