Local Interest

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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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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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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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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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!

   
Tween   
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Energy and Water Assistance for Hoosiers

Winter Utility Financial Assistance from SCCAP

Energy Assistance Program

South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP) is once again providing financial assistance with winter fuel/heating bills for households in Monroe County for the upcoming 2021–22 season.

The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is an annual program that assists members of our community who have household incomes at or below 60% of the State Median Income. This program is available to Hoosiers renting and for those who own their home. You do not need to have fallen behind on your heating or electric bills to qualify.

The EAP offers a direct-pay benefit to a household's utility company, or a benefit in the form of a check from the State for those households whose utilities are included in rent.

Eligibility for the program is based on total household income. For program year 2021–22, income limits by family size are as follows:

   
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Friends of the Library Pledge $650,000 to New Branch

A rendered image of the Library's atrium shows small meeting spaces on the left and stairs leading to the main floor. In the background, bookshelves and computer workstations are visible behind a large glass wall. Patrons are scattered through the spaces.

On Sunday, June 27, The Friends of the Monroe County Public Library Foundation pledged to donate $650,000 to the Library to equip a new branch on the south side of Monroe County. 

“We are excited to partner with the MCPL in funding the Southwest Branch as just one more way the Friends support the vision and values of the Library,” said Emily Bedwell, Friends of the Library Board President. “We believe that the strength of the community lies in our public libraries and their unique positioning to be centers of growth, learning, and civil engagement.”

“We are incredibly grateful for our long and supportive relationship with the Friends of the Library. This generous financial pledge helps to ensure we can better serve our community,” said Marilyn Wood, Library Director. 

   
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Staff Picks: Flat: Reclaiming My Body From Breast Cancer

Reviewed by Sarah K., Materials Handler

Flat: Reclaiming My Body From Breast Cancer by Catherine Guthrie is also available as an Overdrive eBook.

Integrity

Catherine Guthrie was in her thirties, living in Bloomington, Indiana when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had written extensively about cancer in her work as a health journalist, but quickly learned how different the landscape looks when you are the patient.

   
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