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.