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November 2021
Direct from the Director
As I finish my final weeks at New Ulm Public Library, I have been reflecting on three years in the community. It's a wonder how fast time has passed. It feels like just yesterday that I was meeting and getting to know the Library Board, and Library and City staff and our regular patrons. 
One of the things I love about the public library is that it’s a community space where people meet to discover the world, have fun, learn, and develop relationships.
The library is a magical place and if there’s one thing that we’ve all learned over the last two years it’s that the library is a place beyond the walls of the physical library. A second thing I enjoy is that new patrons quickly become regulars and are woven into the fabric of the library as they seek knowledge and entertainment.
Assistant Library Director April Ide, Reference Librarian Leasa Sieve, Youth Services Librarian Kathryn Tatnall and Programming and Technology Services Librarian LeRoy Harris will guide the library through this upcoming transition. I have to commend these staffers and the rest of the incredible library staff as we have pivoted and navigated the world of libraries during the pandemic. They have been phenomenal as library services reopened and returned to full capacity months ago. They have been an amazing crew to work alongside.
I’m leaving the library with one major project unfinished, which will be implemented this autumn. The flooring project is in its third year and the fiction area will see carpet replacement in a few weeks. The adult fiction section and large print section will be temporarily unavailable in our online catalog and for browsing, with the exception of new adult fiction and new large print fiction. We’ll be requesting items from other libraries for about a week while the project takes place. Phases four and five of the carpet replacement are expected to continue for another two years with library reserves used to fund the updates. The second floor of fiction and the youth services area are left to complete.
Next year will see the replacement of our largest upper library roof and the Library Board will begin writing a new strategic plan. I hope you take the opportunity to share your opinion on the library services and projects that you’d like to see in the next plan.
It’s been a pleasure to get to know the community and cultivate relationships through outreach at schools and senior assisted living facilities. It’s been wonderful. We have an amazing community, Library Board and Library and City staff.

Your support of the library’s growth has been invaluable and there are many amazing things ahead. Thank you for your investment in your public space, and thank you for letting me be part of it. I’m excited for all that is to come at New Ulm Public Library. The possibilities are boundless.
The library is located at 17 N. Broadway and is open to the public Monday to Thursdays 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. You can call the library at 507-359-8331.

Paulina Poplawska, Library Director
The library will be closed on Thursday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

The library will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24 and be closed on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 for Thanksgiving. It will reopen for normal hours on Saturday, November 26.
Remembering Diane Zellmann
New Ulm Public Library staff would like to remember our wonderful former Children's Librarian, Diane Zellmann. She was a joy to the children and to the library. Above is the article in the New Ulm Journal from when she first joined our staff. Diane was employed at the library for 11 years and retired on March 31, 2011. She passed away on Friday, October 1, 2021 at the age of 75.
Children's and Family Programs
New Ulm Public Library is excited to present storytime with Ms. Kathryn on Monday mornings at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m. We’ll share stories, songs and fun in the children’s room of the library. This program is free and open to all children and their parents or caregivers. There will be no storytime on Wednesday, November 24. Fall story time season ends Wednesday, December 15, 2021. For more information call the library at 507-359-8331.
Make the stars your friends as we watch the celestial show in the skies over New Ulm on Thursday, November 4 at 7 p.m. at New Ulm Public High School outdoor commons. We’ll have giant telescopes aimed at Saturn, star clusters, galaxies, and other great celestial treasures. We’ll check out constellations like The Big Bear, Cygnus the Swan, Pegasus the Winged Horse, and learn some of the great stories behind them. Along with visual telescopes we’ll have a telescope-astronomical camera system to really see distant celestial targets on a video screen.
Mike Lynch is a meteorologist at WCCO Radio and has been hosting star watch parties and teaching astronomy classes for over 48 years. He also writes a weekly stargazing column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and is the author of the book, “Stars, a Month by Month Tour of the Constellations,” which will be available for purchase at a discount. Super cool glow in the dark star shirts will also be available for purchase. Even if it's cloudy you’ll learn a lot and have a great time! You’re invited to bring lawn chairs to make yourself comfy!
Adult Programs
November is National Novel Writing Month! This year, the New Ulm Public Library is an official “Come Write In!” location. Many people have been thinking about writing a book thanks to lockdown fever this past year. Why not take the plunge and let the library be your space to get your ideas on paper? The library will have quiet areas for new and established authors to get down to writing (or typing) their next book. Join us for writing workshops throughout the month and see what you can accomplish!
Join us on Monday, November 8 at 6 p.m. for an informative and entertaining presentation on Minnesota's Lumberjack Legends and Lore with author, explorer, and researcher Chad Lewis! Chad will present engaging information on everything from Paul Bunyan to the Hodag. Filled with tall tales of mysterious creatures lurking in the woods, boasts of supernatural feats, and every yarn told in between, this program celebrates our lumberjack history. This free program is made possible by a grant provided by the Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative and funded with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Check out these other great November adult programs: Don't forget to check out our November book group meetings:
  • Lit Wits Book Group, Monday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m.
    • Reading Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
  • Poetry Book Group, Monday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m.
    • Bring one or two poems to share.
  • History Book Group, Tuesday, November 16 at 12 p.m.
    • Reading The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonsoo Lee
  • Mystery Book Group, Monday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m.
    • Reading Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
Copies of the book group selections are available at the library's service desk.

