Back to School

Even for those of us without a direct connection to schools, the beginning of a school year changes the rhythm of our lives. At the Public Library, evenings and weekends get busier. Groups that have not met in the library’s meeting room all summer begin calling to reserve meeting dates and times. Gardening books are checked out less and craft books are checked out more. I start to think about all those books on the recommended reading lists that I haven’t read. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

One of the back-to-school changes at the library is a change in hours. During the school year, the Public Library is open on Saturday afternoons. Beginning September 12, the library’s hours are 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The library is closed on Sunday.

Back to school means back to preschool storytime at the Public Library. Storytime is a 30-minute program of stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for children ages 3 to 6 that meets Monday evenings and Tuesday mornings. The first storytimes for this fall will be on September 14 and 15. Contact the children’s librarian, Dana Neu, for more information.

Two book discussion groups meet at the library year around. The next discussions will take place on October 15. On that date the group meeting at 1:30 will be talking about Still Alice and the group meeting in the evening will discuss The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Interested readers are welcome to pick up a copy of the book at the library and join us to discuss what we’ve read.

Six boxes of new books just arrived at the library. Watch the shelves for the new titles.

Incredible Loot

The richest person in the world - in fact all the riches in the world - couldn't provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library. ~Malcolm Forbes


Incredible loot—I like that description of the library. It makes me think about all the stuff available here. Books, for example. We have thousands of them on practically every subject imaginable. Are you updating a resume or writing a letter of application? There are books at the Madison Public Library to help with both. Thinking about attempting to repair a lawn mower, small appliance or car? Again, there are books here that will give you essential information. There are books on ways to conserve energy, new cookbooks, and stories to entertain you.

Books come in a variety of formats now. The book with paper pages and a cover is still the preferred format, but you can also listen to books. The library has a large collection of books on cassette tape and books on CD. Lots of folks like to take audiobooks to listen to when driving or flying or doing some household chore. The time does seem to go faster when your mind is occupied by a good story. The latest option for listening is called a playaway. It is very compact—3 1\2 inches by 2 inches—and fits easily into a pocket. All you need is a pair of headphones or earbuds.

Good stories are always part of the program at the Preschool Storytime sessions. Storytime is offered on Monday evenings and Tuesday mornings and is open to preschool children who are at least three years old. Each thirty-minute program includes stories, songs and other activities designed to capture the interest and imagination of youngsters.

Free access to the Internet is available both on the library’s computers and through the library’s wireless Internet connection. Finding information on the Internet is a little like shopping at a flea market. There are some treasures, but there is also a lot of junk. The South Dakota Library Network, the State Library and the Madison Public Library all subscribe to databases that are available via the Internet. Some of these can be accessed from your home computer. World Book Encyclopedia is one of the databases you can use from your home. Others are only accessible at the library. If you are thinking about car repair, check out the Mitchell Manuals online at the public library.

Browse through the videocassettes and DVDs at the library for both entertainment and information. History, civics, exercise, do-it-yourself projects, classic movies and recent film releases are all part of the video and DVD collection.

The Madison Public Library also subscribes to popular magazines and newspapers.

And the best part—admission to the library and its “loot” is free. Please take advantage of everything the library has to offer.

Coming in August...

How would you describe creatures that have dominated the earth for over 300 million years? Despite their small size and individual insignificance, insects have a huge impact on planet Earth and human life.

Visitors to Bug’s Eye View will enter an outdoor world of larger-than-life models that demonstrate the advanced adaptations of typical insects: sleek wings, heavy-duty armor, specialized appendages, and highly sensitive detectors. Bug’s Eye View contains information on many levels, beginning with basic identification and classification. Find out why spiders, ticks, sow bugs, centipedes, and millipedes are not classified as insects. Work with an assortment of different legs, body parts, antennae and wings to make insects, spiders, and centipedes.

The overall exhibit is geared for Pre- 6th grade children, parents, caregivers and teachers.

Included with the exhibit:
♦ Interactive Design – a complete turnkey program to enrich learning opportunities in your community.
♦ Exhibit Manual – with descriptions, fact sheets, activities, and suggested resources.
♦ Experts in the Field – Resources including recommended scholars, artists and other experts who could conduct more in-depth programming.
♦ Educational Kits – Science kit includes experiments and supplies. The art kit provides instructions and supplies for conducting art and art appreciation activities. The literature kit includes books, color sheets, crayons and games.

Bug's Eye View is sponsored by the HOP program.

Reverend Sandra Larson Hosts Book Discussion at MPL

Thousands of readers have read The Shack by William P. Young. It has been on the New York Times Best Sellers List for over 30 weeks and continues to be popular because readers keep talking about it. The Madison Public Library and Reverend Sandra Larson offer an opportunity for readers to talk about this book on May 12 and 19.

