October Teen Social Roundup

October Teen Social Roundup

Did you know that the Library has an Instagram account JUST for teens? We post fun things like craft ideas and book recommendations along with announcements for special programs. Here is a round up of some of the topics and events we posted in October, if you like what you see, give us a follow at instagram.com/mcplindianateen so you do not miss out!


We made some Spooky Crafts, including Halloween Popcorn and Painted Mason Jar Lanterns!

Halloween Popcorn

Making your popcorn Halloween themed is easy! You just need some candy melts and sprinkles to spookify this easy to make treat.

Banner for Popcorn Craft
image with the text you will need: 1/2 cup orange candy melts, 1/2 cup black candy melts, 12 cups plain popcorn, halloween sprinkles
you will need: microwave safe bowls, spoons, tongs, pan lined with parchment paper
step one: melt your candy melts in microwave according to the instruction on the bag. Spread the popcorn out onto the pan
step two: use a spoon to drizzle the candy melts over the popcorn. Use tongs to coat the popcorn
step three: add sprinkles before candy hardens. Let sit for 20 minutes.
You're Done!

Take and Make

Our October Painted Mason Jar Lantern Take and Make kits were very popular, we ran out within the first four days of putting them out! If you missed the kits, we do have a list of supplies and instructions in the caption for our corresponding YouTube video if you’d like to make them at home.

librarian holding take and make kit
contents of take and make kit

Keep an eye out for our November Take and Make kit announcement!


We Need Diverse Books

We highlighted some new October YA books to keep an eye out for by Asian, Black, and Hispanix authors:

image of book covers of new october YA Books by Asian Authors. The books pictured are The shadow Mission by Shamin Sarif, This is All Your Fault byt Arniah Mae Safi, My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Pantuzzo, God Storm by Coco Ma, Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, and Monstress by Marjore Liu.
image of book covers of new october YA Books by Latinx Authors. The books pictured are The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao, Come On In by Adi Aisaid, and Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz
image of book covers of new october YA Books by Black Authors. The books pictured are Class Act by Jerry Craft, Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron, Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi, and the Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Haruna Attah

Spooky Books

Looking for a good spooky read?

Mini Book Review of Cemtery Boys by Aiden Thomas. 4 and a half stars. This book is full of fun, ghost filled adventures in LA, perfect for the October season! It also is about strong friendships, living as your true self, and that traditions can be altered to make room for others. Review from Lizzy
image of book covers titled spooky reads. The books pictured are Through theh Woods, by Emily Carroll, Odd & True by Cat Winters, Contagion by Erin Bowman, The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, Scarlett Hart by Marcus Sedgwick and Thomas Taylor, Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, and The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta
Mini Book Review of The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh. 4 stars. Set in 1872 New Orleans, this book follows Celine as she navigates the dangerously beautiful underbelly of the city known as the Court of the Lions. Read this one for gruesome murders, vampires, and romance. Review from Macklin
Mini Book Review of Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. 5 stars. A spooky graphic novel of short stories that will get you in the mood for Halloween. I loved the beautiful artwork and the dark fairy tale-like stories. Get ready for cellar monsters, creepy houses, and pitch dark woods. Review from Jen

Witchy Books

We also made this handy flowchart for finding your next witchy read:


Witchy Reads image description

If you’d like to see a full list of witchy reads that we recommend, check all our witchy reads out here.

Want to join in the fun on our Discord server? Anyone aged 13-19 who lives in Monroe County can sign up for Discord here.


Can someone write a funny book about a 12 year old with cancer?

Rob Harrell, the author of the Life with Zarf series, manages to do just that as he translates his own experience with a tumor that could have blinded him into a story about Ross, a 7th grader growing up right here in Bloomington, Indiana! Middle school is hard enough without being the "cancer kid" with an eye that won't stay open, goopy eye drops, hair loss, and ongoing radiation treatments. Ross just wants to be normal. With humor and compassion, the real story is built around the relationships in his life, good and bad, and the risks he takes to make his life worth living.

