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Great MCPL Kid’s Bake Off

A cake decorated with blue candy waves, a lightning bolt, a trident, and icing writing Percy Jackson.

The first Great MCPL Kid’s Bake Off is a wrap! We challenged 17 children to make their best book-inspired dessert. The catch? They had to include a mystery ingredient–beet root powder!

Each participant received a kit that included measuring spoons, beet root powder, some suggestions for baking books, and a copy of The Complete Cookbook for Young Scientists: Good Science Makes Great Food: 70+ Recipes, Experiments, & Activities to keep.

According to children’s librarian Kate Duneman, the participants had two main charges in creating their dessert–to use the secret ingredient and to tie in a book they’ve read, by decoration or taste.

“While I enjoyed seeing the different ways kids used the mystery ingredient, I think my favorite aspect was the literary tie-in and how wildly creative people were with it,” Kate said.

   
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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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Tween Space Mural Contest

Have you heard of our Tween Space? The Tween Space at the Downtown Library is a place where kids ages 7–12 can hang out, explore crafts and other activities, enjoy pop-up programs, work on homework, or play!

Later this summer, a local artist will be revamping the Tween Space walls with a cosmic mural. We’re calling on kids ages 7–12 to help with the design! Draw the dots of your own imaginary stars (no more than 10), the lines between them, and an outline of the figure or object the group of stars represents. Your constellation might be selected to be included in the new Tween Space mural! 

A constellation is a grouping of stars that forms the base of a recognizable shape, usually an animal, mythological character, or object. Well-known constellations include the Big Dipper, Orion the Hunter, and the constellations of the Zodiac.

   
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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!

 

   

Youth Art Month Contest

Oceans of Possibilities Youth Art Contest Winners

Winners from left to right include: Ben McClary, Zoa Barker, Emilee Allsop, Mackenzie Wood (top), Remy Niederman (bottom), and Lola Burkson 

In March we asked children to create original artwork using the theme of our summer reading games––Oceans of Possibilities! As usual, you did not disappoint, submitting over 70 pieces of artwork to the contest!

Our staff members were pleased to receive so many creative and imaginative entries.

“It certainly made the decision tough––we ended up choosing six winners!” said Ginny Hosler, a librarian, and the contest’s programmer.

The six winning pieces will be made into collectible summer reading prize bookmarks. Children who participate in the games will receive a bookmark as their 10-point prize.

But we’re not stopping there! “There were so many great submissions that we decided to showcase all of the entries at the Downtown Library this summer. We hope everyone will come and see just how creative our community is!” Hosler said.

   
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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 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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