For more information on any of these programs, call the library at 507-359-8331 or visit our online calendar.
Staff Recommendations

A diverse cast of characters crash together after a young man is found stabbed to death on a rented houseboat. Laura, a magnet for trouble, just barely ekes by as she tries to navigate a confusing world with a traumatic brain injury. She helps out an elderly woman who sometimes is befuddled and lived next door to the victim’s recently-deceased mother.
Snoopy Miriam, a perennial social outcast, lives on the houseboat next to the victim’s and harbors many secrets and slights. Finally, how do the victim’s Aunt Carla and Uncle Theo (a novelist) fit into the puzzle? This is an intriguing and absorbing mystery that avoids the well-worn trope of the cheap twist at the end written for shock value (though you might be surprised, never-the-less). The characters are compelling and well-animated and the setting is interesting.
- Sue
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
Who are the 5 people, living or dead, that you would most like to invite to diner?  The Dinner List is the story of Sabrina’s answer to this question. Told in chapters that alternate between Sabrina’s love story with Tobias and the backstory for each of the other invited guests, Sabrina’s character is revealed through her relationships with the people at her birthday dinner.  The creative way Sabrina’s story unfolds and the unexpected ending set this book apart from a typical romance.  I really enjoyed it. - Ann
Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris
David Sedaris has long been one of my favorite authors, and this collection of his selected journal entries from 2003-2020 does not disappoint. Whether he’s describing his frequent odd encounters with strangers or exploring his and his family’s eccentricities, he does so with humor and humanity and without sugar-coating. This collection was a bright spot in my week and delivered many laughs. It’s also great for those who love short chapters! - April
Is it ever too late to do the right thing?  Best friends, Charlotte and Maddie, witness an act of bullying on the bus the first week of middle school as new sixth graders. Maddie is convinced that telling the principal what happened is the right thing to do, but Charlotte, who stutters, would like to remain quiet. Later that day when she is called to the office, she denies seeing what really happened on the bus.
The next day the bullies target Maddie as the snitch and make her and Charlotte’s ride to school such an awful experience that Charlotte gets physically ill in class and is sent home. The next time she boards the bus instead of sitting with Maddie she heads to the back of the bus to hide leaving her friend to take the bullies punishment. Charlotte knows what she is doing is wrong, but how does she take it back, how does she move forward? Can a class writing assignment help her express how she feels and give her the voice she wants without speaking? – Kathryn
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