Despite the serious subject matter, this book will appeal to anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed or underwhelming but keeps trying anyway. Including comic panels and spot art, with chapters averaging 10 pages each, even reluctant readers will find this book engaging and enjoyable. Appropriate for ages 10+

Other Community Quaranzines

Other Community Quaranzines

During quarantine, many people either created, or submitted creations to, a Quaranzine! The Library and our community created our own quaranzine, and thank you all so much for your lovely contributions. We wanted to take the time and create some space to highlight other Quaranzines made by people from elsewhere in the world. Here are some of our favorites. We hope you enjoy them!

Minnesota Youth Collective’s Quaranzine

What This is a Picture Of

An amazing Quaranzine! A collection of photographs, poetry, prose, and artwork, this zine is something to behold. Made by Minnesota Youth Collective.


Quarantine Zine

What This is a Picture Of

This zine is shown through a long series of photographs of the zine - and they are beautiful and wildly creative! Showing feelings, thoughts, artwork, and poetry/prose, this zine truly shows what a community can create.


Public Collector’s Quaranzine

What This is a Picture Of

Public Collectors is a long running project based out of Chicago dedicated to archiving ephemera from public institutions, and during the quarantine lockdown, its creator, Marc Fischer, collaborated with writers and artists from around the world to design and publish 100 daily issues of a one page zine/newsletter each of which addressed a different topic or idea.


Rutherford County Library System’s Quaranzine

What This is a Picture Of

The August issue highlights beautiful artwork created by people of all ages, while the June issue showcases a felt hat that is absolutely stunning. These short zines show great creativity and craftsmanship.


Podcasting 101

Podcasting 101

Have you ever had an idea for a podcast and not known exactly where to begin? Looking for answers online turns up a variety of resources, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you see extensive lists of gear, software, and production techniques.

Fortunately, the Library is a great first step to learning the tools of the trade! The Library’s Digital Media Expert’s recommendation for anyone who asks about audio editing or making a podcast is Audacity, a free open-source audio-editing application.

The great thing about Audacity is how feature rich it is, while remaining fairly accessible. There are also plenty of great tutorials online, such as this Lynda course introducing you to the basics of getting started. In this course, you can observe how to download and install Audacity on both Mac and Windows, import and play existing audio files, and record original audio, including multitrack audio projects. You can also view how to perform basic editing tasks like copying and pasting audio and splitting clips, as well as some more advanced tricks like automating volume changes across a project.

Speaking of Lynda, they also have a great course on podcast production in general and one on using Audacity to clean up your sound files

Finally, if you are looking to jumpstart your production watch this podcasting overview by B&H Video which provides some quick and easy tips for getting started

New Kid

Jordan is disappointed to start a new school. Instead of the art school he wanted to go to, his parents are making him go to Riverdale Academy Day School - the best school in town. Jordan’s new school is very different: he doesn't know his way around, the kids all dress differently, and the biggest difference of all is that nearly everyone at his new school is white, which isn’t really a problem except that Jordan keeps experiencing microaggressions and some more direct racial bullying which the teachers tend to ignore. How will Jordan navigate life at his new school while remaining true to himself?

New Kid, winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award, is an engaging, quickly paced graphic novel with an important message about friendship, racism, and being true to yourself. Fans of graphic novels like Raina Telgemeier’s Sister series, Cece Bell’s El Deafo, and Shannon Hale’s Real Friends, would enjoy this award winning book. Appropriate for ages 9+.

Quaranzine, Vol. 5

Quaranzine Vol. 5

Welcome to the fifth and final edition of MCPL’s community Quaranzine!

There are two different versions––one is for reading on a screen, and the other has been imposed so it can be printed at home, folded, stapled, and read in that fashion. Select short-side binding on most printers to print correctly.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this zine. Now that the library, and county/state are reopening, we are discontinuing our Quarantine Quaranzine. We hope that everyone remains safe with all the reopenings.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Quaranzines - we appreciate you greatly!

Celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Month

This October we're celebrating Dyslexia Awareness Month! Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects the way an individual processes language. It is characterized by unexpected difficulty with reading in relation to an individual's intelligence. Common characteristics of dyslexia include difficulty reading, difficulty with accurate and fluent word recognition, a deficit in the phonological components of language, difficulties with sequencing, and poor spelling. 