Reverend Sandra Larson, First Presbyterian Church in Madison, will lead a two-part discussion of The Shack at the Madison Public Library on Tuesday May 12 and May 19 beginning at 7:oo p.m. in the library's meeting room.

According to Reverend Larson The Shack will surprise, shock and inspire readers. The story begins with a family's tragedy. What follows is a spiritual adventure that gives a fresh and thought-provoking perspective on who is God; why am I here; and how to cope with tragedy. "This book's deep emotion and spiritual wisdom will nudge you to reflect on what you believe and what you value," states Reverend Larson.

Copies of The Shack are available at the Shepherd Shop and Books and More. Madison Public Library has several copies that are currently spoken for, however interested patrons may have their names added to the reserve list for future reading.

All interested readers are invited to join this discussion. Please contact the Public Library, 256-7525, if you plan to attend.

Something for Everyone

Back in January, everyone at the Public Library ordered books from sales representatives who visited us. Boxes of books have been arriving at the library since then—it’s been sort of like Christmas.

Most of the books are nonfiction, but with all of us choosing books, I think we have something to appeal to every interest. Keep checking the new book shelves.

Some of the new titles now available are:
Do It For Less! Weddings by Denise Vivaldo contains more than 500 cost-saving tips, ideas, and professional advice on all aspects of planning an unforgettable wedding on an affordable budget.

When Our Mothers Went to War by Margaret Regis documents the challenges faced by women on the home front and in the battle zone during World War II.

Outside the Not So Big House by Julie Moir Messervy offers practical advice for designing outdoor spaces for modern lifestyles.

Street Gang by Michael Davis is the complete history of Sesame Street.

The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Nancy Harmon Jenkins provides recipes and the latest information about the nutritional benefits of one of the world’s healthiest cuisines.

Special Guest


During a lazy day of fishing, a father asked his young son a seemingly harmless question, "Do you know where this water goes?" Several years later, the boy, his brother, and two friends set off on a 1,400 mile journey to find out.

That fishing trip planted an idea that eventually led four Iowa lads on a two-and-a-half month canoeing voyage from Minnesota to the fabled Hudson Bay. Three decades later, their inspiring adventure has been captured in This Water Goes North, a new book by Dennis Weidemann.

The young travelers met while working at a pizza parlor, the typical job for college students. Short of money and experience, they opted to make the trip on their own terms, rather than to seek sponsorships to purchase the gear they would have liked.

On a bone-chilling May 8. 1979, they pushed off in two beat-up canoes, one of them a square-back Grumman purchased at at garage sale, still painted with red, white and blue markings from a bicentennial parade. On the bottom was a name--"Lucky." And it was.

Just three days into the trip, the intrepid explorers had their first brush with near death, when two of the young men capsized and found themselves pinned under a fallen tree in fast water. There were still treacherous rapids and hundreds of miles of unpopulated wilderness to come, but close calls would be just a part of a rich adventure filled with tales of bootleggers, friendship, a polar bear, and humorous escapades with local characters.

The foursome spent the first three weeks snaking down the Otter Tail River and Red River to Canada, camping at farms along the way. Leaving civilization behind, they battled Lake Winnipeg, a frigid 300-mile beast with a bad temper. Following old fur trading routes they passed through another 400 moles of untamed backcountry to the remote York Factory outpost on Hudson Bay.

Why did they go? Thirty years later the somewhat older explorers respond as they did in 1979, citing a song by Pablo Cruise. "The time has come to cast away and sail into the sun. We wanna' be worlds away."

"The spirit of adventure is universal," says Weidemann, who hopes that the book will help others appreciate the value of an adventure of youth. "Everyone dreams of going somewhere, but often life gets in the way. I hope that for at least a moment, This Water Goes North will take readers to wherever they wanted to go. Maybe one day, they too will be worlds away."

Author Dennis Weideman will present a slide show of this amazing story at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 13, at the Madison Public Library. Books will be aviable for purchase; signing follows.

The ballots have been cast new library card...

Below are the finalists from our contest to find a new image for the Madison Public Library's new card.

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Click here to see the results of our online and library polls.

Interested in joining a book club?

There are two book clubs meeting at the Madison Public Library, and new readers are always welcome.

One of the groups meets in the afternoon. Their next meeting is Thursday, March 5, at 1:30 p.m. at the Public Library. The book we have chosen to read and discuss is Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish. This book is Mildred Kalish’s story of growing up on her grandparents’ Iowa farm during the Great Depression. Copies of the book are available at the library if you would care to join the discussion on March 5.

The second book club meets in the evening and is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m. This group will be discussing Louise Erdrich’s novel The Master Butcher’s Singing Club. Copies of this book will also be available at the library.

In addition to hosting two book clubs, the Public Library is making available Book Club Bags. The bags contain multiple copies of a given book along with a description of the story and discussion questions. Only a few of these are currently available, but the number will grow as the book clubs continue to meet. Check at the library to find out what is available.