It is important to know that dyslexia is not uncommon. 15–20% of Americans live with the condition and, while this is changing, many people aren’t familiar with the term “dyslexia” and may not know what it is or how it affects an individual. Because dyslexia affects so many Americans, chances are you know someone with dyslexia. They could be classmates, coworkers, family members, the people and staff you interact with at the Library or at the other places you visit. 

Earlier this year, a Pioneer Grant was awarded to Community Engagement Librarian Kim Baker to kickstart the development of a new service offering for dyslexic individuals, their caretakers, or people looking to learn more about dyslexia.

As a result, we're celebrating Dyslexia Awareness Month with virtual programming, book recommendations, and staff training. This booklist is full of children’s books featuring characters with dyslexia. The recommendations are a great way for individuals with dyslexia to see themselves in books and, for others, to gain a better understanding of what living with dyslexia is like. Our recently-updated children’s website also features new pages on dyslexia and dyslexia resources. Additionally, signage has been updated in the Main Library and Ellettsville Branch children’s areas to follow dyslexia-friendly guidelines.

You may notice the pqbd symbol featured on our graphics. It is a symbol for dyslexia awareness created by Rebecca Warner, founding member of Decoding Dyslexia Virginia. The logo is created with the letters p, q, b, and d, and is symbolic of letter reversal, an issue that many people with dyslexia experience. 

In addition to public-facing programs and services, we're working to raise internal awareness of dyslexia by providing staff with training designed to increase understanding of dyslexia and its characteristics. Training includes discussion on actions we can take to better serve patrons with dyslexia and reading simulations so staff can gain a deeper understanding of challenges a person with dyslexia may experience.

Here are some useful library resources for readers with dyslexia:

Throughout October, our social media channels will feature Dyslexia Awareness Month content. Like and share posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help spread awareness of this common neurological condition. We'll continue to develop dyslexia resources, if you have ideas about how we can support members with dyslexia please share them here!

All's Faire in Middle School

Reviewed by Kim B., Librarian

Imogene has always felt sure of herself and happy with her life as the daughter of Renaissance Faire workers. But when it’s time for her to stop homeschooling and attend middle school with other kids Imogene is suddenly not so sure. To Imogene, fitting in in a world of dragons, sword fighting, Queens and knights seemed like a piece of cake, but fitting in in middle school? It seemed impossible. All’s Faire in Middle School is a unique coming-of-age story filled with great lessons about being yourself, finding your true friends, and realizing that fitting in is just a matter of being confident in who you are. This book would be well fit with anyone starting middle school, starting school after homeschooling, or anyone looking for how they can fit in. Appropriate for ages 9+


Library Installs Little Free Library in Will Detmer Park

A new Little Free Library has been installed in Will Detmer Park! 

According to children’s librarian, Ginny Hosler, “a Little Free Library is a free-standing book sharing box. Each Little Free Library has a steward, the person who sponsored and built the library, and each one is super unique to the neighborhood it lives in.” Find more information on the nonprofit organization behind the movement at littlefreelibrary.org.

Little Free Libraries are typically placed in locations where access to books is scarce. “We wanted to install the new library in a spot that would be utilized and helpful to the people who lived around it. Will Detmer Park was a great choice because it’s not near any of the Library’s branches or Bookmobile stops and is in a community park where people frequently go to play, walk, and garden,” Ginny said.

A partnership with the Monroe County Parks and Recreation made the Will Detmer Park library possible. Ginny said “their assistant director, John Robertson, helped us throughout this process by agreeing to and helping us focus our vision, brainstorming suitable spots, advising us on how to install the little free library and much more”.

lfl_2.jpgThe installation at Will Detmer Park is just one part of an ongoing Library project to support local Little Free Libraries. Through December, Library staff will stock local Little Free Libraries with books, dignity objects, and creativity kits. The project is funded by the Friends of the Monroe County Public Library

During the 2020 summer reading games, the Library donated hundreds of books to Little Free Libraries throughout Monroe County. In addition to purchasing new books, the Friends of the Library Bookstore donated used books to supplement collections at the new and existing locations. 

“We try to put a mixture of genres and age levels in the Little Free Library so that anyone can find something that works for them,” Ginny said.

Little Free Libraries contain more than just books. Since July, Library staff have stocked local libraries with human dignity kits and creativity kits. Dignity kits contain personal hygiene items such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes. They are available to anyone who needs them. 

Creativity kits are full of the materials and instructions you’ll need to complete a small creative project. “With the pandemic, I think many of us have missed library programming and the emphasis we put on creating and building skills together. While we can’t all be together in person at the Library for these crafts and projects, creativity kits are a way to bring these experiences out into the community. We hope people will find a little joy in using them!” Ginny said. Learn about the Library’s virtual programs.

The official Little Free Library motto is “take a book, share a book,” and that’s what Ginny hopes will happen with the Will Detmer Park library. 

“The amazing thing about Little Free Libraries is that anyone can contribute! You can take a book when you want to read something new or you can donate books that you’ve already enjoyed! The community is able to curate this library with donations of books and dignity items, and connect with others by taking care of it.” 

Want to find a Little Free Library near you? Find one with the Little Free Library map and search tool!

VITAL Receives $25,000 Donation from the Estate of Robert Klausmeier

Robert Klausmeier photo

Last fall, Volunteer in Tutoring Adult Learners (VITAL) said goodbye to Robert (Bob) Edward Klausmeier, a long-time VITAL tutor and advocate, who passed away at the age of 93. Over the course of 23 years, Bob worked with at least 30 learners, providing one-on-one tutoring to help adults achieve their personal literacy goals. This fall a $25,000 donation from the estate of Bob Klausmeier was gifted to VITAL, ensuring that generations of future learners will benefit from his generosity.

VITAL Coordinator, Bethany Turrentine, recalled her first meetings with Bob. “When I joined VITAL in 2012, it was my particular joy to meet Bob and learn about his rich history with the program. He felt very strongly about the core values of VITAL. I always enjoyed those conversations because he was just so funny.” 

According to Bethany, Bob had a unique skill set that was extremely valued in VITAL. The gift for teaching math. “That is an area that people really struggle with and for him it was so important that someone understand what they’re learning and why. Real-life learning was really important to him. There was a time when he helped us try to figure out ‘how do we train tutors to teach math’, and he was a part of the building of those resources for people.”

Bethany shared that even after Bob retired from tutoring, she continued to get phone calls from students whose lives he had touched. One former student expressed her gratitude for her experience with Bob. “My math tutor changed my life. He made the horribly complex into almost an art form. I’m now studying meteorology and I tutor math to 10 to 12 years olds who ‘don’t get it’ because Bob showed me how to ‘get it.’ Their eyes light up with confidence, thank you for your program, and I’m still keeping it going.” 

“His gift for teaching extended beyond his students – I too benefited from long conversations regarding the principles that guide VITAL activities, and his passion for adult literacy,” Bethany said.

In addition to generosity with his time and knowledge, Bob’s ongoing financial contributions made it possible for VITAL to buy materials and resources to meet the needs of their students. Though she knew a donation was coming, Bethany didn’t expect the magnitude of the final gift. 

“I was stunned by how generous his contribution was, and it made me so happy because right now, things are really uncertain. These huge inequalities that have always existed are getting bigger because of the pandemic. People do not have access to technology, they do not have access to computer resources. So people who are already struggling with literacy are at even that much more of a disadvantage.” 

According to Bethany, the goal is to do something long term to help increase access for people who struggle with those barriers, whether those barriers are technological or physical. “Clearly there is a need. The size of the gift really makes me think creatively about how we might meet that need.” While a final decision has not been made, “building a digital literacy program is at the top of the list.” 

However the funds are deployed, Bethany said “we are thrilled to explore the next chapter for VITAL, which has served the community for over 40 years. Already a VITAL legend, Bob’s legacy ensures a brighter future for adult learning in our community.”